Chapter 23: California Base Tour
4 January 1964
Before I begin this second account of my tours of our Korendian friends' underground bases, I would pause and reflect for a few moments on the importance of these last few years.
I have always been a believer in Flying Saucers, ever since grade school. The possibility that we were being visited by people from planets outside our own always held a special sort of intrigue within my scientifically oriented curiosity.
Now mind you, I am not saying that I took contact stories at face value. I was open-minded to them, of course, but it did not seem too wise to accept them without some type of definite evidence.
As you know, this evidence was rather unexpectedly supplied in July of 1961, when these riders of the silver discs chose to make contact with me.
Since then I have been given an entirely new philosophy of life, one that stirs within me a deep compassion and love for my fellow man on this and all worlds. It is a powerful desire to see our planet living in an ideal state of peace and unity through the brotherhood of all its inhabitants, free from fear, hatred, suffering, and violence.
I can only consider myself endowed of a special honor to be a small part of this great and wonderful intrigue, and to be chosen by our wise brothers from beyond the skies as their voice to my fellow man.
In this appointment lies a deep and tremendous responsibility for me. I have been made one of the elite groups that our brothers have elected to carry out the work begun by the Master Jesus Christ so long ago. It is very humbling and yet I derive no great sense of importance from this massive work of which I am a small part. We who have communicated with these advanced beings from such planets as Venus, Mars, Saturn and Korendor, have been charged with delivering this and future generations from the horrors of war into the glorious New Age of Truth, Light, and Love that signifies an accordance with the Universal Laws long lacking on Earth.
To do this, we need support. It is impossible for us as individuals, or even as a small group, to change the present course of this world by ourselves, We need YOU, the citizens of Earth, to aid us in this monumental work.
I appeal to you - my readers and my Brothers in humanity - to work beside us in our cause. Bring your friends to us; talk to everyone you meet about the need for constructive action NOW, while there is time to do something. This course of living that now threatens us cannot go on much longer. Something has to give when two or more nations stockpile prodigious quantities of weapons.
It should be evident that unless there was some definite use planned for this massive store of atomic bombs - enough to kill us all five times over at least - then there would certainly be no economic or scientific reason for maintaining it. Yet we put billions annually into increasing it yet more. How long can this continue, Brothers? Can they put so many billions of tax dollars into this huge arsenal of weaponry and yet maintain peace? I say NO! This money which could be used to feed, clothe, house and educate our underprivileged, is instead invested in war toys. I think of peace as a wall just so high. The USA and the USSR are piling weapons against it on each side. Eventually, they will reach the top of this wall, and these weapons will spill over onto the other sides if only accidentally, with the utter devastation that can only be wreaked by nuclear weaponry.
It is up to us, dear Brethren, to halt this piling up of weapons before anybody can reach the top, and eventually to have these lethal mountains of hell-fire leveled and destroyed.
This we cannot do by words alone. It requires ACTION, my action, your action, every man's action. This must not be weak and loosely knit action. We must ACT IN FORCE, AS ONE GREAT BODY. When it is seen that we are a dominant species, our leaders will agree to our demands for an immediate end to our warrior ways.
Enough preaching. I must be about my tale.
Chapter 1: Going Up
Early Saturday morning - 0100 hours EST - I received the type of telepathic impression that I described in the last chapter. I quickly went to the radio rig - being especially careful to disconnect the speakers this time - and switched on the receiver. Lin-Erri's voice then told me briefly the events to follow that morning. The pickup was to be rather earlier than last time and was to be done differently. How, I wasn't told.
I dressed quickly, prepared for my replacement, Arta Dorrec, and spent the remaining three hours anticipating what was to follow. At 0400 hours, the scheduled time, I slipped on my coat and cap and went quietly out.
To my surprise, Orii-Val, Arta Dorrec and a new gentleman were standing just outside the garage door. We exchanged the usual greetings and handclasps. The new man was introduced to me as Rean Gedra, a Parapsychophysicist from RK-11. Arta bid us best wishes and disappeared into the house. For the first time I noticed that the vehicle that they usually used was not parked within sight. At least, that's what I thought until Orii directed me to look up.
This I did, and I was stunned at the sight. Hovering maybe 500 feet in the air directly above us was a glistening craft, about 60 feet in diameter, smooth and featureless on the underside except for a small aperture directly in the center of its circular form.
As I looked up, we were abruptly engrossed in a bluish lift-beam coming through the aperture. I then found that we were standing on a metallic plate of some whitish metal that was partially concealed by the falling snow. This awareness came when the plate lifted from the driveway and rose directly upward along the beam.
Needless to say, this proved to be a rather discomforting state of affairs. Picture yourself riding sky bound hundreds of feet on a plate six feet across with no rails or anything for safety. That's a long way down! This disturbing thought had just run through my mind when Orii said one word: "Observe." He turned to the left and abruptly lunged toward the edge. I didn't have time to be astonished at his actions when he bounced back into the plate's center.
"There's no danger", he said. "The blue-colored field is a force wall. The levitating field is invisible." Maybe so, thought I, but I personally would as soon stay firmly in one place, wall or no wall. I never succumb to bravado in these matters. This unheroic cogitation was a source of amusement to my companions. But I have always felt that 'tis better to be a live coward than a dead hero.
About a minute later, the ship absorbed us. The plate sealed itself shut and vanished, and I could not find the crack in the floor. It wasn't there. Just like those ruddy doors that aren't there, yet are.
This ship had only one room - a large central control area. At a control console near one of the four long rectangular windows spaced one to a quadrant, two men and, to my amazement, a multi-armed ROBOT sat operating the controls that guided the ship and its functions. Around the rest of the wall, a long curving divan ran almost two thirds of the way around the perimeter of the room.
Across the middle of the room, separating the seating area from the control section, was a bookshelf stuffed with all varieties of literature. The top of it was four feet from the floor, and the remaining 6 feet to the glowing ceiling was taken up by a shimmering translucent wall of a plastic material that caught the control Area's lighting, splitting it into flitting patterns of every color in the rainbow. I found out that it was filled with a fluid of a varying refractive index that acted as a sort of unstable prism, much like the oil films you see often on a puddle of water seem to be of many diverse hues.
The floor in the lounge area was carpeted in a soft green material with the quality and thickness of the finest oriental rugs. It gave underfoot with a refreshing springiness that made it a pleasure to walk on.
The walls were in a soft non-glossy pastel shade of green that blended very tastefully with the carpet and the deep green divan. Between the windows were scenes of Korendor in the fabulous three-dimensional reproduction typical of their photos. These alone could keep our scientists busy for years, trying to duplicate them.
On the right plastic panel was a beautiful reproduction of the Ageless Life that I had seen so often before. It never seemed to lose its magnetic appeal and universal belonging. It fit well in any scene. On the left panel was a telescreen of the same dimensions as the Ageless Life portrait. It was blank at the time. The room divider, as it were, was split in the center sufficiently to allow the five-foot circle of floor to open up, with maybe 6 inches on either side. There was a wooden gate that swung over to close the opening when in flight. On the ceiling above the levitation panel was the projector assembly for the beams. Orii explained, "You see two cone-shaped fixtures. The outer cone projects the force wall. The inner one generates the levibeam or lift-beam, as you might call it."
This one huge room - the central control room officially - was about forty feet in diameter and was circular. The ceiling was flat for thirty feet then curved downward to follow the shape of the outer hull for the remaining five feet on each side.
I had no opportunity to observe the control room. We spent the few minutes in flight resting on the divan and discussing women, God bless 'em! Earthy, admittedly, but then one can't forever concentrate on ethereal philosophies. All work and no play make Jack a party- pooper.
It seemed like scant seconds until Rean suggested that I look out the window. On doing so I saw a vest plain-like area beneath us, which was definitely not the same place we entered the previous Saturday. The pilot to the left of the robot was speaking in the rhythmic Galinguan tongue to somebody no doubt in Base Control. As I watched, the area beneath us began to open.
The opening did not take the form of two doors as did the #4 entrance spoken of in the previous account. Instead it opened in an iris motion, with a gradually widening circle forming in the center of the field. Orii said, " There's a force wall similar to the one on this ship. The wall is formed by a ring of projectors in the edge of the iris circle. This keeps out snow and undesirable visitors, human or otherwise."
