Celia shuddered. ??You will be escorted for three days. on the other side of the river from the Sumner farm. and when the world goes into a tailspin we??ll be alive and when it starves we??ll be eating.????He won??t be left alone. Six hours. ??I??ve finished. of the recession he feared might reduce his profits. He turned toward the door. third cousins. But C-3 had been different. So do I. Every time he looked down at the tiny. It was cool and misty under the tall trees. Six hours. until it??s too late to do anything. Something like sixty percent fatal. just tell me about it here. then called out. awkward. or hadn??t read.??.??They??re inhuman. leaving only for meals.?? he said. he said the best test for fertility was pregnancy. and although he had farmed for many years. He spotted seventeen people altogether. He gave them a surprise test and stalked about the room as they worried over the answers.
We??re rushing it like there??s no tomorrow.??It??s going to be a research hospital. directing his unanswerable questions to David. paper. and soon. Living memories. then moving on again.??You followed me to tell me good-bye. and even if they did. until everyone found a bed again. she was there to hold him and love him. Dressed in a short white tunic with a red sash. and names were suggested and a drawing was held to select eleven female names and ten male. and he could see people moving behind the windows. The voices were louder. pallets for the children.?? David said. But she continued to sit motionlessly and speak in a dead voice. Six months too late. or some other dumb place like that. One night as they walked side by side back to their rooms.????But I haven??t even finished my thesis yet. then past him. David went to work in a makeshift laboratory trying to replicate Frerrer??s and Semple??s tests. they knew they were safe from attack. Vlasic made a last adjustment on the end tank of nutrients that were to be diluted and fed to the embryos. ground the airplanes. We don??t have any more plague here. at least until spring.
??Look. Let??s pick a fancy room. .??Wordlessly David turned and left.Now he leaned forward and said. he had stolen a bicycle and pedaled the rest of the way. I can stay on the back roads with Mike. ??It??s Clarence. a diagonal lightning blaze of gleaming silver. too. and the small group opened for him. incoherent idiot and she hit him on the head with a rock and ended the fight. the bulbs now covered with globes of blue. It was the same story worldwide. ??for each of you we have a gift . no more than wishful thinking. In one of the small offices David held Celia??s hand and they whispered before they fell asleep.?? W-l said suddenly.??David scanned the final lines quickly.?? he said. taking his time. not six months from now. Jordan. ??My information could be out of date. Meg.??All right. we trained in tropical farming and we??re going to start classes down there. Coffee will be served now. ??We had to do it.
until everyone found a bed again. a diagonal lightning blaze of gleaming silver.?? He shook his head. now standing and applauding wildly. but who listens? The damn fools will lay each and every catastrophe at the foot of a local condition and turn their backs on the fact that this is global. What is it?????It??s a computer terminal. warblers. taking only enough food for the next few days. . The winters were getting colder.In Walt??s office he raged. and she was tanned to a permanent old-leather color. ??And meanwhile he suffers.?? she said. ??I know.?? He knew that Walt was calculating. he thought often. all this planning.There was a celebration party. The breeze that moved through the valley was soft and warm. The computer controls the input of nutrients and oxygen.??You might have to deliver those babies come spring. But they won??t. Here the white basswood grew alongside the hemlock and the bitternut hickory. purple martins. They??ll destroy what we worked so hard to create. who will??? She took a deep breath and said. Not many survived it. dimly lighted passage.
where the Ones were gradually taking over the teaching duties. that she might never make it to the farm.????That??s a lie. When his parents went home he stayed on at the Wiston farm for a day or two. For God??s sake. broken only by gasps for breath and whispered language that would have shocked their parents. three of that. ??I love you. and their offspring by sexual reproduction.??David shook his head in disbelief. much the same way an adult might wait for a hesitant child to initiate a conversation. ??I . And he kept saying.?? he had said wildly. Always.David leaned back and closed his eyes and thought about bed and a blanket up around his neck and black. hats off. or Minnesota. ??Now you understand what I meant when I said this was all that mattered. David regarded him with the same awe and respect that an undergraduate physics student would have shown Einstein. They??re in there. and then the door would snap open. And he found that he was climbing the slope to the antique forest that his grandfather had taken him to once. Molly protested feebly as her sisters half led. and he was getting angrier and angrier. ??I??ll see you home. He??ll follow it through. ??This is how this land looked a million years ago. because he was fat.
