January 1, 1980
Mike, Stephen, John, Andrew, Hsui Tai and Elizabeth all sat around the lounge in their AE suits, waiting. There was a sound from the pad and they all turned to look at it. Annie stepped off. She was crying.
"What's wrong, Annie?" asked Elizabeth.
"I don't want to leave mum."
Stephen spoke, "Annie, you don't have to come. Just because we are, don't feel you have to. You're one of us, but you don't have to take the same decision."
"She won't let me stay. She says it's too dangerous. She says she can't live with the thought of me always in danger. I've got to go."
"Are you sure?"
Elizabeth got up and began to help her into her AE suit. John spoke to Stephen.
"I assume the Trig realises what they're asking us to do. We're all losing family over this."
"Yes they do, John. They just don't think there's a better choice."
John finally nodded, "All right, let's do it. You three first."
Andrew, Hsui Tai, and Annie adjusted their suits and stepped onto the pad, and shimmered out of sight.
John spoke, "Stephen, I want to try something."
"I want to check there're are no other Tomorrow People out there. Just in case."
"John, the odds are . . . All right."
The four of them sat down around the table and linked their hands, barely touching each other. They sat there for a minute or two, and then John shook his head.
They all stood up, and picked up their helmets. John addressed them.
"You three go on ahead. I'll be along shortly."
Stephen looked at him, critically.
"All right, but the seeding starts in an hour. You have to leave by then."
"I understand. I'll be there."
Elizabeth, Mike and Stephen stepped onto the pad and were gone.
John sits down at the table, and picks up a pen and paper. He begins to write, 'To whom it may concern' then scratches it out. He sits back and strokes his chin for a few minutes, and then picks up his pen again.
I call you that, although it is extremely unlikely that I have ever met you, and I sincerely hope that you are my friend. The survival of mankind requires that we are all friends, and that we eliminate enmity from the face of the planet.
I am writing this letter on the assumption, that you are like me. It seems a reasonable supposition. This lab will not be found easily or by accident, and so I must assume one of two things:
- that if it is found in the near future, that the only people who will find it, are those rare few who have
- advanced to a similar level of evolution.
- that if it is found in the distant future, that you will have likewise reached that level of evolution, but that rather than being a rarity, you are the norm.
Whichever circumstance occurs, I leave this missive to you and to posterity. It may seem arrogant to be writing in this way, but I believe that the possible importance of what I am trying to say, must override any modesty I feel at this point. And it would be false modesty. I am proud of what I am, and what I have accomplished. I also acknowledge my failure.
I was the first of my kind to survive on this planet, at least, I am the first that I know of, with any degree of certainty. It is perfectly possible, perhaps even likely, that there were others before me. But I was the first of my 'generation' to break out. Because of this fact, and because of my age, I have been the de facto leader of my people. I accept full responsibility for our failures but am perfectly willing to share any credit for our successes.
Who are my people? We call ourselves Tomorrow People. We are human, but we are not identical to the vast majority of the people on this planet. We number fewer than a dozen at the time of writing this letter, we of the species Homo superior (a rough translation is Better Man). I did us not give us this name, and in any case, I feel that the Homo is far more important than the Superior. We are human, with most of the faults that entails.
I will not outline our powers here, those powers that set us apart from the bulk of mankind. Part of the reason for this letter being written is that such information is now in the wrong hands, the hands of people who fear us, and I will not compound our error. If you are like us, you already understand our powers and our limitations. I will however mention our primary limitation, in the hope that it may diminish the fears of non Tomorrow People. We cannot kill another human being. We are utterly incapable of it. I do not say this in order to suggest that we are paragons of virtue, for we are not, but we are not a threat to mankind in any way. We do not seek to rule the Earth, but to cherish her, to care for her. We are no threat to you.
If you are like me, you may wonder where we are, myself and the others. We are safe, and perhaps one day we will meet. I hope so. In the meantime the contents of this laboratory are yours to do with as you wish. Do I have any advice for you? All I can say, is make your decisions with your heart as well as your mind. Value your friends. In the final analysis, they are what is important. And remember, all mankind should be your friend.
I close this letter, with a plea to anyone who finds it. Cherish the Earth, or you will lose it. Mankind has a great deal to fear. But we, all members of the genus Homo, are a people with one of the most precious gifts in nature - Intelligence. We can use that intelligence to turn Earth into a Utopia. Utopia means 'no place.' We should change that meaning to 'every place.'
Yours in hope and friendship
John Smith, 1-1-1980
He stands up and places the letter in an envelope. He casts his eyes around the lab, perhaps for the last time. He runs his hand along every surface, and while his eyes cannot be clearly seen, we know there are tears there. He straightens his shoulders and steps over to the jaunting pad, and picks up his helmet.
"Don't forget to turn off the lights, TIM."
"Of course, John."
"Au Revoir, John."
The young man puts on his helmet and the lights above him and below him pulse. He disappears from view.
The room goes dark and all that can be seen are TIMs domes. Gradually these too fade from view.