Into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as
They trace their wayacross the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here,
Just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple Paper in the evening.
My friend Jonalways said it was nicer here than under the atmospheric domes of the Outer
Planets. We have had peace since 2062, when the surviving planets were banded together under
The Red Star of the SolarFederation. The less fortunate gave us a few new moons.
I believed what I was told. I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found
Something that changed it all...
The massivegrey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I
Have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated
And directed from within! Ourbooks, our music, our work and play are all looked after by
The benevolent wisdom of the priest.
Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath the cave, I
Found it. Ibrushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up, holding it reverently in
My hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was beautiful…
I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and toturn the keys to make them sound
Differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced my first harmonious sounds And soon my own music! How different it could be from the music of theTemples! I can't wait To tell the priests about it!
In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of grim,
Expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolentvoice echoed
Throughout the silent Temple Hall…
Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet rejection!
Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and...