“Professor, politics has been a thousand years behind every other means of human advancement. This will always be true. Politics depends upon changing the minds of a great many people. Science depends upon a few accurate discoveries learned by a few people. It has always been so. And thus science is turned back to murder on a par with the villainies of the middle ages. The United Nations?” I laughed at him.
“Captain, what, may I ask, have you yourself done?”
I poured a small glass of wine, glancing for his permission. I examined the amber glow of it against the warm firelight. “I spoke. I wrote. People said I was bitter. Said the war had turned my mind. Said I was wounded and to be pitied but fortunately, not to be taken seriously. Some called me the Prophet of Doom. I even made the Sunday supplement once. The Prophet of Doom.” I drank the wine. “But mostly they did not talk at all, or think at all. There were a few others like myself. We drowned casually in a sea of indifference.”
“You took no action?”
“What action could I take? Oh, we had a few ideas, we did a few things. For a little while three atomic scientists and an ex-naval officer and myself attempted to form a group to be known as the Allied Scientists of the World. We attended a meeting or two at Cal Tech. We corresponded with the people at Alamogordo.1 But the scientists themselves were too savage, too extreme, and though we decided that the proper function of the scientist was to benefit all mankind even if scientists themselves had to rule the world, there was too much prima donna in the top flight, too much bitterness in the ranks. We wrote a charter, a code. We were destroyed by lack of capital in pan, but mostly by the tremendous inertia of the people. We had ideas. No one could agree. And now—”
Before the fire, in the center of the hearth rug, a volume began to appear, held in a spotlight of green which had no visible source. Another book grew and took body and then a third. The light faded and only the guttering fire splashed on the covers.
I took them and found them wholly solid. They were bound in scarlet and each was emblazoned with a great golden sword. The smaller pair were entitled: “Negative Energy Flows: A Neglected Field with Some Notes on Future Potentialities in Life Creation” and “Codes, Constitution and General Organization of the Allied Scientists of the World, with notes on Viticity Defense.” After an interested examination I laid them by.2, 3