The setting of this story is in the distant future (keeping in mind that this was written in the 1960s), though an exact date is not given. It takes place in the underground chambers of the largest supercomputer in the world, Multivac, after a recent victory in an intergalactic war with an external force, known to us only as the Denebians. It is implied that the Denebians are more technologically advanced, and the victory was utterly unexpected. The only comprehensible reason as to why we won was that we had Multivac, though this is later disproved as the plot progresses.

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