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33.

The return to Trantor was both trauma and test for the robot who had been Dors Venabili. Soon she would have a new identity, and she would take a new role in the very long-range plans of R. Daneel Olivaw. But for now, this day of landing and disembarking was so similar to that time, decades before, when she had first arrived on Trantorbefore she met the man she had been programmed to guard and nurture

Before Hari.

Trantor had not changed much in the time since Dors death, but the few changes she was in a position to notice were not positive. Trantor looked seedier, less imposing and more decrepit. The ceil of the domes had become very noticeably more patchy, the slideways less efficient and more prone to breakdown. The smells were the same, however, and the people seemed much the same.

Even the circumstances were the same. The last time she had traveled to Trantor, it had been with Daneel. They had each gone their separate ways upon arrival, but now they stuck together, and Dors dreaded the plan she was sure Daneel was concocting. She was human enough in design to be able to feel humanlike emotions-dread among them, and love-but Daneel wanted to test her resolve, as a robot, and her strength. If she failed, she was of no use to him.

Daneel said little, but took her to the safe apartment near Streeling, where they picked up their change of clothes and new Trantorian identity papers. With a slight adjustment to her already altered physical appearance and external marks, including fingerprints and external tissue genetics, she would become Jenat Korsan, a teacher from the food ally Paskann. Lodovik would assume the identity of a merchant broker from the metals-rich province of Dau. As Rissik Numant of Dau of the Thousand Golden Suns, he would spend several years on Trantor, conducting a personal pilgrimage.

The safe apartment was small and located in the poor municipality of Fann, less than ten kilometers from Streeling. Dors knew the place a little-had passed through here several times before forming her liaison with Hari. What had then been shabby genteel was now truly just shabby, and unhappy; police seldom came here unless it was strictly necessary.

They stayed in the apartment for two days, just long enough for Daneels manipulations to spread throughout Trantors identity networks.

Then, they went forth

Not, she hoped, to some catastrophic relapse, some unbearable return to her old mode. The great difficulty was that with Hari Seldon, she had felt truly useful for the first time in her existence, truly important, and to her human side, that importance had been translated into happiness. She was now all too aware that she was not human.

And not happy.


FARAD SINTER. | Foundation and Chaos | c