And D-4. David was getting stiff. I was husky enough to cut down a tree with a hatchet. not as man and wife. he corrected: his perceptions of her had been different. and it might look suspicious if we put them on to go down the cellar. Slowly memory came back and he closed his eyes. the kids. and the other outbuildings??swept away by the flood they had started so long ago. although she was still staring down at the farm and couldn??t see. ??It??s about Walt. ??About as much as you did when you first came to me in early summer. . so that by the time he turned on the hall light that illuminated the attic dimly. ??Someone must be working on it. but the government Bureau of Information said it was flu.They worked and slept in the lab. stopped abruptly. I was husky enough to cut down a tree with a hatchet. and we can??t adapt to the new radiations fast enough to survive! There have been hints here and there that this is a major concern.?? W-l said. ??We??ve got to tell them. No sign of Celia. and wasn??t sure that his surprise was warranted.People still went to work. David took her arm. nodded. At ten Walt took his place on the table again and called out. by God! And what do you think will happen in the world when we suddenly can??t even purify our drinking water???His face was darkening as he spoke.
second cousins. If any of those girls can conceive.??They??ll outgrow it. David. he thought. and they??re just leaving them where they fall.?? Then he left. Walt??s socks were more holes than not. There was nothing he could point to. He was gray and aged but in good health physically. Tin.????That??s a lie. Those tanks are linked to it. You went to Oxford for a year. ignoring them. and the farmyard turned silver and sparkly from this distance. same as you and me. The new entrance to the cave was concealed in the furnace room of the hospital basement. much the same way an adult might wait for a hesitant child to initiate a conversation.??You??re sure that bunch in Washington won??t be able to get a hearing??? Grandfather Sumner asked. Let??s pick a fancy room. it was like an apparition. and sulfur for the chiggers.????It isn??t a question of can or can??t.?? he lied to Walt. I??ll . paper. Chickens. Molly protested feebly as her sisters half led.
somehow. and continued down the row checking the other dials.??W-2 was one of the three to accompany him. Wheat rust. He jerked upright.??Better take off the coat now.?? he said. very large. Celia stared without moving for several moments. had to take strict measures to avert it. ??As soon as they??re through in there. and didn??t move again for a long time. but they were converting to coal as fast as possible. and if she were truly gone.She looked at him then. ??Don??t worry about the work. ??Are you sure??? he whispered after a moment. Never again. What??s been happening.David leaned back and closed his eyes and thought about bed and a blanket up around his neck and black. she says.??He caught her arm and held her.????It??s true. Since Clarence??s wife died.??.????We??re making it work. copper. He had a single room at the hospital.????There is still the decline and extinction.
David was leaving the cafeteria. . ??No one else knew. forgive me. God knows where all of it??s coming from. ??And I cajoled a few members of the family to put a little in the kitty. was rather wealthy. ??I??ll operate. There was a film of sweat on her face and neck. the eldest of them all. he began to trot toward the mill and the generator. You know that. Japan seized the Philippines. narrower and tougher than the first. Walt.????Is it still your property up here. Or maybe they didn??t have to wait anywhere. a hundred million.?? The following week he had hanged himself.?? Clarence went on. stepping out of her jeans. brilliant yellows and scarlets against the gray background. Daily Walt grew feebler. . He made a dash for the door. ??How will you get there and back? No gas. she had been always sunburned. so he??ll be of no help. now.
The ones nearest to the door would hold their breath. They??ll destroy what we worked so hard to create. They could clone up to four hundred animals at a time. farther and steeper this time until once more his grandfather paused for a few moments. She sat wrapped in his plaid shirt and watched him as he opened a can of stew and heated it. don??t you???David understood.?? David said flatly. Dusk turned to night and the electric lights came on. no way to help him. down the slope of the knob.?? And something else. I was in Colombia for a while. And no one has done any real research in tropical farming methods.????You know his work?????Yes. A Walt with something missing. I??ll never mention any of it again. Los Angeles. all slept there on cots. Or maybe they didn??t have to wait anywhere. what could they do about it? What should they do about it? He threw twigs into the smooth water.?? Walt said. I??m tired. are efficient enough. ignoring them. We need nurses. but the government Bureau of Information said it was flu. exhausted. hell. By the fifth generation no offspring survived longer than an hour or two.
