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Title: Science from Syracuse

Date of first publication: 1941

Author: John Russell Fearn (as Polton Cross) (1908-1960)

Date first posted: May 21, 2021

Date last updated: May 21, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210542

This eBook was produced by: Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

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Science from Syracuse



John Russell Fearn

Writing under the pseudonym Polton Cross


First published Science Fiction, March 1941.

The long-dead city of Syracuse sends to the New York of 1960 A.D., Archimedes—greatest scientific mind of all the ages! He promises to bring the world to a state of super-civilization—but why then did he cause the world’s most terrible war?


In this year of 1960 there are possibly some of you who do not fully understand the real circumstances connected with the One Week’s War which left a devastated world in the control of implacable scientists. Some of you will likewise be wondering why there reposes in the center of newly built New York City a railed-off portion in which stand a few buildings resembling those of ancient Greece. Still more must some of you wonder why in a solid block of four buildings one is missing and gapes like an empty tooth socket.

The facts may be garbled in the proper record when it comes to be written, therefore the narrative of the scientist himself who caused the trouble is set out here. Recently, this record of his aims and experiences, written in his own hand, was released from official custody and to me as instrumental in bringing about his destruction, was given the task of patching up the parts left unclear.

This I have done to the best of my ability. I am no journalist. I used to be a police officer—Officer James Baystoke—until my mistaken notions of this scientist’s greatness led me into other fields.

That which follows is the record of the scientist himself, and you will find it, I think, a record unexcelled in history for its scientific implication and obvious revelation of a cold-blooded egotist.

From Out of Time

I am writing this record mainly to reassure myself—if any reassurance be needed—that the men and women of this year of 1955 are gullible fools. Or maybe it is their lack of scientific knowledge that makes them so.

For instance, I caused a tremendous commotion when I first appeared in Times Square, New York City, on July 14, 1955. To a certain extent, I can understand it. I suppose it did look strange to the uneducated to behold an object like an upright glass coffin emerging out of thin air, gradually becoming solid, and then holding up a converging stream of traffic from all points of the compass.

I closed my energy switches and a side in my machine opened. My interest in the people, the buildings, the queer type of vehicles, and so on, was cut short by the arrival of an officious individual with a badge on his tunic and a peaked cap. . . . I could not understand a word he said. He did not talk my native Greek, so I listened in patience until his tirade was over—then I stated quietly:

“I am Archimedes of Syracuse, situated in West Greece. . . .” I repeated it over and over again in the hope that it might penetrate. I think my name “Archimedes” stirred something in his unerudite brain. I could not expect much, after all. He was clearly no intellectual. He had none of my development of forehead, for instance. He did not even possess a beard like mine, nor the easy Grecian raiment.

After a great deal of pointless jabbering, he gave some kind of order. My machine was hoisted onto a truck, a process I watched with considerable anxiety; then I was motioned to sit in the truck beside it. I obeyed, and the very efficient young man in the tunic settled beside me. Then we started off for some unknown destination.

As we went, I had the opportunity to study the design and architecture of the city, very different from my own Syracuse, but not at all as efficient as I had anticipated. It irritated me to find so little real evidence of good use being made of my original conceptions of the pulley, hydrostatics, and so forth. That short journey did much to convince me of the poor brain power of my new-found associates.

Finally I was conducted to a solemn-looking kind of building—but before I went inside it, I took the precaution of locking the switches on my machine. I could not afford to have inexperienced hands tampering with it. It had carried me this far through Time and might need to carry me yet further.

Inside the building, a man with a badge behind a high desk reeled off more unintelligible questions, and he seemed to empurple slightly as my young captor gave my name very clearly. But why dwell on the unreasonable actions of the men with the badges? They thrust me into a cold room with bars all around it. I was left to meditate on the decadency of what I had believed would be an advanced civilization.

It was probably a matter of some hours later when a group of men were shown into my cell. I was immediately impressed. All of them had keen eyes and good cranial development. I realized I might at last gain some information—or at least explain my own position to them. The hope was realized when, after I had greeted them, one of them spoke in my own tongue. He spoke it with slight differences and truncations, but intelligibly enough.

