In his penthouse suite on top of the Tower, The Founder eagerly awaited the latest instalment of the Space Ship’s Log. Of course, it was five years out of date by the time it arrived back on Earth, but he disregarded the time-lag now, convincing himself that this was happening in real-time. Which, as he couldn’t do anything to speed, slow, or change it, was the virtual truth.
He noted the various star-systems and the multitude of planets – far more than he thought possible. Every sun had twenty or thirty planets, some of which must be habitable. There was one in particular, a bluey-green planet about the size of Earth and with a Moon! But the idiots passed it by, preferring the promise of sentient beings with a radio beam. He would have been instantly suspicious of that. It was not at all what he wanted, which was to expand and control human civilisation without any other competition.
He watched in disbelief as they locked on to the radio beam and attempted to land on the planet’s surface. It was habitable all right. It was already inhabited!
Aurora, the Communicator, spoke to them first. “Greetings! We come in peace, from Earth, a planet four and a half light years away!”
The Aliens approached with caution. They were humanoid; lithe, athletic beings, full of grace and beauty. They smiled, and held out their hands in greeting.
“We have been watching your progress, expecting you for many light-cycles. Do you truly come in peace?”
“Of course!” said Captain Church, a little too eagerly. “We have many things to share with you. We wish to live again, here!”
The Aliens looked at each other, puzzled. How could they possibly live here? Four alien creatures who knew nothing of their Civilisation, Science, Art and Culture. They would be like exhibits in a zoo, something they were very much opposed to. What could they possibly share with them? Their intellects appeared very inferior.
Captain Church invited them onto the ship and took them on a tour. They were appalled at the sight of the hundreds of “eggs” glowing in the dark. They were even more appalled when Doctor McFly explained that these were indeed real people, old people, who had already lived for more than a hundred years, but who had the greatest knowledge and the best intellects on Earth. They had sacrificed themselves to aid the mission.
The Aliens listened in disbelief and growing ridicule as Doctor McFly explained the purpose of the “Ovarians” and the banks of milky-white fluid stored on racks over the Crystal-Heads. They began to laugh.
“You mean the totality of your existence can be held in a few cells? Then your existence cannot amount to much. It is not worth preserving, and we will not risk contamination!”
The Founder watched in horror as the screen went blank. The experiment had failed. “Oh well,” he thought, dismissing the incompetent crew from his mind. “It was a long shot, anyway! At least I know the time-travel experiment in the Rift Valley worked. There will have to be a change of plan.”