Dawn of a New Era
How different they are Those who write for pleasure and Those who write for the Truth.
THE PLANET FOMALZAB
A Selection from Strange Stories and Wonderful Fables. Vol. 1. By Doctor Dahesh.
The planet Fomalzab drew near the earth and stood at a distance of one light year away. This planet boasts a most highly developed civilization. Once every two billion years it takes up a position near the earth where it remains for an entire year before returning to its original place.
The Emperor of the planet ordered the preparation of three spaceships to be sent to earth, the planet, for the planet, after coming close to planet earth, returns to its cosmic centre, and a spacecraft cruising at the speed of light will take one and a half billion years to reach it. Every two billion years its orbit brings it within one light year from earth.
The first ship carried two hundred men. The second contained the electronic equipment which allowed the men to keep in touch with their planet and to see one another during a cosmic communication. It also carried sophisticated gadgets which could level mountains or dig deep wells should the need arise, as well as equipment permitting the lifting of heavy weights by remote control. Devices for manufacturing food were placed in the third ship. These could convert waste and remains into delicious food in one minute, by kneading them into a paste which in turn would be shaped into delicious breads. It could also flavor foods to taste. In addition the ship was equipped with a device to control temperature as well as the weather, keeping it clear or rainy at will.
Inside it a contraption, resembling a carriage, was fitted,
which could carry six space men over land, water, or through space.
The three spaceships, each consisting of six stories, were ready for takeoff. The propellers were started silently and the ships shot up in a flash out of sight, before a crowd of statesmen and high officials who had come to see them off.
Four pilots were in control of each ship, which was oblong in shape, although the interior is helical. The pilot sits in front, holding the controls, while another sits at the rear. The other two sit on either side. Before each pilot there is a bullet proof window through which he can see his way.
The ship then was systematically driven by four men. One of them was the leader. If the ship needed to turn right, it would be difficult to do so for in trying it would cover thousands of miles and thus deviate from the course. This being the case, a violet light would be turned on in front of the pilot sitting on the right who would then lead it in the right direction. If the aim is the left side the violet light would be turned on before the pilot sitting on that side and he would guide it immediately while the front and right-hand propellers would be turned off. If the ship is to take an opposite course the violet signal would be given to the pilot sitting there and he would direct it on its course.
Two hundred men onboard the first ship sat listening to the music of their planet while their ship shot through space with incredible speed. They were dwarfs, the tallest measur¬ing not more than 35cm, yet they were endowed with extraordinary power. For instance, they could lift weights which ten ordinary people from the earth cannot move. They conversed in a language of their own by blowing through their mouths or sometimes through their noses. Occasionally they would emit a sound like whistling. They had eyes resembling the head of a nail and their ears were elongated. Their size was in proportion to their level of intelligence.
Only one woman was on board with them. She was the wife of the leader of the expedition, and measured about 30cm. Hardly a thousand years old; she was highly cultured in spite of her young age. The people of Fomalzab normally had a life span of about 6000 years, sometimes 7000 years.
Like most women, the pilot’s wife was keen on appearing attractive at all times. Every now and then she would blow into a tiny gadget no longer than a finger which produced a round shaped substance where she could see her face reflected. Then the substance would melt in the air and the mirror would vanish.
Her husband, less cultured than his wife, was 2000 years old. He would have preferred not to have her present on their mission, but he was powerless before her insistence. He was aware that men admired her. She bewitched them, and they were totally under her spell, always competing for her favors. Each one of them longed to have her for a wife was she to leave her husband. Happy was the man she would choose. For this reason he gave in when she insisted, and she accompanied the expedition.
For a whole year, the ship floated in space, cutting its oceans with the speed of light, observing the earth with its good and evil by means of its wonderful instruments which enabled it also to obtain copies of the papers and magazines issued on earth. Those were translated into their own languages by means of an electronic apparatus. In this way, they became familiar with the writings of the inhabitants of the earth, which compared poorly with their own fine literature and culture.
Savalia, wife of the leader of the expedition, spent most of her time in the garden where she sat among the strange plants of Fomalzab, picking flowers, pinning them to her hair, feeding her vanity as a woman. She would listen to the songs of the colorful birds echoing in the air like a melody from heaven.
One day, in a spell of enchantment with her beautiful surroundings Savalia burst into song:
I am the fair Savalia
Aloft in the spaceship Yatania shooting at light speed
As I sit in the paradise of Fomalzab, my beloved planet,
Among the wondrous blooms,
Where nightingales of my planet warble,
Joined by birds from the land of my birth
Where I long to return
I long to reach the planet Earth
And see a world other than mine,
There to roam the hills and plains and valleys.
Then I shall long for Fomalzab, city of my dreams,
And I shall return to the land of my birth,
To die and lie buried in its sacred soil.
They had agreed on a landing spot. Now they were coming near it at an altitude of twenty million miles. All ships stopped their engines and started another set at normal speed as they prepared to land until at last they came down on a vast plain.
Their landing happened to coincide with a passing caravan gaping with astonishment; the men came near for a closer look when they were blown up into the air. They saw a number of dwarfs blowing excitedly. They understood from their blowing and their gestures that they were being asked to go away immediately, which they did, shaking with fear.
The propellers stopped.
The pilot of the mother ship pressed a button and a large dome, somewhat like a tent, blew out, casting its shadow on the ship. The other two pilots did the same. By now the villagers had gathered around the strange creatures, hardly believing their eyes. The little creatures scuttled away to a near-by wood at half an hour’s distance, followed by the curious crowd. Then they climbed up the trees, inviting the villagers to follow them. They tore the leaves off the branches and placed them in huge containers. Then they exposed them to some green rays that came out of a small machine. The leaves turned to dough. They cut and shaped them into small loaves which they ate, sharing them with the villagers who found them very pleasant to the taste.
They obtained water by exposing a vessel to some yellow beams which caused water to collect inside. It tasted like the water of mountain springs and its temperature could be regulated at will.
Each dwarf carried a hollow metal stick 31 cm long and 20cm thick, open from the top with wheels fixed to the bottom. Each one of them entered his stick and immediately they raced back where their spacecrafts were standing, leaving behind them an incredulous crowd.
The men of Fomalzab chose a vast site in the village where they collected their electronic devices. From the first week of their arrival they began to build a large temple to commemorate their visit to earth. They took heaps of sand and stones, which they kneaded together with their electronic machines and proceeded to cut them up into huge columns and blocks of stone. They raised the columns upright with their strange machines and fixed a huge capital on top of each. Then they laid the roof by means of interlocked pieces .of stone, and built a high wall all around the temple. A huge block of stone, made of the mixture of sand and stone was left lying on the ground where it still stands, known as the cornerstone. The whole structure took no longer than one month in the building thanks to those fantastic devices. Many of the people from Fomalzab married girls from earth who gave birth to boys and girls after the strange creatures departed.
They departed six months after they arrived. Huge crowds of villagers came to see them off. Each side had learned a little of the other’s language.
The propellers were started and once more the ships shot into the air and out of sight, returning to their planet, deep in the reaches of endless space.
They left behind them the Temple of Baalbeck, proudly defying the generations, a living memorial of their visit to earth.
New York, 2:25p.m. 29 March,
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