Prime Commandment

by Robert Silverberg

writing as Calvin M. Knox

Short story

Publication history


(From )

All lawsught to be obeyed; both parties agreed on that. But when obeying one would require violating the spirit of another, higher law, then the greater should rule the lesser. And both groups on this little world would agree on here, too!


Three hundred years ago, a colony ship crash landed on Beta Andromedae XII. The survivors made do with what they had, and fortunately the planet was warm and bounteous. As generations passed, a religion grew out of the story of the Ship crashing and the founding of World. Then comes another colony ship, this one promised the supposedly uninhabited world of Beta Andromedae XII for themselves. It's a group of puritanical Christians who left Earth to escape the influence of unholy sinners, and the people they find on their planet certainly don't meet standards of sanctity. The new arrivals see only three choices: 1. Go back to Earth; 2. Convert the savages; 3. Kill them.

Other resources

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