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by Isaac Asimov
Foundation Part III, Chapter 6 Summary
But Hardin doesn't travel straight to Anacreon. Instead, he visits the kingdom's systems and talks with the local Foundation priests. He arrives on Anacreon the day before Lepold's coronation with everyone partying hearty. Hardin sticks to the wall and lets everyone else have the fun. Intercepting Hardin, Wienis invites him for a private talk in his office. There, Wienies offers Hardin some top-notch booze, and the two toast the new king. Okay, hobnobbing done. Time to get political. Wienis remarks that he and Hardin have opposite ways of viewing the world. Wienis sees himself a man of action while Hardin is one of those weakling peace-lovers. Sure, Hardin agrees. Wienis is a man of action. Maybe he's even setting himself up to take the throne, hm? But Wienis is too manly a man to be scared of words. Wienis is especially not afraid of a man of peace. Why? Well, he's got five guards stationed outside the door. Doesn't look like Hardin's leaving the office anytime soon. Coming into the office was Hardin's first mistake. His second was to leave the Foundation undefended while fixing the battle cruiser to bolster Anacreon's own strength. You can practically hear Wienis's maniacal laughter. Does this mean war? Wienis believes wars are fought not declared, so, in other words, Hardin is now Wienis's prisoner of war. It's already begun. This announcement disappoints Hardin a wee bit. He'd set his counter plan for midnight, but here Wienis goes and jumps the gun on him. Wienis thinks he's totally bluffing, but Hardin explains: He's arranged for every priest on Anacreon to go on strike unless he gives the order not to. And since the priests, a.k.a. scientists, control every ounce of technology Anacreon owns, well, you get the idea. Wienis rushes from the room and into the ballroom. Lepold's throne is hovering in the air as part of his kingly display when the power is suddenly cut. The throne falls, and the lights flicker out. Time for even more bad news: High Priest Verisof is leading a mob demanding the immediate release of Salvor Hardin. True to his nature, Wienis orders any mob members entering the palace grounds to be shot dead. Wienis returns to his chamber with King Lepold following. Cool customer that he is, Hardin congratulates the new king on his coronation. Wienis threatens to have the army lockdown every temple on the planet, but Hardin wonders how he'll give the orders. After all, his communication technology is Foundation-made and approved. Fine, he'll just have to win his war with the Foundation then with the battle cruiser Hardin repaired for him. Instead of responding outright, Hardin asks if Wienis has ever heard of a hyperwave relay. No? Well, he's about to.
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