“On the sixth day God saw He couldn't do it all, so He created ENGINEERS”
“This is the most important thing I will ever say to you. The human mind is the ultimate testing device. You can take all the notes you want on the technical data, anything you forget you can look up again, but this must be engraved on your hearts in letters of fire. There is nothing, nothing, nothing, more important to me in the men and women I train than their absolute personal integrity. Whether you function as welders or inspectors, the laws of physics are implacable lie detectors. You may fool men. You will never fool metal. That’s all.”
“It's an ancient and honorable term for the final step in any engineering project. Turn it on, see if it smokes.”
“There was no limit to what one man might do, if he gave all, and held back nothing.”
“If you ever have to make a choice between learning and inspiration, boy, choose learning. It works more of the time.”
“It's not over, is it?" Silver said quietly to Leo, as they floated out of Minchenko's way. "Somehow I thought our troubles would be over if only we could get away from Mr. Van Atta."
Leo shook his head. A jubilant grin still kept crooking up the corner of his mouth. He took one of her upper hands.
"Our troubles would have been over if Brucie-Baby had scored a hit. Or if the vortex mirror had blown up in the middle of the jump. Or if- Don't be afraid of trouble, Silver. They're a sign of life. We'll deal with them together - tomorrow".”
“There is nothing, nothing, nothing more important to me in the men and women I train than their absolute personal integrity.”
“Were you BORN inhuman or did you grow so by degrees?! MS, MD, PHD?”
“The shuttle bumped, bounced, banged, rocked, and roared out over the flat, cracked surface. She was sorry she had never made a pass at Leo. Clearly, you could die while waiting for other people to start your life for you. Her seat harness cut across her breasts as deceleration sucked her forward and the rumbling vibration rattled her teeth.”
“I do know, dividing our energies among a thousand what-ifs instead of concentrating them for the one sure next-step is a kind of self-sabotage. It’s not what we do next week, it’s what we do next that counts most.”
“Andy was clutching her blue T-shirt. She rolled over, as Tony had, palms to the surface, and pushed up. Andy, turning his head toward his father, reached out with his upper hands and tried to shove off from Claire with his lowers. The floor leaped up and smacked him. For”
“Her lips thinned, but she ignored the bait. “Schedules have been moved up in all departments, you know. Claire received her new reproduction assignment. It didn’t include Tony.” “Reproduction assignment? You mean, having a baby?” Leo could feel his face flushing. Somewhere within him, a long-controlled steam pressure began to build. “Do you hide what you’re really doing from yourselves with those weasel-words, too? And here I thought the propaganda was just for us peons.” Yei started to speak, but Leo overrode her, bursting out, “Good God! Were you born inhuman, or did you grow so by degrees—M.S., M.D., Ph.D. . . .” Yei”
“Much worse. We couldn’t get any of those to come at all. Some of them are visibly fused. Some idiot must have welded them.” “Welded, yes. But not by some idiot. By the sun.” “Leo, it doesn’t get that hot—” “Not directly. What you’re seeing is spontaneous vacuum diffusion welding. Metal molecules are evaporating off the surfaces of the pieces in the vacuum. Slowly, to be sure, but it’s a measurable phenomenon. On the clamped areas they migrate into their neighboring surfaces and eventually achieve quite a nice bond. A little faster for the hot pieces on the sun side, a little slower for the cold pieces in the shade—but I’ll bet some of those clamps have been in place for twenty years.” “Oh. But what do we do about them?” “They’ll have to be cut.” Pramod’s lips pursed in worry. “That will slow things down.”
“And so Leo and Silver’s beautiful scheme for peacefully detaching the downsiders, hammered out through four secret planning sessions, was blown away on a breath. Wasted was the flattery, the oblique suggestion, that had gone into convincing Van Atta that it was his idea to gather, unusually, the entire Habitat downsider staff at once and make his announcement in a speech persuading them all they were being commended, not condemned . . . The shaped charges to cut the lecture module away from the Habitat at the touch of a button were all in place. The emergency breath masks to supply the nearly three hundred bodies with oxygen for the few hours necessary to push the module around the planet to the transfer station were carefully hidden within. The two pusher crews were drilled, their pushers fueled and ready. Fool”
“Leo will be coming with us,” Emma offered, trying to sound optimistic. “He’s a downsider.” “I’m not sure that’s exactly his field of expertise,” said Claire honestly, trying to picture Leo as a medtech. He didn’t care for hydraulic systems, he’d said.”
“Leo could not, afterwards, recall running forward or swinging Van Atta around to face him, but only Van Atta’s surprised, open-mouthed expression. “Bruce,” he sang through a red haze, “you smarmy creep—lay off.” The uppercut to Van Atta’s jaw that punctuated this command was surprisingly effective, considering it was the first time Leo had struck a man in anger in his life. Van Atta sprawled backwards on the concrete. Leo”
“Between one breath and the next, the vision took him. It came not as a chain of reason, more words words words, but as a blinding image, all complete in its first moment, inherent, holistic, gestalt, inspired. Every hour of his life from now on would be but the linear exploration of its fullness.”
“Dr. Yei,” Bannerji objected, “if you’re trying to knock a man out you’ve got to hit him a lot harder than that.” Yei recoiled fearfully as Van Atta surged up out of his seat. “I didn’t want to risk killing him . . .” “Why not?” muttered Bannerji under his breath. Furiously,”
“we’re gonna be fifty-year-old libertines in a world full of twenty-year-old Calvinists.”
“You weren’t meant for the ice, you weren’t made for the pain.
The world that lives inside of me was not the world you 75
were meant to contain.
You were meant for castles and living in the sun. The cold running through me should have made you run.
Yet you stay. Holding onto me, yet you stay, reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you
stay. When I know it’s not right for you.
The ice fills my veins and I can’t feel the pain, yet you’re there like the heat that sends me screaming in fear.
I can’t feel the warmth I need to feel the ice. I want to hold it all in and numb it till I can’t feel the knife.
Your heat threatens to melt it all and I know I can’t bear the pain if the ice melts away.
So I push you away and I scream out your name and I know I can’t need you yet you give anyway and I run wishing you would run too.
Yet you stay. Holding onto me yet you stay reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay.
When I know it’s not right for you.
The blackness is my shield. I pull it closer still.
You’re the light that I hide from, the light that I hate.
You’re the light to this darkness and I can’t let you stay.
I need the dark around me like I need the ice in my veins.
The cold is my healer. The cold is my safe place. You aren’t welcome with your heat you don’t belong beside me.
I hate you yet I love, I don’t want you yet I need you.
The dark will always be my cloak and you are the threat to unveil my pain, so leave. Leave and erase the memories.
I need to face the life that’s meant for me. Don’t stay and ruin all my plans.
You can’t have my soul I’m not a man.
The empty vessel I dwell in is not meant to feel the heat you bring. I push you away and I push you away.
Yet you stay.”
“There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena”
“How terrible it is to have no cares, no longings. I do not fit. I feel too deeply and want too much. As cages go, it is a gilded one, but I shall not live well in it or any cage, for that matter.”
“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”
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