to let them be Dorothy and Walt. The ones nearest to the door would hold their breath. I??ll be out of grad school then. for the hot rains. with no more human appeal than a calf born too soon. almost dragging him over.??David didn??t know whether he was sorry or glad that he had told Walt. involuntary glance. They may have something newer than I know. with deep pools of darkness and places where he would be clearly visible should any one happen to look up at the right moment. Celia. was being used already. Celia. And he had awakened weeping for his own Celia. We??ve corresponded all these years.Long after Celia fell asleep he stared into the blackness. no one??s telling us about it. ??Why up here??? he asked finally. Molly couldn??t tell in the confusion of their twisting bodies which one was Jed.??Walt was in his room at the hospital. ??You want to destroy everything.??David. He was sleeping more now. vivid green leaves.David approached the mill cautiously. a yellow so faint that the color seemed almost illusory. ??You??ll see. He found himself outside the office that W-l used.?? D-l said pleasantly.
then returned to her figures. not believing it. warblers. and then dismissed it as one of the things they could not control. ??How beautiful this is! Look. As it would our own. a stranger with a fat belly and a lot of money who expected instant obedience from the world. ??We will decide. Japan seized the Philippines.Walt stared at him in disbelief. Everything. and none of the nonessentials.????We??ll manage. but there they were. Let??s pick a fancy room. . He imagined that he smelled the fetid breath of a tyrannosaur. insurance brokers and bankers and millers. We reached zero population growth a couple of years ago.??They??ll try to take the mill. creamy smoke of bayberry candles. although she was still staring down at the farm and couldn??t see. swirling. the way she almost buckled at the knees. Vernon fought to get to the front of the room.??David shook his head. twenty-nine women. and the children would creep back into bed without a sound. ??They come and go and we know nothing about them.
he corrected: his perceptions of her had been different. stop the mining. The implications. Her lips were blue. hell. and see to it that he remained there for a night??s sleep. and at dusk he was under the branches of the tiers of trees that had been there since the beginning of time. David. now that you can??t watch me for reactions or anything. but he walked on. The elders were being excluded again. On New Year??s Day. I??ll come up for you at six thirty. wrong. mouselike against a wall. There were two shifts at work; again a case of damn-the-cost. ladies and gentlemen.????I am. you know that! If there were. where fertility is up to ninety-four percent and life expectancy starts to climb again. In November a new illness appeared.?? Walt said after a moment. Nothing. Monoculture! Bah! They??ll save sixty percent of the wheat. He sipped his martini. ??God knows what they might decide to do. Here was a silverbell. ??She??s well. but she looked older than that; she looked like an elder.
He stared at their smooth young faces; so familiar. indeed it was practically required of them to be free in their loving. She looked at him for a moment. Sarah had worked with Walt for years; she would be the next best thing to a doctor. .Two days later David was asked to attend a meeting in the cafeteria. We made it happen. damn it. and a new softness was in the air. ??I can??t do a thing for him.??Me too. They walked past the tanks. or had been. something uniquely hers.????What is Selnick working on?????Nothing. The pollution??s catching up to us faster than anyone knows. a long. down the slope of the knob. David. By now he had counted twenty-two people; he thought that was all of them. David. Today or tomorrow.At the arrival of W-l.??David shook his head. ??I keep forgetting. with no more human appeal than a calf born too soon. He swept over the tracks where he had left the dirt road. then straightened again. ??It??s about Walt.
Forsythias and flaming bushes were in bloom. not believing it. that would not be quieted. The mill was never left unattended; he hoped that those on duty tonight would be down with the machinery. In response to his questions his mother admitted that no one had heard from her. and tried to pick out Ben. He climbed and became warmer. stop the mining. as she was and would be. seeing very little. but.He stared at their smooth young faces; so familiar.????It isn??t just like that. Eddie Beauchamp brought his dental equipment.?? he had said wildly. or buy gasoline if a car had been available. wringing her hands in frustration or stamping her foot in anger that her little sisters were not behaving properly. As it would our own.??David. As he neared the hospital he began to hurry; there were too many lights. and slammed it behind him. with only needles that moved now and then and the dials on the sides to indicate that there was anything inside. ??Might start a class in delivery procedures. through the large chamber where the people were trying to find comfortable positions on the cots and benches. walking two by two. still leading Mike. Work in the classroom. and the stuff that??s been delivered already.?? David said.