“I am Dr. Nathan, Professor of Ancient Languages. . . . You have, I understand, insisted on the fact that you are Archimedes of Syracuse?”

“I am Archimedes!” I retorted. “But nobody seems to understand my language. You are the first.”

He told me—with some scepticism, I thought—that this was America, that the people used the English tongue, and that it was 1955 Anno Domini. He told me a lot of other things, too, which only served to confirm my preconceived belief of an unintelligent age.

“This is not—not a hoax?” Dr. Nathan asked me quietly, as I pondered. “Dozens of times a year, hoaxes are perpetrated, especially scientific ones, with the specific idea of gaining money from a gullible public.”

Hoax! I, Archimedes, a hoax? I think I showed my anger clearly, for Dr. Nathan hurried to explain. “Perhaps you do not realize how amazing all this is. You are supposed to belong to a period nearly two hundred years before the birth of Christ—and yet you are here! How did you do it?”

It was only then that I began to appreciate the bewildering fact that these so-called efficient beings of 1955 A.D. had no idea of how to travel in Time. Dr. Nathan told me—and indeed later showed me—records to prove that historians had believed me killed in a market place by invading Romans while I was studying a problem marked out in the sand. If nothing else was developed, at least imagination was!

“I traveled through Time,” I told my hearers firmly. “Is that so difficult to understand? My machine merged into what you call Times Square. Obviously orbital and axial revolution of the Earth shifted my position on the planet’s surface, which explains my arrival in America instead of Greece. As to the scientific details—”

Dr. Nathan interrupted me. “The scientific details are very important, and for that reason are better explained before a gathering of the nation’s greatest scientists. In the meantime, your Time Machine has been removed to the safety of the Science Institute. While your case is thoroughly investigated, Professor Archimedes—”

Counsellor Archimedes!” I scornfully corrected.

“Counsellor,” he apologized gravely. “While we examine matters, you will have every courtesy our social sphere can offer. If everything is genuine, all honor must—and will be—accorded to you as the greatest scientist that ever lived. . . .”

I could hardly credit it, but they still doubted me. I did not argue then, because it did not suit my purpose. I went with them to a place they called a hotel—extremely comfortable I confess—and thereafter spent my time giving interviews to an interpreter who in turn churned out my words verbatim for the presses.

Then there were movie-machines, televisors, and other devices, which, though intricate in themselves, had stopped far short of the possibilities I had visualized for them when first conceiving them, I saw all around me the real need for advancement.

But that could come later.

War Is Necessary!

Evidently my associates were ultimately satisfied with my genuineness, for they asked me to attend a banquet of scientists at which I was to be the guest of honor. In the two weeks that had elapsed, I had learned to speak the English language fairly well and so was able to converse directly with most of the men and women whom I met.

Many of them seemed rather in awe of me, a fact I could well understand, since I realized I was considered the father of all the sciences. It rather disturbed me to find that some of the misguided newspaper men insisted on coupling me with a bath from which I had arisen without raiment to run through the streets of Syracuse shouting “Eureka!” A gross libel indeed upon my discoveries of hydrostatics and equilibristic pressure.

At the banquet I was toasted and feted freely, and then was asked to explain myself. How had I crossed Time? I rose, choosing what words I should use to make myself clear to these so-called scientists.

“Space-time and matter are inseparably interlinked,” I told them. “But while we move freely in space—realizing also that to do so we must also move in Time—we cannot imagine how to move in Time without encompassing the corresponding amount of space with it. For instance, you might decide that to cover 500 miles would occupy about an hour of so-called Time . . . but to cover 500 hours and use no space at all would, to you, seem to consist of being motionless while the time elapsed. Yet even then you would be moving in space on the earth’s surface. Your own body would be giving off energy, moving forces. You would still be moving in space, though not in any measurable fashion. . . .

