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
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
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
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