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Author Topic: Books and Audio Books that may interest you 🧐  (Read 1421 times)

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AGelbert

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1984 Full Audiobook LEARN WHAT 🦀 TRUMP HAS PLANNED FOR YOU AND ME.
1984 by George Orwell: Full Audiobook

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« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 10:44:31 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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« Last Edit: August 21, 2021, 03:08:59 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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THE LOST 🤖 STARSHIP 🧐
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2021, 05:50:08 pm »

FIRST 🔊 Audiobook: 🤖

THE LOST STARSHIP ( Lost Starship #1) by Vaughn Heppner Audiobook Full 1/2

The Lost Starship ( Lost Starship #1) by Vaughn Heppner Audiobook Full 2/2
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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🔊 Futuristic Survival Thriller in 💫 Alien World
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2021, 02:57:22 pm »
🦉 The Forgotten Planet (Futuristic Survival Thriller in Alien World), SF 🔊 Audiobook 👍

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The Forgotten Planet, Futuristic Survival Thriller in Alien World, SF Audiobook, Science Fiction by Murray Leinster.

Murray LEINSTER - The Forgotten Planet - SF Futuristic Survival Thriller in Alien World - Full Free AudioBook 0:00:00 00 - Prologue 0:17:56 01 - Mad Planet.
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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Re: Books and Audio Books that may interest you 🧐
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2021, 05:59:25 pm »
Mere Christianity - C S Lewis
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֍ Mere Christianity, by Clive Staples (“C. S.”) Lewis, was first published in 1952 as an expansion of some radio talks Lewis had given during World War II. Though Lewis himself is best known for his children’s fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity is likely Lewis’s most famous work of Christian apologetics—a genre dedicated to addressing various critiques of Christian theology. Lewis was well poised to make this kind of argument, having grown disillusioned with Christianity as a teenager only to return to it as an adult. The success Mere Christianity has enjoyed since its publication is also due to its accessibility; Lewis was a scholar of literature rather than of theology, and so discusses complicated religious concepts in more conversational terms than a non-layperson might.

֍ At the book’s outset, Lewis states that that there are aspects of Christian thought that have become muddled, and that Christians themselves have been subject to internal strife. Lewis seeks to restore unity to the Christian religion, focusing on the difference between Christian and non-Christian belief (as opposed to disputes between—and within—the various denominations of Christianity).

֍ Lewis begins by discussing morality, arguing that almost all humans have an innate sense of right and wrong, and that the content of this moral code is largely universal. Although Lewis acknowledges that cultural differences do exist, he believes that these are generally minor and superficial. However, while this moral law appears to be objective in a certain sense, it isn’t binding; human beings have free will and can disobey it. Lewis concludes Book 1 by suggesting that while only a force similar to our own mind could provide us with a sense of what is good and right, our own behavior must put us at odds with that force a great deal of the time.

֍ In Book 2, Lewis moves on to consider various religious ideas of what this force might be in light of his earlier discussion of the existence of good and evil. Whereas Pantheists believe that God is the universe, Christianity believes that God created the universe. It follows that, for Pantheists, God is both good and bad—or rather, that our understanding of good and bad is the byproduct of our own limitations, and that God is beyond such concepts. For Christians, by contrast, God is infinitely good and wants humans to behave in particular ways. Although Christianity recognizes that people can be wicked, it does not see badness as inherent in the way that religious Dualism does; to the Christian, all badness is ultimately perverted goodness, twisted as a result of humanity’s fall, which was the result of people thinking they could find happiness outside of God. The Christian story is ultimately about how the Son of God (Jesus Christ) took humanity’s sins upon Himself, because only God could do “perfect” penance for those sins and, in the process, restore us to our original nature. It is up to us, however, to choose to partake in the life that Christ’s sacrifice offers to us.

֍ Book 3 elaborates on what that choice looks like in practice, expanding on the three “Theological” virtues (faith, hope, and charity) and the four “Cardinal” virtues (prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude) that Christians should seek to practice. He also devotes attention to the importance of chastity outside of marriage, and to the form a truly Christian society might take, emphasizing that it would likely not correspond to modern political notions of right and left. Finally, Lewis emphasizes the dangers of pride, which is the sin from which all other sins ultimately flow.

