sábado, 27 de dezembro de 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Arthur Tofte

"...A panel in the ship was slowly opening! Aiming his camera, Sutherland snapped a picture.

He watched as a ramp slowly slid out of the opening.
He took another picture. For several minutes more there was no further activity.

Then, slowly, with a stately tread, there appeared the most striking being Cliff had ever seen. He was tall and very slender. He wore a tight-fitting garment made of a shining silvery material. As he strode down the ramp, it seemed to Cliff that goodness and good will emanated from him in a godlike aura.

Just as perhaps every other person in the huge crowd felt, so Cliff Sutherland sighed in relief. The alien was no enemy. He brought no sense of menace with him, no threat of danger.
Remembering belatedly why he was here, Cliff snapped several pictures of the stranger as he moved down the ramp.

Then he saw a second figure emerge!

This one was completely different. He was half again as tall as the humanlike being who had preceded him. He seemed to be a mechanical robot. Made apparently of the same green material as the ship, he nevertheless moved surely and smoothly as he took his place beside the other. The ramp behind them slid back into the ship and the panel door closed.

For a long moment the two strange figures stood facing the silent crowd.
Then the man spoke up in a loud, clear voice: "I am Klaatu and this is Gnut."

A murmur arose from the people closest, obviously surprised that the alien could speak English.

The alien raised his right arm, palm outward, in the universal symbol of peace.
At that instant there was a sharp report. Turning quickly, Cliff Sutherland saw tendrils of smoke rising from a tree nearby. A wild-eyed man wasdescending. Two policemen grappled with him.
Cliff took one picture of the scuffle. When he saw that the gunman was being dragged away, he turned back to look at the fallen figure of the alien. This too he photographed.

Soldiers were surrounding the stranger as he lay on the ground. In a minute or two they had picked him up and carried him to a nearby army car.

Stunned by the sudden turn of events, Sutherland moved toward the ship.

The robotlike creature had not changed his position in all the turmoil and excitement.
He stood stolidly, his two huge feet firmly placed on the ground.

Cliff approached and was startled to see the robot's eyes, like red beads, glaring back at him.
Within minutes, the police and the soldiers had restored order.

A rope cordon was hurriedly placed around the ship to keep people away. Inside the area, the robot, Gnut, never moved.

Exhausted by his long, 24 hour stint, Sutherland didn't object when a policeman said he'd have to get back with the others in spite of his press card. He desperately needed a shower, food, and sleep. And he wanted to get back to his two-room apartment where he could develop the pictures he had taken.

He was not too happy with the shots he had obtained.
Every news photographer in Washington probably had about the same.
But most of all, right now he needed sleep."

O conto 'Farewell to the master'(1940) de Harry Bates, que deu origem ao conhecido filme 'O dia em que a Terra parou' (The day the Earth stood still, 1951, Diretor Robert Wise) também foi posteriormente transformado em um romance por Arthur Tofte, com o mesmo nome do filme.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1976) -Arthur Tofte [ Download ]