The discovery of a means of transportation by means of disintegration would certainly solve a great many problems on interplanetary travel—to say nothing of shorter distance transportation...
Excitement, speculation, wonder and interest ran high in Sonko-Huara, for news had been spread that Kespi-Nanay had returned. It was almost as though a person had returned from the dead. In a way, it was more amazing, for persons had been known to be resuscitated; moreover, everyone knew that death was merely a state and that the spirit that left one body took possession of another. But Kespi-Nanay had not died. He had merely disappeared—vanished completely—three Chukitis (years) before, after declaring that he intended to visit Suari, that great, glowing, mysterious planet that from the very beginning of history had been a source of wonder, of study and of baffling mystery to laymen and scientists alike. It was the nearest planet to Sonko-Huara—near, however, only by comparison—and separated by some forty-odd million Tuppus (miles) of space. Yet through the ages the astronomers of Sonko-Huara had learned much about their great, glowing neighbor, that, like their own planet, raced about the sun and rotated upon its own axis, so that the Sonko-Huaran scientists knew that the seasons, the climate, the alternating days and nights of Suari must be very similar to their own.
Through their telescopes the astronomers of ancient times had studied Suari; they had viewed its surface from pole to pole and completely around its circumference, for unlike Quilla (the moon), that presented only one side to view as far as Suari is concerned, Suari presented every portion of its surface to the eyes of the studious and curious inhabitants of Sonko-Huara. Often, however, strange masses of dense vapor obscured the big planet. Often, for long periods of time, certain portions of Suari were completely blanketed by these impenetrable masses that so puzzled the scientists. Yet always there were certain portions of its surface that were free from the vapor. Innumerable speculations had been raised by this phenomenon, for no such tenuous veil ever hung over and above the surface of Sonko-Huara.
Always the sunshine or the moonlight streamed upon it from a cloudless sky, and often, on moonless nights, for they had their own moons, the glow from Suari illuminated the planet. Through the ages, too, much had been learned of the surface of Suari. Over two-thirds of the planet was covered with water (an amazing discovery for the Sonko-Huarans whose planet was woefully short of water and was, with the exception of polar seas and inland seas, all land). Vast mountain ranges, great canals (crooked and winding in most remarkable manner) had been studied and mapped; immense masses of ice had been seen to cover the polar regions, and the astronomers were both astonished and puzzled to note that the appearance of the land masses changed continually. At times they were white, at others brown, at others green. Gradually they noticed that these alterations followed a regular sequence, that they were repeated at fixed intervals and that they bore a direct relationship to the position of the planet in reference to the sun. Suddenly the Sonko-Huaran astronomers had had an inspiration. Their neighboring planet must be inhabited! It must be populated by intelligent beings not unlike themselves! The change in colors must be the result of these beings cultivating the land!