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|Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:32 pm Post subject: Sail the Sea of Stars - chapter 20
SHIP IN A BOTTLE
"Will it work, Sid?" said Captain North, speaking via headset to the chief gunners mate.
"Sir, my professional opinion is that it beats hell outta me. The computer says it'll work, but it gives a high probability that the shock will also cause that big overhanging rock to break loose. If the whole three-mile-high slab comes down it could block the very gap that we're trying to widen."
Captain North drew a deep breath and blew it out as he studied the computer graphic of the two-mile long, Z-shaped double-bottleneck in the canyon ahead of them. The stellascouts had discovered a place where the canyon angled back and forth so sharply that it seemed possible to actually shear off the points of the Z by using the stellacruiser's heaviest plasma cannons.
There was, however, a rather large fly in the ointment. Within the two mile gap between the first bottleneck and the second there was a three-mile-high slab of rock that clung to the wall of the canyon. For billions of years it had been slowly separating itself from the surrounding rock, waiting patiently for that great day when Mother Nature would provide a little quake to nudge it loose and let it end its days in a blaze of glory and a few billion tons of gravel on the distant canyon floor.
And now here comes mankind, full of presumption and lofty purpose. The question was this: would the mammoth slab be choosy about who nudged it? The Candlelight's computer said no, it wouldn't be a bit choosy. The computer said that if it did not fall when the first bottleneck was blasted, it might fall when the second one received its blast. Therein lay the danger, because the Candlelight would be beneath the slab when the second blast was fired.
"The safest thing to do, Captain, would be to cut the fool rock loose before we try to go through."
"You mean . . . deliberately blow the overhanging rock?"
"Sure, why not? Just get it out of the way — "
"But the canyon is even narrower below that overhanging rock. When it falls, it could block the passage. And this is the only spot we've found that could be modified with the plasma cannons."
Sid McWilliams was silent for a moment, then he said reluctantly, "Well . . . then . . . I guess we'll just have to risk it."
"Agreed. I don't like it any better than you do, Sid. But frankly we just don't have any options." North was quiet for a few seconds while he considered his own words. Then he said, "Okay, Sid, give me a minute to get the stellascouts out of the way." Captain North turned to the communications officer. "Mr. Thorn, advise Scouts Three and Four to get back here with us and stand by. We're going to blast the blockage."
"Aye, sir." Thorn began speaking into his headset mike while the crowds on the observers decks talked excitedly about the impending fireworks. Several minutes later, two of the stellascouts rose into view on the starboard side of the ship. They hovered near a third stellascout that had already found itself a good seat for the show. The fourth stellascout had been sent back along the canyon in the direction from which they had come, to see if the Beltherian ships were following. If the Candlelight were caught by the enemy in her current predicament, they would make short work of her.
On gunnery deck one, Sid McWilliams stepped up next to Farley Smith at the over-sized gun control console that served one of the big cannons. Smitty's scope screen held a graphic of the constricted canyon walls ahead. The graphic (derived from deeprange scans) showed the rock as a translucent ghost-substance, laced with cracks and fissures. A small red X on the image of the canyon wall marked the target point.
"Maximum charge?" Smitty asked his boss.
"You betcha. It has to cut clean through five hundred feet of solid rock.”
"Do you think the ship is far enough back to protect it from the blast?"
"Sure. Six miles is enough. It'll give us the use of shields one, two, and three. But when we blast that second blockage we'll have to be between it and this first one. The gap between the two is only four miles, and so narrow will be hovering sideways again."
A voice in Sid's headset interrupted his gloomy speculations. "Fire when ready, Mr. McWilliams."
"Aye, sir." said the chief gunners mate. He turned to Smitty. "Make us a door, Mr. Smith."
Farley Smith leaned forward on the skeleton chair to type at the keyboard for a moment, preparing the big plasma cannon for its work. Then he took hold of the control grips and lined up the cross-hairs on the scope screen with the red X superimposed by the computer. Smitty gave Sid an expectant look.
"All set, Chief."
Sid just shrugged his shoulders. "Pull the trigger, son."
Thunder and lightning filled the canyon when the big cannon belched out a monumental load of superheated metal-gas that punched into the wedge of rock that was formed by the cannon's sharp, right-hand turn. The explosive impact sent shards of rock flying all the way back to the Candlelight , six miles away. If they hadn’t been stopped by the shields, they would have bounced off the hull and fill the ship with a cascade of noise.
