10.8 Gravity wells

The fugitives and the banished are recalled,
fathers and sons strengthening the deep wells.
The cruel father and his followers suffocated;
his most wicked son drowned in the well. (IV-53)

To the far future space colonies and space flight will be very common because the Earth will be overcrowded. Someone will economically manipulate the Earth causing the Earth’s leaders to call on the colonies for help. The colonies will be able to supply the Earth with things they manufacture in space that cannot be produced on Earth.


In the phrase «strengthening the deep well» the word «wells» refers to the phrase «gravity wells» that are found around each planet. That is, you must pull against the influence of gravity to get away from the planet and you must account for it whenever you’re maneuvering near that planet. To strengthen these wells they send materials and supplies down to the Earth powers that need it.

In the process of this exchange a man who reenters the atmosphere makes a miscalculation and burns up – «his son drowned in the well». «The cruel father and his followers suffocated» describes those who attempted to ruin the lives of many and bring back the time of troubles but who did not succeed. The people of the colonies, since they are already in space, are the ones that finally capture the «cruel father» because he tries to escape from Earth by spaceship.