… “My brothers,” he said, “listen to what I have to say.”
A hushed silence fell over the crowd.
“These gentlemen have come to remove the metal you call Devil’s Gold, which was making you sick. It is neither gold nor from the devil. It is a very dangerous metal that emits sickness. Do not harm them. They are only doing good. Go home!”
He raised his right hand. “Listen to me, brothers. Do not attempt to attack. That would be a very dangerous mistake.”
He stopped for effect. Still no reaction.
“I am just a human like you — but these gentlemen are different. They are visitors from another world, among the stars.”
A ripple went through the crowd.
“They are powerful,” he said. “They could kill all with bolts of lightning the likes of which you have never seen. They could destroy the caliph’s army in a day.”
Another ripple went through the crowd, this time with an audible murmur.
“The great armies of the Byzantines, of China, of India — each of these could vanish in a day. They could conquer the world in less than a week.” …
… A rock emerged from the first ranks of the crowd and arched through the air in his direction.