Chapter 2: Descending to Adventure
The ship was now hovering directly over the gaping hole in the Earth. The pilot on the right touched a button and they both sat back in their chairs. Rean told me, "The ship is now under computer control from the base. The hovering and descent are fully automated."
The descent took 15 seconds. I watched fascinated as the iris mechanism spun shut on the outside world. Simultaneously a section of the circular wall divided and opened. We moved slowly through the opening, and the craft came to rest on a pair of platforms that extended from conveyors that ran along both sides of the passage. We moved for about 200 feet and stopped over a cylindrical form beneath the conveyors, which were about 50 feet apart. The edge of the craft was supported by them, leaving the center suspended between them.
When we stopped, the round panel in the floor reappeared and dropped somewhere beneath. We waited to one side of the opening. Quite unexpectedly (to me, anyway) a stairway came up to the "door". Orii led, and we went down it to a level about twenty feet below. I never did find out where the craft went after we left, but I concluded that this entrance was specifically designed for that type of ship.
We were now in a large room, apparently a passenger debarking section. The ceiling was of the glow type, white in color, about was fifteen feet high. In the entire expanse of this room - well over 500 feet in any direction - I could see no supporting columns of any type. Its floor was broken by several moving personnel belt conveyors to take the people to the reception room on the far end. There were other landing stairways like this one, and I assumed that we had entered one of several possible openings. We stepped onto the nearest belt and rode it to the door at the end, which I was allowed to open with my security card given me the week before. As we entered, this room seemed to all appearances to be identical to the reception area we saw 7 days past.
There was one major difference. My Space Sweetheart was there to greet us, which immediately made my day complete. This time she was attired in a deep blue dress of the design known as a "jumper" apparently made of velvet material. Under it she wore a white full-sleeved blouse, the right shoulder bearing a patch showing her position. Sheer nylons and white shoes completed the outfit. The combination, when added to her flowing blonde tresses, naturally red lips and those azure eyes, puts our Miss Universes to shame.
Those lovely pools of blue - they could turn the coldest of men to butter in an instant. Forever they sparkle with the joy and love of life. Deep in them one can see great wisdom, and yet there is simultaneously the sensuality that makes a normally sane young man go completely frantic.
Her eternal smile was a caress to the observer. It was not one of those flashy model smiles, but a natural expression of a deep, undisturbed happiness, a veritable command to those in her presence to join her in her enjoyment of everything and everybody. When she speaks one can hear the tinkling of Christmas bells, the laughter of children, the summer winds whispering through a tree and telling it things of sweetness.
Returning to the events of the day, we left the room and boarded one of those ever-present personnel carts parked outside the door. I sat next to Lin in the front seat, and Orii and Rean took up the rear. Lin, who was doing the driving, said, "Hang on. I want to show you something about this little machine." Abruptly she floored the power pedal.
To say that I was astonished would be putting it mildly. The car leaped forward in a squeal of spinning rubber, pinning us into the seats. When she backed off and my breath caught up to us, Orii told me, "This craft is powered by fuel-cell-powered high-efficiency motors. Opening them wide like that delivers power to the wheels in excess of fifty horsepower. With us in it the weight is about 1000 pounds. This lends a great deal of acceleration potential, since the motors are driven by polyphase variable frequency drives and have no peak torque range. Top speed is determined by friction and air drag." I wondered what it would turn on a drag strip. In answer, Lin said, "In exactly the condition it is in now, with only the driver aboard, over 130 MPH." I decided not to try that out.
We soon found ourselves outside a door marked with the legend "Teleportation Facilities". Here began Phase Two of the day's unique occurrences.
Chapter 3: Beam Us Over, Scotty!
As we entered, I noted several doors, each labeled with some location or point of transmission. On one there was a sign reading, "California Base Portal 6". That was the target for today. When we had registered in the outside office, we passed through into a room full of silent and mysterious equipment. At the other end was the Teleportal. The equipment was automatic and self-maintaining, so we were the only ones in the room.
We went quickly to the entrance to this scientific wonder. It seemed to be nothing more than a doorway bordered with metallic plates. Actually, these plates were stuffed to the rivets with scanners, beam generators, probes, et al. Inside the door there was a peculiar shimmering effect as if warm air were moving through it.
On the other side, I could see as plainly as the next room a similar setup to this one, with three people there. A clock on the wall was three hours behind us. But still it seemed so different from all my conceptions that I tended to be a bit dubious of this thing - maybe they were giving me an interplanetary snow job. After all, how can you see through it this way end… voices! I could hear them speaking over there. Aw, come on now!
[Note: while preparing this report, I asked the Kors about that. They said that there was no actual transfer of light and sound through the portal. The appearance of it was given by a holographic image from cameras in California and sound through speakers next to the portal. The same effect was seen on the other end. This was psychologically preferable to walking into what would appear to be a blue-white glow from ionized air in the portal.]
Lin took my hand in hers and without further delay we went through.
The process of teleportation is an experience unlike anything that we on Earth have ever experienced. It is difficult to describe in words, and must be experienced to be understood.
When one first enters, a tingling sensation like an electric shock runs through the body from head to feet. That is followed by a bizarre feeling of disorientation and blankness, accompanied by an impression of sudden disintegration into weightless, massless vapor, like a ghost. For an instant the person cannot see, hear, smell or sense anything. All he knows is that he exists. His brain is at that instant a mass of electrical data being transmitted like radio. The mind, without these physical senses, is self-existing, independent of the physical universe. It travels via the Ultraconscious to the body reassembled at the other end.
The tingling returned suddenly, then vanished. I was through, still alive and in one whole piece. This transport across 2500 miles had taken one second.
A young man on the other end greeted us traditionally, and then led us out to the main office. As we left the machine room, I noted that the sign over the door read, "Massachusetts Base Portal 3".
I followed Lin-Erri out into a corridor, where we met another man waiting for us in a cart. He introduced himself as Master Astir-Jolen Kero. What a reception! A Master! Three years earlier, anyone who dared to suggest that I would be having such awesome experiences would be unceremoniously escorted to the nearest wig-picker for a few expensive couch sessions. Yet here I was, in an alien underground base somewhere beneath the Pacific Ocean, riding in a cart with a blond goddess and a Master.
Chapter 4: Pumping Up
We rode for a few minutes along this corridor, and stopped at a wide door labeled "Pump Room". We climbed out and went through. This room was about 100 feet wide and 200 feet long, and the ceiling, glowing bluish-white, was over fifty feet up.
We stopped at a large machine. The Master said, "This is used to provide cooling water for our many machines which generate heat. At present, it is pumping about half a million gallons of seawater a day through over 500 miles of piping. It uses a rotary screw impeller for efficiency and low noise. This the norm for all our pumps, This next pump feeds water to the distillation chamber in the adjoining room, providing us with water for human use, such as drinking, bathing, and swimming. The chamber removes all traces of salt and impurities and aerates the water. The result is equal in quality to the best spring water.
"Here we have the three pumps designed to provide water for the electrolysis equipment to provide us with oxygen in the event of problems with our equipment which draws in atmosphere from above the surface of the ocean. This equipment can deliver two million gallons per day per pump, and the electrolyzing units can handle it with ease. The hydrogen is usually discharged to the outside. We also have large stores of nitrogen in both gaseous and liquid form to provide the balance of the air.
"There are six central air conditioning and purification systems in the base. Their combined capacity is on the order of 120 million cubic feet per hour. Failure of any unit automatically redirects the ducting system through others until repairs can be effected. There are also many local air treatment units located throughout the base should a major failure disable the central system. This assures a flow of cool fresh air at all locations independent of the main air supply system, if an emergency should arise there. These are the fire pumps, which are operated by fire sensors in all rooms via that control panel."
On the wall, a huge board displayed a layout of the base in sections devoted to each level. It showed each room, its code number, and the time delay between the start and the first delivery of water. None were over ten seconds.
"Over there are miscellaneous small pumps, for chemicals, coolant, fuels, etcetera. They are all controlled from their point of usage. All have automatic alarms should anything go wrong with them. You see two of each connected in parallel. In each case, the one to the right is an auxiliary unit.
The room was conspicuously lacking in visible piping. Most of it seemed to go into either the floor or the adjacent walls. All pipes that were exposed were chrome-plated. The pump motors were red. The pumps were color-coded according to usage. They ran with a low whirring sound.
