There were people at most of the tables. Like the outdoor furniture, they slowly resolved in his perception, as if a contrast control was being turned up on the screen of his Cartesian theater. He also became aware of a wide gap that bisected the patio, an aisle between the tables. Lela followed his eyes. “Professional demarcation,” she said. “Foresight strategists on this side. Nonprofits, charitable institutions, universities, design companies, the civil stuff. On the other side? Strategic forecasters. Global security groups, corporate think tanks, spook stuff. You know the score.” Dearden did. He was a futurist. They were all futurists. Everyone here gazed into the abyss for a living. Do it long enough, and the abyss would gaze back into you. If the abyss did that for long enough, the people who paid you for your eyes would send you to Normal Head. The place was paid for by foundations and multinationals alike, together. Most of their human probes needed it, one way or another, in the end.