“To hurdle Time, therefore, without involving any great quantity of space, and to keep conscious while doing it, involves a knowledge of atomic physics. You know—from my own original postulation indeed—that atomic time, due entirely to relative smallness, passes through a thousand years or so whilst we of the macrocosmic universe occupy but a second. The different relative outlook and vibratory speed of the matter in the Macrocosm causes it.

“Once I realized this fact, I saw that my problem ascended into the realms of pure physics. What I had to do was determine the vibratory rate of atomic constitutions and duplicate that vibratory rate, thereby making myself and my surroundings vibrate at a speed similar to that in the atomic world. I finally accomplished it. I found, with my body incased inside a machine embodying atomic vibrations, that I became, as it were, part of a hyper-macrocosm. Around me, ordinary time appeared a matter of vast hundreds-of-years leaps instead of the gradual procession of minute following minute.

“I had completed my invention when the Roman invasion of Syracuse began. I was studying out my exact mathematical theorem in the sand of the market place when I heard of the legions coming. I departed hastily—so hastily, indeed, that I had little time to determine whither I would go. I found when the Time-leap had ended that I had arrived here.”

From the expressions of those around me, I could tell that none save the really profound physicists knew exactly what I was talking about. But I had told them the truth, at least insofar as the science went. I had not told them my exact motives for all this, because I did not deem it wise.

“There is only one drawback,” I resumed, after a silence. “Time-travel is a one-way journey. It is quite impossible to move into the past because the make-up of the physical world prevents it. One can only move futurewards, to a gradual and greater disorganization. One can no more travel backwards in Time than one can force an oak tree to return to an acorn. So, my friends, I am with you until I choose to journey further into the future.”

At that I sat down, noting what effect I had produced, a pretty strong one, judging from the talking that went on. Most of it was so rapid that my newly acquired knowledge of the language did not help me much. But after a while the Master of Ceremonies arose and bowed to me gravely.

“Counsellor Archimedes, you are wisely named,” he said. “And we consider it is our great fortune that you happened to pick our age of all the possible ages you might have landed in. You have, rightly perhaps, called our world badly developed—badly organized. You deplore the use that has been made of your original inventions . . . but at least you must admit that it is far in excess of the amenities of your own Greece?”

“To a certain extent,” I replied pondering. “But such inventions as you have—radio, television, flying machines, automobiles, steam-driven trains, and so on, are but devices which I urged my own men of Greece to use. My efforts to do it got me labeled as a necromancer. You have not, for instance, got a destructive ray amongst your armaments, such as I loaned to the hordes opposing the Romans? History speaks of a burning glass. Actually it was a projector generating etheric vibrations. So you see, you have not progressed very far.

“In this age,” I finished quietly, “I believe you will be open-minded enough to try new ideas—ideas which will straighten out your present haphazard conditions. For instance, I believe I am right in perceiving you all live under the shadow of war?”

“We live in an uneasy peace,” the M.C. admitted with a sigh. “We have two great wars to our shame—and a third is not impossible, as what is known as the Fifth Power gathers momentum and armaments for the real Armageddon. To progress in face of incessant threat of war is not at all easy. But you, Archimedes,” he went on urgently, “might well straighten out the tangle. After all, you are the greatest scientist of all time.”

I do not think anybody guessed my inner thoughts as I replied.

“I will do what I can, willingly. Science must expand. Get me into contact with your present rulers and I will use my knowledge to your benefit. You have that assurance.”

I was rather surprised to note the speed with which scientists and public bodies took up my offer of assistance. Within a week, I had interviews with the President of America himself. I was also transported to other countries to discuss with rulers, and there followed a series of conferences from which there emerged the decision to appoint me World Counsellor. As the President of America himself said, when making the announcement:

“Perhaps what several unscientific men have failed to do, one scientific man can accomplish.”

I did not regard his remark as flattery, but as a simple truth. Inside of a month, therefore, I was World Counsellor and was given a big executive building in the middle of New York to conduct my labors. My first step was to decide how to stop impending war with the Fifth Power.

