Our journey to a strange planet
best way to introduce these notes from our journey is to report Great
Cottaft’s speech to us. On the day before we left Earth he called us
together and said:
the Globe will go out.
Tomorrow, the science and skill of Earth will win a victory over
were other races on Earth before ours, but they could not control
they died as conditions changed. We have become stronger, and we have
problem after problem. And now we must solve the most difficult problem
Earth, our world, is old and nearly dead. The end is near, and we must
new home and make sure our race survives.
the Globe will set out to
search the heavens in every direction. Each one of you holds the whole
art, science, and skill of Earth. Use this knowledge to help others.
others, and add to Earth’s knowledge, if you can. If you do not use
knowledge and add to it, there will be no future for our race.
if we are the only intelligent life
in the universe, then you are responsible not only for our race, but
intelligent life that may develop.
out into the universe, then. Go and
be wise, kind, and truthful. Go in peace. Our prayers go with you.”
the meeting I looked again through
the telescope at the planet to which our Globe is being sent. It is a
which is neither too young nor too old. It shines like a blue pearl
much of it is covered with water. I am glad we are going to the blue
the other Globes are being sent to worlds that do not look so inviting.
am full of hope. I no longer have any
fear. I shall go into the Globe tomorrow, and the gas will put me to
When I will wake again, it will be in our shining new world. If I do
something will have gone wrong, but I shall never know.
is all very simple really – if we
trust in God.
evening I went down to look at the
Globes for the last time before we board them. They are amazing! Our
have achieved the impossible. They are the largest things ever built.
so heavy that they look more likely to sink into the surface of Earth
fly off into the space. It is hard to believe that we have built thirty
these metal mountains. But there they stand, ready for tomorrow.
of them will be lost. Oh, God, if
ours survives, I hope that we can meet the challenges and satisfy the
place in us.
may be the last words I shall ever
write. If I do write again, it will be in a new world under a strange
I have just woken up. Has it happened,
or have we failed to start? I cannot tell. Was it an hour ago that we
the Globe? Or was it a day, or a year, or a century? It cannot have
hour ago. I am sure of that, because my body is tired and aching.
it seems only a short time ago that we climbed the long passage into
and went to our place. Each one of us found his or her compartment and
into it. I fastened myself into my compartment. Its plastic walls
air and pushed against me, protecting me against shock from all
lay and wait. One moment I lay there fresh and strong. The next moment,
seemed, I was tired and aching.
The journey must have ended.
of my compartment are empty of air. We must have arrived on that
shining blue planet, with Earth only a tiny light in our new havens. I
full of hope. Until now, my life has been spent on a dying planet.
is a world to build and a future to build for.
I can hear our machines at
the long passage which had been filled for the journey. What shall we
wonder? Whatever this world is like, we must not betray our trust. We
possess a million years of history, and a million years of knowledge.
must be preserved.
This planet is very young,
and if we do
find intelligent life, it will be only at its beginning. We must find
make friends with them. They may be very different from us, but we must
remember that this is their world. It will be very wicked to hurt any
life on its own planet. If we find any such life, our duty is to teach,
learn, and to work with them. Perhaps one day we shall build a world
civilized than Earth’s own…
This is a terrible place! Is
the beautiful blue planet that promise so much? We are by far the most
race there has even been, but the horrible monsters around us terrify
we are terrified by the horrible monsters around us).
We are hiding in a dark
cave. There are
nine hundred and sixty-four of us. There were a thousand. This is how
The machines clearing the
passage out of
the Globe stopped. We crawled out of our compartments and met in the
hall of the Globe. Sunss, our leader, made a short speech. He reminded
we must be brave as we went into the unknown. We were the seed of the
and we were responsible for taking Earth into the future.
We went through the long
left the Globe.
How can I describe this
It is a dull and shadowy place, although it is not night-time. What
light there it comes from a huge square hanging in the sky. The square
divided into four smaller squares by two black bars.
We stood on a wide level
plain, but a
plain such as I have never seen before. We could not see an end to it,
whichever way we looked. It was made of rows of straight, endless,
roads all going the same way. (I call them roads, because they looked
roads, but each one was much wider than any road I have ever seen.)
was divided from the next by a deep, straight cutting as wide as by
man next to me said that we had come into a world of straight lines lit
square sun. I told him he was talking nonsense. However, I could not
what I saw.
Suddenly we heard a noise,
towards it. We saw an enormous face looking at us round the Globe. It
above us, and it was black. It had two pointed ears, the size of
two huge, shining eyes.
As the monster came towards
us round the
Globe, we saw its legs, which were like great columns. We turned to run
so great was our terror. Then the monster moved like lightning. A huge
paw, suddenly showing long, sharp claws, smacked down. When the paw was
again, twenty of our men and women were no more than marks on the
paw came down again. Eleven more of us were killed.
Sunss, our leader, ran
forward and stood
between the monster’s front paws. His fire-tube was in his hands. He
fired. I thought the weapon would have no effect on such a huge
Sunss knew better. Suddenly the monster’s head went up, and then the
And Sunss was under it. He
was a very
We chose Iss as our next
decided we must find a place of safety as soon as possible. Once we had
one, we could remove our records, instruments and equipment from the
started to lead us forward along one of the wide roads.
