The speed of light was first attained and later greatly surpassed. And so at last mankind began the conquest and colonization of deep space.
The total potential here must be nothing less than astronomical.
In the final decade of the 21st century, men and women in rocket ships landed on the moon. By 2200 AD they had reached the other planets of our solar system. Almost at once there followed the discovery of hyperdrive through which the speed of light was first attained and later greatly surpassed. And so at last mankind began the conquest and colonization of deep space.
How ironic that a simple scholar, with no ambition, beyond a modest measure of seclusion, should out of the clear sky, find himself besieged by an army of fellow creatures, all grimly determined to be of service.
In times long past, this planet was the home of a mighty and noble race of beings which called themselves the Krell. Ethically, as well as technologically, they were a million years ahead of humankind. For in unlocking the mysteries of nature, they had conquered even their baser selves. And when in the course of eons they had abolished sickness, and insanity, and crime, and all injustice they turned, still with high benevolence, outward toward space. Long before the dawn of man's history, they had walked our Earth, and brought back many biological specimens. The heights they had reached... But then, seemingly on the threshold of some supreme accomplishment which was to have crowned their entire history, this all-but-Divine race perished in a single night. In the two thousand centuries since that unexplained catastrophe, even their cloud-piercing towers of glass, and porcelain, and adamantine steel have crumbled back into the soil of Altair IV, and nothing, absolutely nothing remains above ground.
Yes, a single machine, a cube 20 miles on each side.
The fool, the meddling idiot. As though his ape's brain could contain the secrets of the Krell.
Guilty! Guilty! My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it!
About a million years from now the human race will have crawled up to where the Krell stood in their great moment of triumph and tragedy.
I'm in command of 18 competitively selected super-perfect physical specimens with an average age of 24.6 who have been locked up in hyperspace for 378 days. It would have served you right if he ... they ... oh go on, get out of here before I have you run out of the area under guard — and then I'll put more guards on the guards.
Alta, about a million years from now the human race will have crawled up to where the Krell stood in their great moment of triumph and tragedy. And your father's name will shine again like a beacon in the galaxy. It's true, it will remind us that we are, after all, not God.