֍ The final section of the book consists of basic Christian theology, as Lewis understands it. Lewis discusses the idea of a three-personed God (the Holy Trinity) and of God as existing beyond linear human time. The bulk of his argument, however, concerns the ultimate purpose of Christian morality, which is to transform us into “sons of God” in the truest sense—that is, to enable us to partake not only in biological life but in the spiritual life of Christ. This process is difficult; in fact, it is a kind of death. By choosing it, however, we become a new sort of person—the sort of person God intended us to be—and more fully ourselves.
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP by Benjamin William Bova
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2021, 09:29:21 pm »


THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP

by Benjamin William Bova

Ordinarily the military least wants to have the others know the final details of their war plans. But, logically, there would be times—

■ "I don't really see where this problem has anything to do with me," the CIA man said. "And, frankly, there are a lot of more important things I could be doing."

Ford, the physicist, glanced at General LeRoy. The general had that quizzical expression on his face, the look that meant he was about to do something decisive.

"Would you like to see the problem first-hand?" the general asked, innocently.

The CIA man took a quick look at his wristwatch. "O.K., if it doesn't take too long. It's late enough already."

"It won't take very long, will it, Ford?" the general said, getting out of his chair.

"Not very long," Ford agreed. "Only a lifetime."

The CIA man grunted as they went to the doorway and left the general's office. Going down the dark, deserted hallway, their footsteps echoed hollowly.

"I can't overemphasize the seriousness of the problem," General LeRoy said to the CIA man. "Eight ranking members of the General Staff have either resigned their commissions or gone straight to the violent ward after just one session with the computer."

The CIA man scowled. "Is this area Secure?"

General LeRoy's face turned red. "This entire building is as Secure as any edifice in the Free World, mister. And it's empty. We're the only living people inside here at this hour. I'm not taking any chances."

"Just want to be sure."

"Perhaps if I explain the computer a little more," Ford said, changing the subject, "you'll know what to expect."

"Good idea," said the man from CIA.

"We told you that this is the most modern, most complex and delicate computer in the world ... nothing like it has ever been attempted before—anywhere."

"I know that They don't have anything like it," the CIA man agreed.

"And you also know, I suppose, that it was built to simulate actual war situations. We fight wars in this computer ... wars with missiles and bombs and gas. Real wars, complete down to the tiniest detail. The computer tells us what will actually happen to every missile, every city, every man ... who dies, how many planes are lost, how many trucks will fail to start on a cold morning, whether a battle is won or lost ..."

General LeRoy interrupted. "The computer runs these analyses for both sides, so we can see what's happening to Them, too."

The CIA man gestured impatiently. "War games simulations aren't new. You've been doing them for years."

"Yes, but this machine is different," Ford pointed out. "It not only gives a much more detailed war game. It's the next logical step in the development of machine-simulated war games." He hesitated dramatically.

"Well, what is it?"

"We've added a variation of the electro-encephalograph ..."

The CIA man stopped walking. "The electro-what?"

"Electro-encephalograph. You know, a recording device that reads the electrical patterns of your brain. Like the electro-cardiograph."

"Oh."

"But you see, we've given the EEG a reverse twist. Instead of using a machine that makes a recording of the brain's electrical wave output, we've developed a device that will take the computer's readout tapes, and turn them into electrical patterns that are put into your brain!"

"I don't get it."

General LeRoy took over. "You sit at the machine's control console. A helmet is placed over your head. You set the machine in operation. You see the results."

"Yes," Ford went on. "Instead of reading rows of figures from the computer's printer ... you actually see the war being fought. Complete visual and auditory hallucinations. You can watch the progress of the battles, and as you change strategy and tactics you can see the results before your eyes."

"The idea, originally, was to make it easier for the General Staff to visualize strategic situations," General LeRoy said.

"But every one who's used the machine has either resigned his commission or gone insane," Ford added.

The CIA man cocked an eye at LeRoy. "You've used the computer."

"Correct."

"And you have neither resigned nor c r a c k e d up."

General LeRoy nodded. "I called you in."

Before the CIA man could comment, Ford said, "The computer's right inside this doorway. Let's get this over with while the building is still empty."

They stepped in. The physicist and the general showed the CIA man through the room-filling rows of massive consoles.

