By Jerry Oltion
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Additional resources for Alliance (Isaac Asimov's Robot City : Robots and Aliens, No. 4)
Wolruf padded into the kitchen. “I’ll ‘ave one,” she said, holding out her hand. Derec gave her the one he had already dialed for, then ordered another for himself and a glass of Ariel’s favorite, Auroran Ambrosia, for her. ” The robot entered the kitchen behind Wolruf, waited patiently for Derec to finish with the automat, then pushed buttons in the sequence for coffee. Derec shook his head in exasperation. Avery had a whole city full of robots at his command, but he still loved to order Mandelbrot around.
He called. “I am now. ” Still worried, but unwilling to risk Ariel’s wrath by opening the door, Derec crossed to the window to look out at the spires and rooftops of Robot City. It looked completely healed now from Lucius’s destruction, healed and full of robots going about their normal duties. Derec could see hundreds of them in the streets, on elevated walkways, in transport booths, in maglev trucks, all moving purposefully once again. From this height—twenty-five stories today, Derec guessed—it was hard to tell that all the activity wasn’t the ebb and flow of humanity in a fully populated human city.
It is inevitable, however, that all children reach the stage where they realize that their parents are but human beings and are not creatures of ultimate ability and wisdom. Most children learn it a lot sooner than mine did because I went to considerable pains to play the role. Whenever children learn of their parents’ fallibility and weakness, there is bound to be a terrible feeling of loss. The loss is so intense that there is an inevitable search for a substitute, but where can you find it? Primitive man naturally argued by analogy.