John was sleeping in his tent beside the creek in his favorite woodland hideaway and the hour was about 2:00 in the morning.
He was a precocious teenaged youth who loved to escape the bonds of the city and spend lots of time in the peace of the surrounding wildernesses and he often camped alone or with friends in this very spot by this very creek.
Very few people ever came there to disturb him. He would occasionally take a friend along on his forays into the solitude of the woods.
But on this fateful morning, he was alone.
The summer moon was full and bright and nothing disturbed the quiet except for the singing of the tree frogs, the splash of the water in the creek and a few buzzing insects.
The young man was shaken awake from his sleep by a strange sound that sounded like something big and heavy striking the ground with considerable force. In addition to that, there was an eerie, other-worldly whining sound …. high pitched …. electronic …. very strange indeed!
Then all was quiet once again but he did notice something in the midst of some of the more distant trees …. a strange glow …. a greenish, soft, steady glowing of some kind of light.
Suddenly, he was overcome by an unusually intense urge to leave his tent, to go out into the night and to investigate the strange light a few hundred yards distant.
The “Thing” stood there all silent but pulsing with the strange greenish light and making a low-pitched humming sound that seemed to flow through his very being.
He was more fascinated by the sight and sound of the …. object …. that had come from seemingly nowhere and crashed or landed right where it was …. right in the middle of the secluded woods.
As John kind of cowered behind a large tree trunk, observing the object with great interest, an opening in the thing began to grow wider and wider and more of that green light emanated from inside whatever the thing was.
A soft voice, cloaked in what seemed like the greatest love, respect and care spoke from within the structure, “Come …. fear nothing …. come!”
John felt absolutely nothing but curiosity. It was as if something had cast a spell over him and made him absolutely courageous and unafraid. He moved slowly toward the opening in the …. “Craft.”
He found himself inside the object and began to take notice of his surroundings.
The inside where he was was simplicity itself — nothing complicated — no bank of dials and flashing lights — no weird beings — no other persons whatsoever — just a single round glowing disc and what appeared to be a couch made of leather with a glass-like covering over it.
The voice spoke again in soft, almost parental tones, and informed him that he had been chosen and that the spacecraft had traveled many light years from a distant planet named “Tharoahs” to bargain with him.
It seems that the planet being discussed was in some kind of difficulty and that a people who lived there had need of someone like John to become their king by common consent and to help deliver them from their encounters with their present enemies and difficulties. A tall order for a teenaged boy!
“You have been observed and you have been found to be the exact person needed for this critical mission,” the voice said.
“But I am just a kid!” John protested, “What is it that I can do to be of any help and how shall I leave my friends and my parents and not be missed and cause great sorrow and grief by my disappearance?”
If you accept the challenge and come with us, you shall be taught all things,” the voice assured him, “and there shall be made of you a duplicate who shall live here on earth in your place. He shall have your every characteristic and no one shall ever know the difference.” The voice promised.
“If I am to become wise enough to rule a nation on a distant planet, I shall certainly have to learn much in a short time,” John ventured.
While you are traveling from earth to Tharoahs in this great machine which you are even now beholding and from which emanates the voice that you are hearing, you shall be taught all things that you need to know so that when you arrive at Tharoahs, you shall be fully educated and ready to assume the tasks that will be assigned to you.” The voice said with great and reassuring confidence.
John found himself thinking out loud, “How can these things be? Nothing like this has ever been thought of in all the history of Mankind!”
Come and see,” the voice intoned caressingly, quietly, comfortingly.
The young adventurer took a position lying on the couch with the glass-like lid and felt the soothing breezes beginning to caress him all over — and it was a sensation of great comfort — a sense of total safety — he felt reassured within himself.
The glasslike lid began to light up as it descended toward the couch on which John had lain himself. A vibration filled the room and the humming sound became louder — and was then suddenly muffled to where it was barely discerned.
John felt no sensation of movement as the craft ascended into the night sky and in a few minutes he spoke aloud, asking the invisible voice, “Where are we now?”
“We are a Thousand miles above the earth,” the voice replied.
“Impossible!” John breathed aloud, “I have only been laying here for a minute or two. How fast does this thing go anyway?”
“Our speed is such that we are moving through space at a rate where one earth hour equals one earth year. There is much distance to cover. Why not just close your eyes and rest awhile?” The voice suggested.
The young space traveler closed his eyes and thought he smelled the fragrance of roses.
As the pink-colored gas entered the chamber where John was resting, the great machine of all knowledge began to transmit all the education he would ever need directly into his resting brain by electronic means.
The great journey had begun.
Many were the days of marvels and adventures yet to come on a remote planet directly opposite the earth, a few hundred light years on the other side of the Sun … the huge behemoth of a planet named “Tharoahs” which was almost a duplicate of the earth itself but much much larger.
One would reasonably wonder how a mere human teenaged kid could withstand the greater demands of gravity on such a giant planet but one must also imagine that if the great machine that was carrying him there was able to exist, then there surely must be science enough at somebody’s disposal to ensure he could stand the gravity.
If this story continues to be told it will become abundantly clear how great scientific advances can co-exist with ancient cultures on a distant planet and such are the as-yet-unsolved mysteries of this universe we all inhabit.
And whether this story continues to be told will depend entirely on how it is received and how many people actually like it and want to hear more.
His clone walked through the back door of his house in town and his Mother’s voice was heard to say, “Is that you, son?”
“Yes, Mom, it’s me!” the clone replied.