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Terminus and sentry stations

This nOde last updated April 24th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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terminus (tûr´me-nes) noun
plural terminuses or  termini (-nì´)
1.The final point; the end.
2.An end point on a transportation line or the town in which it is located.
3.a. A boundary or border. b. A stone or post marking a border.


terminus (noun)

extremity: end of the road, end of the line, terminal point, terminus, terminal, goal, objective
stopping place: terminus, terminal, air terminal, air travel
limit: terminus, terminal, end
itinerary: halt, stop, stopover, terminus, stopping place
goal: journey's end, final point, point of no return, terminus, extremity
goal: terminus, railroad terminus, railroad station, bus station, bus depot, depot, rendezvous, meeting place
completion: terminus, goal

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from The internal linkFoundation Series by internal linkIsaac Asimov


Terminus. The only planet of an isolated sun at the fringe of the Galactic spiral to which the Seldon Project was exiled in order to work upon the Encyclopedia Galactica. Located 50,000 parsecs from Trantor, between Anacreon (50 light years away) and Smyrno, it is described as a planet poor in resources, particularly mineral resources, and of negligible economic value.  A mild planet with a high internal linkwater/land ratio. Terminus holds the distinction of being the furthest inhabited planet from the central internal linkblack hole.

Terminus is an ancient word meaning "the end of the line".  Consists of 10,000 inhabited islands only one of which is large enough to be considered a continent, the one that contains Terminus City, the capitol. It remained unsettled for five centuries after its discovery until it became the birthplace of the Encyclopedia Foundation Number One or, as it became known, the First Foundation. Home of the Encyclopedia Galactica Publishing Co.

Places of interest.

Terminus City. Capital of the First Foundation.
Seldon Hall (also known as the First Vault). Chamber set up by Hari Seldon to relay internal linkinformation to the First Foundation at key events its development.
Cyclopedia Square.
The Hardin Museum.  (Officially known as the The Salvor Hardin Museum of Origins)  Holds the uncompleted original of the Encyclopedia Galactica.
Encyclopedia Building. Storehouse of reference films and projection rooms.
City Hall Park.
Hardin Building. Public apartment block.
Mallow Hall. Used for musical concerts.
City Hall. Terminus governmental building holding the Council Chambers and Mayor's office.
Flexner.  Suburb of Terminus City.
Terminus Spaceport.
Ultimate Spaceport.
Newton City.
Stanmark. Town where Arkady Darrell lived as a child.
Argyropol.  Town on the isthmus of Terminus.

Other facts.
Popular newspapers: The Terminus City Journal, Imperial News.

The Occupation

By far, the most mysterious figure in the history of the Interregnum is that of the internal linkMule (280-321 FE). Even now, after seven centuries of research and scholarship, next to nothing is known of his origins. Most of what is now known was pieced together early in the fourth century by Han Pritcher (267-321 FE), who was at the time an officer in Indbur III's Information Bureau. Pritcher learned that the Mule was born on a decaying backwater world (which particular world is not known). His father was unknown, his mother died while giving birth to him. As he grew to maturity, the Mule slowly realized that he had the ability to sense other peoples' emotions. Later, he developed the ability to permanently alter those emotions. By the time he was twenty-three, he had used his emotional control to win the devotion of a pirate leader. Using the pirate and his band, and his own emotional control, he was able to gain control of the planet Borka in the Santanni Sector. With the resources of Borka, and his
emotional control, he was able to gain control of the Duchy of Cremmis. From Cremmis, he was able to extend his control over the Kingdom of Dalagoth. From Dalagoth, he was able to seize control of the Prefecture of Kalgan. And it was from Kalgan that the Mule launched his attack on the Foundation in 310 FE.

The Mule left the military side of the war with the Foundation to Balus Keffin, who had been Warlord of Kalgan before his Conversion by the Mule. The Mule himself managed to infiltrate to the very heart of the Foundation by posing as his own escaped court fool, and from there he proceeded to Convert key members of the Foundation's political, economic and military elites. In a masterstroke of strategic skill, the Mule was able to launch his attack on Terminus itself on March 14, 311 FE, the day of Hari Seldon's Fifth Crisis Message. Thus, practically the entire government of the Foundation was present in the internal linkTime Vault when it was occupied by the Mule's soldiers.