A huge section of the vertical wedge of rock split away and tilted outward with awesome slowness. The severed section struck the opposite wall and leaned there for a moment, surrounded by fragments that sifted down around it from the ragged break-point. Then the base slipped free and the whole giant chunk toppled down to the canyon's distant floor.
On the bridge, Tony Thorn suddenly sat bolt upright and then slapped a switch on his console. The PA speakers erupted with the desperate voice of the pilot in Stellascout Four, the one that had flown back along the canyon to serve as a rear guard.
" — three of them, maybe four! They're flying like maniacs! I can't shake 'em. I repeat: Scout Four to Candlelight. I'm under fire from Beltherian scouts. Three or four, I’m not sure. They — Whoa!" The pilot was silent for a moment, then his voice burst from the speakers again. "Almost hit the canyon wall." There was another pause, then he said, "Hey, Candlelight, are you there?"
"We copy, Phillip," Tony Thorn said. "Are the big ships also in pursuit?"
"Don't know. Maybe. I just came around a corner and spotted their scouts, several miles away, coming at me like a barrage of bullets from a firing squad. I think they were even more surprised than I was. I did a full loop to turn around, then I started calling you."
Phillip Anderson, the pilot of the stellascout, was speaking rapidly while he zig-zagged insanely through the canyon. Numerous plasma bolts shot past him as the enemy ships fired each time he came into view. At five hundred miles an hour, the canyon was a nightmare of twisted stone.
Captain North spoke sharply to Gumjaw. "Go! Put us through the bottleneck as fast as you can!" Then North spoke into his headset mike. "Sid? Be ready to blast that second blockage as soon as it comes into view."
Gumjaw sent the stellacruiser racing forward to cover the six miles to the bottleneck as quickly as possible. As they neared the newly widened bottleneck, Gumjaw slowly turned the ship onto its side. He fiddled constantly with the maneuvering thrusters that held the ship aloft in its unnatural position. The three stellascouts followed slowly, spaced out just enough to make their scanners effective in telling the Candlelight where she was in relation to the canyon walls. They knew, without being told, that Scout Four could not be helped. Phillip Anderson would have to make it back to the Candlelight on his own.
With agonizing slowness the Candlelight eased through the first bottleneck. Gumjaw carefully angled the still-sideways starship into the narrow, four-mile area between the two bottlenecks. The helmsman's hands moved rapidly as he manipulated his controls. His eyes darted from the image of the canyon to the superimposed data that gave him the distance to the irregular canyon walls.
About a mile past the first bottleneck, Gumjaw had to let the ship drop several hundred feet, ducking beneath the three-mile high slab of rock that clung to the right wall, all but blocking the canyon above them.
On gunnery deck one, Sid McWilliams and Farley Smith watched the scope screen as the second bottleneck came into view. The ship's computer quickly scanned the wedge-shaped vertical wall that was formed by the canyon's sharp left-hand turn. On Smitty's scope screen a bright red X appeared on the canyon wall. The target point that the computer had designated was located several hundred feet higher than the Candlelight . Smitty wasted no time. He lined up the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger.
When the big gun sent the heavy plasma charge rocketing away from the oddly positioned ship, the recoil rolled the stellacruiser, dipping her prow and causing Gumjaw to work frantically in his efforts to stabilize the ship. Everyone else on the bridge was looking to their right (which was actually upward) at the slab of rock that clung to the canyon wall above them. A flurry of rock fragments were sifting down from the fissure where the slab joined the wall. The low end of the slab we inside the primary shield, so the fragments rained down onto the ship, making Sunday morning church bell sounds to serenade the bridge crew.
The plasma bolt slammed into the vertical wedge of stone at the second bottleneck and split it into numerous pieces. The explosion sent a shotgun blast of fragments sleeting back against the ship's hull. When the broken sections of rock finally tumbled away they left an opening which the Candlelight's computer said would allow a measly twenty-seven feet of clearance if the ship went through. Gumjaw started the ship forward.
"Phillip?" Tony Thorn was saying into his headset mike. "Are you still with us?"
