Study Guide

Foundation Part I, Chapter 5

By Isaac Asimov

Part I, Chapter 5

  • Gaal doesn't meet Seldon at the university tomorrow after all, on account that he's arrested the next morning.
  • The fuzz takes him away to an unknown location and quizzes him about Dr. Seldon's activities. Unfortunately, since Gaal hasn't really begun working with Seldon, he can't exactly give them all the juicy details.
  • If you've ever seen someone getting the old good-cop, bad-cop routine in a film, this'll seem familiar to you.
  • True to the cliché, Gaal receives a lawyer only after the interrogation. The lawyer's name is Lors Avakim. Avakim sets up a tape recorder that also works as a signal-jamming device, so they can talk without eavesdroppers.
  • How very James Bond of him.
  • Gaal demands to have a hearing with the Emperor, but Avakim explains things don't work that way in real life. Instead, his fate will be in the hands of the Commission of Public Safety.
  • Gaal asks why Seldon didn't predict and warn him of these events. Avakim corrects him. Seldon did predict Gaal's arrest and choose not to warn him. With friends like that, right?
  • Furthermore, Seldon has planned everything out in advance. He predicts a 99.9% success rate for Seldon's Project as a whole. Gaal himself gets a success rate of 77.2%—so roughly a one in five chance of going to jail. We've seen worse odds.
  • The agents enter the room and demand Avakim gives them the tape recorder. Avakim leaves instead, and Gaal is left alone once again.