"It's all transistorized and subminiaturized, of course," Ford explained. "That's the only way we could build so much detail into the machine and still have it small enough to fit inside a single building."

"A single building?"

"Oh yes; this is only the control section. Most of this building is taken up by the circuits, the memory banks, and the rest of it."

"Hm-m-m."

They showed him finally to a small desk, studded with control buttons and dials. The single spotlight above the desk lit it brilliantly, in harsh contrast to the semidarkness of the rest of the room.

"Since you've never run the computer before," Ford said, "General LeRoy will do the controlling. You just sit and watch what happens."

The general sat in one of the well-padded chairs and donned a grotesque headgear that was connected to the desk by a half-dozen wires. The CIA man took his chair slowly.

When they put one of the bulky helmets on him, he looked up at them, squinting a little in the bright light. "This ... this isn't going to ... well, do me any damage, is it?"

"My goodness, no," Ford said. "You mean mentally? No, of course not. You're not on the General Staff, so it shouldn't ... it won't ... affect you the way it did the others. Their reaction had nothing to do with the computer per se ..."

"Several civilians have used the computer with no ill effects," General LeRoy said. "Ford has used it many times."

The CIA man nodded, and they closed the transparent visor over his face. He sat there and watched General LeRoy press a series of buttons, then turn a dial.

"Can you hear me?" The general's voice came muffled through the helmet.

"Yes," he said.

"All right. Here we go. You're familiar with Situation One-Two-One? That's what we're going to be seeing."

Situation One-Two-One was a standard war game. The CIA man was well acquainted with it. He watched the general flip a switch, then sit back and fold his arms over his chest. A row of lights on the desk console began blinking on and off, one, two, three ... down to the end of the row, then back to the beginning again, on and off, on and off ...

And then, somehow, he could see it!

Illustrated by George Luther Schelling

He was poised incredibly somewhere in space, and he could see it all in a funny, blurry-double-sighted, dream-like way. He seemed to be seeing several pictures and hearing many voices, all at once. It was all mixed up, and yet it made a weird kind of sense.

For a panicked instant he wanted to rip the helmet off his head. It's only an illusion, he told himself, forcing calm on his unwilling nerves. Only an illusion.

But it seemed strangely real.

He was watching the Gulf of Mexico. He could see Florida off to his right, and the arching coast of the southeastern United States. He could even make out the Rio Grande River.

Situation One-Two-One started, he remembered, with the discovery of missile-bearing Enemy submarines in the Gulf. Even as he watched the whole area—as though perched on a satellite—he could see, underwater and close-up, the menacing shadowy figure of a submarine gliding through the crystal blue sea.

He saw, too, a patrol plane as it spotted the submarine and sent an urgent radio warning.

The underwater picture dissolved in a bewildering burst of bubbles. A missile had been launched. Within seconds, another burst—this time a nuclear depth charge—utterly destroyed the submarine.

It was confusing. He was everyplace at once. The details were overpowering, but the total picture was agonizingly clear.

Six submarines fired missiles from the Gulf of Mexico. Four were immediately sunk, but too late. New Orleans, St. Louis and three Air Force bases were obliterated by hydrogen-fusion warheads.

The CIA man was familiar with the opening stages of the war. The first missile fired at the United States was the signal for whole fleets of missiles and bombers to launch themselves at the Enemy. It was confusing to see the world at once; at times he could not tell if the fireball and mushroom cloud was over Chicago or Shanghai, New York or Novosibirsk, Baltimore or Budapest.

It did not make much difference, really. They all got it in the first few hours of the war; as did London and Moscow, Washington and Peking, Detroit and Delhi, and many, many more.

The defensive systems on all sides seemed to operate well, except that there were never enough anti-missiles. Defensive systems were expensive compared to attack rockets. It was cheaper to build a deterrent than to defend against it.

The missiles flashed up from submarines and railway cars, from underground silos and stratospheric jets; secret ones fired off automatically when a certain airbase command post ceased beaming out a restraining radio signal. The defensive systems were simply overloaded. And when the bombs ran out, the missiles carried dust and germs and gas. On and on. For six days and six firelit nights. Launch, boost, coast, re-enter, death.

And now it was over, the CIA man thought. The missiles were all gone. The airplanes were exhausted. The nations that had built the weapons no longer existed. By all the rules he knew of, the war should have been ended.