After traveling a very long
reached the bottom of a cliff. It went straight up in front of us. Its
was made up of strangely regular blocks of rock. We walked along the
the cliff, and found a cave, which went a long way into the cliff and
to both sides.
Again, the cave was very regular in shape and height. Perhaps the man
about the world of straight lines was not as stupid as seemed…
Anyway, here we are safe
like the ones that killed Sunss. The cave is too narrow for those huge
Later. We went to the Globe
and we took
all the equipment that was there. After that a terrible thing has
Globe has gone.
While Iss had taken a group
the cave, the rest of us were on guard at the entrance. We could see
and the grate monster lying close to it. Then a strange thing happened.
Suddenly the plain become lighter. Then there was a noise like thunder,
everything around us shook. A huge object came down on the dead monster
removed it from our sight. The light suddenly faded again.
I cannot explain these
things; none of
us can understand them. All I can do is to keep an accurate record.
It was some time later when
possible thing happened. Again the plain become suddenly lighter and
shook. I looked out of the cave, and saw something that I can still
believe. Four huge creatures, compared with which the previous monster
small, were approaching the Globe. I know that nobody will believe
this, but they
were three times the height of our enormous Globe! They bent over it,
front legs to it, and lifted that unbelievably heavy ball of metal from
ground. Then the ground shook again even more violently as they walked
carrying the extra weight.
Our Globe is lost. Thanks
God we had
removed our precious things from it.
But there was more sorrow to
of the group who had gone with Iss returned with a dreadful story.
cave they had found a large number of wide tunnels, full of the dirt
of some unknown creatures. As the group went through the tunnels,
and sometimes eight-legged, creatures of horrible appearance attacked
Many of these were a great deal larger than themselves, and had huge
teeth. However, the creatures, though very fierce, were not
were soon killed by our fire –tubes.
Iss found open country
tunnels, and decided to come back and fetch us. It was then that the
dreadful thing happened. Fierce gray creatures about half the size of
monsters attacked them. These creatures were probably the builders of
tunnels. There was a terrible battle in which nearly all our men were
before the monsters were beaten. Only two men survived to bring us the
We have chosen Muin as our
He has decided we must go forward through the tunnels to the open
pray to God that beyond the tunnels we shall find a world that is not
evil like this one.
Is it too much we ask –
simply to live,
to work, and to build, in peace…?
As we went through the
tunnels, we met
again the “builders” of those tunnels. The battle begun, and this time
At the end of the tunnel we met some tiny creatures. I picked up one to
closer look. It was a strange-looking little thing. Its body was an
perfect half of a ball, with the flat side underneath. The round top
and shiny. It was like an insect, except that it had only four legs,
very short. It had no separated head, but it had two eyes on the edge
covered top of its body met the bottom.
As I looked at it, it stood
up on two of
its legs, showing a pale flat underside. In its front legs it seemed to
holding a bit of grass or thin wire. I felt a sudden burning pain in my
“Hell!” I exclaimed, shaking
creature off my hand. ”The little horrors certainly can sting. I don’t
what they are, but they’re dangerous things to have in the garden or
When I looked in front of me
I saw several
hundreds of the little pink creatures crawling towards the walls of the
I shook a tin, and send a cloud of insect-killer over them.
We all watched as the little
crawled more and more slowly. Some of them turned over, weakly waving
legs in the air. Then they lay still.
“We won’t have any more
them,” I said. “Horrible little creatures! I’ve never seen anything
like them –
I wonder what on earth they were?”
We entered the new world, a beautiful
place, where it is light, green-grass and many rivers.
The planet it is called
Ygam, as we
later found out. In this planet, a race
of detached, intellectual blue giants, called Traags, live in
They spend much of their time meditating, sending their consciousnesses
over their planet’s surface in colorful bubbles. They merge and distort
bodies in a ritual called “Imagination”. They acquire their race’s
knowledge through a metal induction device, ensuring that even their
quickly become remote geniuses. Their world contains cruel predators,
little seems to touch the aloof Traags.
As a society, their only
problem seems to be the presence of a race they call Oms, a species of
pink-skinned bipeds brought back to Ygam as pets after a trip to a
have a tendency to escape and breed in the wild at an alarming rate,
steal food and destroy property. Frequent ”de–Oming” runs are necessary
the population down, and some Traags debate the wisdom of keeping Oms
at all–back on their planet, they show signs of organized life, and
possible they may even be intelligent. From one side they seem like us.
We make them our friends and
discovered that they were brought here without their permission.
They live in some villages
society begins to change and mature from a near–Neanderthal tribal
state into a
more cohesive group (that might actually challenge the Traags) as they
read Traag language and use Traag technology.
Now that we are their
friends we are
helping them with our knowledge and they are teaching us the Traag
We hope that one day will
live like we
were used to live back there on our beloved Earth. But until then we
learning and teaching….