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EYES DO MORE THAN SEE by Isaac Asimov

After hundreds of billions of years he suddenly thou!ht of himself as Ames" Not the #avelen!th combination #hich throu!h all the universe #as no# the e$uivalent of Ames % but the sound itself" A faint memory came bac& of the sound #aves he no lon!er heard and no lon!er could hear" The ne# 'ro(ect #as shar'enin! his memory for so many more of the old old eons)old thin!s" He flattened the ener!y vorte* that made u' the total of his individuality and its lines of force stretched beyond the stars" +roc&,s ans#erin! si!nal came" Surely Ames thou!ht he could tell +roc&" Surely he could tell somebody" +roc&,s shiftin! ener!y 'attern communed -Aren,t you comin! Ames./ -Of course"/ -0ill you ta&e 'art in the contest./ -Yes1/ Ames,s lines of force 'ulsed erratically" -Most certainly" I have thou!ht of a #hole ne# art)form" Somethin! really unusual"/ -0hat a #aste of effort1 Ho# can you thin& a ne# variation can be thou!ht of after t#o hundred billion years. There can be nothin! ne#"/ 2or a moment +roc& shifted out of 'hase and out of communion so that Ames had to hurry to ad(ust his lines of force" He cau!ht the drift of other)thou!hts as he did so the vie# of the 'o#dered !ala*ies a!ainst the velvet of nothin!ness and the lines of force 'ulsin! in endless multitudes of ener!y)life lyin! bet#een the !ala*ies" Ames said -3lease absorb my thou!hts +roc&" Don,t close out" I,ve thou!ht of mani'ulatin! Matter" Ima!ine1 A sym'hony of Matter" 0hy bother #ith Ener!y. Of course there,s nothin! ne# in Ener!y4 ho# can there be. Doesn,t that sho# that #e must deal #ith Matter./ -Matter1/ Ames inter'reted +roc&,s ener!y)vibrations as those of dis!ust" He said -0hy not. 0e #ere once Matter ourselves bac& % bac& % Oh a trillion years a!o any#ay1 0hy not build u' ob(ects in a Matter medium or abstract forms or % listen +roc& % #hy not build u' an imitation of ourselves in Matter ourselves as #e used to be./ +roc& said -I don,t remember ho# that #as" No one does"/ -I do / said Ames #ith ener!y" -I,ve been thin&in! of nothin! else and I am be!innin! to remember" +roc& let me sho# you" Tell me if I,m ri!ht" Tell me"/ -No" This is silly" It,s % re'ulsive"/ -5et me try +roc&" 0e,ve been friends4 #e,ve 'ulsed ener!y to!ether from the be!innin! % from the moment #e became #hat #e are" +roc& 'lease1/ -Then $uic&ly"/ Ames had not felt such a tremor alon! his o#n lines of force in % #ell in ho# lon!. If he tried it no# for +roc& and it #or&ed he could dare mani'ulate Matter before the assembled Ener!y)bein!s #ho had so drearily #aited over the eons for somethin! ne#" The Matter #as thin out there bet#een the !ala*ies but Ames !athered it scra'in! it to!ether over the cubic li!ht) years choosin! the atoms achievin! a clayey consistency and forcin! matter into an ovoid form that s'read out belo#" -Don,t you remember +roc&./ he as&ed softly" -0asn,t it somethin! li&e this./ +roc&,s vorte* trembled in 'hase" -Don,t ma&e me remember" I don,t remember"/ -That #as the head" They called it the head" I remember it so clearly I #ant to say it" I mean #ith sound"/ He #aited then said -5oo& do you remember that./ On the u''er front of the ovoid a''eared HEAD" -0hat is that./ as&ed +roc&" -That,s the #ord for head" The symbols that meant the #ord in sound" Tell me you remember +roc&1/ -There #as somethin! / said +roc& hesitantly -somethin! in the middle"/ A vertical bul!e formed" Ames said -Yes1 Nose that,s it1/ And NOSE a''eared u'on it" -And those are eyes on either side / 5E2T EYE % RI6HT EYE" Ames re!arded #hat he had formed his lines of force 'ulsin! slo#ly" 0as he sure he li&ed this. -Mouth / he said in small $uiverin!s -and chin and Adam,s a''le and the collarbones" Ho# the #ords come bac& to me"/ They a''eared on the form" +roc& said -I haven,t thou!ht of them for hundreds of billions of years" 0hy have you reminded me. 0hy./ Ames #as momentarily lost in his thou!hts" -Somethin! else" Or!ans to hear #ith4 somethin! for the sound #aves" Ears1 0here do they !o. I don,t remember #here to 'ut them"/ +roc& cried out -5eave it alone1 Ears and all else1 Don,t remember1/ Ames said uncertainly -0hat is #ron! #ith rememberin!./

EYES DO MORE THAN SEE -+ecause the outside #asn,t rou!h and cold li&e that but smooth and #arm" +ecause the eyes #ere tender and alive and the li's of the mouth trembled and #ere soft on mine"/ +roc&,s lines of force beat and #avered beat and #avered" Ames said -I,m sorry1 I,m sorry1/ -You,re remindin! me that once I #as a #oman and &ne# love4 that eyes do more than see and I have none to do it for me"/ 0ith violence she added matter to the rou!h)he#n head and said -Then let them do it1/ and turned and fled" And Ames sa# and remembered too that once he had been a man" The force of his vorte* s'lit the head in t#o and he fled bac& across the !ala*ies on the ener!y)trac& of +roc& % bac& to the endless doom of life" And the eyes of the shattered head of Matter still !listened #ith the moisture that +roc& had 'laced there to re'resent tears" The head of Matter did that #hich the ener!y)bein!s could do no lon!er and it #e't for all humanity and for the fra!ile beauty of the bodies they had once !iven u' a trillion years a!o"