I confess here that I had known right from the start what my decision would be, but for obvious reasons, I spent a lot of time apparently brooding over the reports of world conditions which were all diverted to my executive headquarters. When finally I made my report to the world over the radio, I am afraid I shocked everybody except the Fifth Power—for I stated that war was not an issue to be avoided but to be faced. I told the people plainly that war—violent, brief and relentless—was the only true foundation of a new and lasting civilization.

As I had expected, this started a storm . . . but also as I had expected, the poor fools clung rigidly to the treaty they had signed which gave me absolute authority as World Counsellor. The idea of breaking their treaty obligations when it suited them never dawned on them, I think. Nations had sworn to abide by my decisions regarding matters of progress—probably believing they would have an easy rise to peace and security while I did all the work . . . therefore my decision that war was necessary pleased nobody except the Fifth Power.

I faced tirades from the President, insults from press and public alike—but such was my position, I was protected from actual physical attack by a perpetual strong-arm guard. . . .

I had said that war was necessary before a real civilization could begin—but I had not said when the war was to commence. I knew it would be soon, for the avaricious Fifth Power was ready to strike the moment its strategic maneuvers were completed.

Even from my own staff in the executive building, I faced a good deal of veiled invective—in particular from my third secretary whom I was surprised to discover was actually the young police officer who had treated me so courteously on my arrival. I well recall how angry he seemed whilst upbraiding me for my decisions.

“Do you realize what you have done sir?” he demanded of me, his young face flushed. “You’ve destroyed the trust of all right-thinking people! They put you in virtual power because of your scientific prowess, and the first thing you do is betray them! I love science, and always have done so, which is one reason why I gave up ordinary work as a police officer to become employed in this great organization. I wanted to feel I was helping along the birth of a new world. And what do you do? You decide to destroy it!”

“You are very young,” I told him gravely. “Do you not see that a world must first be purged of all sources of disorder before it can really build securely?”

“I see that, yes—but there is no legitimate reason for ordering massacre and barbarism to accomplish it!”

I said, “When you realize that human beings are so many masses of electricity constantly accumulating to no purpose, you will have little compunction about destroying the lot in order to bring a better world into being. The world appointed me Counsellor—and the world must realize that perfection only comes the hard way.”

He stood looking at me, obviously distraught. Then he burst out:

“I no longer believe you give two hoots about advancing our age! Nor do I credit your seeming benevolence any longer! I believe you have some reason for all this—some scientific reason you’ve never revealed.”

Just for a moment, I wondered if he had really penetrated to the exact reason for my methods—then I realized the impossibility of it. But I told myself, here was a young man who was not quite such a gullible fool as the rest. I answered him quietly enough.

“You are in no position to question your superior, Baystoke. Return to your work. And remember that whatever you may think or do, you will always be watched.”

He went out without a word. When I thought back on the conversation, it made me smile a little. So young a man challenging me! Me—Archimedes!

Few Survivors!

The greatest scientist that ever lived! as these fools would know before I finished with them. What circumstance had prevented me from doing in my own age should certainly not prevent me here. Of that I was determined.

My edict that war was necessary started a sudden increase in armament production and mobilization of man and woman power. I had fully expected that and stressed constantly the necessity to rid the world of dangerous elements before a real start could be made. The idea seemed to impress itself on the people and they actually began to see a certain virtue in what they were doing.

For myself, I made special plans. I discovered the best scientific engineers in the country and outlined plans to them—plans for weapons which in the hands of the rest of the world would have been asking for the Earth itself to be blown out of its orbit. Most of the inventions I had worked out were ramifications of the somewhat childish ideas prevalent in this age.

After all, I could hardly explain to ordinary military chiefs what was meant by atomic force, generation of negative potentials, space-warp, and similar devices—so I had to rely on the limited but fairly quick up-take of the minds of the engineers I engaged. I took good care to swear them to secrecy, too.

