By Piers Anthony
Choice of sci-fi tales.
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Now five billion years have passed since the beginning, and our universe has grown to a radius of three billion parsecs. " To every man his own justification for the voyage, Shetland thought. To every man his own disillusion. "Not yet," he said succinctly. Beeton's innocent eyes focused on him. "You have to stop, of course. " Shetland spoke carefully. 1 on the clock. I have asked to be alerted the moment such cessation occurs. None has. 2 hours. " Beeton turned pale. His breath came in labored gasps.
I'm sorry, sir. I must admit that your defense, while logical from a positional standpoint, is unsound in the present case. But I do admire your ability to play without a board. " Shetland resisted the flattery, not entirely successfully. He was here to judge, not to be judged, and it was going to be difficult. This boy, the record said, was a virtual genius. "Perhaps, in time, you will show me how to win with White," he said. "It happens that I can see the board and pieces whether or not they are physically present.
He was feeble now, too old to forage for himself. He would have died some time ago, had Mat not made the tribesmen bring him food. But the man's advice was valuable; only he and one other really understood what Mat was trying to do. Abruptly he lifted the protectors from the two relay boxes near him. Immediately the bright light leaped forth, illuminating the spaces between the columns and forming a glowing cage in the dust. The effect was magical; but Mat well knew that the shafts of Phoebus traveled from stone to stone in fixed pattern, and would go astray if even a single reflector were out of place.