thinking that it would be best, before restoring the mind, to heal the damages done by time, age, and the Brothers. And, without admitting it, he was afraid to look into that damaged mind, afraid of what he'd find. His powers were

limited. If large portions of the brain were destroyed, he'd be helpless. And there was, further, the possibility of finding, even if her brain could be repaired, that frightening lack of contact in the important portion of the brain where the abilities of the race were centered. So he mended and healed and gradually, slowly, her breathing eased, became natural as she coughed out waste, leaned to vomit waste, voided waste. He lifted her from the filth of her body and washed her. He had been unable to do anything about the missing eye. That could be remedied later with a transplant from a newly dead body People still died in accidents. That was no problem. Seeing her undressed, her body restored, Luke realized the vast changes which had come over him. Once he would have cringed away in disgust from a nude female. Once he would have been unable to even touch a female, much less strip filthy clothing away from her, wash the wastes of her body from her Now he did the job without repugnance. She was beautiful. There had been given to her by his mind a beauty of health which made her body youthful, full, firm, shapely. Finished, her body functioning more perfectly than ever before, stunted as it had been by the Earth's environment and by the gradual dying process which began shortly after birth in all non-changers, he dressed her

in a clean singlet, and fearfully, looked for the first time into her tortured mind. The way was blocked. He could not see into the change center of her brain, because the shakeshock treatments had clogged, damaged most of the cells through which he had to pass to enter the dark center. The process was long and tiring. It went on for hours while, outside, the big starships rose with their cargoes of equipment and humanity and orderly masses of people loaded and waited and talked and dreamed. Cell by cell, connecting track by connecting track, he worked inward, restoring the potential which had been destroyed by what was, in effect, a shock lobotomy of massive proportions. And, as he worked, his fear grew, for the damage was severe. She would have a functioning brain when he finished, but if the damage were deep enough to reach into her memory bank, it would be a newly created brain devoid of knowledge, as receptive as the brain of a new-born baby. The room grew dark as the day ended. There was little to be done. Already he could see past the final obstructions, could sense the area, the vital area, where there would or would not be the vital thing which would determine whether she would be whole—he found himself thinking thusly, being as arrogant about his new status as the young people who agreed that it was best to exile the non-changers—or merely human. And it mattered greatly to him. Having found her, he could not face the thought

of losing her again. If she were unable to change, he thought, as he rested, preparing to make the last repairs which would enable him to slip into the unused portion of her brain, then it would not matter. But, sadly, he knew it would. He entered. Floods of memory hit him as it shot up out of the isolated memory bank, rejoined. She screamed. She leaped to her feet crying out. He held her. «Caster. Caster. It's me. Luke. Listen to me. It's all right.» «No!» she was screaming as she relived the torture, remembered the final, shuddering, terminal agony of brain killing on the shakeshock rack. «Oh, God, help me…» He held her close and she subsided. She looked at him with her one eye. The empty socket was grotesque in her face. «Who are you?» He didn't answer. He held her close, no longer fearful of the contact with a female body. He held her because she was dear to him, because out there on the new worlds it would be, once again, man and woman. It would be child-rearing and work and—he let the word come—love. And, in silence, he went in and found a dark, solid ball, the telltale blackness of unused potential, and he felt a surge of elation as he sought an opening, probed, found a weakness, entered, and said, in her mind. «Hello, Caster.» And he tried to soothe the pain of opening, but she cringed, cried out, clung to him in agony until he could complete the opening, until, with a bright, red glow of excitement and elation, her mind answered him.

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