Yet the fighting did not end. The machine knew better. There were still many ways to kill an enemy. Time-tested ways. There were armies fighting in four continents, armies that had marched overland, or splashed ashore from the sea, or dropped out of the skies.

Incredibly, the war went on. When the tanks ran out of gas, and the flame throwers became useless, and even the prosaic artillery pieces had no more rounds to fire, there were still simple guns and even simpler bayonets and swords.

The proud armies, the descendents of the Alexanders and Caesars and Temujins and Wellingtons and Grants and Rommels, relived their evolution in reverse.

The war went on. Slowly, inevitably, the armies split apart into smaller and smaller units, until the tortured countryside that so recently had felt the impact of nuclear war once again knew the tread of bands of armed marauders. The tiny savage groups, stranded in alien lands, far from the homes and families that they knew to be destroyed, carried on a mockery of war, lived off the land, fought their own countrymen if the occasion suited, and revived the ancient terror of hand-wielded, personal, one-head-at-a-time killing.

The CIA man watched the world disintegrate. Death was an individual business now, and none the better for no longer being mass-produced. In agonized fascination he saw the myriad ways in which a man might die. Murder was only one of them. Radiation, disease, toxic gases that lingered and drifted on the once-innocent winds, and—finally—the most efficient destroyer of them all: starvation.

Three billion people (give or take a meaningless hundred million) lived on the planet Earth when the war began. Now, with the tenuous thread of civilization burned away, most of those who were not killed by the fighting itself succumbed inexorably to starvation.

Not everyone died, of course. Life went on. Some were lucky.

A long darkness settled on the world. Life went on for a few, a pitiful few, a bitter, hateful, suspicious, savage few. Cities became pestholes. Books became fuel. Knowledge died. Civilization was completely gone from the planet Earth.

The helmet was lifted slowly off his head. The CIA man found that he was too weak to raise his arms and help. He was shivering and damp with perspiration.

"Now you see," Ford said quietly, "why the military men **** up when they used the computer."

General LeRoy, even, was pale. "How can a man with any conscience at all direct a military operation when he knows that that will be the consequence?"

The CIA man struck up a cigarette and pulled hard on it. He exhaled sharply. "Are all the war games ... like that? Every plan?"

"Some are worse," Ford said. "We picked an average one for you. Even some of the 'brushfire' games get out of hand and end up like that."

"So ... what do you intend to do? Why did you call me in? What can I do?"

"You're with CIA," the general said. "Don't you handle espionage?"

"Yes, but what's that got to do with it?"

The general looked at him. "It seems to me that the next logical step is to make damned certain that They get the plans to this computer ... and fast!" ■
https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/28063/pg28063-images.html



Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Analog Science Fact & Fiction May 1962. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.

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Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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Off Course By Mack Reynolds
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2021, 10:50:31 pm »
Off Course

By Mack Reynolds

Illustrated by Kelly Freas

Shure and begorra, it was a great day for the Earth! The first envoy from another world was about to speak—that is, if he could forget that horse for a minute...

FIRST ON the scene were Larry Dermott and Tim Casey of the State Highway Patrol. They assumed they were witnessing the crash of a new type of Air Force plane and slipped and skidded desperately across the field to within thirty feet of the strange craft, only to discover that the landing had been made without accident.

Patrolman Dermott shook his head. "They're gettin' queerer looking every year. Get a load of it—no wheels, no propeller, no cockpit."

They left the car and made their way toward the strange egg-shaped vessel.

Tim Casey loosened his .38 in its holster and said, "Sure, and I'm beginning to wonder if it's one of ours. No insignia and—"

A circular door slid open at that point and Dameri Tass stepped out, yawning. He spotted them, smiled and said, "Glork."

They gaped at him.

"Glork is right," Dermott swallowed.

Tim Casey closed his mouth with an effort. "Do you mind the color of his face?" he blurted.

"How could I help it?"

Dameri Tass rubbed a blue-nailed pink hand down his purplish countenance and yawned again. "Gorra manigan horp soratium," he said.

Patrolman Dermott and Patrolman Casey shot stares at each other. "'Tis double talk he's after givin' us," Casey said.

