第7章 土星の円盤に驚嘆

第7章 土星の円盤に驚嘆


Time slipped by with no more meetings with my friends from other worlds.


Yet often I felt that they were near.


It was two months later, on April 21st, that I again felt a sudden urge to go to the city.


Accordingly, the next day I arranged to be driven to Oceanside, where I caught an early afternoon bus for Los Angeles, which brought me into that city a little more than two hours later.


I registered in the same hotel as before and went to my room to freshen up after my trip.


Then I returned downstairs and went into the cocktail lounge for a little chat with my friend, the bar attendant.


Shortly after, I returned to the lobby, bought a weekly news magazine and settled down to wait.


This time, the feeling of uncertainty and inner restlessness which had plagued me on the first occasion was entirely absent.


I knew the meaning of the urge which had brought me down from the mountains!


So I read with interest the reports on both home and foreign events as printed, plus a bit of what is called "reading between the lines" on my own.


Except for the entrance of two men whom I knew slightly, and who came over to exchange a few words, there were no interruptions.


Suddenly I looked up, and there stood my Martian friend, Firkon!


I jumped to my feet with what probably could be described only as a broad grin.


Firkon too wore a wide smile, and we exchanged the customary greeting.


Then he said a certain word, stressing it in a way which clearly gave to it some particular significance.


As we left the hotel together, he said, "The handclasp has been described to a certain extent and we thought it best to add the word you have just heard as a further identification between you and those of our worlds who are contacting you here.


This will be particularly useful in case you are approached by someone strange to you, as will sometimes be the case."


"An excellent precaution," I agreed.


Then, glancing at my wrist watch and noting that it was already 7:15, I said, "If your plans permit, and you would like something to eat, I know of a little cafe close by where we can sit in a booth and talk undisturbed."


"That will fit in perfectly," he said, adding with a smile, "after all, the body too has to be nourished!"


As we walked along I asked about Ramu.


Firkon told me that he would not be with us tonight.


The cafe was full but we were fortunate in arriving just in time to sup into a booth as the former occupants were leaving.


We exchanged greetings with the waitress who came to clear the table.


Firkon glanced briefly at the menu she had given him, then laid it aside and ordered a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat, black coffee and a piece of apple pie.


"I'll take the same," I said.


When we were left alone, he began speaking quietly.


"I see that, reading along in that magazine, you were struck by the volume of suspicion, antagonism and hatred which groups of men on your Earth are continuously fostering against other groups."


Since I had not been consciously thinking of this after Firkon's arrival, I was somewhat amazed that he was aware of my reaction.


"Quite simple," he explained, "it is still a very powerful thought picture in what you might call the 'back of your mind.'


Few people," he went on, "recognize those destructive emotions within themselves for what they are -- even those who pride themselves on possessing mild dispositions.


Yet notice what a small incident is necessary to cause a man to lose his temper.


While, with a little more aggravation, he enters the fighting stage and becomes aggressive in what he calls 'self-protection.'


Actually, this is nothing but a state of emotional unbalance that carries with it a force of fury that sheds all reason.


Once recognized, such habit patterns can be curbed, or even broken entirely."


At this point our food was brought.


As we were left alone again he continued, "Responsibility for the state of affairs existing on Earth today cannot be blamed on only a few in any nation.


In my business and social contacts with my Earth brothers I have encountered many saturated with these destructive emotions and encased in egotism.


Naturally, fear and confusion are prevalent.


A few have succeeded in developing a higher consideration for their fellow men by seeking to learn more of the universal laws.


Some have chosen the channels of what you call 'metaphysics,' 'occultism' and other similar names.


But amongst these there is often a selfish motive toward self-promotion and personal gain rather than the universal motive of service and mutual welfare.


As a result of such general self-seeking, it makes little difference whom the people may choose as leaders, even if selected from their own ranks.


Leaders are subject to the habits of the majority where the majority is in power.


We of other worlds who have been living unrecognized amongst you can see clearly how identity with Divine origin has been lost.


People of Earth have become separate entities which are no longer truly human in expression as in the beginning they were.


Now they are but slaves of habit.


Nonetheless, imprisoned within these habits is still the original soul that yearns for expression according to its Divine inheritance.


This smothered urge is bound to disturb deeply the man chained to his ruts by the mechanism of habit.


