Bail Channis sat in the small white-tiled room and allowed his mind to relax. He was content to live in the present. There were the walls and the window and the grass outside. They had no names. They were just things. There was a bed and a chair an books that developed themselves idly on the screen at the foot of his bed. There was the nurse who brought him his food.

At first he had made efforts to piece together the scraps of things he had heard. Such as those two men talking together.


One had said: "Complete aphasia now. It's cleaned out, and I think without damage. It will only be necessary to return the recording of his original brain-wave makeup."

He remembered the sounds by rote, and for some reason they seemed peculiar sounds - as if they meant something. But why bother.

Better to watch the pretty changing colors on the screen at the foot of the thing he lay on.

And then someone entered and did things to him and for a long time, he slept.

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And when that had passed, the bed was suddenly a bed and he knew he was in a hospital, and the words he remembered made sense.

He sat up: "What's happening?"

The First Speaker was beside him, "You're on the Second Foundation, and you have your mind back - your original mind."

"Yes! Yes!" Channis came to the realization that he was himself, and there was incredible triumph and joy in that.

"And now tell me," said the First Speaker, "do you know where the Second Foundation is now?"

And the truth came flooding down in one enormous wave and Channis did not answer. Like Ebling Mis before him, he was conscious of only one vast, numbing surprise.

Until he finally nodded, and said: "By the Stars of the Galaxy - now, I know."

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