Roj Nemenuh Sarton and Han Fastolfe sat at Sarton's establishment, with several of Sarton's robots in their niches and two of Fastolfe's in the visitor's niches. Both were roboticists, but very exceptional and rare roboticists. They were exceptional, because of their capability as roboticists, and rare, in that they had taken an interest in Earth, which was not very common among roboticists, or Spacers in general.
Originally, they were simply interested in the history of robotics, which was a science that had started on Earth. Even though, on Earth, there was a lot of anti-robot sentiments, and the on the Spacer Worlds, there was a completely robotized culture, most Spacers ignored the fact that robots had been invented on Earth. Spacers, in general, did not think about Earth. However, Fastolfe and Sarton were very enthusiastic about robotics, and both, especially Sarton, were interested in the history of robotics as well as any other aspect of the field. They were very young by Spacer standards, each only about five decades old.
The two had met at the University of Eos, where they had graduated from. Since then, they had been friends. There might not be two people more different in appearance as Fasolfe and Sarton. Sarton was tall, blond, with high cheekbones, his blond hair lying flat, without a part. Fastolfe had brown hair, and the first thing one noticed about his appearance were his large ears.
Fastolfe was particulary interested in learning about the human brain. He had taken an interest in robotics, hoping that in learning about the positronic brain, it would bring him closer to understanding the human brain. He had become a theoretician. Sarton was more interested in designing robots to be more resourceful. But they both wished to expand their knowledge. Both had taken to studying the history of robotics as a small hobby.
"We would have to learn more about Earth."Sarton was saying. "After all, that is where robots were first invented."
"And humanity's home world."Fastolfe added. "It's a pity there aren't many Spacers motivated to studying Earth. Most of us wish to forget we are descended from Earth people. There aren't many book films, much information of any kind about Earth. What there is, is very little, very vague."
"I suppose we could start with it, though."
"Yes. We could take it from there."
Fastolfe left Sarton's establishment, his robots escorting him back to his own. On his own establishment, his daughter Vasilia, happy to see him, ran to him.
"Father, you're back!"
"Of course, little Vas."
"See, what I have?"she held out a paper, with a pattern on it.
"Little Vas, you have a genius for patterns!"he chuckled. "I'm sure you will become a great roboticist."
Vasilia looked pleased.
Fastolfe had taken up the unusual task of raising his daughter himself. Normally, Spacer children were raised in nurseries, with those who knew how to care for them. However, Fastolfe, like Sarton, was not a typical Spacer. He had grown fond of her, as well. He could see why one would want to raise a child.
Vasilia had lived her whole life in her father's establishment. She hardly encountered other children, if ever. Vasilia loved her father. One of her favorite hobbies was to design positronic brain patterns. She was a very curious child. Not very long ago, her father had given her a robot of her own, Giskard, who was her nanny.
On, Solaria, Gladia sat in an isolation room. There was no time strip anywhere. Today, she had moved on to six hours of isolation. The time increased as she got older. She knew the older children spent more time in isolation, and the younger children less. That did not make her feel much better. The isolation room wasn't exactly dreary. There were plenty of things to do. She could view book films, do anything she wanted. If there was anything that was not in the room, she would as one of the robots to get it for here. That was one thing that didn't change, regardless of one's age. There were always robots. Everywhere on the farm.
To try to pass the time, she sat, and practiced her hand gestures. Everyone did this as well. They would be taught to give orders without speaking, using only gestures. One simply moved their arm, hand, and fingers in a certain way, and the robots would interpret that as an order. She made the gesture, which was used for a robot to get her a book film. Almost at once a robot was at her side.
"Yes, Madam?"it inquired.
"Get me some book films with lots of pictures,"she told the robot.
Gladia had always loved any kind of art, especially with lots of colors in it.