"Barely," said the pilot of Scout Four. "Those guys are gaining on me and I don't dare go any faster. They're either the best pilots I've ever seen or they're just the craziest."
Still flying sideways, Gumjaw eased the Candlelight through the second bottleneck, practically scraping the rough walls. The maneuver was made more difficult for the helmsman by the fact that the ship's artificial gravity made it appear to him that the ship was sandwiched horizontally between a stone floor and ceiling. Yet, he managed to ease the sideways ship through the narrow space. During the maneuver Captain North sat as still as a statue, his big hands gripping the armrest so tightly that his knuckles were white.
When they were clear of the blasted passage, Gumjaw rotated the ship end-over-end so that it faced back towards the double bottleneck. The over-hanging slab of rock was still in place, though the canyon was filled with an ominous rumbling, and fragments of rock still poured from the fissure at the canyon wall. The six-mile stretch of the canyon was visible beyond the two newly widened gaps.
Scout Four came into view for an instant, darting back and forth between the walls of the canyon in its efforts to avoid the gunfire of its pursuers. The Candlelight gunners were prepared to open fire as soon as Scout Four was out of the line of fire. The fleeing stellascout shot through the first bottleneck and ducked beneath the overhanging slab of rock. The first pursuing ship came through the far bottleneck and fired a burst from its plasma cannons. The bright spear of superheated metal-gas lanced out and nailed Scout Four perfectly. The stellascout exploded in a blinding ball of white light.
It was an explosion of awesome force. If it had not been outside the Candlelight's innermost shield it would have damaged the ship. Even so, the shock wave jarred the stellacruiser and sent it sliding backwards for three hundred feet.
Located directly above the explosion, the whole three-mile high slab of rock split loose from the canyon wall and fell away from it in slow motion. The leading Beltherian scout, badly damaged by the explosion of Scout Four, almost made it beneath the descending monolith. It grazed the bottom and tumbled towards the Candlelight , trailing a veil of sparks. Several of the Candlelight's cannons opened up on it and turned it into a second eye-searing ball of light. The stellacruiser surged backwards again, propelled by both the shock wave and the recoil of the cannons.
Meanwhile the other three Beltherian scouts were suddenly faced with a giant obstacle which dropped in front of them, and they hit the falling monolith at five hundred miles an hour. The collision vaporized the ships instantly and lit up the six-mile stretch of the canyon on the far side of the rock. The lower third of the slab was sheared off, and it fell until it reached the walls of the canyon where they narrowed, a mile lower down.
The larger portion turned slightly as it fell, and then the cockeyed slab wedged between the walls of the canyon and settled itself there to wait out eternity, blocking the area through which the Candlelight has just gone through. The rumbling roar within the canyon echoed off and faded slowly away.
Captain North found himself standing beside his command chair with his fists clenched at his sides and with his jaw clamped so tightly that his teeth ached. He had no conscious memory of standing up. He made himself relax as he closed his eyes for a moment and drew a deep breath.
Relax, Daniel. You won that round, by the grace of God and with the help of one very big rock.
The captain opened his eyes and studied the blockage formed by the two-mile-long slab of rock. He knew they would no longer have to worry about being pursued in the canyon. On the other hand, if they should encounter another blockage, they would be trapped in the canyon until the storm abated.
An unnatural quiet had fallen over the bridge area, and Captain North realized that the bizarre situation was beginning to affect the crew.
We're making a mess of this job, he thought to himself. The thought angered him and he started arguing with himself. No, we're not! We're just scared. And I know the cure for that. He took another deep breath and started speaking rapidly.
"Mr. Kellogg, flip us around and get us moving. Mr. Thorn, signal the stellascouts to give us a status report on their conditions." North reached down to the armrest of the command chair. "Mr. McWilliams? My thanks and congratulations to you and your people." Without waiting for an answer, North tapped another button that keyed him into the PA.
"Attention, all personnel. We're on the move again, and we even managed to close the door behind us. So, we won't have to worry about another attack form the rear. Also, the enemy forces are reduced by the loss of four stellascouts." North paused for a moment, then he said, "Regrettably, we also lost one of our own."
Tony Thorn turned around at his communications console and spoke to the captain. "Sir, all the stellascouts report no apparent damage to their ships."
"Good. Tell them to get into position."
