"Oh, it is, it is. But not, I am afraid, in the way you mean."
"You can never tell. What have you been doing?"
"Completing a unified theory of life. Why a crystal grows but isn't alive, why an organism that dies isn't like a crystal. What is the process we call life? What is its relationship to the space-time continuum--"
He said it so casually that Walker was caught off his guard completely. "Are you serious, Millet?" he said.
"Certainly. I expect to publish in about two years."
"Is this an independent effort?"
"Not entirely. Others have contributed. Some pioneers long dead, some among the living." His eyes twinkled. "You see, important things beside the development of weapons of destruction do continue in the scientific world. Did you think that was the end of everything for me, ten years ago?" He shook his head in mock gravity. "It was just the beginning. I wanted out, you see."
"You wanted out?" Walker leaned forward, unwilling to believe what h