And this is why, desiring finer and greater expression, more often than men realize, something stirring within the depths of their beings leaves the habit-bound self uneasy and restless.


Yet the habit is so powerful in its accumulation that while man wants to listen to this kind, wise voice, he fears to yield, not knowing where it might lead him.


However, until man can cast off the shackles of his personal self-pride and allow this voice to guide him, he will continue to live as a warrior against the laws of his own being.


As you know, so long as men do not desire to change their way of living, none can help them.


Those few on Earth who do sincerely desire to learn the laws of the Infinite One must try to lead the others.


And we of other worlds will help them."


We had lingered over our meal while Firkon talked.


Now he rose from the booth.


Outside again, we walked about two blocks to where the same Pontiac was parked at the curb.


It was a blustery night, but I scarcely noticed the storm.


During the first part of our journey, my mind was revolving around what Firkon had been saying.


Toward the end, I could think only of what new adventures might be mine tonight.


The drive from the city seemed shorter this time to the point where, as before, we suddenly turned off the main highway.


This time we drove only a short distance before the car stopped.


At first I could make out nothing except the outline of a few low hills to my right and, as far as I could see in the darkness, level terrain in all other directions.


Although I felt certain that it was intended we should meet the Scout again, I could see no sign of it nor any light that might reveal its presence.


However, my companion seemed sure of his direction and we walked along for quite some time before the low hills came to a sudden end.


There, in the distance, I could make out a gentle glow.


My anticipation increased as we set off toward this light and, after about a quarter of a mile or so, the familiar outline of the Scout became visible.


But something was different.


This was much larger than the little craft I had in my memory.


This one must have been over one hundred feet in diameter, with larger portholes and a much flatter dome.


A figure was standing silhouetted against the glow of the ship whom at first I took to be my Venusian friend, wearing the now familiar ski-type pilot's suit.


But this pilot proved to be a stranger, a handsome man about six feet tall.


He came forward a few steps and greeted us in a warm and friendly manner while giving the usual handclasp.


I shall call him Zuhl.


I was wondering if this enormous Saucer was a Martian craft when the pilot corrected my thought by saying, "This Scout is from Saturn, and it too is carried in a large carrier or mother ship such as the one you have already been in."


He turned, led us to the waiting Saucer, whose door was already open, and entered.


I followed, Firkon behind me.


This ship was at least four times the diameter of the Venusian Scout and about twice as high -- possibly a little more.


The door closed in the same silent way behind Firkon.


Instantly the light within increased and the low humming became audible as the machinery started.


I felt a slight tug or jerk, not enough to unbalance me, and I guessed that we had left the Earth.


As I gazed around, trying to take stock of my new surroundings, the Saturnian pilot explained that this ship was not only larger than the little Scout, but differed in other respects.


It had not been hovering above the ground, but was set down firmly on its huge three-ball undercarriage.


What I had felt was the jerk necessary to make the break with Earth.


Zuhl gave, as an analogy, a piece of iron clinging to a magnet.


A jerk takes place at the instant of separation.


As I looked around, I saw the familiar bluish-white diffused light and the same kind of glassy translucent metal walls.


On either side was a curved passage about four feet wide, which appeared to encircle the ship.


On the outer wall of this passage I noticed a group of portholes, considerably larger than those in the small ship and, from what I could see, I judged there must be four such groups in all, one group in each quadrant.


Ahead, a corridor of the same apparent width, with high walls that reached up into the dome, ran straight forward for about one-third of the ship's diameter.


Beyond this there seemed to be a central chamber in which I could see a large magnetic pole placed through the center of the ship.


The pilot then asked me if I would care to go on a tour of the Scout while it was in flight.


歩きたいのはいうまでもないことだ! 先導しながら、ズールは私を中央室ヘ案内した──驚くべき光景である! 初めて見たあとでこうまで不思議で複雑な物を語るのは困難であるが、
Needless to say, I would! Leading the way, Zulu took me into the central chamber -- an amazing sight! It is difficult to describe anything so unfamiliar and complicated after seeing it for the first time.


However, I shall do my best.


In plan, the ship resembled a wheel.


The four corridors were like four spokes leading to the hub or central chamber in which we now stood.


The walls ranged twenty to thirty feet from floor to ceiling.


They were covered almost entirely by illuminated graphs and charts, over which lines and geometric shapes wove the intricate patterns in continually changing colors that had fascinated me in the Venusian Scout.


