Forward the Foundation (Foundation: Prequel, Book 2)

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Big Julie still has a grudge against you. It was the name that Jim had been given in childhood for his temper. Jim scowled at the memory. None of them had ever laid eyes on the fish they had named Big Julie, but they knew it was a hen not a cock because only the female grew to such size and power.

They had felt her power transferred from the depths through the straining cod line. The seawater squirted out of the weave, and smoked as it sped out over the gunwale, cutting a deep furrow in the hardwood as blood dripped from their torn hands.


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The water was so clear they could see it coming up from three fathoms down. The mate was screaming and beating the water, all frothed up with his own blood, trying to scare the fish off, but it circled under him and took the other leg. Then it pulled him under and took him deep. They never saw him again. They switched between them effortlessly. Instead he looked to the lightening horizon. I want to be over the Cauldron before then. They pulled out into the heart of the bay, riding the long Cape swells that came marching in unfettered ranks from their long journey across the southern Atlantic.

With the wind full into the bows they could not hoist the single sail. Behind them rose the moonlit massif of Table Mountain, flat-topped and majestic. There was a dark agglomeration of shipping lying close in below the mountain, riding at anchor, most of the great ships with their yards down. This anchorage was the caravanserai of the southern seas. The trading vessels and warships of the Dutch East India Company, the VOC, and those of half a dozen other nations used the Cape of Good Hope to victual and refit after their long ocean passages.

At this early hour few lights showed on the shore, only dim lanterns on the walls of the castle and in the windows of the beachfront taverns where the crews from the ships in the bay were still revelling. He adjusted the tiller rope, which was wrapped around the big toe of his bare right foot.

They altered course slightly to port, heading for the north point of Robben Island. Already they could smell the animals on the night air: the stench of their fishladen dung was chokingly powerful. Closer in, Jim stood up on the thwart to get his bearing from the shore, checking the landmarks that would enable him to place the skiff accurately over the deep hole they had named the Cauldron.

Suddenly he shouted with alarm and dropped back on to the thwart. Pull, damn you, pull!

Driven on the north-wester it was bearing down on them with terrifying speed. The ship loomed over them, her bow wave shining silver in the moonlight. Which of your legs will Big Julie bite off first? They rowed in a silent frenzy, sweat bursting out and shining on their contorted faces in the cool night. They could hear the wind drumming in the canvas, the creaking of her timbers, and the musical burble of her bow wave. Not one of the boys spoke, but as they strained on the oars they stared up at her in dread. Each called out to his own god or gods.

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Zama never missed the stroke but his eyes glared white in his dark face as he watched death bear down on them. The pressure wave ahead of the bows lifted them, and suddenly they were surfing on it, flung backwards, racing stern-first down the side of the wave. The transom went under and icy water poured in, flooding her.

All three boys were hurled over the side, just as the massive hull hit them. As he went under Jim realized that it had been a glancing blow. The skiff was hurled aside, but there was no crack of rending timbers. Jim was driven deep, but he tried to swim deeper still. He knew that contact with the bottom of the ship would be fatal. She would be heavily encrusted with barnacles after her ocean passage, and the razor-sharp shells would strip the flesh from his bones.

He tensed every muscle in his body in anticipation of the agony, but it did not come. His lungs were burning and his chest was pumping with the compelling urge to breathe. He fought it until he was sure that the ship was clear, then turned for the surface and drove upwards with arms and legs.

He saw the golden outline of the moon through limpid water, wavering and insubstantial, and swam towards it with all his strength and will. Suddenly he burst out into the air and filled his lungs with it. He rolled on to his back, gasped, choked and sucked in the life-giving sweetness. Pipe up, damn you. Let me hear you! Just then another head popped through the surface between them. Zama coughed and brought up an explosive jet of seawater and vomit. Take hold of this. The three hung there, struggling for breath. Jim was the first to recover sufficiently to find his anger again.


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  • She was sailing on sedately. Jim sniffed the air and caught the odour that fouled it. He groped under the thwart and found the wooden bucket still lashed under the seat. They had tied down all the gear and equipment securely for the hazardous launch through the surf. He began bailing out the hull, sending a steady stream of water over the side. By the time it was half cleared, Zama had recovered sufficiently to climb aboard and take a spell with the bucket. Jim hauled in the oars, which were still floating alongside, then checked the other equipment.

