Jonnie is crushed with the news that he won't be cracking teleportation engines after all, but patiently waits for Soth to explain. The Psychlo tells how paranoid his government was that an employee might try to build his own teleporters, and so included fake equations and unclear sequences in their texts. Instead, the catrists groomed the most brilliant students to be masters of mining and the only employee on a given planet who would be able to build or repair a teleportation console. The other Psychlos called these elites "brain-brains," which is dumb, but not as stupid as the next bombshell: "brain-brains" were always appointed as Security Officers.
That's right. Terl was the best and brightest the Psychlos had to offer. I can make no greater condemnation.
Jonnie tries to look on the bright side, that with what he's learned about Psychlo math he can make anything but teleportation motors, but mentions how executives used to repair motor consoles. Soth takes this to mean that Jonnie is only interested in the circuit, not the math behind it, and takes him outside.
Remember how Jonnie popped the top off a motor console and the thing went dead? The solution is to stick it in a pressurized bag, because fuses inside the device blow out if someone reduces the air pressure by opening it up. There's also the now-expected dummy wiring and a hidden circuit in the cover plate. With some powdered iron, an electrical charge, and a metal analysis camera, Jonnie is able to get a picture of the true circuit. So Jonnie finally has what's he's after.
Even if he doesn't understand any of the physics behind it. Not that I'm complaining, really; I don't want to hear Hubbard try to explain how a box of wiring and buttons manages to tear space-time apart and enable teleportation.
Back to Chapter Five