As the stellacruiser rolled back over and started moving down the canyon, Captain North wearily pulled his headset off and lowered himself into the command chair. He was glad that the chair was located at the rear of the bridge, behind his crewmen. It prevented them from seeing the bleak expression that fell over his face, aging it and robbing it of its usual vitality.
Then North remembered the observers decks overhead. He pulled himself erect and consciously lifted his shoulders. Beth Kellogg turned around for a moment and gave him a look that was filled with worry and uncertainty. Daniel North winked quickly at the attractive young woman. It was such a totally unexpected and uncharacteristic thing for North to do that Beth just stared at him for a moment. Then the corners of her mouth lifted upwards in a shy smile . . . and she winked back.
Beth turned to face her navigation console again just as the canyon widened out, allowing her husband to roll the stellacruiser upright. When the maneuver was completed, Gumjaw relaxed noticeably. His shirt was blotted with sweat, indicating the tension he had felt for the last few hours. Beth reached over and gently lifted Gumjaw's hat from his sweat-dampened head, then used it to fan his face for a moment. Samuel Kellogg glanced quickly over at his wife and gave her a quick smile.
"Want a fresh stick of gum?" Beth said softly.
Samuel’s smiled turned sheepish. "No thanks. I swallowed the last one. I wouldn't want to fill up before dinner."
The canyon ahead began to widen out until the walls were more than five miles apart. Captain North ordered the helmsman to accelerate to two hundred, and Tony Thorn passed the word to the stellascouts.
North put his headset on long enough to call for a steward to bring him some coffee. The conversation level around him had risen, which meant that the tension had lessened. North's own uneasiness, however, had not. Random thoughts were trying to intrude on his efforts to plan their next move. A quiet voice in his head kept making pessimistic remarks.
What if Carrington's people are already dead?
He pushed the thought aside.
Starships do not belong underground.
He squelched that thought, too.
Phillip Anderson was a good man.
True, but there was no time to mourn him now. There was work to be done. Get to work, Daniel. Round two is coming up.
Okay. Hurrah for our side.
Good. That's more like it.
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
Joined: 06 Oct 2014
Location: Buffalo, NY
|Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:32 am Post subject:
|He pulled himself erect and consciously lifted his shoulders. Beth Kellogg turned around for a moment and gave him a look that was filled with worry and uncertainty. Daniel North winked quickly at the attractive young woman. It was such a totally unexpected and uncharacteristic thing for North to do that Beth just stared at him for a moment. Then the corners of her mouth lifted upwards in a shy smile . . . and she winked back. |
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Location: North Carolina
|Posted: Mon May 09, 2022 4:46 pm Post subject:
After finding out the Moonfall (2022) used a version my own concept for the Sail the Sea of Stars, I decided to post my notes from a few years ago for an improved version of the novel's 1982 climax, which I came up with in 2017 while posting the illustrated version of the first 20 chapters here on All Sci-Fi.
The concept below is my "third alternative" to the two completely illogical theories for the origin of the universe.
1. The religious concept that everything was created by a kind and loving supreme being who has a grand plan for the cosmos, and He has created a Heaven for us when we die.
A nice idea, but the cruel world in which we live seems to refute this idealistic concept.
2. The universe is just one big accident created by the vagaries of Evolution — in which a Big Band which went from an empty universe to a vast series of random events that just happened to cause atoms to bump together and create stars . . . and planets . . . and organic molecules . . . and living creatures . . . and intelligent beings — the later of which should have better sense than to believe that such an impossible event could have created the miracle of their own existence!
For Pete's sake, folks . . . science tells us that the universe moves from "order to disorder".
So, how the hell did an empty universe move from Absolutely Nothing to the Absolutely Everything we have today?
Having said that, consider my idea from back in 2017.
Here's some notes I made about the sequel to The Wishbone Express which I’m still working on. I’ve posted them here for your amusement, folks.
The novel is called Sail the Sea of Stars, and it takes place several hundred years in the future, when mankind has joined the Alliance of Sentient Life — a galaxy-wide coalition which exists for the protection, preservation, and encouragement of all species whose technology has reached the stage when they’ve become interstellar travelers.
As in Star Trek, the Alliance actively hides its existence from the species who have not reached the state where they can build starships and become active members of the Alliance.
