This section covers some problems with some Councillors.
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Who Can Be Trusted?
Saturday 08/05/94 10:30 am
Kerstin said. "Tun Wong, George and I have conveyed the suggestion to the Councillors here that they are a bit tired and should delay their departure until this evening. Charlie is discreetly talking to the Councillors. He is telling them that they can continue to use their cabins for the day. He has already planted in their minds the idea to request the service. I sense that your plans are for the good of Spacers and Earth and you need time to carry them out. The rest of our crew will arrive at our cabin within half an hour. Ivan will deal with visitors so that Leonov can join us. Now Marita would like to talk to you both."
Marita said. "Annie and Tun Wong, Undepoldus and I have been listening as you voiced your worries. George has told you that you have less to worry about than you thought. Undepoldus has already made contingency plans for all of us except the councillors. When we share later on we can exchange the knowledge that we have between us. Undepoldus agrees with the plan to keep the Councillors here for the day. Any urgent vidcom calls will be linked through to you Tun Wong. Charlie and I will handle any routine calls. See you later."
Tun Wong said. "Charlie has just told me that all the Councillors think that they over indulged last night. They need rest to recover. Sarah, Eva and Jennifer have helped to make them feel sleepier."
George said. "It looks like our combined defences are working already. Come to our cabin in around five minutes. If anyone sees you on your way, you know what to make them think."
Saturday 08/05/2094 11:00 am
Jennifer, Sarah and Eva were already in the cabin when George and Kerstin arrived.
Jennifer said. "George, I must tell you that I have been eavesdropping on your conversation at breakfast. I don't know if you intended to give me the power to share your mind but I can do so as easily as I can think. I have told Sarah and Eva what I know and they will maintain a screen around this cabin that makes people ignore it. Charlie says that Undepoldus will not make another test flight until next week. Oh, by the way, I can read Charlie as well as I can read you. What a wonderful way to share!"
George said. "Jennifer, I know that you knew that I would not mind before you told me. You know that it is almost pointless for me to talk to you about anything. I warn you, don't look too hard while I am sharing with Annie, you might get dragged in."
Jennifer did not reply but George felt a delicious wave of phantom comfort from her.
Tun Wong said as he arrived. "I detect that your defences
are organised already. Brilliant work! I also detect that Jennifer
has amazing power. When I tried to peep I ended up peeping at
myself and she laughed in my mind. Then she showed me herself
and embarrassed me - me! She knows that she will be a Spacer
in my department very soon and she is delighted. Stop it Jennifer,
wait until I am with Kerstin!"
Kerstin laughed. She said. "Keep it up Jennifer, make Tun Wong impatient."
Jennifer laughed. She said. "Be careful Kerstin, I know your secrets too. Marita has told me all about you. She can't wait for you to get started. It is lovely to know how you feel when you are sharing. I know what fun it is to be a voyeuse now. Don't worry, I know that I will have to shut you out while I look out for intruders. I know what is at stake and I do not want to interfere. I will give you four private silence for a while."
George marvelled at Jennifer's power. He was with Tun Wong, Kerstin and Annie all at once. Then Marita and Undepoldus joined them. The normal excitement of sharing had been replaced by comforting stream of companionship. Their thoughts and knowledge intermingled like separate streams running into a pool. George sensed Marita and Jennifer communicating independently. The others were aware too.
Marita conveyed: "I am advising Jennifer." All knew she could take part in several conversations at once like Undepoldus himself.
Then the six experienced a seventh mind among them. It was not taking part. It was an object to study. Jennifer had begun to present the Councillors' minds for examination. George sensed Tun Wong's disappointments and exultations as he discovered that his suspicions had been unwarranted or confirmed.
Jennifer conveyed to George. "I have borrowed your sense of the Asimovian directive and implanted it strongly in the minds of all the Council members. Any nasty ideas they may have in future will be overwhelmed by a frantic desire to share. Is that OK?"
Tun Wong: "Why do you ask, you beautiful cabbage?"
Jennifer: "I could have just as easily given them a frantic desire to masturbate instead."
The communal laugh between the six almost broke their concentration on the topics in mind.
As they relaxed their mental links Jennifer conveyed: "Now your work is over it is time to play. Get sharing - properly this time!"
Then they sensed Marita conveying "Stop it Jennifer, Undepoldus can't stand it! No more phantom comfort, please!"
Kerstin: "Marita has now got her own back. Jennifer can drive her and Undepoldus mad with phantom comfort. She loves it but he can't stand too much of it."
Tun Wong: "I'm glad Jennifer is on our side, we would be lost if she was against us."
Jennifer: "How do you know I am on your side Tun Wong? I think that you ought to change sides."