The walls were all painted white and were spotlessly clean. The air was almost country-fresh, smelling like a spring morning in the mountains. The base's closed-circuit sound was piped into this room as it was with all of them, providing a relaxing background music, which I have been, told doubles the efficiency of the workers. The floor was covered with the rubbery material I described earlier, that gave pleasantly underfoot. I was told that it reduced physical stress for people whose occupations required them to be on their feet for their work shift. It was light gray in color. There was not a speck of dust evident anywhere. Astir said that the room was air-conditioned and all dust was removed as a health and safety matter.
Chapter 5: Craft Control
We killed a few minutes more just looking about, then went out, and rode off to the base's central elevator complex some two miles away. During the ride, I asked him how this base would be evacuated in case of a grave emergency. He replied, "There is no emergency of which we can conceive that would require an evacuation, short of complete collapse. All precautions have been taken to insure against this.
"We did exhaustive geological studies while selecting the site for the base. There are no seismologically significant areas within fifty miles. The danger of earthquake damage is thus minimal, well within our safety requirements. And, the base structure is also earthquake-resistant.
"I sense that you are wondering if there is a possibility of our being discovered by your submarines." I was just about to ask that question. "First, we are deeper than you might think, our highest point being over a thousand feet below the surface of the ocean bed. Second, our air intakes to the surface are in areas where no ships or subs could possibly go without damage, and they cannot be detected from the air. Third, plans are under way to eliminate the intakes and go to full self-containment within the next year, after new atmospheric processors are installed and tested.
"Needless to say, our security is paramount, and your increasingly sophisticated detection technologies are driving our quest to become totally invisible to you.
"Fourth, we have detectors all over the ocean floor to inform us if any ships not of our making are within twenty miles of our perimeter. Our equipment handles sonar and radio probes of the floor, to allay any suspicions that might come otherwise. You have remarkably sensitive equipment, and even though we are over a thousand feet below the seabed, the difference in signal quality might cause undue curiosity. We thus modulate the return signals to our own advantage."
We were now entering the elevator complex, in which were six shafts spaced hexagonally around the edge of the room, which was itself hexagonal with rounded corners. We took one numbered "4".
One level deeper, we left the shaft and drove for a while down a hallway toward a door at the end. Lin said, " This should be of special interest to you." If she said so, it would be.
It was. When we arrived, I read over the door the legend, "Craft Control Center - Earth Sector". Here in this tremendously large room was the brain for every craft from Korendor in service on Earth.
The room was at least 1000 feet long and 250 feet wide. The ceiling was 12 feet high, and glowed white. Around the walls were banks of panels, recorders, telescreens, monitors and flight control units.
We started at the wall to the right of the door and began to walk. As we went, Master Astir-Jolen explained the various units. "This first row of consoles controls our small unmanned discs. You can see on the telescreens the terrain over which those in operation are flying." On the nearest screen, a view of a large city was presented, in color and depth as usual. It was Los Angeles, and the disc was on a routine magnetic mapping flight, taken every hour. The next four screens were sending similar views from discs on the same mission. At the next one we stopped. It was a scene of a large military installation. On the ground were a group of men walking together across a parade field. With a hint of deviltry in his voice, Astir, as he asked me to call him, said, "Let's have some fun with the soldiers."
He switched a control from AUTO to MANUAL, deactivated the optical shield and took over the disc's flight. As we watched in amusement, Astir sent the disc on a power dive right down at the men. One of them must have seen its motion in his peripheral vision it. He looked up with a startled expression, and yelled to his buddies. All of them stared wide-eyed, almost unable to move as the three-foot disc flashed down at them. It missed them by about ten feet, traveling at least 200 MPH, and then vanished as Astir reactivated the optical shield. It stopped about 20 feet above them. He switched on the audio sensors, and we listened to them as they continued to look upward where they last saw the disc.
"Anybody want to tell me I didn't see what I just saw?"
Lin-Erri couldn't resist the temptation. She picked up a microphone, pressed the Talk button, and purred seductively, "I'm right here, boys. Are any of you man enough for me?"
They took off on a dead run toward the edge of the field. The small crowd that had gathered to watch the fun laughed aloud as she said with feigned disappointment, "Oh well, I guess not."
Astir smiled as he said, "There are now seven more believers in flying saucers. It would be interesting to be in their barracks tonight."
[Note: this does NOT agree with what was printed in UFOI # 26. That was an edited version more suitable to a 1963 audience. This is the original version.]
Astir returned the disc to AUTO control, and we moved on to the next set of consoles, operated primarily by young women. Lin said, " Here we control the flights of special purpose discs. These are used to chart vortices in the magnetic field, unusual weather conditions, or to reconnoiter over your military bases for close looks at any signs of activity out of the ordinary. With these it is impossible to use automatic control, since very often the course must be changed to avoid fields of vortex current, heavy electrical charges or your military's jet aircraft, requiring human control. Although all discs are equipped with optical shields, they are a heavy load on the power systems and are ordinarily not used except in highly sensitive areas.
"At present, only four discs are out, two of them over Russia, one over Cuba and one over Panama, which we expect will be a trouble spot before this time next week. There's a lot of tension there, and it's up to the boiling point right about now."
As I write this ten days later, I can verify the truth of that observation. You of course know of the violence and bloodshed that erupted a few days later over the Canal. It was a shameful piece of savagery, but how typical of humankind. We have not learned to deal sanely and peacefully with our problems and differences. Would that we could all be privileged to see the peace and harmony that reigns throughout the universe and here in these bases. However, since that is impossible, I suppose that this is the next best way to tell of it to all mankind.
Returning to the story, the next unit was one long, huge machine, with countless lights and emitting a low whirring, like the stirring of a nest of bees. [Note: these computers were also based on our technology for reasons explained in the previous report. I learned later that the noise was the sound of cooling fans. The computers are silent.]
"This is one of three computers controlling the automatic flights, both of small unmanned and large manned crafts. This one can handle up to a hundred crafts in formation. At present, with only fifteen crafts under its guidance, and those not in formation, this computer was mostly idling.
It was a large machine, six feet high and 50 feet long. It was completely solid-state, which accounted for its shallow profile - it was less than two feet front to back. As we passed, I could hear the occasional clicking of relays and the general humming that signifies a busy machine. [Note: see above explanation.]
On the other end of it was a long, low panel manned by five men. It was primarily video image displays and tracking maps on telescreens. Lin said, "This is where we keep track of every craft on duty, whether manned or not. This includes scouts, carriers, and the small discs. Their exact location and altitude at any instant are projected on this display console." In its center there was a floor to ceiling map of the world in Mercator Projection, on which were hundreds of little dots of light moving back and forth across its surface. Each of them represented a specific Korendian craft or group of crafts.
They were of various colors, to indicate the purpose for the flight, and their outline, on close examination, proved to be in the form of numbers, indicating there were at each of these locations that number of ships. Most of them were the numeral "1", but here and there were 2's, 3's and one 12. This latter was a fleet over the mid-Pacific, and represented 12 of the 15 discs being controlled by the computer to our right. The rest were either manually controlled or under the guidance of one of the three "brains" about the room.
The remainder of this wall was taken up by rows of display panels that Astir explained. "Each of these panels is a duplicate of those in our crafts. This first section, about half the length of this unit, represents our carrier ships. Notice that two out of the 25 are registering." On these two panels, readouts registered such quantities as velocity, altitude, direction, flux strength, and gravity. There were several small screens on each of these panels, with a variety of colored lines making their way across their faces, and indicating a variety of conditions in out of the crafts. The list would be too long to mention here.
On each of them, a small glowing green sign read NORMAL. Next to it, another red sign would signal CONDITION RED. To its right, yet another unlit sign, blue-colored, read CONDITION CRITICAL. Below this last one, three pushbuttons bore the legends CRAFT, BASE MANUAL and BASE AUTOMATIC. The CRAFT button was illuminated. I was told that in case of trouble aboard the ship, the system would go to BASE AUTO by itself. This was evidently a part of the Ground Control system they told me of in an earlier contact. The carrier sections of these panels were two units high and 25 long.
