1205 - Kundschafter der Kosmokraten
Scouts of the Kosmokraten
Thomas Ziegler

On the Cosmocrat space station, Atlan and Jen Salik meet Drul Drulensot, the Abyss Controller. He explains that the Abyss is an n-dimensional layer separating the Einstein continuum from the other universes. The two men are only allowed to carry their cell activators and when they are ready, then lie down in crystal sarcophagi and taken to the Vault, the entrance to the Abyss. During the transfer, Drul Drulensot tells them the story of the Abyss.

The void left by the disappearance of Triicle-9 not only reinforces the powers of chaos, it also threatens the coherency of the psionic fields that make up the Moral Code. The Cosmocrats ask the Space Time Engineers, a people close to becoming a super-intelligence, to manufacture a duplicate of the psionic field. The Engineers create the Vault and then the Abyss, a gigantic disc-shaped world.

Then the create Abyss Schools, where the many races that will assist them will be taught and trained. A city called Starsen is built around the Schools to host the students. The Engineers settle away from Starsen, near the Mountain of Creation, where they oversee the construction of the replica, as the psionic energy of Triicle-9 is used to anchor the Frost Ruby.

Since a physical particularity of the Abyss forces the third dimension to never exceed 2312 meters, the Engineers surround Starsen of a shape-energy wall reaching that height in order to protect it against intruders from the Powers of Chaos. The four transmitter gates are controlled from the Mountain of Creation and a network of transmitter domes separated by one light-second is used to move around the Abyss.

As the reconstruction of Triicle-9 proceeds, the Vault and the Guardians start changing mysteriously, blocking the return to the High Land, the name that the Abyss dwellers give to the other reality. Before the way is totally blocked, the Cosmocrats manage to impress a vision of the Abyss in Ordoban's subconscious.

When they arrive in the Abyss, Atlan and Jen Salik are attacked by a black amorphous creature that Jen Salik idenifies as a Koa Shin, from his memory as Harden Conoor, which seem to come back to him. They are rescued by Drul Drulensot who take them to safety, where Atlan observes his Armada Flame disappear.

The civilization of the Abyss is stricly organized : every citizen has a status number, from one to four, one being the lowest. Status-Two citizens can use the Dispensers, that create food and matter on demand, while Status-Three citizens can use the Dome Transmitters, allowing them to move around the Abyss. Finally, Status-Four citizens, mostly creatures called Irtipits have access to the Life Cathedral, that allow them to extend their lifetime.

Two fractions, the Geriocrats and the Brotherhood, fight for power. The Brotherhood recruits Status-One citizens, team them up in groups of three made of a telepath, a telekinet and a pyrokinet. Five years prior, an unknown individual who identified himself as the Steel Man, showed up and conquered a part of the Abyss, granting himself Status Five.

Atlan and Salik meet Chulch, a Status-One citizen, who is looking for a friend of his who recently accepted to serve an individual called Vagenda. Attacked by a triade from the Brotherhood, they are rescued by the Geriocrats and are surprised when they realize they can operate the dispensers and the dome transmitters. Two Geriocrats, Hulnan 2317 and Kalk 978, realize the threat that the two strangers represent.

Atlan and Jen Salik are challenged by Ol On Nogon, a Status-Three citizen. Salik accepts the challenge while Atlan and Chulch set out to recruit more Status-One citizens for their fight. On their way, they are hijacked psionically and are forcred to land in Kraken, the headquarters of the Brotherhood.

Cedric Beust 2004-11-04

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