Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

What happens to this ‘Me-ness' when this body I am wearing stops, dies, decays, and the worms eat it?

Why am I here, where did I come from, where am I going?

Why are you here? Are you here? Are you anywhere? Am I all alone?

(And many more. )

Metaphysics has polysyllabic words for all of these ideas but you don't have to use them; Anglo-Saxon monosyllables do just as well for questions that have no answers.

Persons who claim to have answers to these questions invariably are fakers after your money. No exceptions. If you point out their fakery, if you dare to say aloud that the Emperor has no clothes, they will lynch you if possible, always from the highest www.store-soft.ru of motives.

That's the trouble I'm in now. I made the mistake of flapping my loose lower jaw before learning the power structure here. .. so now I am about to be hanged (I hope it is as gentle as hanging! ) for the capital crime of sacrilege.

I should know better. I didn't think anyone would mind (in San Francisco) when I pointed out that the available evidence tended to indicate that Jesus was gay.

But there were cries of rage from two groups: a) gays; b) non-gays. I was lucky to get out of town.

(I do wish Pixel would come back. )

On Friday we got my daughter Nancy and Jonathan Weatheral married. The bride wore white over a peanut-sized embryo that qualified her for Howard Foundation benefits, while the brides mother wore a silly grin that resulted from her private activities that week and the groom's mother wore a quiet smile and a faraway look in her eyes from similar (but not identical) private activities.

I had gone to much trouble to slide Eleanor Weatheral under Sergeant Theodore. To their mutual joy, I know (my husband says that Eleanor is a world-class mattress dancer), but not solely for their amusement. Eleanor is a touchstone, able to detect lies when she is sexually linked and en rapport.

Let's go back two days.

On Wednesday my zoo got home from the circus at 6. 05 p. m. ; we had a picnic dinner in our back yard at 6. 30, the exact timing being possible through Carol's having prepared it in the morning. At sundown Brian lit the garden lights and the younger ones played croquet while we elders - Brian, Father, Theodore, and I - sat in the garden glider swing and talked.

Our talk started on the subject of human female fertility. Brian told Father that he wanted him to hear something Captain Long had said about the matter.

But I must note first that I had gone to Father's room the night before (Tuesday) after the house was quiet, pledging him a King's X, then told him about a strange story Sergeant Theodore had given me earlier that night, after that silly unplanned visit to Electric Park, a story in which he claimed to be Captain Lazarus Long, a Howard from the future.

Despite my promise of King's X, Father left the door ajar. Nancy tapped on it and we invited her in. She perched on the other side of Father's bed and facing me listened soberly to my repetition.

Father said, ‘Maureen, I take it you believe him, time travel and ether ship and all. '

‘Father, he knew Woodrow's birth date. Did you tell him? '

‘No. I know your policy. '

‘He knew your birthday, too, not just the year, but the day and the month. Did you tell him? '

‘No, but it's no secret. I've set it down on all sorts of documents. '

‘But how would he know where to find one? And he knew Mother's birthday - day, year, and month:

‘That's harder. But not impossible. Daughter, as you tell me he pointed out: anyone with access to the Foundation's files in Toledo could look up all of these dates. '

‘But why would he know Woodrow's birthday and not Nancy's? Father, he came here knowing quite a bit about al his ancestors - those he claims as ancestors - that is to say, Woodrow and his ancestors but not the birthdays of Woodrow's brothers and sisters. '

‘I don't know. If he did have access to judge Sperling's files, he could have memorised just those data needed to back up his story. But the most interesting item is his assertion that the War will end on 11 November, this year. I would have guessed sometime this summer, with bad news for Britain and worse news for France, and humiliation for us. .. or not earlier than the summer of 1919, with victory for the Allies but a horribly expensive one. If it turns out that Ted is right - 11 November 1918 - then I'll believe him. Ali of it. '

Nancy said suddenly, ‘I believe him! '

Father said, ‘Why, Nancy? '

‘Grandpa, do you remember - No, you weren't here. It was the day war was declared, a year ago. Papa had kissed us goodbye and left. Grandpa, you went out right after Papa left -‘

Father nodded. I said, ‘I remember. '

‘ - and, Mama, you had gone up to lie down. Uncle Ted telephoned. Oh, I know that he telephoned later and you talked to him, Grandpa. You. .. You were mean to him -‘

‘Nancy, I'm sorry about that. '

‘Oh, that was a misunderstanding, we all know that. This was before he talked to you, maybe an hour before, maybe longer. I was upset and crying a bit, I guess, and Uncle Ted knew it. .. and he told me to stop worrying about Papa, because he - Uncle Ted, I mean - had second sight and could tell the future. He told me that Papa would come home safely. And suddenly I quit worrying and have not worried since - not that way. Because I knew that he was telling the truth. Uncle Ted does know the future. .. because he is from the future. '

‘Father? '