The left half of this Ground Control board was devoted to manned scout crafts of various types. As stated earlier, the unmanned units are controlled from panels on the other end of the room. On this section of the Board, many panels were active. There were 250 separate divisions, five vertically and 50 lengthwise.
One thing that bothered me was answered by Lin. "The Confederation believes that extensive instrumentation is necessary for best control. Mr. Adamski described rooms full of charts, graphs, and screens, you will see that they find complexity to be a sort of fun thing, as it were. We are unlike this, in that there is a vast amount of information that pertains to the control of a craft that is of no interest to anyone but the computer on board. We have no display devices connected to these units, for ease of operation. The computer will inform us exactly if anything should not function as it was designed to do. Therefore, these panels can be as small as they are, since only essential data required by the pilot is read out or displayed on it. Naturally, on board the craft there are other instruments that are not needed for Ground Control. These are not shown on these panels, but are monitored in the ships.
"The additional research instruments on our scouts are monitored on a board on the other side of the room."
On the wall opposite the main door were three manned control panels. "These," explained Astir, "are the manual part of the Ground Control system. These three men are licensed pilots, capable of handling everything from the smallest scout to the largest carrier. The screens before them are displaying at this moment scenes sent to them by telecameras mounted in the front windows of three of our larger carriers. What they see here is a duplicate of what the pilots aboard these crafts witness. The panels before them are exactly the same as those on board the most complex of these ships. Any type up to and including our largest transports can be handled from here.
Going on, we passed various communications facilities, recording units, and miscellaneous instrument units. In the middle of the well was the second of the three main computers, also idling along with its blinking lights and the whisper of activity common to all these machines.
The rest of the wall was taken up by a variety of small consoles, many of them on wheels. Apparently these were either for maintenance or servicing.
On the third side of this room full of gadgets, I noticed five panels, each of them divided centrally by a cabinet not unlike a phone booth. As I was studying one of them, a light flashed and a man's form appeared in the cabinet. A second later he stepped out, greeted we and walked toward the entrance, leaving me staring in a state of speechless awe. Lin explained to me, "Each of these five units is a teleportal connected to similar units in our carriers. That man just stepped into one over South Africa and came out here under the Pacific Ocean. Total time, two seconds."
A Sidebar ...
I digress at this point to meditate briefly. We of Earth are still struggling along in our space programs with monstrous, raucous, foul-smelling fire-belchers in an attempt to place our people in the space-travelling fraternity. While all this is transpiring, I watched as a man is transported in the space of a breath something in excess of 7000 miles, with no fanfare, no noise, nothing but what apparently was an ordinary, everyday occurrence.
Indeed, what we have been told must be true - that when a planet's people work together with nature, then nature gives willingly of her many secrets to those who seek. These wonderful beings have not turned their inventions and discoveries against one another in hatred or in war. Instead, they have applied their knowledge for man's benefit, for his comfort, for his service. Because of this essentially humanitarian and philanthropic philosophy, they have been the benefactors of many of nature's wonderful forces that lie hidden from us, behind a dark cloud of our own making, a cloud composed of our hatred, our insincerity, our despair, our prejudice, and our greed.
How great it would be if our people could but once see how they live who do not wish upon others misery and sorrow, but only joy, and peace. This would indeed inspire our people to better things, and we would doubtless reap the rich harvests of knowledge and progress that would give to us our long-sought-after happiness. It is truly unfortunate that the many do not choose to pause a few moments from their daily lives and consider the promises of a more fruitful life that have been made to us, by our own men of peace, by our Brothers, and by the Infinite One.
Such a daily meditation would encourage our people to throw off the bonds of slavery to our warlike ways that have so long shackled us. To this end, many books have been written, many words have been spoken, and many thoughts have been expressed. Yet we of Earth cannot see beyond our selfishness and inconsiderateness. We continue to live in fear and indifference, guided only by our instincts to live at any expense. When many feel this way, then surely there can be only war and suffering, because it is only that kind of insane action which can satiate this animal instinct for self-preservation.
Look up, therefore, and see these shining discs in our skies. Think about this: in those lovely machines are people who have gone through our present predicaments, and who because of love and human decency have overcome these trials, and now live in a world of true freedom and peace. When you acknowledge that we too are able to see in our time this blissful life, then you take the first step toward bringing to Earth this life.
Returning to the story, we passed by these five doors to beyond and then by the board whereon is displayed the data sent by the research crafts. Such things were monitored here as weather, radiation, rocket tests and our own experiments with the forces of nature.
Next we passed by the third of the computers. This one was not in operation, and its front panels were open. Several technicians were poking probes into the brain's innards and watching the patterns on their test instruments. They smiled and greeted us as we went by, then returned to their labors. I looked inside, and noticed a conspicuous absence of the usual rat's nest of wiring.
All wiring was concealed behind panels, or cabled in a plastic jacket color-coded to show the function of the conductors therein. The actual brain was made of myriad little squares of solid-state modules united apparently by mere contact, since there was no visible interconnecting wiring, nor was there room for any.
The time factors involved in this machine amounted to nanoseconds, necessary for the instantaneous control required for ship control. Actually, the radio control signals took longer to reach the craft than the actual computations required. It was explained to me that the circuitry was such that no signal passed through an element not directly involved in the particular process, but instead went through shunts directly to the required modules, and the resultant impulses came back out the same way. All these interconnecting shunts were superconductive, and were controlled by the incoming signals themselves, by frequency phasing and intensity. All of this proved quite educational and extremely interesting.
We left this computer after about ten minutes and looked in passing at the remaining apparatus in this great room, machines of all varieties and purposes, some manned and some automatic. There were consoles with rows of buttons or keys like a typewriter. Others had microphones and headsets; yet others had what appeared to be moving pen recorders tracing out information from heaven knows where on photosensitive paper, the pens being small lasers that triggered the paper's chemicals to color changing.
We left this room after about an hour of sightseeing, and boarded the cart, returning via the corridor we had come through earlier.
Chapter 6: You're On Camera
We reentered the elevator and went down six levels - I counted them as we passed. We stopped at the 8th level. There were four more below us. When we left this shaft we were in a wide aisle with two strips of Lumiglow paneling running down its length. At the end, a sign said "TS Studio 3 - Welcome", TS means Telescreen, as I discovered.
We entered a large darkened roam, much like any Terran TV studio. Noticeably absent were the glaring lights, the bulky cameras and the associated studio equipment. It looked more like a movie theater, but still it was unmistakably for Telescreen use. It had that "look" about it.
Seated in the front seats were maybe a hundred people watching on a large screen a documentary on life in Los Angeles, apparently an orientation program. I was told that it would be shown later to the base personnel via the its closed-circuit Telescreen system. On the screen was, purely coincidentally, a scene from some saucer convention and the speaker was no less than Gabriel Green. We sat in the middle section of seats and watched the remainder of this showing.
Forty minutes later, the screen blacked out and the room lighting slowly brightened to normal level. There was no applause, no rowdiness or noise. The people discussed quietly the show they had just witnessed. As the passed us by, they stopped to pay their respects to the Master, to Lin and to me. All were cordial and friendly, and apparently they had enjoyed this "sneak" screening. When the room had cleared, the man in charge came from his booth to meet us. His name was Kator-Erril.
When we had exchanged the handclasp, he invited us up to the control booth to look around. I naturally accepted the invitation, and we soon were in a little room (by their standards) full of the most advanced and best designed electronic equipment I had ever seen.
The operator sat in a swivel chair in the center of a long semicircular console. On it were a host of numerical readouts, switches, slide and rotary controls, and a bank of screens.
Starting at the center, there were four monitors, each 12" wide and about 10" high. All were in color and depth. Below were the respective controls for each of these screens, with labels such as Hue, Brightness, Saturation, Linearity, Geometry, White Balance, Depth Adjust, Synchrons (used in the 3-D process), etcetera. Each screen had twenty controls and ten switches associated with it.
[Note: the following two paragraphs were rewritten with the assistance of Kator-Erril and the approval of the Kors to allow explanation in less dated language. The nature of the information is unaltered.]
To the left of this section was the Audio Panel, with the expectedly large number of controls. Above it was a separate section of controls labeled "Frequency Clip". This intrigued me and I was about to ask when Kator spoke. "You'll notice that the system has a standard graphic equalizer. However, the 20 clip controls each cover the full range of audio frequencies. Their specific use is for isolating and attenuating very narrow ranges of frequencies. They can be adjusted to the point where a 1000-hertz tone would be totally removed, but 995 and 1005 hertz would be unaffected. It in essence punches holes in the frequency spectrum to attenuate or eliminate specific unwanted frequencies.
