Resurrection by A.E. Van Vogt

Resurrection by A.E. Van Vogt - RESURRECTION by A. E. van...

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by A. E. van Vogt THE GREAT ship poised a quarter of a mile above one of the cities. Below was a cosmic desolation. As he floated down in his energy bubble, Enash saw that the buildings were crumbling with age. "No signs of war damage!" "The bodiless voice touched his ears momentarily. Enash turned it out. On the ground he collapsed his bubble. He found himself in a walled enclosure overgrown with weeds. Several skeletons lay in the tail grass beside the rakish building. They were of long, two-legged, two-armed beings with skulls in each case mounted at the end of a thin spine. The skele- tons, all of adults, seemed in excellent preservation, but when he bent down and touched one, a whole section of it crum- bled into a fine powder. As he straightened, he saw that Yoal was floating down nearby. Enash waited until the his- torian had stepped out of his bubble, then he said: "Do you think we ought to use our method of reviving the long dead?" Yoal was thoughtful. "I have been asking questions of the various people who have landed, and there is something wrong here. This planet has no surviving life, not even in- sect life. We'll have to find out what happened before we risk any colonization." Enash said nothing. A soft wind was blowing. It rustled through a clump of trees nearby. He motioned towards the trees. Yoal nodded and said, "Yes, the plant life }ias not been harmed, but plants after all are not affected in the same way as the active life forms." There was an interruption. A voice spoke from Yoal's re- ceiver: "A museum has 'been found at approximately the centre of the city. A red light has been fixed on the roof." Enash said, "I'll go with you, Yoal. "There might be skeletons of animals and of the intelligent being in various stages of his evolution. You didn't answer my question. Are you going to revive these things?" Yoal said slowly, "I intend to discuss the matter with the council, but I think there is no doubt. We must know the cause of this disaster." He waved one sucker vaguely to take in half the compass. He added as an afterthought, "We shall proceed cautiously, of course, beginning with an obviously early development. The absence of the skeletons of children indicates that the race had developed personal immortality." The council came to look at the exhibits. It was, Enash knew, a formal preliminary only. The decision was made. There would be revivals. It was more than that. They were curious. Space was vast, the journeys through it long and lonely, landing always a stimulating experience, with its prospect of new life forms to be seen and studied. The museum looked ordinary. High-domed ceilings, vast rooms. Plastic models of strange beasts, many artifactstoo many to see and comprehend in so short a time. The life span of a race was imprisoned here in a progressive array of relics. Enash looked with the others, and was glad when they came to the line of skeletons and preserved bodies. He seated himself behind the energy screen, and watched
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Resurrection by A.E. Van Vogt - RESURRECTION by A. E. van...

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