To Your Scattered Bodies Go
by Philip Jose' Farmer
Discussed July 2006
Philip Jose' Farmer
To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Overview
by Brenda Krekeler


To Your Scattered Bodies Go
by Philip Jose’ Farmer

Main Characters:
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton – Her Majesty’s Consul in the Austro Hungarian port of Trieste, an exployer.

Kazz – Zazzintuitruaabemss which means Man-Who-Slew-The-Long- White-Tooth, the Neanderthal

Peter Frigate – American, borne 1918 died 2008 due to the actions of the extra-Terrestrial. Peter had read all the books written by Richard Burton and was a student of history.

Monat Grrautut – the extra terrestrial. Monat destroyed all the humans on earth because he had told earth about a cure for old age but that he was not able to use it for his people or to share with earth. It was too late and once Monat realized that the people of earth would take his ship and go to his planet to discover the cure for old age that all would be lost. So after seeing his ship being taken over and his crew killed Monat activated a scanner which killed all humans on earth. Monat did not mean for that many people to die.

Alice Hargreaves – Englishwoman, difficulty adjusting to her new surroundings eventually fell in love with Burton.

Wilfrida – prostitute from England, Burton’s second choice

Gwenafra – blonde child protected by Burton’s Group

John de Greystock
Little Lev Ruach
Hermann Goring – German who worked for Hitler
Spruce – an Ethical
Targoff – rebel against the Germans
Agneau – an Ethical
John Collop – befriended Burton, a religious man of The Church
Abdul ibn Harun – Burton’s cover name

Richard Francis Burton died in the arms of his wife. He was in the Middle East in the desert when he fell into darkness. The next thing he knew he woke up and saw hundreds of naked, hairless 25 year old bodies floating around him. They were all asleep except him. Each body occupied a 6’ by 6’ space and where suspended in that space by an undetectable force field. Burton struggled like a dog paddling in water to reach a red pole at the outer edge of his defined space. He was relentless and when he touched the red pole he and all the bodies around him started to fall down. He held on to the red pole. Soon a canoe with human beings floated down to him and again he fell into darkness.

Richard woke up in a river valley that had a plain on either side of the river and each plain was demarcated with a face of an insurmountable mountain that was 20,000’ high. He lay on the ground and he was surrounded by other people who were waking up. Everyone was naked and hairless. Eventually their hair would grow back but no one would have facial hair. There were people from all time periods and from all different countries of earth. Each person had a grayish metallic cylinder attached to their wrist. Large mushroom shaped edifices were distributed around the landscape and each had 700 indentations. At breakfast, lunch and dinner when the cylinder was placed into the indentations of the Grail a blue flame would emit from the mushroom structure and the cylinders would be filled with food. Other items would also appear in the cylinders such as lipstick, 10 cigarettes unfiltered, sack of pipe tobacco, a small briar pipe, 3 panatela-shaped cigars, 1 brown cigarette which was Marijuana and drugged gum. The dreamgum had different effects on people from acting as a sexual stimulant to causing nightmares and hallucinations. For some, the gum was addictive.

Burton developed alliances with Monat the extra-terrestrial, Kazz the Neanderthal and the well read American Peter Frigate. Burton swore to protect Alice Hargreaves and a child Gwenafra. The group banded together, built huts, fought off aggressors and became friends. Burton estimated that there were 261 people per square mile. Eventually with the towels supplied by the Grail, people started to wear kilts, bras and turbans. Burton used to have great Mustachios and he missed it. Alice was a hard woman. Burton soon shared a hut with Wilfreda, a prostitute from England. Soon Burton, a great explorer, now comfortable with his new 25-year old body, and having gotten over the shock of The Resurrection, decided to build a boat and to sail to the mouth of The River. It took 60 days to build the boat named The Hadji.

The boat escaped many attempts of capture by the little slave states along the River. At points the River would widen to large lakes that were 6 miles wide. At other points the mountains would narrow to form canyons where the waters poured through violently. Burton knew his boat by now and was able to escape capture and maneuver through the narrows.

The Hadji came into the waters of a slave state of some 20,000 inhabitants that was ruled by Hermann Goring who had worked for Hitler. The crew of the Hadji was captured. The men were enslaved, the women taken as property by Goring and his assistant von Kreyscharft and the child was killed by an attacker, her body lost to the River and devoured by the giant fish. All was happy to see that Gwenafra died because they all knew that death here in the River valley was not permanent and that she would be reborn at another location.

Upon capture, Kazz opted to decapitate a prisoner to prove he would side with Goring. The others refused. Burton, Frigate, Rauch, de Greystock and Monat were enslaved. There was a strong sentiment of anti-Semitism that dominated the German attitude. Consequently, Burton received some retorts from Frigate about Burton’s attitude about Jews. Richard Burton had written a book The Jew, The Gypsy and El Islam. Burton’s defense for his viewpoint in the book was the money lenders in Damascus.

Burton aligned himself with Targoff, another slave, to rebel against the Germans. Goring had Alice initially then von Kreyscharft took here because Goring complained that Alice was too cold.

One evening when it started to rain and all the guards were drunk and under cover, the slaves rebelled. In the battle Burton killed Goring. Another Native American slave state across the River the Onondaga also attached the Germans. The Onondaga retreated to their side of the River. Of the 20,000 occupants of the German slave state only 10,000 survived. Targoff, Burton, Spruce, Rauch & two others set up a provisional government. De Greystock disappeared. Alice moved in with Burton and admitted her love for him because she was a changed woman.