Dameri Tass frowned. "Harama?" he asked.

Larry Dermott pushed his cap to the back of his head. "That doesn't sound like any language I've even heard about."

Dameri Tass grimaced, turned and reentered his spacecraft to emerge in half a minute with his hands full of contraption. He held a box-like arrangement under his left arm; in his right hand were two metal caps connected to the box by wires.

While the patrolmen watched him, he set the box on the ground, twirled two dials and put one of the caps on his head. He offered the other to Larry Dermott; his desire was obvious.

Trained to grasp a situation and immediately respond in manner best suited to protect the welfare of the people of New York State, Dermott cleared his throat and said, "Tim, take over while I report."

"Hey!" Casey protested, but his fellow minion had left.

"Mandaia," Dameri Tass told Casey, holding out the metal cap.

"Faith, an' do I look balmy?" Casey told him. "I wouldn't be puttin' that dingus on my head for all the colleens in Ireland."

"Mandaia," the stranger said impatiently.

"Bejasus," Casey snorted, "ye can't—"

Dermott called from the car, "Tim, the captain says to humor this guy. We're to keep him here until the officials arrive."

Tim Casey closed his eyes and groaned. "Humor him, he's after sayin'. Orders it is." He shouted back, "Sure, an' did ye tell 'em he's in technicolor? Begorra, he looks like a man from Mars."

"That's what they think," Larry yelled, "and the governor is on his way. We're to do everything possible short of violence to keep this character here. Humor him, Tim!"

"Mandaia," Dameri Tass snapped, pushing the cap into Casey's reluctant hands.

Muttering his protests, Casey lifted it gingerly and placed it on his head. Not feeling any immediate effect, he said, "There, 'tis satisfied ye are now, I'm supposin'."

The alien stooped down and flicked a switch on the little box. It hummed gently. Tim Casey suddenly shrieked and sat down on the stubble and grass of the field. "Begorra," he yelped, "I've been murthered!" He tore the cap from his head.

His companion came running, "What's the matter, Tim?" he shouted.

Dameri Tass removed the metal cap from his own head. "Sure, an' nothin' is after bein' the matter with him," he said. "Evidently the bhoy has niver been a-wearin' of a kerit helmet afore. 'Twill hurt him not at all."

"YOU CAN talk!" Dermott blurted, skidding to a stop.

Dameri Tass shrugged. "Faith, an' why not? As I was after sayin', I shared the kerit helmet with Tim Casey."

Patrolman Dermott glared at him unbelievingly. "You learned the language just by sticking that Rube Goldberg deal on Tim's head?"

"Sure, an' why not?"

Dermott muttered, "And with it he has to pick up the corniest brogue west of Dublin."

Tim Casey got to his feet indignantly. "I'm after resentin' that, Larry Dermott. Sure, an' the way we talk in Ireland is—"

Dameri Tass interrupted, pointing to a bedraggled horse that had made its way to within fifty feet of the vessel. "Now what could that be after bein'?"

The patrolmen followed his stare. "It's a horse. What else?"

"A horse?"

Larry Dermott looked again, just to make sure. "Yeah—not much of a horse, but a horse."

Dameri Tass sighed ecstatically. "And jist what is a horse, if I may be so bold as to be askin'?"

"It's an animal you ride on."

The alien tore his gaze from the animal to look his disbelief at the other. "Are you after meanin' that you climb upon the crature's back and ride him? Faith now, quit your blarney."

He looked at the horse again, then down at his equipment. "Begorra," he muttered, "I'll share the kerit helmet with the crature."

"Hey, hold it," Dermott said anxiously. He was beginning to feel like a character in a shaggy dog story.

Interest in the horse was ended with the sudden arrival of a helicopter. It swooped down on the field and settled within twenty feet of the alien craft. Almost before it had touched, the door was flung open and the flying windmill disgorged two bestarred and efficient-looking Army officers.

Casey and Dermott snapped them a salute.

The senior general didn't take his eyes from the alien and the spacecraft as he spoke, and they bugged quite as effectively as had those of the patrolmen when they'd first arrived on the scene.

"I'm Major General Browning," he rapped. "I want a police cordon thrown up around this, er, vessel. No newsmen, no sightseers, nobody without my permission. As soon as Army personnel arrives, we'll take over completely."

