“The alternative then remains that the infinite has a potential existence”
(Aristotle, “The Physics”, Book 3)
Andrews addressed the robant. “Can’t you make her understand? There is no such place as Earth. It’s been proved a thousand times. No such primordial planet existed. All scientists agree human life arose simultaneously throughout the —”
“It is her wish to travel to Earth,” the robant said patiently. “She is three hundred and fifty years old and they have ceased giving her sustenation treatments. She wishes to visit Earth before she dies.”
“But it’s a myth!” Andrews exploded. He opened and closed his mouth, but no words came.
“According to the chart, there are ninety systems that show a third planet of nine with a single moon. Of the ninety, Emphor is the closest. We’re heading there now.”
“I don’t get it,” Norton protested. “Emphor is a routine trading system. Emphor III isn’t even a Class D check point.”
Captain Andrews grinned tightly, “Emphor III has a single moon, and it’s the third of nine planets. That’s all we want.”
“Captain,” the old woman whispered.
“What is it?”
“You must tell me the truth. Is this — is this really Earth?”
She watched his lips closely. “You swear it is? You swear?” Her voice rose in shrill terror.
“It’s Earth!” Andrews snapped irritably. “I told you before. Of course it’s Earth.”
“Okay,” Norton’s voice came from the launch. He slid the hatch open and the robant led the old woman carefully inside. The hatch closed after them.
A moment later the launch shot away across the salt flat, toward the ugly, lapping ocean.
“Go on,” Andrews said. “What then?”
“That’s all. She got out of the launch. She and the robant. I stayed inside. They stood looking across the ocean. After a while the old woman sent the robant back to the launch.“That’s all. She got out of the launch. She and the robant.”
“I don’t know. She wanted to be alone, I suppose. She stood for a time by herself. On the shore. Looking over the water. The wind rising. All at once she just sort of settled down. She sank down in a heap, into the salt ash.”
“While I was pulling myself together, the robant leaped out and ran to her. It picked her up. It stood for a second and then it started for the water. I leaped out of the launch, yelling. It stepped into the water and disappeared. Sank down in the mud and filth. Vanished.” Norton shuddered. “With her body.”
“Nothing. It all happened in a second. She was standing there, looking over the water. Suddenly she quivered — like a dead branch. Then she just sort of dwindled away. And the robant was out of the launch and into the water with her before I could figure out what was happening.”
The sky was almost dark. Huge clouds drifted across the faint stars. Clouds of unhealthy night vapors and particles of waste. A flock of immense birds crossed the horizon, flying silently. Against the broken hills the moon was rising. A diseased, barren globe, tinted faintly yellow. Like old parchment.
“Let’s get back in the ship,” Andrews said. “I don’t like this place.”
“I can’t figure out why it happened. The old woman.” Norton shook his head. “The wind. Radioactive toxins. I checked with Centaurus II. The War devastated the whole system. Left the planet a lethal wreck.”
Salt ash and debris. The broken line of crumbling hills. And the silence. The eternal silence. Nothing but the wind and the lapping of the thick stagnant water. And the dark birds overhead.
Something glinted. Something at his feet, in the salt ash. Reflecting the sickly pallor of the moon.
Andrews bent down and groped in the darkness. His fingers closed over something hard. He picked the small disc up and examined it.
“Strange,” he said.
It wasn’t until they were out in deep space, roaring back towards Fomalhaut, that he remembered the disc.
He slid away from the control panel, searching his pockets for it.
The disc was worn and thin. And terribly old. Andrews rubbed it and spat on it until it was clean enough to make out. A faint impression — nothing more. He turned it over. A token? Washer? Coin?
On the back were a few meaningless letters. Some ancient, forgotten script. He held the disc to the light until he made the letters out.
E PLURIBUS UNUM
He shrugged, tossed the ancient bit of metal into a waste disposal unit beside him, and turned his attention to the star charts, and home …
Excerpt from “The impossible Planet” by Philip K. Dick
Other than Captain Andrews we will not be satisfied with “the nearest system”, we might stop there, have a look, pick up, what we find, help elder Ladies crossing the road or even taxi them to the next planet, but checking the star charts, …
WE WILL NOT LOOK FOR THE WAY HOME
Not even the other ninety Nine-Planet-No.3-has-a-Moon-Systems will be enough, …
THERE IS A WHOLE UNIVERSE TO BE EXPLORED
Our Destiny is the Search for new Worlds, new Civilizations, new Routes, new Jumppoints, …
NO STAR SYSTEM WILL BE FAR ENOUGH
Please visit us on Discord by using this Link: Stargazers
Our Forum can be found here : Link
There are not too many Rules, but a few have to be mentioned:
1) BE CURIOUS
… There is so much to be discovered out there!
2) BE COMMUNICATIVE
… We want Members, who talk to each other and also to Strangers, we want to build up Contacts with the Civilizations, that we (hopefully) will find.
3) BE RESPECTFUL
… We might bump into People, who are not very friendly at first sight. Don’t react to Insults, stay polite and friendly, this will disarm them and – maybe – turn Enemies into Friends.
4) BE TOLERANT
… We are multicultural, multilingual and multinational, some are even Aliens, so if you have any Prejudices, throw them over Board! Also see Points 2) and 3)
5) PLAY FAIR
… All kinds of Cheating or Exploiting will not be accepted! We want to be a respected Bunch of Adventurers, who work hard on their Skills to reach their Goals!