Burton estimated that the River was about 20,000,000 miles long.

Kazz had an opportunity to talk to Burton and he told him that all people had a symbol marked on their forehead. Only Kazz could see it because of his range of vision. He told Burton that he had seen only 3 people without the symbol. The third one was Spruce. Burton hunted Spruce down and demanded to know who he was and what the Ethicals intention was. Spruce told Burton that they were from the 52nd Century A.D. and they were the Ethicals who recorded people’s memories. They re-birthed all people at the age of 25 years with all of their life’s memories. Babies and the handicapped were sent to another place. Spruce activated a black shiny ball the size of a match head that was placed in his brain and killed himself. Burton was angry because he still had questions.

Thirty days later Burton, Frigate, Ruach and Kazz returned from a trip up the River to obtain copper. The trip was not successful but upon their return after dark they found a heavy fog over their village and all of the people were asleep. Burton realized then that the Ethicals were searching for him. Immediately, Burton, Alice, Rauch, Frigate & Loghu left to escape the Ethicals. At a village that the group stayed at one night, Burton heard screaming and discovered Goring in a nearby hut. Goring was experiencing nightmares, hallucinations and delusions from the dreamgum. A morphine addict on earth, Goring had overcome the addition. Burton made a big mistake and told Goring about Spruce and the Ethicals. Agneau, a new acquaintance of Burton’s turned out to be an Ethical and Goring warned Agneau that Burton was going to trap him to learn more about the Ethicals. Burton ultimately killed Goring again. After Agneau killed himself, Burton obtained a photograph that Agneau was carrying. It was a picture of Burton on earth when he was 25 years old. Upon this discovery, Burton saw flying craft and he knew the Ethicals would capture him. Burton ran to the river and dove deep and allowed himself to drown and have his body destroyed by the giant fish. This was the first time Burton committed suicide.

When Burton woke up from the little resurrection, he discovered that he was at the mouth of the river. This is where he has been searching for all along. However, he did not have much time to appreciate the discovery because the people were a sub-human culture that had never been recorded in human history. They were seven to eight feet tall titans. These huge pre-humans were a warring culture and Burton was right in the middle of it. And next to him was Goring. Caught in the middle of this titan battle, Burton’s foot was seriously injured. He lost control of his leg and suffered internal bleeding and died.

When he was resurrected again he was with Goring. He and Goring talked and Burton expressed to Goring that he did not want to kill him but that Goring had to keep Burton’s identity a secret. Goring agreed.

Burton estimated that the River valley was 10 to 20 million miles long and that between 35 and 36 billion people lived along it. He theorized that about one million people died each day from the wars between the states, crimes of passion, suicides, executions of criminals and accidents. Also there are about one million little states along the River.

At this latest little resurrection, Burton met John Collop, a religious man who purported to belong to The Church. Although Burton would not join The Church because he refused to not use weapons to defend himself, Burton and John Collop became friends. Burton took a new name to conceal his identity. Abdul ibu Harun. John Collop told Burton ….. “Purgatory is Hell with hope.” Two months passed. Burton kept track of time. It was the 14th of July year 5 A.R. (after Resurrection). Goring lost his mental faculties, addicted to dreamgum, he hallucinated and became a danger to himself and others. Later at the River Goring confessed to Burton he didn’t know what he was doing and Goring drowned himself.

After, Burton went for a walk and was halted by the Ethical who was betraying the Ethicals. The traitor told Burton that the Ethicals were toying with the humans as lab animals. The traitor told Burton that Burton must die because the Ethicals had detected his wathan, his aura. The traitor gave Burton a capsule that would kill him and destroy his brain so that the Ethicals could not read his brain. The Ethical said there are rules that they follow. One rule is …”We are Ethicals. We can give life, but we can’t directly take life….We can…its just very difficult.” Burton knew the Ethicals would be there in moments and he took the capsule and died.

Burton woke up and Goring was there. Small dark men with axes were warring and Burton and Goring were killed. When they woke up again Goring was still hallucinating and this time Goring died of a burst bladder.

Burton continued to elude the Ethicals by his method “The Suicide Express.” He counted how many times he was resurrected and died and he was on his 777th trip when he found John Collop and Goring. Goring was now rehabilitated. Burton did not want to see Goring and he walked toward the mountains where he saw a flash.

When Burton woke up this time he was in a room with 12 chairs occupied by 6 men and 6 women. At Burton’s 777th death the Ethicals were notified. They did not know that Burton was escaping them by suicide. The Ethicals do not know why he woke up in the bubble. They said they had tested him thoroughly but could not determine any difference between him and all other humans. Burton knew that it was the Traitor who woke him up in the bubble because the Traitor told him that he felt it would be the only way Burton would know this was not Heaven but a game being played out by the Ethicals. The Ethicals made a reference to “down here” which Burton interpreted to be within the core of the planet. The Ethicals told Burton that he only had a few more lives left. After he had spent all of his lives his spirit would be released into the space and float free.

The Ethicals returned Burton to the village where he had set up the provincial government after conquering the German slave state. Upon his awakening he saw Peter Frigate first. Peter explained that after they could not find Burton the group sailed back to Theleme. Burton was reunited with Alice and his friends.

The Ethicals had told Burton that he would not remember anything that had occurred in their presence. But it became clear that the Traitor had interfered because Burton remembered everything.

When Frigate asked, “What are you going to do now Burton?” Burton replied, “I’m going to build a boat and sail up The River. All the way! Want to come along?