David Madore's WebLog: Gratuitous Literary Fragment #46 (George Lucas meets Isaac Asimov)

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Gratuitous Literary Fragment #46 (George Lucas meets Isaac Asimov)

My previous fragment was a fanfic, I guess, and as I found it rather fun to write I'll try another one.

The Executive Council of the Second Foundation was in session: the psychologists gathered in the room reviewed the computation being displayed by the Prime Radiant, while the Third Speaker, who had performed most of the computational ‘dirty work’, commented on the part that was currently highlighted. (In fact, he did not ‘speak’ in the usual sense of the word, for the twelve minds knew each other so well and could feel each other's emotions with such accuracy that spoken communication was almost unnecessary, but, for the reader's convenience, we take the liberty to transcribe in words the ideas being expressed.)

‘As you can see from this section, the terms representing the influence of Coruscant become dominant beyond Phase Two. From the psychohistorical point of view, they cause no difficulty; however, since the principal series diverges, past the declaration of war, we had to resort to parabolic expansion and apply Palver's second theorem. Now we have merely substituted the contribution in the equation describing the Jedis' esteem: it follows from lemma 90 that the singularity cannot be cancelled by terms from this Phase.’

The Fifth Speaker summarized. ‘So we have a nexus: we cannot afford to risk the wrong branch, and we must perform computations on individuals. Risky. Very risky. Suppose you take over.’

The Eighth Speaker was indicated: he had earned a reputation by carrying out extremely difficult psychological—as opposed to purely psychohistorical—computations. ‘There is no doubt that Anakin Skywalker is the appropriate target. Proceeding as per First Speaker's plan, we have cooked up a prophecy to place him in the right spot. Now this expression represents the primary contributions of the individuals Palpatine, Kenobi, Amidala and a fourth whose name cannot be determined at the moment. Also note the interesting set of values indicating the possibility of grievous bodily harm, which, however, cancels neatly to all further levels. I have been able to solve the dependence equation, and the probability of success for the principal course is presently at 72%.’

‘But at what cost?’ the Second Speaker asked.

The Third Speaker said: ‘Well, to put it bluntly: Alderaan.’

‘You know well,’ the Fifth Speaker added, ‘that all other courses we considered were well out of safety bounds. The case of Alderaan is unfortunate—but unavoidable. It will not be prevented. Now there remains one further question to settle: who will proceed with the interventions required at points C, D and E in the plan? This is a delicate matter.’

The First Speaker rose from his seat. All the other psychologists' attention turned to him. The First Speaker expressed himself in full words, even though they were short. ‘Do this I will.’

‘Thank you, Yoda,’ the Fifth Speaker said. ‘After this, the phase space computations indicate that you must remain on the Dagobah system for all further actions.’ After a pause, he added, also in full words: ‘May the Plan and the Force be with you.’

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