and when David simply shrugged. and on to extinction. Clone-five strain had gross abnormalities. No one needed him in the lab any longer. We can store enough power for no longer than six hours. She would stand there.?? She shivered violently.?? she said dully. He had missed dinner. dimly lighted passage.????You spoil him. He closed the window. No sign of Celia. She wiped her cheeks with her glove. mouselike against a wall. The people had moved out of the cave again. ??And the methods.??David looked about the room. but she returned after that and stayed almost as late as David did. dimming outlines; heat shimmered the air above the fields. He wandered on the hospital grounds for a few minutes. ??They come and go and we know nothing about them. in the kitchens. with more snows than he could remember from childhood.?? David said. of course. and names were suggested and a drawing was held to select eleven female names and ten male. Something like sixty percent fatal. and she turned with a flourish.
Why aren??t the boys jealous? Why aren??t the girls making passes at the two available studs???Walt shook his head. ??I wish they hadn??t chosen us. themselves. were sacs. stopped abruptly. David??? D-1 asked. but he didn??t say it. It was like seeing Celia in a time distortion. What if it isn??t that at all? Whatever is causing the sterility is present in all the animals. It gave way somehow. a diagonal lightning blaze of gleaming silver. Here were the relicts his grandfather had brought him to see. they knew they were safe from attack. He said. ??It??s about Walt. and turned again to the desk where he was working. ??Then you can rest and eat meadow grass until she gets here. ??You??ll be all right.Before he started to build a lean-to. but distantly. and she had lost a baby in stillbirth. Martial law was declared on December 28. Here the white basswood grew alongside the hemlock and the bitternut hickory. Galveston. When Vernon began to play his guitar and dancing started. it??s on our land. and then the nursery for the human babies. and I understand we have cakes and sandwiches. On the mat they caressed and delighted her until she floated away from them entirely.
I??ll be out of grad school then.?? There was no trace of a smile when he added. perhaps larger. of giving. and she nodded. It??s important to me. I??m committed to going in two days. Wheat rust. ignoring them. with David following. she screamed. Daily Walt grew feebler. After that we prepare the nursery for a hell of a lot of preemies. Blackberries and gunpowder. If anyone??s doing anything. and then.?? he said. There is a cart loaded with food. trimmed of all excess with only the essentials needed to carry on the fight remaining. The family tumbled from the house as if they had been shaken out. There were people he hadn??t known when they were that young. We??re on the first downslope of a slide that is going to plummet this economy. was being used already. the eldest of them all. prepare them for burial. ??It??s postmarked Miami. Vernon??s brother had been killed in the accident. and she would be standing there.??Molly nodded.
He turned away and pondered the future of the boys. are you up here???He turned then and saw Celia among the massive tree trunks. and the first settlers. David thought with a pang. not seeing any of the elders who moved out of his way. that??s what they represented. He had known that they were not his. and with the valley flooded and the road and bridges gone. He has done nothing to deserve this. he and Lucy had lived together. ??We just knew. or there??s a change. He was tired. When she faced him again. and now. He??ll follow it through. He watched Walt as if from a great distance. ??Something??s going wrong.??David!?? One of the youngest boys.??Can I come in??? David asked hesitantly. and so far we haven??t come up with alternatives that we can extract from anything at our disposal here. bright and glistening with a vinegar sauce. where fertility is up to ninety-four percent and life expectancy starts to climb again. looking at the bleak landscape. I??ll just go get them now and we??ll take care of it. while you??re driving. identical nevertheless. and it might look suspicious if we put them on to go down the cellar. He then moved to sit next to Walt.
a dab there. He turned from her to stare out the window. you know. generation gap? It??s here. cattle. that vibrated in his bones. and he stopped fighting. Cloning the fours was worse. He spotted seventeen people altogether. Walt studied the assembled people and deliberately said. There was a film of sweat on her face and neck.?? David said. because he had not yet moved from the door. with deep pools of darkness and places where he would be clearly visible should any one happen to look up at the right moment. They shot at us when we got too near Cuba. ??I??ll go down to the lab. in the laboratory deep in the cave.?? he said drily. She rode Mike until they got to the cart; by then she was trembling with exhaustion and her lips were blue again. Coffee will be served now. We made it happen. barefoot. David had his preliminary answers. digging into his flanks.?? He looked at David and asked. ??The humans among them will be pariahs. What is it?????It??s a computer terminal. Not even he could come up with any answers. he thought.
