"Our precognizer our Precognizer for Special Events," said Gwenlyn, "got the notion that a year from now King Humphrey should open parliament on Kandar, if everything is straightened out. The notion became a precognition. We don't know how it can come about, but it does seem to imply a change of plans somewhere!" Bors found himself indomitably skeptical. But he said, "Ah!
She looked smugly pleased. "Considering everything, it was a very nice thing to say. I like him even if he doesn't smile." Morgan did not seem enlightened. "It doesn't make sense to me." "That's because you are my father," said Gwenlyn. She stirred restlessly. She was no longer smiling. "I hope Talents, Incorporated information isn't wrong this time!
Bors found himself stubbornly resisting the idea. It might be that there was such a thing as precognition in the form Morgan had described. There might be such a thing as contagious fantasy. But on the other hand "I give up," he said. "I won't deny it and I can't believe it. I'll go about my business of piracy. But you, sir," he turned to Morgan, "you've got to keep Gwenlyn from taking risks!"
The people of Tralee surrendered, but they didn't realize what they were getting into. These men do!" The girl Gwenlyn said quietly, "I'm sorry for King Humphrey." "He's miscast," said Morgan briskly. "He should be king of a calm and peaceful world in calm and peaceful times. You're going to have trouble with him, Captain Bors!" Then he said; "Perhaps we can work out a plan or two, eh?
They use booby-traps as police devices!" It was not reasonable, but Bors could not think of missing a Mekinese warship. The idea of a government using booby-traps to enforce its orders somehow put it beyond forgiveness, and with the government all those who served it willingly. "You'll go to Garen then?" asked Gwenlyn. Bors felt a sharp sting of annoyance.
"When will the Sylva be back?" demanded Bors. Morgan automatically looked at his watch. Gwenlyn opened her mouth to speak. Morgan shook his head impatiently. Gwenlyn was silent. "My ship-arrival Talent's with the Sylva," said Morgan harassedly. "We sent him to Kandar to find out if the Mekinese fleet's coming there, and when. It isn't coming here. He said so."
"True," said Morgan. "She could have some very unpleasant experiences. I'll be more stern with her." Gwenlyn did not seem alarmed. "One more thing," Bors added. "They say the dictator of Mekin is superstitious, that he patronizes fortune-tellers. Suppose one of them is a Talent? Suppose he gets precognized information?" "I worry about that," admitted Morgan.
There was no query from the planet. But Gwenlyn said that there were riots down below. They could be serious enough to absorb the attention usually given to routine. But there was another reason for this inattention. Garen was a part of the Mekinese empire which was not encouraged to trade off-planet except through Mekin.
But when this lunatic said it, they could precognize it too! It's so! They couldn't think of it themselves, but when this Mekinese Talent does, they know it's true. But it can't be!" Bors said coldly, "The fleet's going to be destroyed, certainly. If that will defeat Mekin. But Gwenlyn is not to stay aboard to be destroyed with it! How are you going to get her away?"
"There's a Talent," said Gwenlyn matter-of-factly, "who can always tell how people feel. She doesn't know what they think or why. But she can tell when they're uneasy and so on. Father uses her to tell him when people lie. When what they say doesn't match how they feel, they're lying." "I think," said Bors, "that I'll stay away from her. But that won't do any good, will it?"