"Yes, sir," Larry Dermott said. "I just got a report on the radio that the governor is on his way, sir. How about him?"

The general muttered something under his breath. Then, "When the governor arrives, let me know; otherwise, nobody gets through!"

Dameri Tass said, "Faith, and what goes on?"

The general's eyes bugged still further. "He talks!" he accused.

"Yes, sir," Dermott said. "He had some kind of a machine. He put it over Tim's head and seconds later he could talk."

"Nonsense!" the general snapped.

Further discussion was interrupted by the screaming arrival of several motorcycle patrolmen followed by three heavily laden patrol cars. Overhead, pursuit planes zoomed in and began darting about nervously above the field.

"Sure, and it's quite a reception I'm after gettin'," Dameri Tass said. He yawned. "But what I'm wantin' is a chance to get some sleep. Faith, an' I've been awake for almost a decal."

DAMERI TASS was hurried, via helicopter, to Washington. There he disappeared for several days, being held incommunicado while White House, Pentagon, State Department and Congress tried to figure out just what to do with him.

Never in the history of the planet had such a furor arisen. Thus far, no newspapermen had been allowed within speaking distance. Administration higher-ups were being subjected to a volcano of editorial heat but the longer the space alien was discussed the more they viewed with alarm the situation his arrival had precipitated. There were angles that hadn't at first been evident.

Obviously he was from some civilization far beyond that of Earth's. That was the rub. No matter what he said, it would shake governments, possibly overthrow social systems, perhaps even destroy established religious concepts.

But they couldn't keep him under wraps indefinitely.

It was the United Nations that c r a c k e d the iron curtain. Their demands that the alien be heard before their body were too strong and had too much public opinion behind them to be ignored. The White House yielded and the date was set for the visitor to speak before the Assembly.

Excitement, anticipation, blanketed the world. Shepherds in Sinkiang, multi-millionaires in Switzerland, fakirs in Pakistan, gauchos in the Argentine were raised to a zenith of expectation. Panhandlers debated the message to come with pedestrians; jinrikisha men argued it with their passengers; miners discussed it deep beneath the surface; pilots argued with their co-pilots thousands of feet above.

It was the most universally awaited event of the ages.

By the time the delegates from every nation, tribe, religion, class, color, and race had gathered in New York to receive the message from the stars, the majority of Earth had decided that Dameri Tass was the plenipotentiary of a super-civilization which had been viewing developments on this planet with misgivings. It was thought this other civilization had advanced greatly beyond Earth's and that the problems besetting us—social, economic, scientific—had been solved by the super-civilization. Obviously, then, Dameri Tass had come, an advisor from a benevolent and friendly people, to guide the world aright.

And nine-tenths of the population of Earth stood ready and willing to be guided. The other tenth liked things as they were and were quite convinced that the space envoy would upset their applecarts.

VILJALMAR ANDERSEN, Secretary-General of the U.N., was to introduce the space emissary. "Can you give me an idea at all of what he is like?" he asked nervously.

President McCord was as upset as the Dane. He shrugged in agitation. "I know almost as little as you do."

Sir Alfred Oxford protested, "But my dear chap, you've had him for almost two weeks. Certainly in that time—"

The President snapped back, "You probably won't believe this, but he's been asleep until yesterday. When he first arrived he told us he hadn't slept for a decal, whatever that is; so we held off our discussion with him until morning. Well—he didn't awaken in the morning, nor the next. Six days later, fearing something was wrong we woke him."

"What happened?" Sir Alfred asked.

The President showed embarrassment. "He used some rather ripe Irish profanity on us, rolled over, and went back to sleep."

Viljalmar Andersen asked, "Well, what happened yesterday?"

"We actually haven't had time to question him. Among other things, there's been some controversy about whose jurisdiction he comes under. The State Department claims the Army shouldn't—"

The Secretary General sighed deeply. "Just what did he do?"

"The Secret Service reports he spent the day whistling Mother Machree and playing with his dog, cat and mouse."

"Dog, cat and mouse? I say!" blurted Sir Alfred.

The President was defensive. "He had to have some occupation, and he seems to be particularly interested in our animal life. He wanted a horse but compromised for the others. I understand he insists all three of them come with him wherever he goes."