Beautiful to watch, these held me equally enthralled, although I could understand them no better.


About halfway up around the circular walls ran a delicate metal balcony, reached by a ladder.


Above the walls was the translucent dome itself, surmounted by an enormous telescopic lens.


Almost the entire floor space was taken up by an equally gigantic lens, at least twice the diameter of the one in the Venusian ship.


Around this were four curved benches on which observers could sit and gaze down through space at the planet beneath.


But the central magnetic pole, running from floor to dome, dominated the entire chamber.


This huge silent rod of power, passing through the two great lenses, contained the secrets we yearn for -- the secrets of interplanetary fight.


As I have indicated, the ship was divided into four quadrants by the four radial corridors.


These corridors entered the central chamber by four openings.


Turning to our left, we now walked along one of the corridors.


About halfway down its length we came upon two large archways opposite each other in the corridor walls.


The pilot led me through the right-hand arch into a part of the ship which he described as the crew's sleeping quarters.


This whole quadrant was divided in an interesting manner.


In front of us were about a dozen small private rooms or cubicles where each member of the crew had his private sleeping place.


I did not go into any of them, but as all the doors were open, I was able to see how perfectly and compactly they were equipped -- in a manner our Pullman engineers might envy!


A kind of ship's ladder with handrails ran up to a section immediately over the sleeping quarters.


This, I believe, was the only part of the ship to contain two complete decks within one quadrant.


Up here was a kind of dormitory or restroom, equipped with couches and deep comfortable chairs where the crew could rest or converse.


The ceiling of this apartment was formed entirely by the slope of the translucent dome, and it reminded me of a dream-like solarium.


Certainly it must have been a lovely way of relaxing, under the huge curved glassy dome with stars and space out beyond.


While taking all this in, I wondered how many crew members there were.


"Normally twelve men comprise a full crew," said Zulu, "but at the moment there are only two men on board beside myself, since no more are necessary for a short trip like this."


Then I wondered whether all the members of this particular crew were Saturnians, since it was a Saturnian ship.


This thought was corrected when Zulu said, "Although this Scout was built on Saturn, no particular planet owns it.


Instead, we share it.


Consequently, its crew has members from all planets.


As you can see, this is a large Scout and designed for long-range travel.


It can remain away from its mother ship for a week or more without having to return for recharge, as it carries generating equipment on board which serves this purpose.


In case of emergency, additional power for a recharge can also be beamed direct to any Saucer from the mother ship.


When we stood in the hallway near the sleeping quarters, I fancied I noticed a faint vibration under my feet.


I understood why when Zulu explained, "Most of the machinery is installed directly under the floor in this section.


There is also a machine shop that can be entered directly from the sleeping quarters."


I looked for a door but saw none, which did not surprise me.


As we again came out into the corridor, I glanced through the arch that led into the next quadrant.


I saw a soft blaze of colored lights and strange instruments -- the control room itself.


There were two young men sitting at control panels.


We continued along until we had reached the outer circular corridor.


We turned right and Zuhl said, "In this room is a compartment where we keep two small, remotely controlled, 'registering disks.


' These are what we send out for close observation work.


Highly sensitive instruments, they transmit their findings not only to the Scout, but also direct to the mother ship so that duplicate records can be made.


One set goes into the permanent records on one of the planets for the use of anyone requiring that particular information.


These little disks have contributed much to our knowledge of the conditions on Earth, throughout the whole solar system and even in systems beyond."


Walking along the outer corridor as our tour continued, we passed a group of four large portholes but did not stop to look out.


When we arrived at the next radial corridor, we again turned right and began making our way back to the ship's center between two solid-looking walls of the same translucent material.


These walls were very thick and strong, and formed an integral structural feature, as do the spokes of a wheel.


I could see that the wall on my right must be the rear wall of the sleeping quarters.


And Zuhl explained that the opposite wall contained the entrance to a rather large storage compartment stocked with food and other supplies for an extended trip.


As the pilot mentioned the words "extended trip" I wondered if this ship could travel between planets without the aid of a carrier ship.


This he disproved, stating that the Scouts are not built for traveling in outer space.


Once more we entered the central chamber with its flashing, mobile wall graphs.


We skirted the central lens and left by the third radial corridor, the last still to be explored.


As in its counterpart opposite, this corridor also had two large arches leading off from its midway point.


