1471 - Museum der Archäonten
The Museum of the Archonts
Robert Feldhoff

Amagorta turns out to be a black hole in the middle of the galaxy. The shuttle Tucana enters the black hole in May 1146 and discovers a giant space station and two planets orbiting around the singularity. A foreign spaceship is docked against the station. The first planet, called Machar 1, was razed after an attack from the Streakers in 465. On Machra II, Rhodan and his companions only find one city which appears to have been meticulously evacuated. Pucky detects the presence of another Nakk and Ayshupon warns the Terrans about an imminent danger.

Inside a big pyramid, Rhodan finds a console and activates a show called "The Four Days of the Past", where he learns the story of the Archonts.

Millions of years ago, the Eskuquels, a race traveling in cities built on asteroids, reach the system where Vipertians live, who are humanoids as well, and who are peacefully ruling over the Maudaan galaxy. 90% of the twelve million Vipertians accept the invitation from the Eskuquels and settle on the asteroids. The two peoples realize they come from a common ancestor and decide to unite themselves into one race, called the Amarenas.

Over a period of twenty thousand years, the flying cities of the Amarenas travel across the universe using the Dark Star Paths, developed by the Eskuquels. They eventually suffer from an existential crisis marking the end of the "Age of Space". Four members of the Amarenas who happen to be immortal called Valinet, Ginnimar, Sailor and Donovan tell their people to build a giant city of peace.

Over the next hundred thousand years, the Amarenas expand the network of the Dark Star Paths and offer licenses to use them to the various peoples they encounter. The network now spans one hundred million light years, thereby overloading the control stations and growing anger lead several peoples to engage in a war against the Amarenas, starting the "Age of Violence".

The Amarena cities are attacked by symbiotes. 5000 Amarenas are killed but Valinet and Ginnimar escape. They create a toxic gas and manage to kill their attackers. The Amarenas regroup and decide to revoke the licenses to use the Dark Star Paths. The black holes hosting them are turned into deadly zones.

In the millennia that follow, the Amarenas live a technological golden age and eventually discover the damaged hexadim spaceship of the Hathors Skhengris-Tin and Soleo-Nathos. Shocked to discover a race that is as advanced as they are, they realize that technology will lead them to extinction. However, they don't want to become a superintelligence either, so in the next 200,000 years, they start heading into the Age of Spirit. They find the location of Amagorta and retire there, carefully erasing its location from all the databanks so they can live their retirement without any interference from other races.

The Amarenas assign the maintenance of the Dark Star Paths to the Anorees, who call them Durr-ar-rajmscan, or Machraban. During the fifty years it takes the Anorees to get used to their new mission, Valinet, Ginnimar, Sailor and Donovan decide to end their life. Finnimar gives birth to a girl from Valinet, who writes the chronicle of their people and calls it "The Four Days of the Past". Before they head into the black hole, Ginnimar calls her daughter Iridora. The four immortals intent to tell Iridora about their knowledge and experience before committing suicide, but they fail.

When Rhodan resumes the study of the pyramid, he is captured by the Nakk Ermancluq, who was ordered by his masters to kill him.

cedric@beust.com 2011-06-01

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