In less than half a human lifetime, Europa had been transformed. The crust of ice on the hemisphere always facing LucifAll this, and not much more, had been observed through telescopes in Earth orbit. By the time that the first full-scale expBut there were problems with this obvious explanation. Mount Zeus was an irregular pyramid, not the usual volcanic conOne maverick scientist had put forward the theory that Mount Zeus was a 'cosmic iceberg' - a cometary fragment that haThey had been much relieved when van der Berg had refuted the theory convincinglyThe problem could, of course, have been settled by sending a single probe through the clouds of Europa. Unfortunately,ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS - EXCEPT EUROPA.ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.That last message relayed from the spaceship Discovery just before its destruction had not been forgotten, but there hadThe scientists were anxious to find out, but the general public was distinctly nervous. Any power that could detonate the More than once, therefore, van der Berg had been told not to waste his valuable time on research of no practical importaAnd one day, just a few hours, a gale from the nightside cleared the skies about Mount Zeus.7Transit'I too take leave of all 1 ever had...'From what depths of memory had that line come swimming up to the surface? Heywood Floyd closed his eyes, and triedWith no further clues, it might take the station computer quite a while - perhaps as much as ten minutes - to locate the linA war poem, of course - but which war? There had been so many in the twentieth century.He was still searching through the mental mists when his guests arrived, moving with the effortless, slow-motion grace o
Sheet1Page 10George and Jerry were now Floyd's oldest and closest friends - which was surprising, because they had so few obvious 'Haven't you ever thought of divorce?' he had once asked them teasingly.As usual, George - whose acrobatic yet profoundly serious conducting had been largely responsible for the comeback of'Divorce - never,' was his swift reply. 'Murder - often.''Of course, he'd never get away with it,' Jerry had retorted. 'Sebastian would spill the beans.'Sebastian was a beautiful and talkative parrot which the couple had imported after a long battle with the hospital authoritNow the time had come to say goodbye to George, Jerry and Sebastian - perhaps only for a few weeks, perhaps for eveArchie, his early-model but still perfectly serviceable comsec, had been programmed to handle all incoming messages, e'We thought you were our friend,' complained George. 'It was a dirty trick to make us your executors - especially as you'r'You may have a few surprises,' grinned Floyd. 'Anyway, Archie will take care of all the details. I'd just like you to monitor'If he won't, nor will we. What do we know about all your scientific societies and that sort of nonsense?''They can look after themselves. Please see that the cleaning staff doesn't mess things up too badly while I'm away - andFamily! There were pains, as well as pleasures, in living as long as he had done.