"I wish we knew what he was going to say," Andersen worried.

"Here he comes," said Sir Alfred.

Surrounded by F.B.I. men, Dameri Tass was ushered to the speaker's stand. He had a kitten in his arms; a Scotty followed him.

The alien frowned worriedly. "Sure," he said, "and what kin all this be? Is it some ordinance I've been after breakin'?"

McCord, Sir Alfred and Andersen hastened to reassure him and made him comfortable in a chair.

Viljalmar Andersen faced the thousands in the audience and held up his hands, but it was ten minutes before he was able to quiet the cheering, stamping delegates from all Earth.

Finally: "Fellow Terrans, I shall not take your time for a lengthy introduction of the envoy from the stars. I will only say that, without doubt, this is the most important moment in the history of the human race. We will now hear from the first being to come to Earth from another world."

He turned and gestured to Dameri Tass who hadn't been paying overmuch attention to the chairman in view of some dog and cat hostilities that had been developing about his feet.

But now the alien's purplish face faded to a light blue. He stood and said hoarsely. "Faith, an' what was that last you said?"

Viljalmar Andersen repeated, "We will now hear from the first being ever to come to Earth from another world."

The face of the alien went a lighter blue. "Sure, an' ye wouldn't jist be frightenin' a body, would ye? You don't mean to tell me this planet isn't after bein' a member of the Galactic League?"

Andersen's face was blank. "Galactic League?"

"Cushlamachree," Dameri Tass moaned. "I've gone and put me foot in it again. I'll be after getting kert for this."

Sir Alfred was on his feet. "I don't understand! Do you mean you aren't an envoy from another planet?"

Dameri Tass held his head in his hands and groaned. "An envoy, he's sayin', and meself only a second-rate collector of specimens for the Carthis zoo."

He straightened and started off the speaker's stand. "Sure, an' I must blast off immediately."

Things were moving fast for President McCord but already an edge of relief was manifesting itself. Taking the initiative, he said, "Of course, of course, if that is your desire." He signaled to the bodyguard who had accompanied the alien to the assemblage.

A dull roar was beginning to emanate from the thousands gathered in the tremendous hall, murmuring, questioning, disbelieving.

VILJALMAR ANDERSEN felt that he must say something. He extended a detaining hand. "Now you are here," he said urgently, "even though by mistake, before you go can't you give us some brief word? Our world is in chaos. Many of us have lost faith. Perhaps ..."

Dameri Tass shook off the restraining hand. "Do I look daft? Begorry, I should have been a-knowin' something was queer. All your weapons and your strange ideas. Faith, I wouldn't be surprised if ye hadn't yet established a planet-wide government. Sure, an' I'll go still further. Ye probably still have wars on this benighted world. No wonder it is ye haven't been invited to join the Galactic League an' take your place among the civilized planets."

He hustled from the rostrum and made his way, still surrounded by guards, to the door by which he had entered. The dog and the cat trotted after, undismayed by the furor about them.

They arrived about four hours later at the field on which he'd landed, and the alien from space hurried toward his craft, still muttering. He'd been accompanied by a general and by the President, but all the way he had refrained from speaking.

He scurried from the car and toward the spacecraft.

President McCord said, "You've forgotten your pets. We would be glad if you would accept them as—"

The alien's face faded a light blue again. "Faith, an' I'd almost forgotten," he said. "If I'd taken a crature from this quarantined planet, my name'd be nork. Keep your dog and your kitty." He shook his head sadly and extracted a mouse from a pocket. "An' this amazin' little crature as well."

They followed him to the spacecraft. Just before entering, he spotted the bedraggled horse that had been present on his landing.

A longing expression came over his highly colored face. "Jist one thing," he said. "Faith now, were they pullin' my leg when they said you were after ridin' on the back of those things?"

The President looked at the woebegone nag. "It's a horse," he said, surprised. "Man has been riding them for centuries."

Dameri Tass shook his head. "Sure, an' 'twould've been my makin' if I could've taken one back to Carthis." He entered his vessel.

The others drew back, out of range of the expected blast, and watched, each with his own thoughts, as the first visitor from space hurriedly left Earth.

... THE END

Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from If Worlds of Science Fiction January 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.
https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/30035/pg30035-images.html

Librivox Science fiction
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

 

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