sipped coffee and thought about how much of his life lay ahead, how many possibilities.
Or sometimes, in his dream, he sat with Louise, thinking how much of his life was gone, but how good the rest of it would be. And still Paris sang like an immense choir, with Louise the featured soloist, the brightest, loveliest voice among them.
He awoke knowing that it was the city and its sighing mind he had truly loved, and Louise, who represented it, personified it. But both were gone now, forever.
In dreams, in dreams. He preferred them. Awake, the world was dead, a cave of bone.
But wake he must, at times. He rose that morning as he did every morning, splashed water in his face, went to the window, and looked out upon his childhood. Teeptown.
In the distance, he could just make out what had once been the cadre houses. Just below him, clearly visible, was the quad common with its statue of William Karges, which he and his friends had called the "Grabber."
Of course, the Grabber was no longer grabbing. There was nothing left of him but a pedestal and part of one leg. The statue of Karges had been blown up, along with much of the quad, during the wars.
Just as well. Karges had been a secret telepath who had saved President Robinson's life at the cost of his own. When Bester had been little, they had taught him that Psi Corps had been created by Robinson to honor that sacrifice. That wasn't true-the Corps had existed in essence, if not in name, for decades. It had never been one of the lies he liked-it suggested too much that only by sacrifice did telepaths prove they had the right to exist.
So good-bye, Grabber, and good riddance.
They had tried to shut Teeptown down, as they had the Corps, but it hadn't quite worked out. The scores of private academies