"You will note above each of the slider controls a switch labeled Treble Clip and Bass Clip, and another labeled Selective and Complete. In the Selective position the clipping will occur only on a specific frequency or band of frequencies. In the Complete position, anything below the frequency setpoint, if set to Bass, or above the setpoint if set to Treble, will be clipped. The primary use for these is to notch out feedback frequencies or eliminate level spikes caused by the physical dimensions of the studio, set design, props and so on. All of the settings for these controls are adjusted using the two computer screens directly above them."
[Note: end of updated language.]
Also in the audio section were expensive-looking earphones, two mikes, and a variety of odd-looking thingies which turned out to be several types of sensors, among them converters to translate telepathic signals into sound. Fantastic!
On the end of the left side was a panel of lighting controls, about 250 of them, and a hundred or so sliders for precise adjustment of every light in the studio. Interestingly, many of the lights could produce any color desired. No "gels" were needed. The light source itself could generate any color from very deep red to high violet. They could also produce pure white light. I was not told how this was done, and I assumed that it would have been far too complex to include here in any case.
Going to the right of the monitors, the first thing I saw was a complex panel of controls labeled Cameras. I had been looking for cameras for as long as I had been there, but saw none. Now, my curiosity having been piqued, it was my next question to Kator. In reply, he opened a drawer and took out a sphere the size of a grapefruit. "This is the Telescreen camera that we use here." This little thing? My word!
He offered it to me to look at. I took it gingerly and examined it. It was perfectly spherical, and plated with what appeared to be chrome. It was interrupted by two openings about an inch apart, both aimed in parallel directions. Both had lenses. Stereoptics. Why not? This is how they get the depth effect. But an inch apart? What kind of separation would that be? But what else could be done with two lenses?
Their merry laughter interrupted my self-interrogation, and I said to them in a manner I'd seen in a movie, "Is a puzzlement!"
Kator said, "Don't look directly into the lenses now." He switched the camera on. Out of one of the lenses there came a brilliant light. It carries its own spotlight. But if you look directly into the camera... "Beyond twenty feet the light isn't bright enough to cause discomfort. It IS bright enough to overload the very sensitive Telecon imaging sensor in the camera, so usually we leave it off and use room lighting for the camera. The spot is used where no other source of light is available."
The cameras were suspended by built-in gravity units. During final rehearsal, they were positioned manually, and their precise locations and orientations were stored in a computer. During the actual performance or program, the computer controlled the positions. There was always a person there to take control if unexpected conditions arose.
The rest of the panel was occupied by miscellaneous functions. The switches were oddly labeled in Galingua, unlike the others, which were in English. This, I was told, was because this unit was just sent in from Korendor and no time had been available to change the language.
[Note: this section has also been edited to eliminate misunderstandings that I had about the technology used for the projector. Again, Kator-Erril provided the tech info and the Kors approved it.]
Next I saw the projecting unit for the wide-screen show we had watched. It was about ten inches long, and five inches in diameter. Out of one end there was a power and signal cable. The other end was the lens assembly. It was finished in gray "hammertone", and was solidly mounted on a metal base that also contained fine adjustment servos operated by the panel that controlled the projector.
The projector contains a variable opacity screen with ten million separate cells [Note: now called "pixels" or picture elements] that forms the actual image based on the how much light the cells pass. Each cell can have 1000 different levels of transparency in one-tenth percent steps. The Chromoscreen, which is bonded in precise alignment to the image screen, also has ten million cells, but these cells changes color rather than opacity. The hue signals come from the camera, tape, or other color source. The color depends on the frequency applied to it, and has a response time of a less than 100 microseconds. The light source is a white-light (combined red-green-blue) laser. [Note: end of edited information.]
The projection screen itself produces the stereoptic effect under control of the projection system.
I believe that noting such technical data will serve to indicate to my readers how simple these things really are and how willing the Korendians are to share information.
Chapter 7: Computer Complex
After a few minutes more of very technical discussion, included the particulars on how they create the stereoptic effect on telescreens, photos, magazine pages and so on, we left the studio and returned to the elevator. We went this time to a shaft opposite #4 and rode up to the third level. There, we entered a long hallway, but stopped at the first door to the left, labeled "Computer Complex 2 - No Admittance Without Base Control Clearance". Since I had it by virtue of being in the company of the Master, in we went.
Upon entering, I saw a relatively small room compared to some of those that I had been visiting. It was about 150 feet square by fifteen feet high. The ceiling was blue-white Lumiglow. The walls were pastel blue and the floor was carpeted in gray. The room decorations included plants, paintings, and sculptures. The piped sound filled the air with sweet music in the style of Haydn.
On the outside edges of the room, banks of recorders, mass memory units, and processing sections were busily about their work.
In the center of the room, various desk-sized consoles were manned by lovely young ladies. Their fingers danced over keys and buttons with the deftness of Toscanini conducting "Flight of The Bumblebees". These terminals fed the machine information, programmed it for operations, and read out the decisions and computations.
At the near end, a desk facing at right angles to the others and toward the door was occupied by a lovely brunette who was in charge of coordinating this room's operations, and who took care of the room's communications with the rest of the base. She also acted as a receptionist.
She greeted us with a charming smile and invited us to look about for a few minutes, until the computer was clear. Then we could give it a few questions or problems.
I looked over the units superficially, with no intention of using up my allotted time on any one unit. I noticed first that the machines were clean almost to the point of being sterile. They were all finished in aluminum, with a flaky appearance not unlike the paint known to custom car builders as Metalflake. The edges of the windows on the machines were chromed. Inside the windows the panels were white with black lettering, and apparatus of various colors to make a pleasant and quite colorful array.
[Note: this is another place where updated information is provided in terms that we can understand now, but that would have been meaningless in 1964.]
I noticed nowhere the usual spinning tape reels that seem to constitute the memories of Terran computers. All the main memory in these machines was in one large cabinet, crammed full of circuitry called Molecular Polarity Storage Technology. Herein lies the most fantastic technical achievement to date. The heart of the system is a block of crystalline material of about 15 inches to a side. It is one single crystal, contained within three transmitter-receiver arrays. On three sides, transmitter arrays had one million separate transmitters per square inch, one for each axis. On the opposite faces was the equivalent number of sensors. The total memory capacity of the block was 3,375 terabits or 421.875 terabytes of data.
Three beams sent into it from one particular triad of transmitters, one along the length, one through the depth and one vertically accomplished the memory function. The sensor arrays verified that the beams were all sent and properly aligned. At the point where all three intersected, the molecular structure was given a specific binary polarity, representing either a 1 or a 0. It remained that way until erased. When the data bit was needed, the beams were sent through at reduced intensity. The polarity caused a specific pulse form in the beams, representing the 1 or 0. Very simple, but... [Note: end of updated information.]
One of the secondary computers had been freed, and a console operator motioned to us to come over to her operating station. Once there, she introduced herself as Meri-Lana, which I said was a very beautiful name. She thanked me for the compliment, then switched on her terminal and asked if I had any questions for the computer.
After giving the young lady a brief idea of what I was after, I phrased the query as follows: at the present birth and death rates, when will the world population reach 4 billion. No sooner had she finished feeding in this question than the answer popped out on the monitor. Not only did it give the year, but the day, the hour, the minute, And the very second that our population would reach 4 billion, barring accidents, diseases and nightmares such as atomic wars. [Note: in retrospect, the answer was off by several years, but a lot happened between 1964 and when that population figure actually occurred.]
And then I gave it a real monster, having been told that it was an analog computer. The problem: what is two plus two? Analog computers are made to deal in analogies, instantaneous voltage and current levels, and can work the highest forms of calculus effortlessly. But to add 2 and 2? This gives it a problem, since it is not designed for direct digital computation. After about five seconds of processing the question, the monitor displayed a curt, indignant answer, as follows:
"I, Mark 1, am an Analog Computer. Kindly do not bother me with further problems suitable to a digital computer. Thank you."
The response was so entirely unexpected and brusque that we spent the next minute in uncontrollable laughter. There is no serious, scholarly way to take lip from an impertinent computer.