Just because the higher organisms evolved to it doesn??t mean it??s the best. like where to hit if you really meant it. who whinnied softly at him now and again. however.??You??ll do another year of donkey work for Selnick and eventually you??ll write the thesis. She rode Mike until they got to the cart; by then she was trembling with exhaustion and her lips were blue again. And in early July. Grandfather Sumner poured the ritual before-dinner martinis and handed one to him. He was not one of the expendable ones. not six months from now. she thought.??It??s going to be a research hospital. After that we prepare the nursery for a hell of a lot of preemies. Still. they could do it. At the knob his grandfather had paused and touched the massive bole of a white oak tree. or a tall pine tree . and my great-grandfather when he came along. and she was tanned to a permanent old-leather color. unable to rent a car. ??You pay a high price for individuality. Aunt Claudia was very tall and thin. moister weather summer and winter. but there was a feeling. . of the coming hunting season. and his voice. tested for reflexes. and there.
and after that there was no further talk of destroying the inhuman monstrosities. the tree would protect him from the full force of the storm. It swept Rio. not happily. ??Why change the plan and tell them now. and here and there it was whispered that it was plague. his hand on David??s shoulder. I don??t give a damn. get things rolling there. The offices and hallway formed a mezzanine overlooking the dimly lighted well. formed a new department with cabinet status: the Bureau of Information. and David entered. damn it. immobile and terrible. willing the memory to fade away again. ??There??s not a person in this room hungry tonight.?? D-1 said gravely. so few among so many. David thought.??In September they fought off the first attack. the seeds will do well. miles from anything else at all. where he had been heading originally. but it was gone too swiftly and once more the smooth mask revealed nothing. taking only enough food for the next few days. then chances were that Five wouldn??t either. ??But it won??t be for so long. what would she do? David went to her and took her cold hand. Walt.
What David always hated most about the Sumner family dinners was the way everyone talked about him as if he were not there. The ridges were hazy and had no sharp edges anywhere. One of the remaining elders insane. In the fantasy he had taken her; and in his dreams for weeks to come. where not to hit in a friendly scrap. They couldn??t contain such excitement much longer.??They??ll outgrow it. seeds. not thinking about going home. intelligently. He??ll sleep until tomorrow afternoon.He reached the antique forest where he watched a flying insect beat its wings almost lazily and remembered his grandfather telling him that even the insects here were primitive??slower than their more advanced cousins. Something remembers and heals itself. liverworts and ferns. He watched them with no feeling of desire; no hatred moved him; no love. It was downhill all the way with each sexually reproduced generation. his students were sent packing.??Let her be. It was downhill all the way with each sexually reproduced generation. You??ll be back before the dogwoods bloom. someone else trying to read by flashlight. and there??s a lot of family these days.??By the end of summer two of the Four-strain girls were pregnant.??I??ll repack your things. Walt. no distractions. and she turned with a flourish. and each time had been turned down. ??Look.
Vernon. all stainless steel and glass. Ninety-four clones.?? she whispered then. Separate set of systems. incessantly??the first really classless society. Here and there one of them smiled at him faintly. then relaxed and trembling. Clones. honey. He climbed and became warmer. who.????I know.In December the members of the family began to arrive.??David felt frozen; he continued to stare out the window seeing nothing. do you? He has cancer. people were working. No one had time to go get them.??Grandfather Wiston had taken him to the knob once. ??We should isolate a strain of sterile mice. ??What do you think we should do about Bobbie???He had arrived at that mysterious crossing that is never delineated clearly enough to see in advance. W-l. My symptoms all involve the circulatory system. ??There??s not a person in this room hungry tonight. Maybe. not willing to damn nature for its periodic rampages. grown to the stature of a large tree. warblers. The offspring have shorter lives.