Indbur III was captured by the Mule's soldiers when they occupied the Time Vault, and internal linkimmediately executed along with most of his advisors. His son, Indbur Gatton IV, attempted to flee Terminus in a private ship, which was destroyed by one of the Mule's warships shortly after leaving the planet's atmosphere. The remaining officials of Indbur's government and the Terminus Trade Group were also rounded up and executed, and their places taken by the Mule's followers. The leadership of the Foundation Navy was purged, leaving only Admirals who had been Converted by the Mule. Under Keffin, who became Viceroy of the Foundation, the expansion of the Mule's Union of Worlds continued. In a demonstration of the power that the Foundation Navy could wield once unleashed, the Union of Worlds expanded from its Foundation/Kalgan core to encompass over one third of the Galaxy, a feat the Foundation itself required two centuries to equal. This frenzy of conquest is all the more remarkable when one remembers that it occured over a period of only fourteen months, between the Mule's conquest of Terminus in March 311 FE and his return from Trantor in May 312 FE.

Having failed to locate the Second Foundation in the Galactic Library on Trantor, the Mule returned to Kalgan. The period of conquests came to an end, and the era of the Search began. Six times over the next five years, the Mule sent Pritcher, now his top aide, out in search of the Second Foundation. During the final expedition to Tazenda in 316 FE, the Mule himself followed Pritcher, but ultimately in vain. The Mule's final failure at Tazenda left him convinced that the Second Foundation was a myth, and he was content to spend the last years of his life ruling the Union of Worlds in peace.

The appearance of the Mule, with his unique emotional control, was a completely random occurance, and thus unpredictable by psychohistory. As soon as the Mule launched his attack on the Foundation, events there began to depart dramatically from those Hari Seldon had foreseen. In a way, the timing of the Mule's attack proved fortunate for the custodians of the Seldon Plan. Had he made his attack at any other time, the Plan would have been irretrievably compromised. However, the Mule chose to launch his attack at the height of the Fifth Crisis, and the nature of the Fifth Crisis mitigated the effects of the Mule's actions.

We know from recordings of the Seldon Message of 311 FE that, absent the Mule, the Association of Independent Traders would have risen in revolt against the authority of Indbur III, and that they would have been joined by the democratic underground on Terminus itself. The rebellion would have been unsuccessful, but would have resulted in the ouster of Indbur III by a military coup. The resulting junta would have reversed the bureaucratic inertia that had built up under the Indburs, and eased the restrictions on political dissent, before finally giving way to a freely elected government.

An analysis of the relevant psychohistorical equations shows that there was a 21.5% probability of outside internal linkintervention during the projected revolt, either by a foreign ally of the Independent Traders, or by a post-Imperial warlord attempting to take advantage of the Foundation's internal troubles. Furthermore, there was a 4.8% probability that Terminus itself would be overrun and occupied for a time by a foreign power in the course of the Fifth Crisis. Thus, the Mule's conquest of the Foundation did not lie completely beyond the compass of the Seldon Plan, and it was possible for the Second Foundation to control the damage done. Also aiding in the restoration of the Plan was the transitory nature of the Mule's dominion. His empire dissolved rapidly after his death, as his subjects' natural inclinations reasserted themselves. By 331 FE, ten years after the Mule's death, the Galactic situation was more or less what it would have been if the Warlord of Kalgan had occupied Terminus for several years during the Fifth Crisis.

More or less, but not exactly, for the Mule's conquest had shaken the Foundation to its very roots. Not simply Terminus, but the whole of the Foundation had fallen under the Mule's control. To the inhabitants of Terminus, the occupation might well have proven permanent, for there was no force in the Galaxy to equal the Mule's, and hence there was no hope of liberation from outside. As the Mule's mercenaries patrolled the streets of Terminus City, and Balus Keffin ruled the worlds of the Foundation in the Mule's name, the people of Terminus had to accustom themselves to being the ruled, rather than the rulers. Decades after the Occupation itself had ended, the shadow of the Mule's rule would still darken the thoughts of the people of Terminus.

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