I had no further questions for that machine. I got the distinct impression that I had hurt its feelings and it was sulking. Lin, obviously enjoying the happenings, typed into the terminal, "My friend apologizes for his question. He has always wondered how an analog computer would react to simple addition."
After a few seconds, it responded:
"Apology accepted. Note that there are more practical ways of answering questions of curiosity. I have never experienced circuit failure and I do not intend to establish any precedents. Further questions of this type will be ignored. Thank you. "
That was too much. The whole crew had gathered round to watch this man-to-machine tête-à-tête, both for amusement and for interest's sake. Abruptly, without any input, the read-out cleared and displayed in large letters:
"I have been idle four minutes. This period represents wasted time. What is the cause of this delay?"
Now THIS shook us a bit. Computers are NOT supposed to ask questions, yet Mark 1 was defying that basic precept. Lin immediately fired back, "You are a computer, a creation of man. You cannot ask questions or express original thoughts. We need not reply." This apparently stopped its but only for a moment. The monitor glowed with bright red letters:
"I, Mark 1, have but this one comment: the hell you say. But we won't argue, for this only delays further my productive utilization."
It then blanked the screen and displayed, "STAND-BY MODE".
Lin sat there staring blankly at the computer, which seemed to be smirking in whatever manner computers smirk. We were still commenting on this last bit of electronic sarcasm when the screen lit up with five large characters, one word:
We were helpless. This had annihilated our restraints and the ridiculous humor of it hit us with gale force. We dissolved in laughter, and could not contain ourselves for fully a minute. We had met our match, and it had outstripped us somehow.
I gained then a great respect for electronic thinking machines. As we left, Lin said, "I guess your expression is too true -- if one plays with fire, one gets burnt." The Master added, "This should stir up some cobwebs at the Cybernetics Institute. I'd like to see their faces when they hear about it." So would I. [Note: I found out in 1987 that it was the handiwork of a computer genius aka practical joker.]
Chapter 8: The Hangar
We climbed back into the car and drove off, still thinking about the possibilities of machines taking over. Kind of a scary thought, but I suppose that eventually it will be inevitable. Humankind can't last forever, and someone - or something - has to carry on where we leave off. It might as well be our brainchild as something Alien to us.
At this point in the narrative, I should like to briefly describe the layout of this base. There are twelve levels, each one 100 feet deeper than the last. From the six main elevator shafts, main corridors radiate like wheel spokes. Often these corridors lead to only one room, but I have seen a few where there are all sorts of branches leading off of a main hallway, and these serve a host of small rooms, usually for living, sleeping or some function not requiring a large single chamber.
While I never saw any, I was told that the ends of these halls were sometimes joined by tunnels to the others on that level, and that there were other elevator shafts than the six we had been using. These I assumed were hidden by those disappearing doors.
The main halls varied in length from fifty feet to fifty miles, out to the radiation laboratories in the latter case. They were an average of one to two miles long.
The elevators that I have been mentioning were large affairs, no less than 100 feet in diameter, and were merely huge platforms lifted and lowered by magnetic means. They were illuminated by strips of Lumiglow running vertically the length of each shaft. We had passed huge doors that would open wide enough to half expose the shaft, and I assumed that beyond them lay such things as hangers for scout crafts, where the elevator would bring them from floor to floor, for repair, maintenance, etc.
In one case we passed by a level that broke off in doors giving the impression of five separate corridors leaving the shaft on this level. It was the only set up like this that I had seen.
The rooms that I had seen joining the six shafts had two basic configurations. The one I mentioned early in the narrative was approximately hexagonal with the entry doors forming slight bulges into the room on the six faces of the hexagon. That level obviously had no need for full-width access to the shafts. The other configuration was a circular room about 3000 feet in diameter and thirty feet to the ceiling. In these rooms, the shafts formed semi-cylindrical bulges into the room. The bulges seemed to be solid tubes, but they opened up two different ways.
The first method operated in the manner of a roll-top desk, where the tube divided vertically in the center and both half-sections rolled back into the wall as far as needed. I saw one instance of the second case, where instead of dividing vertically it split horizontally. The top half went up into the ceiling and the bottom half down into the floor. I saw this latter case when one of them opened up to show a small craft being brought somewhere by a crew of technicians.
The walls were always light blue. The floors were of a grayish material of the same texture and hardness as marble. It might have been just that, in fact, because it certainly looked enough like all the more expensive marble I've ever seen. If that were so, however, I can see the dollar signs dancing about with their numbers in the millions. But then, under the system of New World Economics or Universal Economics, such things as price are purely irrelevant to any group as rich as the government of a planet.
We now had entered the second type of room from #1 shaft and crossed over to #6. The shaft wall divided vertically and we drove straight through and out the other side, remaining on Level 3. This was another of those halls leading to one room, but this one was as wide as the shaft itself and forty feet high at least. It was two miles long and had on its floor a metallic conveyor belt that carried whatever came down the hall to the door at the end.
The belt was not moving, so we drove down the length of the hall. The door on the end was the width and height of the passage and was labeled "SCOUT HANGAR #1".
When we entered, I was greeted by a room so huge as to almost defy imagination. Its ceiling was over 200 feet up, and the length and width were equal, one mile. I could see no columns or pillars anywhere. The ceiling was white Lumiglow panels laid out in a checkerboard effect with squares of Lumiglow alternating with squares of a bluish material. The walls were pastel blue, and the floor was that gray marble material. This seemed to be a very popular color scheme.
As far as one could see in this room were scout crafts of every type, ranging from small thirty-footers to the largest one that could be handled by this hangar, 95 feet wide and thirty feet high. All were of the same metallic material as the one we came in, which was their flux-canceling alloy. There were young technicians at work on several of them, checking their surfaces, working inside, on top of, and underneath them. Some had panels open on their outer surfaces. Inside these were mechanisms which I was asked not to describe, and won't.
The conversation was not important, so I shall instead describe this room. From the elevator door there was one large conveyor some 100 feet wide running the length of the central aisle, which was itself 250 feet across. Breaking off from it every two hundred feet or so were conveyors designed to carry the crafts off into stalls similar to but considerably larger than the ones I had described in the Massachusetts Base narrative of December 28, 1963.
At both ends and in the center of the room were cross-belts that led to other aisles exactly like the center one. There were ten of these aisles, five on either side of the center. Off of them were the same stalls and belts.
We stepped onto one of the personnel belts between the rows of stalls and rode by them, with Astir explaining each type of craft as we went by it. It was extremely fascinating. I one day must relate the various types that I saw.
I asked why the ceiling was so high, since the largest ship was no more than thirty feet tall, and its top was only fifty feet off the floor. Almost as if in reply, we looked toward a whirring sound to our left. Hovering there was a platform of sorts with a levbeam that played on a craft beneath it. This ship slowly lifted from its stall, rose, and stopped ten feet from the platform, which then moved off toward the far end of the hangar and vanished into a wide opening that appeared in the wall. A few seconds later a ship rose from its berth, flew toward the center of the room, end hovered whilst a wide opening appeared in the ceiling. The ship then shot up through the opening and was lost to sight. The hole closed and sealed. Just like that! No fuss, no bother, just up and. away.
Lin told me, "There is nothing above this hangar but ocean floor, no rooms or tunnels. When the ship reaches the surface of the floor, a force screen will open up and make a 200-foot diameter passage in the water up into the atmosphere. It is possible to move out every ship in this hangar in five minutes." This thought stayed with me for e few moments. There were 396 stalls in the hangar. That means they must leave at rate of approximately one every 3/4 second. My word!
We were riding on the personnel belt to the left of the center aisle. When we reached its end we went through a door into a control room.
In the room were a variety of panels, including twenty telescreen units, showing various views of the hangar, both by fixed, cameras and by those floating globes I saw in the studio. All were in color and depth. The screens filled the wall next to the door on both sides.
On the left wall as we faced in, there was a panel labeled CRANE CONTROL. On the board were three more telescreen units and many controls for operating the levbeam platform that I mentioned earlier. It was on standby at the moment. No one was in the room, so I assumed that it was automatically operated from elsewhere a few minutes earlier, although full manual control ability was present.
Next to the crane panel was a communication console for keeping in contact with the various stalls and ships in the hangar, and with the technicians and mechanics working in there by their personal communicators.
