Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Earthmen Bearing Gifts
Author: Brown, Fredric, 1906-1972
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Earthmen Bearing Gifts" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



    +--------------------------------------------------------------+
    |                                                              |
    | Transcriber's note.                                          |
    |                                                              |
    | This story was published in _Galaxy_ magazine, June 1960.    |
    | Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the     |
    | U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.              |
    |                                                              |
    +--------------------------------------------------------------+



  Mars had gifts to offer and
  Earth had much in return--if
  delivery could be arranged!


EARTHMEN BEARING GIFTS

By FREDRIC BROWN


[Illustration]

Illustrated by CARTER



Dhar Ry sat alone in his room, meditating. From outside the door he
caught a thought wave equivalent to a knock, and, glancing at the door,
he willed it to slide open.

It opened. "Enter, my friend," he said. He could have projected the idea
telepathically; but with only two persons present, speech was more
polite.

Ejon Khee entered. "You are up late tonight, my leader," he said.

"Yes, Khee. Within an hour the Earth rocket is due to land, and I wish
to see it. Yes, I know, it will land a thousand miles away, if their
calculations are correct. Beyond the horizon. But if it lands even twice
that far the flash of the atomic explosion should be visible. And I have
waited long for first contact. For even though no Earthman will be on
that rocket, it will still be first contact--for them. Of course our
telepath teams have been reading their thoughts for many centuries,
but--this will be the first _physical_ contact between Mars and Earth."

Khee made himself comfortable on one of the low chairs. "True," he said.
"I have not followed recent reports too closely, though. Why are they
using an atomic warhead? I know they suppose our planet is uninhabited,
but still--"

"They will watch the flash through their lunar telescopes and get
a--what do they call it?--a spectroscopic analysis. That will tell them
more than they know now (or think they know; much of it is erroneous)
about the atmosphere of our planet and the composition of its surface.
It is--call it a sighting shot, Khee. They'll be here in person within a
few oppositions. And then--"

Mars was holding out, waiting for Earth to come. What was left of Mars,
that is; this one small city of about nine hundred beings. The
civilization of Mars was older than that of Earth, but it was a dying
one. This was what remained of it: one city, nine hundred people. They
were waiting for Earth to make contact, for a selfish reason and for an
unselfish one.


Martian civilization had developed in a quite different direction from
that of Earth. It had developed no important knowledge of the physical
sciences, no technology. But it had developed social sciences to the
point where there had not been a single crime, let alone a war, on
Mars for fifty thousand years. And it had developed fully the
parapsychological sciences of the mind, which Earth was just beginning
to discover.

Mars could teach Earth much. How to avoid crime and war to begin with.
Beyond those simple things lay telepathy, telekinesis, empathy....

And Earth would, Mars hoped, teach them something even more valuable to
Mars: how, by science and technology--which it was too late for Mars to
develop now, even if they had the type of minds which would enable them
to develop these things--to restore and rehabilitate a dying planet, so
that an otherwise dying race might live and multiply again.

Each planet would gain greatly, and neither would lose.

And tonight was the night when Earth would make its first sighting shot.
Its next shot, a rocket containing Earthmen, or at least an Earthman,
would be at the next opposition, two Earth years, or roughly four
Martian years, hence. The Martians knew this, because their teams of
telepaths were able to catch at least some of the thoughts of Earthmen,
enough to know their plans. Unfortunately, at that distance, the
connection was one-way. Mars could not ask Earth to hurry its program.
Or tell Earth scientists the facts about Mars' composition and
atmosphere which would have made this preliminary shot unnecessary.

Tonight Ry, the leader (as nearly as the Martian word can be
translated), and Khee, his administrative assistant and closest friend,
sat and meditated together until the time was near. Then they drank a
toast to the future--in a beverage based on menthol, which had the same
effect on Martians as alcohol on Earthmen--and climbed to the roof of
the building in which they had been sitting. They watched toward the
north, where the rocket should land. The stars shone brilliantly and
unwinkingly through the atmosphere.


In Observatory No. 1 on Earth's moon, Rog Everett, his eye at the
eyepiece of the spotter scope, said triumphantly, "Thar she blew,
Willie. And now, as soon as the films are developed, we'll know the
score on that old planet Mars." He straightened up--there'd be no more
to see now--and he and Willie Sanger shook hands solemnly. It was an
historical occasion.

"Hope it didn't kill anybody. Any Martians, that is. Rog, did it hit
dead center in Syrtis Major?"

"Near as matters. I'd say it was maybe a thousand miles off, to the
south. And that's damn close on a fifty-million-mile shot. Willie, do
you really think there are any Martians?"

Willie thought a second and then said, "No."

He was right.


  --FREDRIC BROWN

[Illustration]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Earthmen Bearing Gifts" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home