As Jennifer conveyed, Tun Wong felt himself turning female while Kerstin changed to male. Jennifer continued conveying: "Now Tun Wong, you are on my side. Keep sharing until I tell you to stop."
Kerstin felt herself being forced to drive Tun Wong as hard as she could go. Tun Wong felt himself forced to keep going. Jennifer would not let him escape into unconsciousness. Kerstin for all her size and strength could not keep going of her own volition but she had help. George saw exhaustion starting to show in her face. Then she fell asleep. In the meantime her body continued to drive just as hard as before. Jennifer had taken total control of both bodies.
George conveyed the single word: "Asimov!" To Jennifer.
She desisted at once, leaving Tun Wong and Kerstin to sleep peacefully.
George felt Jennifer trying to play with him so he concentrated on sending back the power she transmitted. Jennifer tried to resist but gave up when she knew she was beaten. George realised that he had strong enough defences to resist the strongest mind he had met. Jennifer had only been playing and was clearly a very strong ally.
Saturday 08/05/2094 12:00 midday
The six were informed that many safe refuges had been bought discreetly by the Undepoldus Trust. There were three British country houses with largish estates, deserted villages in Scandinavia, minor chateaux in France, a mock castle in Austria, a mountain retreat in Italy and numerous comparable places in other countries. All of the places were big enough to hold a population of 40 or more people in relative seclusion. All had independent water supplies and places for power units. None of them were near major moveways or air routes. Most had vegetable gardens or places where they could be established. All were within an area of 20 or more hectares of virtually empty space. All were super hideaways.
Undepoldus had visited two of the country houses in Britain to see them more closely. He was too big to go inside so he had hired a vidcom operator to tour the houses for him. He had made long tunnels deep under the houses and adjoining land for escape routes, secret stores and water courses. Undepoldus had also bought some warehouses that were rented out. Concealed under the warehouses were vast cellars that presently held small fleets of floaters. The cellars had been used for the temporary storage of land vehicles over 50 years ago. The large ramps that led to the cellars were still in existence but apparently covered in concrete. The concrete was a disguise for movable doors. The floaters could be called to home at a particular spot by one of Anita's communicators. Anita had devised a program for the floater's processors that signalled all floater control centres. Asimovian law would be invoked to force the control centre processors not to register the presence of the floaters.
Undepoldus had also burrowed a tunnel from the Spacers Club to a nearby square. The exit from the tunnel in the square was covered in shrubs.
Undepoldus had provided a wide range of hideouts and escape
routes that could be called upon if serious problems arose.
Leonov suggested that the councillors should be given the idea that he and Ivan should be replaced so that the crew could be posted to somewhere safe.
Jane elaborated on the idea. She said. "The council should send the crew to a secret hideout after Undepoldus has left. The crew should be told to remain incommunicado for six months. Then the council would find that the location of the secret hideout was hidden from them by an Asimovian directive."
George said. "We will want Marita's ex-students to be safe as well. How can we arrange that they are looked after?"
Jennifer said. "Undepoldus has thought of that. The ex-students will be invited here to see Undepoldus and Marita just before he leaves. Boku will come too as their bodyguard. Then we can all disappear together if we want to."
Kerstin asked. "Do you know if the councillors are aware that their powers will disappear if they try to contravene Asimovian directives?"
Jennifer answered. "They do not know anything about the Asimovian limitations to their powers. I have given them Asimovian control but I can just as easily remove it."
Tun Wong said. "Thanks to Jennifer I know that four councillors have ambitions to take over the Spacers League for their own purposes. With the powers they now have they will think that they can take over control of the League more easily. The remaining six were appointed because of their long service. They do not have as much imagination as the others and would not be able to govern the League alone in my opinion."
George said. "I think that the safe six should have their automatic defences strengthened. None of the councillors should be aware of the Asimovian limitations to their power. I am sure that the six would be happy to control the four who lose their power by trying to misuse it. If we are hidden away when the four attempt to strike, we can help to put things right without too much effort."
Marita appeared and said. "I think that George is right. If we give the four enough rope they will hang themselves. We also have a warning of what might happen so we can make preparations for the event when it occurs. The most likely time is when Undepoldus has just left orbit and cannot return. The four would not be likely to try to take action earlier because they would worry about what Undepoldus might do."
Tun Wong said. "I think you are right Marita. The first few hours after Undepoldus leaves orbit will be the most dangerous. At that time Kerstin could be vulnerable because of the mental link between your two identities. I think George and Kerstin should disappear as soon as Undepoldus leaves for the take-off strip. The rest of us can change our appearances and mix with the crowds. We will know if anyone is looking for us and we can arrange not to be noticed."
