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First published in Fantastic Universe Oct 1954

Frank Williamson was the first human from Earth to create a space-drive capable of leaving the solar system. It was always assumed he found another Earth-like planet to colonize, but it took the Galactic System three hundred years to eventually find it. 

In the years since Williamson left Earth the galaxy has organized itself according to the Relay coordinates where all information is uniformly transmitted to every planet in order to form a rational galactic society free of any sort of class warfare. 

Williamson’s World, on the other hand, is made up of scattered villages and clan conflicts. When the inhabitants of Williamson’s World are given the Articles of Incorporation to sign in order to join the rest of the galaxy under Relay control they refuse, preferring their own way of life. They know this will mean their planet will be destroyed, but the galaxy can’t risk their individualistic ideas from spreading. 

In a ham-fisted, tacked-on ending, after the planet has been obliterated one of the soldiers who had been on the surface returns to his family and gives his son the titular souvenir, a hand-made wooden cup that he smuggled away from Williamson’s World. His son’s eyes light up as we see the first seeds of independent thought have been planted. 

Cast of characters

  • Edward Rogers – sent from the Galactic Relay Center to explore Williamson’s World
  • Gene Williamson – an offspring of Frank Williamson living on Williamson’s World
  • Commander Ferris – in charge of the battleship attacking Williamson’s World
  • Corporal Pete Matson – a soldier sent to destroy Williamson’s World