Wat Shure's cleverly devised coffee and bun interlude had produced the desired effect on the audience, who were now in a relaxed and companionable mood. Fully convinced that they were in the presence of friendly 'aliens', they readily accepted Sebastian's return to the subject of ancient civilisations that possessed great technological abilities; and the dismal failure of mankind to learn and develop from the knowledge given it.
'The evidence is all around us,' said Sebastian. 'On every continent, in every historical culture, there remain clear signs of what the Its have done for us in the long distant past. The enormous buildings, in vast, complex cities, where precisely worked stones, the size and weight of corvettes, or frigates, were placed with geometric exactness after being transported, sometimes for miles, from the quarries.' A jug of water had appeared on the table, and he poured himself a glass and took a sip. 'Are there any comments, or observations, at this point?'
A small, rotund, middle-aged man stood up. 'I am a history teacher at the Grammar School, and I am also a keen, amateur archeologist. I always try to bring plain common-sense into what I teach in class, or what I find out on a field dig. If I find a small piece of curved pottery that is evidently old, I accept it as just that - until all the other pieces that go with it are found, and can be pieced together. If nothing more is discovered, I do not immediately make a drawing of a complicated vessel, two feet tall, into which my shard can be theoretically fitted somewhere along the top edge. ' He shook his head sadly, 'I strongly suspect that most of the pots, and plates, and cups we see replicated in museums, with the original 'finds' suitably fitted into them somewhere, are nothing more than figments of someone's imagination.'
'Exactly!' A youngish woman, dressed all in heavy brown wool, and with an orange and green scarf flung carelessly round her neck, leapt to her feet. 'I teach art, and art history, so an interest in archeology and ancient architecture follows from that. I really hate the way that official academe has created its own dogma - telling us what is right and acceptable - and pooh-poohing all fresh, radical ideas as the babbling of lunatics. I have read all of Erik Von Daniken, and a lot of the supporting stuff from his acolytes, and although he may not be 100% correct, all the time, I think he's more right than wrong.' She stood with her hands on her hips and looked challengingly around - but no one disagreed with her.
The little history teacher, who was still on his feet, nodded vigorously. 'I couldn't agree more,' he said. 'I get very irritated with some of the dismal, official explanations for interesting and puzzling anomalies from the past. Like those enormous stones of yours,' he said, looking at Sebastian. 'One thousand tons,or more, some of them, and the so called 'experts' still waffle on about ropes, and rollers, and slides and sledges - and that's before you get to the problem of actually lifting them.' He snorted in disgust, then went on: 'And, of course, there are the hordes of workers required to push and pull and lift. Before the labourers, of course, were the craftsmen masons, chipping away with primitive tools, for Lord knows how long, creating stone-work of such absolute perfection that it could not be done today without highly sophisticated power tools. ' He shook his head, and looked all round the audience. 'The logistics involved don't work. Take Stonehenge, for example, a much smaller project with stones of only twenty to thirty tons. How many of you know the probable population of Britain in 3000 BC?' No one answered him, so he went on: 'Probably less than a million! Spread all over the place in small tribes and family groups - most of them very suspicious of the others. No one travelled very far afield from where they were born and raised - too dangerous! In my own lifetime I have known a man who was born in a village in Hampshire, and the furthest he ever travelled during his eighty-seven year lifespan was to the nearest town, which was only twelve miles away. So, go back thousands of years and ask yourselves - who were the surveyors who found the various stones? Who, in what is now Wiltshire, knew there were 'bluestones' in Wales? How was the labour force organised, and the food chain set up, when the people led extremely parochial lives? And how could this be kept up for many years? There were no wide highways along which to travel - just pathways and forest; lots and lots of forest. How could Stonehenge have been built without advanced help and technology?' He looked up at the 'gang of four' seated on the dais. 'And you're going to tell us - aren't you?'
Pigsly left its chair and went to the table. Taking a can of WD40 from its pocket, and using it like a mouthwash, it sprayed a little onto its tongue. Leaving the can standing on the table, Pigsly looked over the audience. Noticing several people gazing in open-mouthed awe at what it had just done with the WD40, Pigsly gave them a wide grin. 'Luscious flavour, that,' It said. 'Really gives you a jerk and a boost - but I wouldn't try it yourselves, your metabolisms are quite different to mine.'
There were a few chuckles from here and there around the chamber, and someone called out: 'Well that proves to me that you are aliens, if nothing else does.'
Pigsly smiled. 'Yes! As we are now, we are alien to you - but we used to be just like you, you know, many many moons ago. We started off, like you, in caves, and up trees, slowly progressing; following a pattern of development laid down by Grey Tit. It was a simpler, quieter time, with less dimensions in it. Wat and I, and all of the other Its on Balls at this time, are from the 28th. Dimension, which happens to be the only one that evolved straight through Grey Tit's programme to a state of pure Thought Energy.'
The art teacher raised her arm and said: 'A question, if I may?'
'Why, having reached it's goal with the 28th. Dimension, did the Great It not stop there? Why keep on creating new dimensions?'
'Well, young lady, if It hadn't, you wouldn't be here now to ask the question. But seriously, my dear, we do not know the Great It's goal, or even if It has one. All we know is that 21,121,218 inhabited planets have had to be saved from themselves, and that this is the 21,121,219th.'
'With so many failures, you would think the Grey Tit would give up - and just make do with you lot.'
Wat Shures leapt to the table. 'Give up?' it cried. 'The Great Universal Intelligence can't 'give up' anything. The G.U.I. is; therefore it can; in which case it must - so it does! Give up? Bah! Never heard anything like it in all my life!'
'Calm down my friend,' said the Professor. 'I'm sure the young lady didn't mean anything by her remark.'
'Will you stop calling me 'young lady',' said the teacher heatedly, 'I am thirty-six.'
'I say, are you really?' said Sebastian. 'I must say you don't look.......' A glare from the teacher stopped him in mid-sentence, and he subsided back into his chair.
'We have got away from the point,' said Pigsly firmly. 'Several times in the history of this planet, advanced civilisations have arisen, kick-started by us by means of example and practical help, only to collapse because of wars and mindless aggression. Virtually nothing we have shown you has inspired a peaceful development, as was hoped; you always turn towards war. When we lifted 1000 ton stones for you, and placed them precisely in position, after shaping them to geometric perfection, we didn't think that 12,000 years later you would still be wondering how it was done, rather than doing it for yourselves. You really are hopeless - and time is running out for you.'
To be continued.........................