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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Protective Energy Halo  
  A device that cast a hemisphere of protective beams.  

A mysterious installation in the hills casts a strange radiance...

...the Scarab approached an area around which a faint, golden halo hung... The phenomenon which covered it was like a huge, inverted funnel of witch fire, brewed in the cauldron of science. Beneath its enveloping luminescence was a hill, shaggy with dense woods and undergrowth. Above the tops of the trees a blunt, metal-capped tower projected. From the cap the lethal halo originated, playing downward like a fountain to meet an encircling ring of basal electrodes on the ground.

...Every now and then [planes] would attempt to fly over the fiery cone; but slender beams of the same texture as the halo itself would grope toward them and they would either turn back in hasty retreat or they would be drawn by the mysterious action of the beams, and pulled to crashing destruction...

From The Scarab, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1936
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