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Women fought to have their legal powers and rights reduced, despite opposition
from all other states. On the reverse, in Fatimite Morocco and Egypt, men
sought to glorify the image of women, whom they regarded as Chalices of
Mohammed. In Greater
Albion, formerly the United Kingdom, adult transforms who had regressed in
apparent age to children were forbidden to hold political office, creating a
furor I could hardly begin to untangle. And in Florida, defying regulations,
some humans transformed themselves into shapes similar to marine mammals ...
And to pay for it, organized
Sex in the Sea exhibits for tourists.
In language, the greatest craze of the 60s and 70s was invented language.
Mixing old tongues, inventing new, mixing music and words electronically so
that one could not tell where tones left off and phonemes
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Bear, Greg - Moving Mars UC FR.htm began, creating visual languages that
wrapped speakers in projected, complex symbols, all seemed designed to
separate and not bring together. Yet enhancements were available that were
tuned to the New
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Lingua Nets or NLN. Installing the NLN enhancements through nano surgery, one
could understand virtually any language, natural or invented, and even think
in their vernacular.
The visual languages seemed especially drive in the 70s. In GEWA alone,
seventy visual languages had been created. The most popular was used by more
than four and a half billion people.
Despite what Alice had said, it didn't sound at all inte-
grated to me. To a Martian, even to a native like Orianna, Earth seemed
diverse, bewildering, crazy.
But to Alice, Earth was entering the early stages of a new kind of history.
Six weeks into the flight, Bithras called me to his cabin. I girded myself for
battle, palmed his door port.
The door opened and I stepped in at the wave of his hand. He wore long pants
and a^cotton long-sleeved shirt, again in white, and he muttered to himself
for a few minutes, searching for memory cubes, as if I
had not yet arrived. "Yes," he said finally, locating the lost cubes and
turning to face me. "I hope your trip has not been too dull."
I shook my head. "I've spent most of the time researching and exercising," I
"And talking to Alice."
"Alice is brilliant, but she has some of the naivete found in all thinkers,"
Bithras said. "They cannot judge humans harshly enough. I have no such
illusions. My dear, the time has come for us to do some work, and it involves
your past... If you are willing."
I stared at him and gave the faintest nod.
"What do you know about Martian scientists and Bell Continuum theory?"
"I don't think I know anything about Bell Continuum theory," I said.
"Majumdar BM has been speaking with Cailetet Mars about sponsoring new
research. There is a request for so-called Quantum Logic thinkers in the
works. Earth is exporting such thinkers, but they are incredibly expensive ..
. thirty-nine million dollars, shipped endo and inactive. We must build our
own personalities for them, and that might take months, even years."
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I still volunteered nothing, though I could feel where he was heading.
Greg Bear
"You once knew Charles Franklin, promising student from Klein BM, correct?"
"You were lovers?"
I swallowed and thrust my chin forward resentfully. "Briefly," I said.
"He is lawbonded now to a woman from Cailetet."
Bithras studied my reaction. "Mr. Franklin heads a group of young theoretical
physicists at Tharsis
Research. They are known as the Olympians."
"I didn't know that," I said.
"Not surprising, since their work is kept close to their bosoms. They report
only to the fund administrators, and have published nothing so far. I want you
to read this transmission from Earth. It is a few days old, and. it was sent
to Cailetet from Stanford University."
"How did you get it?" I asked.
Bithras smiled, shook his head, and handed his slate to me. The message was
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pure text and read:
We've established strong link between time tweak and space tweak. Can derive
most special relat. Third tweak discovered may be co-active but purpose
unknown. Tweak time, tweak space, third tweak changes automatically. Probably
derive general relat. as regards curvature, but third tweak pushes a fourth
tweak, weakly and sporadically ... Derive conservation of destiny? Fifty
tweaks discovered so far. More to come. Can you share your discoveries? Mutual
bennies if yes.
"A scientific courtship," Bithras said. "Highly unusual, Earth courting Mars.
Did Charles Franklin discuss such matters?"
"No," I said. "Well ... I think he mentioned 'Bell Continuum' and something
else. 'Forbidden channels.'
Whatever they are. He didn't say much. I wasn't interested."
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"Pity," Bithras said. "You had a prime opportunity, both to romance Mr.
Franklin and to learn about something very important. He might have told you?"
"If he had, I wouldn't have understood."
'The 'Bell Continuum,' my researchers tell me, is the key to a radical theory
of physics that shows some promise. The Olympians refer to universes as
'destinies.' "
I shook my head, still all uncomprehending.
"We are interested, Casseia, because Cailetet Mars is being pressured to pull
out from Tharsis fundin". All funding."
"Cailetet is Lunar," I said.
"Yes, but dominated by GEWA, and Cailetet Mars would enjoy being more
independent. And at the same time, Mr. Franklin has been approached by
Stanford University to join their program and come to Earth to continue his
research. They promise access to Earth's most advanced thinkers, including
Quantum Logic thinkers, and a very high personal salary as well. They will
also help relieve Klein's money problems.
Which, of course, are due largely to interference from GEWA."
"Did he accept?"
"He reported the offer to Klein, as is only polite within a family, and Klein
informed the Council, which is also only polite. The Council passed the
information to major funders of Tharsis research. No, he did not accept. Mr.
Franklin is an admirable young man. Alice concludes that Earth is heavily
engaged in research in the Bell Continuum and something called 'descriptor
theory.' There have been other hints to that effect."
"It's important?"
Bithras smiled. "Earth won't get Charles Franklin, or any of the Olympians.
Majumdar will work with
Cailetet to finance three QL thinkers for their purposes."
"Oh," I said. Charles had done the right thing, and he had gotten what he
wanted by doing it. Admirable.
"I am sorry your affair went no further," Bithras said. "Why did you break
with him?"
162 Greg Bear
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The transition into personal prying was accomplished with so little change in
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tone that I was almost lulled into answering.
Instead, I smiled and turned one hand over, raised my eyebrows, and shrugged:
C'est la vie.
"Have you had much experience with brilliant men?"
"No," I said.
"Much experience with men at all?"
I continued smiling and said nothing. Bithras watched me intently. "I have
observed that young women acquire most of their knowledge of men in the first [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]