106 - Der Götze von Passa
The Idol From Passa
Kurt Mahr

Nike Quinto, the chief of Section III, charges his agents Ron Landry and Larry Randall to investigate the Terran colony on the planet Passa where many colonists have disappeared. The Laramie leaves the Earth on 7 October 2102. The two agents make contact with Froyd Coleman, the person responsible for the colony. According to him, the abductions are due to the Evergreens, the indigenous race of Passa. Randall and Landry then discuss the situation with Lofty Patterson, the man who best knows the forest. He confirms the responsibility of the Evergreens. An expedition that went in search for the missing people has already been attacked and only fifteen men out of one hundred twenty came back.

In their turn, Patterson, Landry and Randall leave on an expedition in search for the missing. Their first goal is a house of a colonist who was recently found dead . There, they fall upon a single Evergreen. It communicates with them, after they use a psychoradiator. The translater permits them to understand that the Evergreens obey a god. The Terrans order the Evergreen to go home and then they continue on their way through the forest. Being unaware of the sense of the word house, the Evergreen ends up dying there in place.

According to the path indicated by the Evergreen, they reach the midland mountains and caves where the god is supposed to be. Randall remains close to the glider while Landry and Patterson penetrate into the caves. Each then undergoes an inexplicable crisis of hate. The three men end up finding the prisoners of the Evergreens in an underground cave. There are a thousand human beings who have been captured. Regularly, man-snakes come to sacrifice a man.

The three Terrans manage to be captured and are brought into another cave where there are more than five hundred Evergreens. They are brought before a dark rectangle from which rises a cloud of smoke. The three men overpower their jailers and dive into the hole. They face the one that passes for a god, a creature appearing at the time as a toad and a bear and handling a type of hammer. The three Terrans run away, the monster is crushed beneath rocks, and they rejoin the glider.

The hammer is revealed to be a weapon with several functions. It permits them to destroy a hostile glider which comes close to them.

The Terrans return to Earth where specialists determine that the toad-bear was an artificial creature produced by the Aras. Its shape corresponds to a legend of the Evergreens. Upon their return to Passa on 21 October 2102, agents of Section III use a robot as the effigy of another god to face a second toad-bear whom they defeat. Terran forces then invest the base and stop the Springers who are really the origin of the entire operation, which consists of seizing Passa and procuring for themselves the serpent skins which can be used as a weapon.

Michael P. Mahoney 2005-10-10

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