First we turned and went through the left-hand arch into a room which I was told was their kitchen.


But I would never have guessed this, for it bore very little resemblance to anything we know as a kitchen.


It appeared as an almost bare room with plain walls.


But the appearance proved deceptive.


Zuhl told me that these walls were lined from top to bottom with cupboards and compartments which, like all doors in these amazingly constructed craft, were invisible until opened.


In these cupboards food and everything necessary for its preparation were stored.


A small glass-like door was set into one of the walls leading into what he said was an oven.


When I looked in and saw no burners of any description, Zulu explained, "We do not cook our food in the same way as you.


Ours is done quickly by means of rays or high frequencies, a method with which you are now experimenting on Earth.


However, we prefer most of our food in the state in which it is grown, and live chiefly on the delicious fruits and vegetables which abound on our planets.


To all intents and purposes we are what you call 'vegetarians,' but in emergencies, if no other food is available, we do eat meat.


I realized later that I had seen no sinks, garbage or plumbing arrangements but, since I am no housewife, I did not register their absence at the time.


But undoubtedly such facilities must have existed, probably as mysteriously superior to ours as was everything else.


Nor did I see any chairs, tables or benches.


No doubt, whatever was necessary was tucked away between the walls.


We left this kitchen and entered a lounge fully as luxurious as the beautiful one in the Venusian carrier, where couches and single seats in several styles were scattered about.


In comfortable proximity were the same kind of occasional tables with transparent tops.


On these were beautiful little ornaments.


Zulu said that the crew members whiled away many hours in this room during observation trips through the atmosphere of whatever planet they might be studying.


He also explained that, even as Earth men, they played many games, which they thoroughly enjoyed, and also entertained guests here.


I saw no books, papers or reading matter of any kind, nor did I see any shelves or cases in which something of this kind might be kept.


But I do not question that such things were present.


The floor-covering in this room, as well as throughout the ship, was yellow-gray in color.


There was no particu1ar design in it and although the surface appeared very firm, it felt similar to thick sponge rubber as I walked on it.


We stopped only a moment in this inviting lounge.


Returning to the center corridor, we continued on to the first one by which we had entered the Scout.


Although so much had been shown and explained to me in this fascinating craft, I was not allowed more than a quick glance into the control room, and no explanation was given concerning the power that operated any of the mechanical equipment.


While I knew that they traveled by utilizing the natural forces in space, transformed into motivating power, I did not understand the how, and admit I was hoping for information.


But with an almost apologetic smile, Zulu told me that they still could not fully trust any Earth man to the extent of revealing certain things.


"For," he said, "you on Earth have not yet learned control of your emotions .. which often causes you to speak before you think.


In so doing, you could be led into giving information unwisely to an unworthy mind who might pervert its use."


I could not deny the truth of this.


Our journey through the Scout had been a rapid one, and explanations were given en route.


In spite of this, we had scarcely completed our tour when Zulu announced, "We have reached our carrier and are ready to enter."


Although they did not tell me how far out we were, I had a definite feeling that this carrier was much farther from Earth than the Venusian ship had been.


Neither could I watch the entrance of our craft into the larger one, as we were close to the center of the Scout with no view out.


Yet in many ways there was a feeling of likeness to the former experience, although at the same time a difference which I was unable to explain.


As we lowered into the interior of the waiting craft there was again the sensation of dropping in an elevator, but no feeling of losing balance.


When the Scout came to a standstill on its rails and the door was opened onto a platform as in the other carrier, no one was there to meet us and attach clamps over the flange and the rail as had been done on the Venusian ship for the smaller Scout.


Stepping out of this Scout and onto the platform within this carrier from Saturn, I immediately sensed that this ship was different in almost every respect from the Venusian carrier.


I wondered what adventures awaited me here, but at no time had I the least sense of fear.


Indeed, each fresh meeting with these people of other worlds served but to make any part of fear an utter absurdity.


At all times I have felt very humble for the privilege which has been granted me to listen to their words of wisdom and to visit and travel in their beautiful ships.


All that they have asked of me is that I pass their knowledge on to my fellow man, whoever and wherever he may be.


This I shall do, leaving to each man the privilege of believing or disbelieving, of benefiting from a higher knowledge, or casting it aside in derision and skepticism.

[日本語訳] 久保田八郎 訳(中央アート出版社「第2惑星からの地球訪問者」より)

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