At work in special laboratories—ostensibly for research—they manufactured a series of machines utilizing the forces I have named, forces quite beyond the comprehension of the dolts of this age. When the machines were completed, I had them installed in the deep basement of the executive building, thereby securing immediate safety for myself and my staff. Whatever violent course the impending war took, we were completely protected.

Somehow, though, the news of these inventions leaked out. The President demanded explanations. I made it clear that the devices were secret scientific weapons for our own use in destroying the Fifth Power if ordinary military and economic means proved futile. I think the idea of a “secret weapon” convinced the President; it seemed that most past wars had implied, but never brought forth, a secret weapon. What the President did not know—in fact what nobody knew—was that the devices were for my own use only.

As I had anticipated, I had only just enough time to complete my plans when the Fifth Power struck. Immediately, I gave orders to my trained technicians in the basement, and machinery came into action, causing the executive building to become surrounded in a deep violet glow.

Baystoke was the only one with me when the onslaught began. We stood together at the window watching the battle taking place in the air, listening to the whine of bombs and their shattering detonations. I think my unmoved, thoughtful expression as I surveyed the destruction rather upset my former young devotee. He swung on me with sudden fury.

“Counsellor, you’re a devil!” he cried, his eyes blazing. “Look down there—! A mighty city filled with fighting people—a city being destroyed, all to gratify your cockeyed notions on building a new civilization! So it is in probably nearly every city in the world. So it will go until munitions are exhausted. . . .”

“Which will be in about a week,” I told him. “Computation of war potential and munition reserves has shown me there will be a war of unparalleled violence for about a week—then peace through lack of materials, which I have cut off at every source.”

“And you smile!” Baystoke cried. “Anyway, what makes you think we can last for seven days? We might be bombed out of existence any moment.”

I nodded to the bluish screen outside. “Not while that exists, my petulant young friend. This building is protected by a film of force on all sides and above. You are aware of the simple principle of explosion? You know that atomic aggregates change their paths with such terrific speed that they blow their structure asunder? Well, this force-screen, generated in the building basement, throws a neutral current through any such tendency. Therefore, bombs dropped here will not explode. They will penetrate the screen, yes—but nothing more since they fall in between neutralizing curtains.”

Baystoke shouted, “Then why the devil aren’t our forces equipped with such devices?”

“And prolong the war? Make one side win? No. . . . In reconstruction, all parties must start equal.” I smiled reflectively. “You see, when this war is over, I shall be the master of the world. That is right, because I have the greatest scientific knowledge of any living man—and the world knows it. If I find the war drags on too long, there are things I can do to hasten its conclusion.”

“Such as?”

I shrugged. “I can use again the heat rays I used in Syracuse; I can release atomic force, adopt mind paralyzers. Do many things. . . . But I do not think it will become necessary.”

Baystoke was silent for a moment, studying the onslaught outside. Then he eyed me again.

“What gratification will you get out of being master of the earth, if there is nobody left in it to master, that is. . . .”

“There will be some,” I answered ambiguously. “Besides, mastery of the world is only the commencement of real progress—the dawn of the age I tried to establish in my native time and country but was prevented by there being so many people against me. Here it will be different. Science such as I possess will reach out—can reach out—to the furthest stars. . . .”

To my surprise, Baystoke turned away abruptly.

“Is it possible to walk through this radiation screen?” he asked curtly, and as I nodded he went on. “I’ve seen all I want to see of Archimedes, the benevolent scientist aiming at setting the world to rights. I prefer to fight with my fellow men—die with them if need be . . . and if I don’t die, maybe I’ll even fight you someday!”

“Your knowledge against mine?” I asked him pityingly.

He nodded grimly. “Yeah. Someday I’m going to find out just why you did all this. . . .”

Before I could reply, he was gone, but I made a mental note that if this disillusioned young man crossed my path again, it would perhaps be better to have him removed. Of course I had a reason for all this—but the time for its revelation was not yet. . . .