What the sentient species of the galaxy discovered in the latter part of my story is that millions of years ago, all life in the galaxy was wiped out by a "previous alliance" of intelligent species who literally committed mass suicide.
And they did it . . . to kill God.
More about that a bit further down. Meanwhile here’s a revelation: I’ve already written (and copyrighted) Sail the Sea of Stars, back in the 1980s.
Unfortunately it sucks.
It was actually written about two years before The Wishbone Express (which was originally a prequel), but I’m a much better writer now, and over the years I’ve come to realize that Sail the Sea of Stars needs to be extensively rewritten.
The problem with Sail the Sea of Stars is that a major plot element of the original story is badly flawed. And I had not come up with a way to fix it in all these years.
Eventually I decided to just slavishly re-write in the original typewritten manuscript — flaws and all — and turn it into a Word document that I could easily manipulate and modify. And while doing all that typing, I pondered the daunting problem of how to fix the crippled story.
But then, recently, I was hit by a inspiration — an original concept that took the weakest aspect of the story and replaced it with something I truly think is original and unique.
My revelation involves a concept I had wrestled with for years. I've always been convinced that there was a “third alternative” to the conflict between creationism and evolution. Everyone thinks the answer has to be one or the other. But I think the real answer is . . . neither one. It's something new which nobody has thought of yet.
In some ways my theory rejects both creationism and evolution — and yet in other ways it incorporates aspects of both theories.
Wacky idea, eh? Bear with me while you ponder a few important elements of the new version of Sail the Sea of Stars.
What if the Moon was actually a giant terra-forming machine which was sent to rebuild Earth's ecology billions of years ago . . . after the entire galaxy had been completely sterilize — on purpose — by the sentient species which formally inhabited it.
Yes, they all committed suicide.
They did this to rid the galaxy of the god-like super-beings who had created all the life in the galaxy (everything from microbes to Mozart).
In other words, there's no such thing as evolution.
But there's no such thing as God, either . . . at least not the "friendly God" described by our religions. All life in the galaxy (except for the super-species themselves) were created by these near-god-like beings, using genetic engineering on the highest scientific scale.
But these super-beings treated their creations like specimens in a laboratory. They cared nothing for the life forms they’d created. They experimented with entire species like animals in a lab — worse, like cultures in a Petri dish.
They wiped out species who no longer interested them. They ignored the conflicts between advanced species which caused horrible wars. They tinkered and tampered with sentient beings the way scientists in a research facility inflict suffering on their experimental lab rats.
Remember, all life in the galaxy was created by them. There's no such thing as evolution. In fact, the tag line for the novel (and the movie) will be:
"Life was created by intelligent design . . . but not by a benevolent designer!"
As for the origin of the super-beings — no one knows. They might even predate the universe, like God. But they didn't create the universe. They could have "arrived here" from somewhere else. But they aren’t omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. And they’re limited to our galaxy. (That prevents them from seeming too much like God Himself. It’s more fun that way.)
In short, these beings are just very powerful, very smart, and too damn big for their britches!
So, one-or-more of the technologically advanced species which were created by these mega-geniuses have secretly devised a way to deliberately destroy all life in the galaxy — for the express purpose of insuring the eradication of these ruthless entities who dabble heartlessly with the fates of the galaxy's sentient beings!
I have specific ideas for how this mass suicide is carried out by the sentient species of the galaxy to rid themselves of the super-species. But the plan also includes a way to bring back the genetically engineered life forms the super-species created . . . on newly terra-formed planets, many years in the future.
Bear in mind that all this took place billions of years ago, before the current species in the galaxy became the Alliance of Sentient Life which exists in The Wishbone Express (my published novel), and it’s sequel, Sail the Sea of Stars (the one I’m rewriting extensively).
The super-beings were created in the Big Bang — non-corporeal beings who eventually created bodies for themselves that were neither organic nor robotic. What were they, then? Well, I’m not sure yet. But these “bodies” have no standard form — they can be changed at will. They can become large or small, and they can shift into any shape needed. The super-beings can each have several bodies located light years apart, and their consciousness can move from one to another at will. The bodies serve as “tools” — extensions of their energy forms, to increase strength and better manipulate their environment.