Marita said. "Undepoldus suggested that you should all go to a holiday centre openly as he leaves for the take off strip. En route you should activate the Asimovian feature in the floater processors and go to a different location. As you will not be expected to know what could happen, it is unlikely that anyone will check at the holiday centre until some time after you were due to arrive. Then you will be hidden, safe from anyone who might want to harm you."
Jennifer said. "I know what you have decided. All knowledge of Asimovian limitations has been removed from all the Councillors. None of them will be prevented from trying to contravene Asimovian directives. They will wake up soon feeling much less tired but not fresh. They will assume that this is normal after the way they were treated."
Leonov said. "I will go and join Ivan to have a meal with them before they go. Jennifer and Charlie, would you please come with us. As you now have Spacer privileges you are welcome to use the dining room. I would be obliged if you kept watch from a nearby table Jennifer. I dare not try to peep because they might detect me doing so. You can warn me if any of them try to peep Ivan or myself."
Jennifer said. "That is OK by me Leonov. If any of them try to peep they will only detect your natural good humour and that you feel honoured to have them all with you. Otherwise they will only detect what you are actually saying. I will relay the names of the peepers to Tun Wong if there are any."
Charlie said. "I will monitor their vidcom calls before and after the meal. I don't expect that they will try to use anything so traceable but it might be interesting to find out what they say."
Saturday 08/05/2094 1:00 pm
Annie said. "I have really enjoyed being with you all, particularly during the ceremony. Soon I will have to leave you. I have an appointment in Malmö tonight. There is just time for Tun Wong and I to have a little share before I go."
Saturday 08/05/2094 3:00 pm
Tun Wong and Annie finally released each other and began to take an interest in other things than sharing. They showered and dressed. They said their goodbyes and sent a few wafts of phantom comfort as they left.
Saturday 08/05/2094 6:00 pm
Kerstin whispered to George. "Jennifer has told Marita that one of the councillors is carrying a beamer. This is silly, relaying Marita, Marita will talk to you herself."
Marita said. "Jennifer is keeping a very careful watch. The councillor with a beamer tried to peep her so she sent her images of sharing with me as I was last night. She stopped peeping immediately. She then tried to peep Charlie and got his list of jobs for the next few days. She has also tried to peep Leonov and Ivan and found nothing to worry her. She is trying to work out a scheme with one of the others but her mental control is weak. She cannot select an individual mind to convey to, and is desperately trying to think of things to convey that seem innocent yet explain what she is planning. Jennifer keeps distracting her with her memories of bliss with me as a female. Jennifer has identified the one she is trying to convey to. He is now mentally deaf for the next few hours. The woman is becoming increasingly aroused as she is frustrated in her attempts to communicate mentally. Jennifer has now planted the idea that she is still too tired to use mental contact effectively. Jennifer has now suggested that the beamer reminds her of a hard male organ that she would love to play with. She is now mentally in knots torn between the idea of pleasure and the fear of danger. Jennifer is keeping danger uppermost so that she will not try anything stupid. The woman now regrets having the beamer with her and is now trying to think of a way to get rid of it before she is tempted to try to please herself with it. Jennifer has now planted the suggestion of a hygiene station. She is going there. Jennifer is still with her, suggesting that she drop the beamer in the toilet bowl. She has done so but the flusher will not clear it. Jennifer has made her think that it has cleared it. She is returning to the dining room feeling happier. She is thankful that she had the strength of mind to get rid of the beamer before she was tempted to play with it. Now she realises that she is temporarily powerless without mental control or the beamer. She is resigned to having another attempt later when she is a little less tired. Charlie has recovered the beamer. He has rejoined Jennifer. Nobody noticed him going to the hygiene station or coming back. He has disarmed the beamer by removing its power unit. The councillors are returning to their cabins to prepare to leave. The one who had the beamer is making a vidcom call. Undepoldus is tracing it. The person called is a non-Spacer who works at the Spacers College. The councillors are now saying goodbye to Leonov and Ivan. They are getting into floaters. They are leaving. The one who had the beamer is now regretting that she threw it away. There isn't any more to tell so I will leave you now."
Kerstin said. "It was silly of me to try to repeat what Marita was saying to me. Jennifer did an excellent job. If the beamer had been used there would have been a lot of trouble, even if nobody was injured. It was a great idea to make the woman think of the beamer as a toy to play with. That was clever. The woman never knew she was not in control of her own mind."
George said. "Jennifer is a marvel. She loves and respects her mental power. She knows how pleased I am with what she has done."
The next section covers the events after the Councillors departed.
Viewers familiar with this subject may pass on to the following section.
Please select PASS or CONTINUE.