A World Between
“Interesting,” he finally said mildly.
    " Interesting? Is that all you have to say?”
    “Well, we always expect to have to conform to local law,” Falkenstein said in the friendliest of tones. “What you propose obviously has complex ramifications, both legally and philosophically. Obviously, I cannot accept your offer until we have had some time to study the full implications...
    What? Huh? Carlotta was caught completely off balance. “You mean you’re not rejecting it?” she blurted. “After all you’ve just said?”
    Falkenstein smiled at her. Ingenuously? Sardonically? It was impossible to even guess. “The difference in our respective positions seems to boil down to a question of trust,” he said. “Do we have enough trust in the efficacy of our own Institute to be confident that all Pacifican graduates, without exception, will behave responsibly after they are fully trained? A deep question for us to ponder. If we are able to answer in the affirmative, it will represent a great step forward. Of course, we will have to give the matter thorough study, consult our Arkmind, and put it to the Council of the Whole. Obviously, this is a matter of high policy, and neither I nor the people of the Heisenberg can make such a decision independently....”
    He glanced at Royce, then at Golding. “Personally, if it were up to me...e shrugged, sighed. “But then, it isn’t. We should be able to have a decision for you in a week or two, if that’s acceptable. Obviously, I can’t get the Council to alter such a policy without considerable debate. But I’ll try ..
    “That sounds reasonable,” Golding said. “Maybe more than reasonable.”
    Royce nodded, and Carlotta, though she longed to, could find no reason to object under the Parliamentary mandate, especially with both Royce and Golding apparently taken in by this slick brand of jellybelly oil.
    “Then I gather you’ll bear with us a while?” Falkenstein said. “We have permission to remain in orbit?”
    “I can’t see why not,” Carlotta said grudgingly.
    “Thank you,” Falkenstein said. He picked up his glass of floatfruit wine, took a sip, nodded appreciatively. He stood up, stretched, gazed out to sea, took a deep breath, walked around in a small semicircle, stood behind Golding’s chair, took another sip of wine. It all seemed like choreography to Carlotta.
    “I’d like to ask one small favor,” he said. “We don’t get to spend much time on planetary surfaces, you know, and this one is particularly beautiful. Perhaps we might stay here tonight, refresh ourselves with your good sea air, and postpone returning to the Heisenberg until morning?” “For sure,” Royce said. “We’d already planned dinner, and breakfast will be no problem. Right, Carlotta?”
    “Of course...” Carlotta muttered uneasily.
    “You like the sea, do you?” Royce said, sipping his own wine.
    “It’s refreshing,” Falkenstein said. “Of course Maria and I were born on a planet that’s mostly mountains. Tall rolling chains covered with forests, high clean air, waterfalls from glacial overruns ... I feel more of an affinity for that sort of terrain...
    “You’d like the Cords,” Golding said, looking up at Falkenstein. “Rainforests. The sun rising through the forest canopy at dawn. And we have quite a seacoast too. Didn’t think you folks would be mountain types....”
    Maria Falkenstein laughed. “We’re not exactly outdoors types,” she said. “But some of us do have our memories ...”
    Golding ran his eyes up Roger Falkenstein’s lean ageless body; Falkenstein seemed to strike a pose, lithe and aristocratic in his tightly tailored suit. “Perhaps you might find time to see the Cords, Dr. Falkenstein.”
    Falkenstein smiled at him. “Roger, please, now that our official business is done,” he said. He shrugged ruefully. “I’d like that, but I’m afraid there are too many people on the Heisenberg who’d also like to stretch their legs on

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