“Go out into the universe, then. Go and be wise, kind, and truthful. Go in peace. Our prayers go with you.”
After the meeting I looked again through the telescope at the planet to which our Globe is being sent. It is a planet, which is neither too young nor too old. It shines like a blue pearl because so much of it is covered with water. I am glad we are going to the blue planet; the other Globes are being sent to worlds that do not look so inviting.
I am full of hope. I no longer have any fear. I shall go into the Globe tomorrow, and the gas will put me to sleep. When I will wake again, it will be in our shining new world. If I do not wake, something will have gone wrong, but I shall never know.
It is all very simple really – if we trust in God.
This evening I went down to look at the Globes for the last time before we board them. They are amazing! Our scientists have achieved the impossible. They are the largest things ever built. They are so heavy that they look more likely to sink into the surface of Earth than to fly off into the space. It is hard to believe that we have built thirty of these metal mountains. But there they stand, ready for tomorrow.
Some of them will be lost. Oh, God, if ours survives, I hope that we can meet the challenges and satisfy the trust place in us.
These may be the last words I shall ever write. If I do write again, it will be in a new world under a strange sky.
I have just woken up. Has it happened, or have we failed to start? I cannot tell. Was it an hour ago that we entered the Globe? Or was it a day, or a year, or a century? It cannot have been an hour ago. I am sure of that, because my body is tired and aching.
However, it seems only a short time ago that we climbed the long passage into the Globe and went to our place. Each one of us found his or her compartment and crawled into it. I fastened myself into my compartment. Its plastic walls filled with air and pushed against me, protecting me against shock from all directions. I lay and wait. One moment I lay there fresh and strong. The next moment, it seemed, I was tired and aching.
The journey must have ended. The sides of my compartment are empty of air. We must have arrived on that beautiful, shining blue planet, with Earth only a tiny light in our new havens. I feel full of hope. Until now, my life has been spent on a dying planet. Here, there is a world to build and a future to build for.
I can hear our machines at work, opening the long passage which had been filled for the journey. What shall we find, I wonder? Whatever this world is like, we must not betray our trust. We each possess a million years of history, and a million years of knowledge. All this 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 them and 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 kind of life on its own planet. If we find any such life, our duty is to teach, and to learn, and to work with them. Perhaps one day we shall build a world even more civilized than Earth’s own .
This is a terrible place! Is this really the beautiful blue planet that promise so much? We are by far the most advanced race there has even been, but the horrible monsters around us terrify us (or: 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 we lost the others.
The machines clearing the passage out of the Globe stopped. We crawled out of our compartments and met in the center hall of the Globe. Sunss, our leader, made a short speech. He reminded us that we must be brave as we went into the unknown. We were the seed of the future, and we were responsible for taking Earth into the future.
We went through the long passage, and left the Globe.
How can I describe this terrible world? It is a dull and shadowy place, although it is not night-time. What little light there it comes from a huge square hanging in the sky. The square is 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, parallel roads all going the same way. (I call them roads, because they looked like roads, but each one was much wider than any road I have ever seen.) Each road was divided from the next by a deep, straight cutting as wide as by height. The man next to me said that we had come into a world of straight lines lit by a square sun. I told him he was talking nonsense. However, I could not explain what I saw.
Suddenly we heard a noise, and looked towards it. We saw an enormous face looking at us round the Globe. It was high above us, and it was black. It had two pointed ears, the size of towers, and 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 away, so great was our terror. Then the monster moved like lightning. A huge black paw, suddenly showing long, sharp claws, smacked down. When the paw was raised again, twenty of our men and women were no more than marks on the ground. 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 aimed and fired. I thought the weapon would have no effect on such a huge creature, but Sunss knew better. Suddenly the monster’s head went up, and then the creature dropped dead.
And Sunss was under it. He was a very brave man.
We chose Iss as our next leader. He decided we must find a place of safety as soon as possible.