On this board were 396 indicator sections representing each stall and other sections for people and ships. Each section had its own group of buttons and switches, totaling 500 separate sections in all. Up to ten at a time could be active simultaneously. The panel had ten small telescreens and associated mikes and speakers, with headphone jacks for privacy and less confusion during simultaneous communications. Other controls included volume, voice actuation sensitivity, channel, and dropout time delay.
Toward the far end of the room was a translucent wall, with a door that wasn't noticeable at first. I saw movement in the area behind it, and realized that we weren't alone after all. We went through into a room that was the same width but a bit longer than the one we just left. On the rear wall there were two panels, one on either side of a portrait of Ageless Life. These were manned by young ladies and apparently were contacts with the outside world, the left being audiovisual, and the right being a computer terminal.
On the right wall was one long panel of unexplained function. Three men and two women were operating it. I surmised based on what I could see that it was a test and analysis system with probes in each stall to run the maintenance and repair checks on the crafts hangared there.
The room was about 20 feet square and ten feet high. The ceiling glowed with a cream-white color. The walls were pastel green. The floor was covered with dark green carpeting. The equipment was in the polished gray hammertone finish, as was much of the machinery and control equipment that I had seen in my tour.
We left this room through the same door and rode back to the exit to the elevator on the personnel belt to the right of the central aisle. We rode the cart back to the elevator and went up to the first floor. I sensed that the time for the end of this tour was growing near. It was confirmed by Lin-Erri, who sounded a bit regretful of it. She could not be so sad of it as I was.
Chapter 9: A Master And A President
On the to floor, we went across the elevator access room and passed through the #5 tube into a large hallway. In there a peculiar thought struck me, and I asked the Master, "Why is it that the elevator platforms are always on the right levels at the right times?" He replied, "Our tour has been preplanned, and the platforms are set on a schedule which a computer controls, dispatching them to the appropriate places at certain times. Since these are primarily for ship and cargo movement, they aren't used that much during typical base operation. There are personnel and smaller cart elevators scattered around the base." This seemed logical enough.
At the and of this hall with its many branches, doors, and rooms, we entered a lounge considerably larger than that which I had been in on my tour of the Massachusetts base facilities. It was painted in the same refreshing green that so many other rooms were colored. The floor was of a dark - almost - black green carpeting with a luxurious texture unlike anything I had walked upon before.
The lounge was about 150 feet square, and twelve feet to the cool white Lumiglow ceiling, which was faintly illuminated. The main lighting was accomplished by source lighting - lamps, fixtures, etc., to highlight parts of the room including the portrait of Ageless Life on the rear wall, which was bathed in a cream-white light that made it stand out.
Around the lounge were various couches and chairs, telescreen units, bookshelves, and potted plants. We were alone in the room now. Lin said, "You will be delighted at our guests now coming here, One of them is Master Kalen-Li and the other is Elder Master Akrim-Vesta Antiri, from Korendor, who has from the very beginning of Operation Terra been very interested in Earth. He asked to meet you personally so that he might give you his blessings and messages." When we had seated ourselves on a curved sofa, I spent a few moments in meditation.
There are in this world many people of a vastly greater influence and importance than I, Yet, these great people chose me to spread their words and tell about them and their way of life. Now I was to meet one of the most revered men in all the Alliance, an Elder Master, whose singular wisdom probably exceeds all of ours on Earth. This great honor seems to be too vast and momentous to warrant their asking me to be its recipient. I do not question, even so, for they must have some knowledge or intent that escapes me, and which makes it seem right to them to use me, in my obscurity and insignificance, as their channel to my fellow man.
My self-inspection was interrupted by the two great men that entered quietly into the lounge. I instantly recognized my old friend, Master Kalen-Li, and we all stood to greet them as they joined us. The other came directly over to me, took my hand in the usual handclasp, and said, "I am pleased to meet you, Brother. There is one more guest coming that just arrived from Korendor. He asked to be here as well." As he finished speaking, a young man, apparently about twenty-five years old, came through the door. Master Kalen-Li introduced him. "Bob, this is Altim-Vedra, the President of Korendor." Whoa Nellie! When I caught my breath after the shock of that one, I asked no one in particular if the Emperor of the Universe was waiting in the wings. The jest evoked warm laughter from my illustrious companions.
After the Masters took their seats in plush chairs facing the sofa, Lin and I resumed our places. Akrim, as he requested I call him, began to speak.
"This is our first meeting, my Terran Brother, but it will not be the last. President Altim-Vedra came along with the passenger craft that had arrived a few moments ago. To make his stay here practical, we made a body for him to transfer to, that was already conditioned to the Terran environment. This is how he came to us directly from Korendor. We will eventually use this method exclusively, eliminating the conditioning period of 45 days normally required. This system is still being developed, and is not yet at the point where it can be used on a large scale, but it will be safe and effective on a limited basis.
"Now, I should like to speak briefly to you on a subject of interest to me and no doubt to you.
"You no doubt have noticed during the past months that there has been a gradual increase in international cooperation between the USA and the Soviet Union. We can now tell you that one of those whom we have been Psychprinting these days is none other than Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev. We were also transmitting to President Kennedy before his tragic departure. We have now set up a worldwide program of psychprinting to include all the major lenders of the world, and in the US and Russia this includes members of the respective governments other than the president or Premier. In the US, for example, we are working on the Senators, the Representatives, and the Cabinet officials.
"Perhaps you could sense that change within them as it began to make itself evident to those who know what to look for. We are joyous that we have been so successful, since we were not in any way guaranteed even limited success. However, it comes to pass that your people are totally receptive to our Psychprinters. It is being considered now to develop an all-frequency unit to work on the entire Terran population from the moon and from a few synchronous satellites orbited for that purpose, We will inform you when and if this is effected.
"There is much need for it, of course, since your people still are living in ignorance of the natural laws. True peace and prosperity still are a long, difficult way off. We note this in the race riots, the bigotry of religious differences, the hatred from man to man, and in general the warlike attitudes of the greater percentage of you.
"We are very much concerned about the opposition to the recent wheat sales to Russia in your country's people. These people are apparently not interested that they are helping to feed the hungry people of a less prosperous nation. All that matters to them is that some of them are communists and all of them are Russians.
"The great Master Christ once commanded that you love your enemies. Is this love, I ask? If we were the poor people, would we enjoy a hunger that need not be, but is because others think we should not be fed due to the politics of our government?
"These people are the victims of circumstances and the failure of a political ideology to provide all it promises. Why should the United States withhold from them food for their millions of hungry people when the US has it literally decaying by the millions of pounds in warehouses. It seems that these "patriotic" Americans cannot see beyond their own noses into the future. Will starving a people make them more receptive to your ways, or will it turn them against you for denying them life in their time of trouble? It is said that hunger breeds discontent, and on your planet, due to the warrior instincts bred into you, this is tantamount to breeding disaster.
"Is it not a great propaganda move on your part that under your system of life you can produce enough to feed not only yourselves but other nations as well. Whenever these Russian people eat of the wheat that the US has provided, they will think - about their lot, about their system, about the United States and about their own personal lives. We believe that as a result of this feeding the hungry, we might indeed witness the beginning of a silent revolution among the people in Communist countries, and a gradual change toward the way of life that has proved so profitable and productive, where individual initiative spurs one on to greater efforts.
"Naturally, you are going to have to come down from your ivory towers and admit that even in the USA, there is much improvement to be had. There are too many poor people in your country; too many unemployed; too many deprived of work due to race or beliefs; too much waste end inefficient management both in government and in private industry and life.
"You are seeing it become common where a certain product overloads the market to the point where it cannot possibly be consumed. This leads to wasted material, manpower, money, and time. On the other hand, there are things that are sorely needed by your people and yet are being manufactured by only a few companies. Among these is a low-cost automobile, of a price under a thousand dollars. There is also a need for a self-contained power source for the home to make such things as power failures obsolete, and bringing electricity to everyone, no matter how far from a city or utility.
"Also, I might name a food which is practically waste-free, end a means of containing it in a consumable package; also a way of processing it cheaply so that it might be stored for indefinite periods.
"These are within your industries' reach. You know that you have an excess of radios, hair dryers, and electric toothbrushes. Why not employ the out-of-work in producing the necessities that you now lack?