For a trifle over a week, as I had computated, the war raged—and it was surely the most terrific war ever staged on earth. Though I watched it daily, though I knew my staff in the building thought me completely mad but did not dare to say so, I was not particularly moved by the scenes of destruction and suffering constantly on the increase. Maybe it is something in my makeup. I have heard it said that the true scientist is totally without emotion—forever an implacable opportunist bent on progress at whatever cost. Perhaps that is my nature. I must confess that suffering in others has never stirred me.

Ultimately, the ammunition from every source ran out, as I had arranged it should. I gave orders for ambulance and rescue work to be carried out immediately, and began a gathering of radio news reports from different parts of the world.

Where is the need for me to detail what followed when those of you who survived know it full well? The war had gone according to my plan and had left a devastated world with no victor—except me. All that was left were masses of shattered cities and wandering survivors.

My deeper laid plans came to the fore now. Disease was checked rapidly by the medical devices I offered; people were housed in temporary habitations. Then I sent forth a fleet of newly constructed long-range planes and gave them direct instructions to destroy every sign of armament in the world wherever they encountered it—and where did they not encounter it they were to find out by any means they chose where war weapons were still hidden.

That I was master of the survivors in the world was abundantly clear—to them and to me. In most places I had cities re-erected in similar design to the previous ones as time passed by—no more than a matter of months—but in newly erected New York I insisted on certain changes immediately in front of the executive building. Here, rather to the surprise of the architects I employed, I insisted that four buildings be erected in precisely similar design to those in my native Syracuse—a solid block of four.

The Last Building

The completed effect of a block of Grecian buildings in the midst of the newly erected city was rather strange, no doubt—but definitely necessary to my plans. Indeed the buildings had hardly been finished, and left empty at my command, before that for which I was waiting took place.

Possibly quite a few people saw three more Time-machines similar to my own appear from the apparent air one morning in mid New York. I saw to it that my comrades had a far better reception than I had had and gave orders for their machines to be safely put away. Then, after the city had paid homage at my behest, my three comrades and myself went into conclave.

In appearance I imagine there was little to choose between us—nor will I waste time on names, except for Gralicus, leading scientist next to myself. He was the one with whom I talked while our two comrades sat and listened.

“It seems your theory was right, Counsellor,” Gralicus observed, looking out over the city. “We allowed the time to elapse as arranged—then as you did not return, we came to the same point as you ordered.”

“These fools here thought I came by accident,” I smiled. “They showed me some ridiculous legend about the Romans attacking Syracuse, and further showed me reports of a burning-glass attack invented by me. I traded on it by saying it was a death ray and instilled a healthy respect of my powers thereby. What they do not know is that I came here because an examination of future time-development showed clearly it was a good age in which to start the progressive action impossible in our own age and time.”

“How true,” Gralicus sighed. “We four are scientists beyond the imagination of such fools as those in our own time. To journey into the future and find a land wherein there is the material for active progress was a stroke worthy of your supreme genius, Counsellor. And you have done well, obviously. The people are to heel.”

“War saw to that,” I murmured. “I had to make them fight in order to lessen the possible number of opposers. Still in the guise of a peacemaker, I had all armaments destroyed, so as to be certain there can be no dangerous attack at any time. Lastly, only a war and necessity for reconstruction could make it seem logical for me to reproduce our four most important Grecian buildings right in the center of this city.”

Gralicus gazed down on them through the window.

“Excellent work!” he murmured. “And now—”

“Now,” I told him grimly, “there is nothing to stop us. The conquest of the world is here; next we establish a dynasty in the greater spaces. I had those buildings made that way to obviate fresh plans. We know already that each building—as we intended in Syracuse until law stopped our efforts—is significant in itself, that each will contain special machinery—one, two, three, and four. The first for cosmic machines, the second for special radio work, the third for X-ray telescopic work, and the fourth for actual space-projectile work. Our machines will be better than those we tried back home. Fools though the people of this age are, they are excellent machine-builders. That I admit.”

Gralicus said, “You plan then to contact other worlds, conquer space, master these other worlds with the scientific appliances you have devised?”

“The realization of our dream,” I breathed. “The domination of a universe by the greatest scientists of this or any other age!”

