1956 - Das Haus der Nisaaru
The House of Nisaaru
Susan Schwartz

Mhogena, along with Tuyula Azyk and Vincent Garron, still in a critical condition, get on board the Anubis and leave Thagarum. The other thirteen modules of the Gilgamesch stay on Thagarum to protect the control station, violently attacked by the Algiotic Hikers who trying to reposess the base. Mhogena intends to meet Nisaaru, who can only be contacted by a Master of the Sand, the religious order Mhogena belongs to. As the Anubis gets further away from the Solar Prison, Garron's status improves.

They arrive in a region of space where Mhogena sends a call to the messengers of Nisaaru, beings known as the Accolens. Shortly after, the Accolens answer and say that Nisaaru cannot be contacted now. Mhogena insists and eventually obtains a set of new coordinates where the Anubis must go. They eventually reach the final location after several stops and Mhogena is teleported into Nisaaru's house.

As Garron is getting better, he convinces Tuyula to free him from the incapacitating field that keeps him prisoner. She finally agrees. As soon as he's free, he takes her and they teleport into a hyperspace bubble. Garron wants to return to the Solar Prison where he says he was at last feeling well, despite the dramatic decay of his body. In order to accelerate their return there, he teleports with Tuyula Azyk into the House of Nisaaru.

In the House, Mhogena is greeted by ethereal beings known as Saarians. They ask Mhogena the reason why he came. Mhogena explains the dire situation of the Chearth galaxy to the Saarians. In another part of the House, Vincent Garron and Tuyula Azyk are also greeted by Saarians who ask them to leave the House. Garron refuses and as the Saarians try to chase them with mental pressure. Garron fights back with his psy faculties and kill the Saarians. Then he teleports with the young woman.

The Saarians tell Mhogena that they are not a distinct race but are actually Nisaaru, the super-intelligence. Nisaaru is saddened by the current events in Chearth but tells Mhogena that It cannot help them now because It has to leave to attend more urgent matters of cosmical importance. Mhogena is despaired but he cannot convince the super-intelligence. He leaves and gets back to the Anubis where he learns about the disappearance of Garron and Azyk.

Tuyula Azyk is in mental contact with the Saarians. They tell her about their relationship with Nisaaru and the Blue is relieved to learn that Garron didn't actually kill anyone. She is teleported back into the Anubis with Vincent Garron. The Mutant explains to Mhogena that he had no evil intent and that right now, all he wants is to get back in the proximity of the Solar Prison. As the Anubis heads back to Thagarum, it occurs to Hermon of Ariga that a few centuries ago, something similar had happened in the Milky Way : a super-intelligence, IT, had fled from an unknown danger...

Cedric Beust

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