1073 - Das rotierende Nichts
The Spinning Void
H.G. Francis

The sawpanische scientist Loudershirk discovers coincidentally, a certain nerve gas which frees him of Seth-Apophis' influence. He repeats the procedure with seven animals of the same species and they flee from the arrival station XERPHON into the rubble field, where their rocker ship must be still parked.

For Icho Tolot five eventless weeks passed. Bruke Tosen vegetates further from himself and the right Glove goes occasionally its own way. The Haluter studied the bird-like Gerjoks, which can grow up to over two meters tall in comparison to the Sawpanen and Phygos, as well as the amphibious Jauks, which measure a maximum of 1.50 meters. Now he receives the order to look for Gerjok Topue and seven robots that fled the Sawpanen. Loudershirk is the most important, because he is a specialist regarding the Slow Matter, which is needed to break the spinning void and thus loosen the anchor holding them.

The Sawpanen determines that their ship, 2.50 meters in diameter, is occupied by an instinct-afflicted bird, which does not have anything in common with the Gerjoks. It is a Berserker and due to the sounds it makes, is called Traah. They are to use all available the means to drive Traah out without killing it.

Tolot's group reaches the rocker ship after three days. There Traah has already killed four Sawpanen and it now comes to duel with the Haluter. With the ship unable to fly, the fight finally shifts into the rubble field. After some time Traah is finally driven off and the fight is over.

With a flight platform Tolot, Topue and the four remaining Sawpanen make their way back after XERPHON. But the platform is defective and it goes off course. On 28 July they reach another station, directly next to the spinning void. It carries the name YERPHON and of the Jauk Prol is commander. He behaves quite erratically and seems not interested in the fact that the station will fall into the void. Before Tolot discovers the reason for its existence, the ultimate "cock" Traah appears, as the Haluter classified it. But Traah is not alone; he is accompanied by the five meter high Auerspor. It is a hybrid of Jauk, Sawpane, Gerjok as well as Phygo and the local station crew worship it fanatically. Auerspor, actually such a thing like an ultimate creature, ensures that the crew doesn't fall into the void. Tolot and the other newcomers do not consider the Auerspor and the creatures around Prol and concentrate on the mystical goal in the void.

The Glove leaves the Haluter and builds from the pieces of the station a robotic "hen" for Traah. With it the cock can be lured away, to fall like the fake hen into the spinning void. The fanatical Auerspor supporters are shocked to see the possible fate of the Traahs, the ultimate creatures, and withdraw.

On 3 August the Glove with aides returns to the XERPHON and YERPHON is given up. She falls soon after into the void. On 8 August Tolot returns with Tosen, whose condition did not improve.

Mark Gearhart 2009-08-07

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