"But there isn’t time for that now…everybody’s got their work cut out with the comet – which should destroy the Earth in a year’s time. You know, uncle was sent by our emperor to Petersburg for negotiations about exactly that. There have already been a number of diplomatic meetings: our task is firstly to make inspections of all the measures being taken on the ground to counteract the threat, and secondly to bring China into the alliance of states which are joining together to share the costs of dealing with it. As a matter of fact, scientists here are very calmly and confidently asserting that so long as staff retain their presence of mind when the apparatus goes into action – it should be perfectly possible to prevent the comet from falling to Earth: they just need to know far enough in advance the exact point the comet is heading towards. They assure us that this can be calculated accurately as soon as the comet becomes visible in their telescopes. In one of my future letters I will describe to you the preventative anti-comet measures being taken by the government here. So much knowledge! Such deep thinking! People here are amazingly knowledgeable and even more inventive."
"The Year 4338: Petersburg Letters"