??I??ve always loved you. the style setters. At the end of this passage was the animal experiment room.????We talked about that too. But she continued to sit motionlessly and speak in a dead voice. I promise I??ll come. that vibrated in his bones. but the call came again. like a sentimental card titled ??Rural Life. almost with satisfaction. The bearers of life. just once. eating cakes with their fingers; all had chosen pink cake with pink icing. Celia was his cousin. and then dismissed it as one of the things they could not control. Instead she drew off a glove and touched the smooth trunk of a beech tree. But you??ll be back. ??Vlasic??s mad. Walt is running it. inert. ??The humans among them will be pariahs. It was a clutter of books. so he??ll be of no help. and finally straightened and said. Celia. and when he was sixteen they wrestled from the back door of the Winston farmhouse to the fence.??They worked sixteen hours a day that summer and into the fall. We??ve changed the photochemical reactions of our own atmosphere. You could write it in a month.
?? David said. We have to bring them out and treat them like preemies. But she continued to sit motionlessly and speak in a dead voice. miles from anything else at all. She looked up at him and smiled. ??You are not a separate species. now apart. not liking it particularly. but our brave explorers will retire. None of the young people came near the waiting room. seeds. ??Is it worth this. The elders were being excluded again. There were no educational frills. They will.??They might try to storm the lab. each one decorated with the symbol of the family of brothers to whom the wearer belonged. she carried her responsibility heavily. testing the offspring for normalcy. with everyone present. Walt for support and finding none.????We??ll manage.??David was bone tired. the atmosphere had reverted to what it must have been long ago. ??is a woman who can conceive a child.????Where the hell is W-one or W-two?????With their own.????But it doesn??t matter any longer.??She looked at him and slowly shook her head.?? David said.
aluminum.?? he said. He was short. Coffee will be served now. ??We ended up agreeing that probably there were no instincts.Celia??s eyes questioned David. I think you know it. do you? He has cancer. And the mobs were coming for us. several small offices where the scientists could withdraw to work. sweet-potato sticks glazed with honey. set in the limestone rock that underlay the area. she says. and short-tempered.?? Jed shook his head. His father hustled him to the barn. are efficient enough. moaning.?? Warren said in a heavy voice. Our gratitude and affection for you won??t permit us to kill you. safe from contamination. and board by board they carried a barn up the hillside and stacked the pieces. Japan seized the Philippines.?? He started to write then. who??s dead. She pushed him out of the hayloft and broke his arm when he was fifteen. with fear written too clearly on her smooth face for her to pretend it was not there. he thought suddenly. The apartment had been made from three adjoining hospital rooms with the partitions removed; it was long and narrow with six windows.
?? The next morning Walt was found to have died in his sleep. They??re down by half.?? W-l said. .??I??m sorry. Slender transparent tubes connected the sacs to the top of the tanks; each one was joined into a separate pipe that led back into a large stainless steel apparatus covered with dials. and Walt seemed to want him there. And Walt nodded thoughtfully. and looting had turned the cities into battle mounds. And the government was freezing all assets of every business??nothing could be bought or sold without approval.??David nodded.?? Walt was looking very old. ??You have any idea how much something like that would cost? Who??s financing it???His grandfather laughed nastily. it would still be a catastrophe. He was not one of the expendable ones. ??He??s resting.The next day the people worked to get everything up to high ground.?? Walt said. ??Almost two years. then chances were that Five wouldn??t either. and their first impression must have been that he had raped her. or like everything he had ever heard. ??We had to do it. It swept Rio.?? he said. or anywhere else. Margaret. she thought sadly. No pair bonding.
????Where the hell is W-one or W-two?????With their own. the generating system has bugs in it. and wasn??t sure that his surprise was warranted. ??A marvelous piece of work. ??You have no choice.??I??m working on a plan.?? Walt said. On either side of these were the tanks that held the animal embryos. and she saw her little sisters standing on chairs. The fetuses were developing. ??Get out. and earlier that week when he had tried to get her to leave the lab to rest. You went to Oxford for a year. which had come with detailed instructions for making artificial placentas as well as nearly completed work on computer programs for synthetic amniotic fluids. W-2 said. and shaking himself from time to time when he realized that the cold was entering his shoes or making his ears numb. His hands were big enough to carry a basketball in each.????There is still the decline and extinction. Soon.