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    Big Julie is waiting for her breakfast. They were swiftly recovering their high spirits and camaraderie. They had to drop the anchor on to the ledge to the south of the Cauldron, then let the current drift them back over the deep subterranean canyon. The swirling current that gave the place its name complicated their work, and twice they missed the marks. With much sweat and swearing they had to retrieve the fifty-pound boulder that was their anchor and try again.

    The dawn was sneaking in from the east, stealthily as a thief, before Jim plumbed the depth with an unbaited cod line to make certain they were in the perfect position. He measured the line between the span of his open arms as it streamed over the side. He had netted it the previous day in the lagoon below the company godown. The bight of the hook was two handspans across.

    Jim shook out the leader.

    It was ten feet of steel chain, light but strong. Jim was certain it would resist the efforts of even a great king steenbras to sheer it against the reef. He swung the bait round his head, letting the heavy cod line pay out with each swing, until at last he released it and sent it with the chain leader to streak far out across the green surface. As the bait sank into the depths he let the line stream after it.

    He needed both hands on the oar to counter the current and keep the skiff on station above the Cauldron with the heavy line running straight up and down. Zama and Mansur were fishing with lighter hooks and lines, using small chunks of mackerel as bait. Almost immediately they were hauling in fish — rosy red stumpnose, wriggling silvery bream, spotted tigers that grunted like piglets as the boys twisted out the hook and threw them into the bilges.

    Diligently he tended his own heavy line, rowing quietly to hold the skiff steady across the current. The sun rose clear of the horizon and took the chill out of the air. The three stripped off their outer clothing until they were clad only in breech clouts. Close at hand the seals swarmed over the rocks of the island, dived and roiled close around the anchored skiff.

    Suddenly a big dog seal dived under the boat and seized the fish Mansur was bringing up, tore it from the hook and surfaced yards away with it in its jaws. Jim dropped the oar and reached into his tackle bag. He brought out his slingshot, and fitted a water-worn pebble into the pouch.

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    He had selected his ammunition from the bed of the stream at the north end of the estate, and each stone was round, smooth and perfectly weighted. Jim had practised with the slingshot until he could bring down a high-flying goose with four throws out of five. He wound up for the throw, swinging the slingshot overhead until it hummed with power. Then he released it and the pebble blurred from the pouch. It caught the dog seal in the centre of its rounded black skull and they heard the fragile bone shatter.

    The story takes place on Trantor , and begins eight years after the events of Prelude to Foundation. It depicts how Seldon develops his theory of psychohistory from hypothetical concept to practical application. In the latter years of the reign of Emperor Cleon I , Seldon is dragged into the world of galactic politics as Cleon's somewhat unwilling First Minister, after the resignation of his predecessor, Eto Demerzel whom Seldon knows as the robot R.

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    Daneel Olivaw. After the Emperor is assassinated, a military junta takes over for a disastrous decade. Seldon steps down from his government position and resumes leadership of the psychohistory project. Seldon and others, most notably Yugo Amaryl, finally develop psychohistory to the point that he can initiate what will come to be known as the Seldon Plan , the road map for drastically shortening the interregnum between the First and Second Empires. Gradually, Seldon loses all those who are close to him. Seldon's consort Dors is killed or rather destroyed in an internal plot by an ambitious member of Seldon's own group.

    His adopted son Raych emigrates with his wife and a daughter to Santanni, though his elder daughter Wanda remains with Seldon.

    Isaac Asimov - Forward the Foundation 2

    When a rebellion against the Empire breaks out, Raych sends his wife and daughter away on a starship, but he remains behind to defend his university and is killed, and the starship is never seen again. Yugo Amaryl, the second best psychohistory researcher after Seldon himself , dies in middle age, worn out by his work. Except for his granddaughter Wanda, Seldon is alone in his fight to keep the project going in the face of the Galactic Empire 's accelerating decline and lessening government support.

    Wanda turns out to be what Seldon calls a "mentalic": someone who can read minds and actually influence people.

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    Seldon suspects that her father Raych's great likeability is a subconscious use of the same power. They are able to find a few other mentalics, enabling Seldon to set up a second guardian for the Seldon Plan. Eventually, he sends Wanda and the others to another star system to establish the Second Foundation in secret.

    While the public First Foundation concentrates on the physical sciences, the hidden Second's psychohistorians will develop the mental ones. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Novel by American writer Isaac Asimov, published posthumously in Retrieved 13 February Forward the Foundation.

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