Study of Beelzebub's Tales

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Venoma

 

3 The Cause of the Delay in the Falling of the Ship Karnak

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“In our youth all such ships both for intersystem and for interplanetary communication were still run on the cosmic substance ‘Elekilpomagtistzen,’ which is a totality consisting of two separate parts of the omnipresent Okidanokh.

“And it was to obtain this totality that just those numerous materials were necessary which the former ships had to carry.

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“But these ships did not remain in use long after you flew from these parts, having soon thereafter been replaced by ships of the system of Saint Venoma.”

 

4 The Law of Falling

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The captain continued:

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“This happened in the year 185, by objective time-calculation.

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“Saint Venoma had been taken for his merits from the planet ‘Soort’ to the holy planet ‘Purgatory,’ where, after he had familiarized himself with his new surroundings and new duties, he gave all his free time to his favorite work.

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“And his favorite work was to seek what new phenomena could be found in various combinations of already existing, law-conformable phenomena.

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“And sometime later, in the course of these occupations, this Saint Venoma first constated in cosmic laws what later became a famous discovery, and this discovery he first called the ‘Law of Falling.’

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“This cosmic law which he then discovered, St. Venoma himself formulated thus:

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“‘Everything existing in the World falls to the bottom. And the bottom for any part of the Universe is its nearest “stability,” and this said “stability” is the place or the point upon which all the lines of force arriving from all directions converge.

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“‘The centers of all the suns and of all the planets of our Universe are just such points of “stability.” They are the lowest points of those regions of space upon which forces from all directions of the given part of the Universe definitely tend and where they are concentrated. In these points there is also concentrated the equilibrium which enables suns and planets to maintain their position.’

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“In this formulation of his, Saint Venoma said further that everything when dropped into space, wherever it may be, tends to fall on one or another sun or on one or another planet, according to which sun or planet the given part of space belongs to, where the object is dropped, each sun or planet being for the given sphere the ‘stability’ or bottom.

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“Starting from this, Saint Venoma reasoned in his further researches as follows:

“‘If this be so, may it not therefore be possible to employ this cosmic particularity for the locomotion we need between the spaces of the Universe?’

“And from then on, he worked in this direction.

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“His further saintly labors showed that although in principle this was in general possible, yet it was impossible fully to employ for this purpose this ‘Law of Falling’ discovered by him. And it would be impossible owing solely to the atmospheres around most of the cosmic concentrations, which atmospheres would hinder the straight falling of the object dropped in space.

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“Having constated this, Saint Venoma then devoted his whole attention to discovering some means of overcoming the said atmospheric resistance for ships constructed on the principle of Falling.

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“And after three ‘Looniases’ Saint Venoma did find such a possibility, and later on when the building of a suitable special construction had been completed under his direction, he proceeded to practical trials.

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“This special construction had the appearance of a large enclosure, all the walls of which were made of a special material something like glass.

“Then to every side of that large enclosure were fitted things like ‘shutters’ of a material impervious to the rays of the cosmic substance ‘Elekilpomagtistzen,’ and these shutters, although closely fitted to the walls of the said enclosure, could yet freely slide in every direction.

“Within the enclosure was placed a special ‘battery,’ generating and giving this same substance ‘Elekilpomagtistzen.’

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“I myself, your Right Reverence, was present at the first trials made by Saint Venoma according to the principles he had discovered.

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“The whole secret lay in this, that when the rays of ‘Elekilpomagtistzen’ were made to pass through this special glass, then in all the space they reached, everything usually composing the atmosphere itself of planets, such as ‘air,’ every kind of ‘gas,’ ‘fog,’ and so on, was destroyed. This part of space became indeed absolutely empty and had neither resistance nor pressure, so that, if even an infant-being pushed this enormous structure, it would move forward as easily as a feather.

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“To the outer side of this peculiar structure there were attached appliances similar to wings, which were set in motion by means of this same substance ‘Elekilpomagtistzen,’ and served to give the impetus to move all this enormous construction in the required direction.

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“But in spite of the said drawbacks of the system of Saint Venoma, it gradually, as I have already said, displaced all the previous systems.

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“And the ships of this system of Saint Venoma had already existed for twenty-three years when it was first rumored that the Angel Hariton had invented a new type of ship for intersystem and interplanetary communication.”

 

5 The System of Archangel Hariton

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“Further than this, the contemporary ships are also good because they contain such possibilities that in atmosphereless spaces an impetus can be given to them in any direction, and they can fall just where desired without the complicated manipulations necessary in ships of the system of Saint Venoma.