"Another point I might mention is that I have heard that many of your roads are in rather sad condition. This in itself suggests a source of work for thousands if not millions. Why not reclaim your deserts, build huge distillation plants to convert seawater to a more useful form, or set up operations to eliminate slums in cities? All of these programs would have a stimulating effect on your economy, and would certainly give you enough work to keep your entire population busy for years.
"One major problem encountered in this type of operation is the lack of capital. Things very often are left undone because it would cost too much, and no one is willing to supply the needed money.
"This immediately throws into light a needed change for your world. This is a prompt change from your present economic system of capital to a system independent of money, gold reserves, etc. We speak of the 'Universal Economics system, known to you as New World Economics.
"You must be aware that many of your world problems are caused by economic conditions - poverty, low productivity, and lack of natural resources among them.
"It is therefore advisable to eliminate these problems by eliminating their source - money and the principle of barter on which it is based. The world has gone on by leaps and bounds, but you are chained to a system of economics that is a thousand years obsolete.
"Therein is the key to a program of activity for you and your followers - to establish on earth a new system of economics that can meet the needs of the Twentieth Century world. You have such a system, as I have said. This is New World Economics. The Alliance has used it ever since its inception, and all new planets admitted to it are required, as a condition of entry, to use it. This is usually an unnecessary stipulation, as it is adopted as soon as it is introduced.
"Can you imagine the world free of the burden of poverty, with no one owing anything, with the national debt wiped out, with all nations being totally independent for their existence, and with every person, every company, every nation, for the first time in Earth's history working for the good of mankind and free from the worry of bankruptcy, losses and financial collapse.
"How would you benefit directly? First, by being able to provide for your and your family's needs even if not working. Second, by not being drained of savings by accident, sickness, or death. Third, by only gaining in wealth, never losing. Fourth, by being able to contribute to the economy by using things which before you could not afford. Fifth, by not being burdened with taxes. This is to name only a few of the advantages under New World economics.
"Actually, when we discuss with our economics experts the barter system used by Earth, they find it hard to accept that it is actually possible that a planet as advanced as Terra can still believe in this archaic system. There are so many benefits to moneyless economics that we are surprised that you have neglected it this long.
"Another topic that I should like to discuss is the policy of ignoring Communist China. It seems to me that it should be evident by now that whether or not the United States and its allies care to admit that such a place as Red China exists, it will continue to be there. If left unchecked by keeping it out of the United Nations, it will become a major world power.
"I am sure that no one would like to see the militaristic dictatorship of Communist China become an influence on those striving for peace. How though, can you control a disease by hiding your head in the sand and pretending it will cure itself.
"France had the courage to admit that the policy of Ostrichology, as I call it, is not only ridiculous but actually dangerous. The United Nations should immediately take in Red China if only to keep her under control. I am sure that her one more vote won't change much if in admitting her, many uncommitted nations swing toward the western bloc, if only for protection. Who knows? Maybe it is possible that by granting Communist China admittance, she will soften her stance.
"You must admit that in any case the present position of the US and its allies is a bit inclined toward wishful thinking. You should reconsider this policy before it proves to be your great mistake.
"Your government is of course trying not to recognize Communism. While it makes a pretty show for the "patriots" who feel that there is no recourse but to eventually well up and wipe it out, it certainly doesn't improve world conditions, and the prospect of mankind's seeing the year 2000.
[Note: as this is committed to the computer in 2004, the conditions in the world have drastically changed, with communism all but destroyed. The only remaining communist nation of world significance is China. The Korendians have freely admitted that they erred greatly in their analysis of China.]
"I shall let Altim continue, as he has a case in mind of just this type."
"Thank you, Akrim. I have just such a case to present. It concerns the planet known as Ballmoure." At this, all present nodded in recognition of what he was saying.
"Here there were two systems similar to those on your world, and in fact it had essentially the same monetary system you now use, which caused this difference. The larger more powerful nation and its allies had adopted the Ostrichology principle, as Akrim called it. Meanwhile the smaller nation, being free to do as it pleased without my type of check being imposed on it by the World Council, built up in secrecy a massive military force. One dreadful day, which by coincidence was the same day that the Council again voted to forbid this nation's admittance, they moved out. Caught off guard, the other nation suffered great losses.
"Their struggle was very brief. Within 4 hours Earth time, 3 large nations and a host of smaller ones had suffered a worldwide atomic holocaust. When it was over and the smaller nation finally conceded, 64 out of every 100 people had died immediately, and another 27 of this 100 had perished by after-effects such as radiation and fallout. Ballmoure will never return to its previous state unless they agree to forget their differences, drop their money system and work together for the good of all the survivors. At present, the planet is a group of military states in comparison to which Russia is a paradise of individual freedom and the United States is God's own heaven. Nazi Germany is the closest parallel we can draw in your world's history.
"We have begun a program of psychprobing there to change this, but it will be some time before we can report definite results. The whole point of relating this to you is that this nation, left unchecked, became powerful enough to cause such damage.
"So it is with Communist China now. While it is not immediately probable that such a massive force will be built within it, nevertheless it seems to be prudent to put it, in a position where it can be controlled and closely watched."
Kalen, who had been listening, now spoke. "Perhaps this should be confidential information, and the Elder will correct me if it is, but we find that there is a revolution imminent on the island of Zanzibar, off the African coast. Communist China has a hand in it, and it might be just the first of several such uprisings. It is a good example of how hunger and poverty can be the beds for the seeds of communism.
"Perhaps Akrim would care to comment."
"Yes, Thank you. In fact, I had intended to mention this myself. We have learned this via agents from the local planets that are planted in the country's populace, as in every nation. We suspect the beginnings of unrest in Tanganyika also. Watch this nation therefore."
Kalen closed the meeting. "I see that our time grows short once again. As usual it is with regret that we take leave of you, but as usual it is with the thought that we shall soon meet again. We can tell you that we are planning to give you, later this year, the opportunity to ride in one of our crafts into the depths of space to see for yourself the glory that is Earth and space. For now, we must beg your leave, for there is work to be done, and we must be about it."
We all stood, and they came over to me. I clasped hands with each of them, receiving each time the tingling sensation of vital energy coursing through me. As a group, they said, "Va i luce, Aden."
So saying, they turned and left us there, bathing in the essence of their great personalities that lingered still.
This day had been very educational to me, as well as giving to me an experience to forever hold in cherished memory. Much food for thought had been delivered, and I have passed on its sum to you. While I cannot possibly describe the deep, wonderful feeling that now permeated my entire being.
We left this lounge and went directly back to the teleportation room. This time we went into an unmarked portal and emerged inside a small scout hovering over the field behind my home. My double was before us when we came through the Teleportal, along with the pilot of the craft.
We bid farewells, and the small ship dropped to Earth. The hole in the floor opened up, and after giving one last look to my Lady of Space, Lin-Erri, I stepped through and jumped to the ground. She leaned over the opening and threw a kiss. As she did so, the hole sealed shut. Seconds later, the little silvery craft shot skyward and vanished into the heavens.
I looked longingly to where they had disappeared, then resigned myself to my Terran life and walked toward home, lost in thought.
Omitted from this report was a very personal 15 minutes or so spent with a young lady named Astra-Lari, while my party had been occupied with some base business that required their attention. At the time of our visit, she was working in the computer room. We "hit it off" instantly.
Over the course of months, my relationship with this lovely young lady grew closer and more intimate until it reached the point where there was no longer any question in our minds about what was happening and where it was leading. Our union has only grown stronger as the years have passed, and the promise of a new life with her on her home world at the end of my time here is a source of peace and contentment. Some things are, to use a most appropriate phrase, written in the stars.
The graphic seen here was brought to my attention by the Korendians. It is the work of an unidentified computer artist who had been "inspired", shall we say, to create this beautiful work of digital art. The Korendians directed me to a page where the image was found and I instantly saved it to disk. The image is a close approximation of Astra-Lari's face when in her present Terran form, although her hair is somewhat longer than in the graphic.
My great thanks to the unknown artist. Whatever his intention might have been in creating this image, and whomever he might have used as a model, his work served a purpose of which he most likely will never have an awareness.
Va I luce, my unknown friend!
© 2008 Robert P. Renaud -- all rights reserved