With my scientific friends to aid me, I was able to devote myself to more complex problems and leave the control of the people to them. Gralicus conscripted the people for machine-room work. He organized it so that the workers built machinery in the Grecian buildings without knowing the purpose to which they worked. What they did realize, I think, was that to defeat our rule was impossible. It pleased me to see the dull apathy which attended their obedience to orders.

In the machine-rooms, the engineers built the sections of machines which I had devised. There were space-radio transmitters and receivers, etheric vibrators on a vast scale, destructive forces that could reach to Pluto and beyond if need be. Then there were astronomical devices of advanced design, cradlework for the holding of the first space-projectile to be driven by super-explosive . . . and so forth. I planned to extract the ultimate possible benefits out of physics, astronomy, and mathematics. I planned to master space, space-time, and matter itself. How is it possible to put in this record the whole scientific detail, when none possesses such a brain as I to understand it?

I find, however, that this record is becoming a nuisance to me with so many problems on my hands. I will continue at a later date.

Some months have passed since I put down the record of my conquests. I return to my review of events with a rather troubled mind. For a reason I cannot understand, I believe the people of this age resent my domination—and that of my comrades. But why? Surely it is the law? One master—one people?

No matter. They can do nothing. The first, second, and fourth Grecian buildings are now completed with machinery. I have inspected each one and am well satisfied. The third building, containing the X-ray telescopic devices, is almost finished. There are details to complete which will require the close inspection of myself and comrades. The sooner it is done, the better, for the sooner can our conquest then begin.

Strange! I perceive Gralicus approaching the executive building, and in obvious hurry too. I will resume when I know what news he brings.

Gralicus has brought disturbing news indeed. He tells me there are signs of active revolt among the people, and though there is no direct evidence of it, it would seem that my former secretary Baystoke is connected with it. I have little doubt that Gralicus will track the trouble down.

But time is moving. I have Building 3 to inspect. Gralicus has urged an early examination and is waiting there now with our two comrades. I will have to again postpone this writing.

Note By James Baystoke

Such are the last words Archimedes was ever destined to pen in this age and time! He imagined that by bringing a world to its knees, and that by sheer arrogance and scientific power, he could master a universe. Perhaps he could have done—and therein lay deadly danger. To defeat his mechanical ingenuity was impossible—but I, Baystoke, had not been idle, being aware for some time of the real ambitions of Archimedes.

During the War, the Science Institute containing his Time Machine was bombed. The machine, of immensely hard construction, dropped into the bomb crater and became covered with débris. Later, when with others I was employed in rebuilding the city, it was my luck to come across it. By night, I and a party of friends spirited the machine to a group of physicists known to us to be in opposition to Archimedes’ rule. We had the chance to study the machine in detail.

It finally became obvious to us how it worked—but it was also obvious that to perhaps attract Archimedes and his three colleagues into a machine and set them off into Time was next to impossible. They would be too wary. Yet this was the solution, I was convinced—for Archimedes himself had said Time was a one-way track. Therefore, hurled into the future, he and his comrades could never return.

What could we do?

We only found out when we were set to work erecting machinery in the Grecian buildings. We had noted how, on the completion of each building’s machinery, it was thoroughly examined by the four rulers. Suppose the last building to be finished were naught but a giant Time-Machine? At a casual glance, all machinery looks alike. We could probably erect time-machine apparatus and let it pass for astronomical machinery until close inspection—then it would not matter.

Simply, this is what we did. We found willing helpers in the machine rooms who duplicated the time-machinery on a giant scale. Others of us replaced the guards, and so finally we were ready. When Archimedes and his three men stepped into the building on that fated morning for the examination, nothing remained but to throw the remote control switch.

The building, the machinery, and the men inside it simply vanished—hurled some 4,000 years into the future from which they could never come back. What they do there is no concern of ours. We have rid the world of a grim danger, and therein lies our victory.



[The end of Science from Syracuse by John Russell Fearn (as Polton Cross)]