She felt a choking in her throat. It would be as impossible to kill all the Basses and Kippies as it would be to break every Wall in the world. There was no way to get rid of them, no way to make people listen to what was happening. No way to prevent humanity from watching itself to extinction.
As they grew older, she guessed, the actors would grow older too. Gradually Bass would be thirty, then thirty-five, and Lester and the others would age too. But no one would notice; everyone would be aging at the same rate.
But some day someone would notice. Some day all the Lesters would die, and there would be no more Lester to smile at Alice and look thoughtful. And people would look around and see that her daughter, Kathryn, was the youngest person in the world.
But by then even Kathryn would be past the child-bearing age.
Stunned, she sat down beside Dell. He squeezed her hand. She looked up at the Wall, into Bass's penetrating dark eyes. His eyes were so deep, she thought. His hands were strong, and his face was intelligent. How could she ever have hated him?
"Where've you been, baby?" Dell asked.
She shook her head irritably. "Be quiet," she said. "Can't you see he's going to kiss her?"
Perhaps she should change her name to Alice. Then they'd have Kippie, Alice and Lester. All they needed was a Bass, and they would be almost like a real family.