Obviously these guys are a very different kind of “life form” than anything else in the universe. And it would be pretty tough to get rid of beings with powers like these. That’s why several of the conventional species in the galaxy (or perhaps just one very smart species) had to wipe out ALL life in the galaxy to destroy these hated super-beings.
The Weapon which destroyed all life in the galaxy did so by reversing time within the galaxy very briefly, turning it back on itself for an instant. It’s sort of like causing a massive train wreck by slamming on the brakes in the engine. The rest of the train rear-ends itself and derails!
However, before doing so they sent out gigantic “seed ships” which were protected from the Weapon by “temporal displacement fields”. Each moon-sized ship contained specimens of the sentient races and the lower life forms from millions of planets throughout the galaxy. Each ship was sent to a planet that would be made ready to support the kind of life the "seed ships" contained, but only after millions of years were spent terraforming them.
After the Weapon wiped out all life in the galaxy, the seed ships would release thousands of mechanisms ranging in size from nano-robots to mega-robots which would begin working on the sterile planets which would eventually be the hosts for rich and vibrant ecosystems.
The process would, of course, take eons. The result would resemble evolution, except that it would controlled and directed by the seed ship’s computer system, and executed by the robotic mechanism. The presence of these mechanisms would become less and less visible to the inhabitants of the planet as the various life forms became more and more complex over the millennium.
Eventually these mechanisms would be working completely “in the background”, invisible to the sentient species. They would only be aware that life on the planet seemed to be growing more and more complex over time, and they would begin devise theories to explain this amazing transformation. Some theories would involve a God who caused these changes, other theories would attribute it all to random mutations which were favored by the environment.
Unfortunately, everybody would be dead wrong.
As I said, Sail the Sea Stars takes place hundreds of years in the future, and the crew of G.S.C Candlelight is sent to the Large Magellanic Cloud to investigate what appears to be deserted city built by an advanced race, on an apparently lifeless planet.
I hope to publish eventually publish Sail the Sea of Stars . . . God willin’. (A little joke . . . )
Concerning other plot elements in the current version of this novel I posted on All Sci-Fi, heres, a few thoughts.
The concepts described above might fit well with the idea that the planets called Tason and Dante are controlled by a hidden mechanism. Not sure just how, yet.
The Nestrian Library was either intended to survive and be discovered later, or it was supposed to be destroyed. Don't know which yet. I like the first idea better.
The Moon might be Earth's seed ship. Over millions of year the Moon’s gravity attracted countless meteorites which eventually covered it with dust and rock fragments, obscuring the near-indestructible hull of the ship. Or the ship was intended to look like a small planet. (This discovery would be fun use in next novel, The Galaxy by Candlelight.)
Here’s a few concepts I haven’t finalized yet.
The super-beings might exist in other galaxies, or they might not. No one knows. They never had a “home planet”, and they might have chosen the Milky Way galaxy to live in. All of them might have been killed, if the ones in this galaxy were the only ones which existed.
I think I’d rather leave this as an unknown factor within Sail the Sea of Stars, something to tease the reader and inspire speculation.
Description of the concept: This drastic plan to kill the evil super-beings is a bit like a Civil War slave revolt in which all the slaves and all the slave masters are both killed — but the African children are sent to a new land where they can live free and be happy.
The Nestrian Library was built by the Malronian’s (the most advanced species), in cooperation with other species, on their home world. It was both a library that collected the best cultural and technological aspects of all the other species, and also severed as a collection place for all the material that would be sent out in the seed ships. Thus the Demon-Gods were prevented from realizing that the library had a second purpose.
The effect of "temporal inversion" was applied through the Seed Moons, which were colonies in various systems that held underground habitats which had the hidden machine for causing the temporal inversion — as well as all materials needed to repopulate the planets, and the robots that would terraform them. Only the special “cloaked” areas of the moon colonies were protected from the temporal inversion.
The same was true for the Nestrian Library, which had a temporal inverter in its lower levels, and a “cloak” which protected that area from inversion AND blocked the “view” of the Demon-Gods. When the inversion took place, the library was protected the same way the secret portions of Seed Moon colonies were.
But I can’t figure out how to spare the library and kill all the alien guests who happen to be there when the temporal inversion (TI) occurred. The TI has to be powerful enough to destroy the Demon Gods and all life in the galaxy. It should therefore ravage the surface of the planets, etc.
So, how did the Library survive?
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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