1963 - Die Gestalter
The Creators
H.G. Francis

The present. On Duxic, Alaska Saedelaere waits for the other Virtual Ships to land. The first one to arrive is Virtua/1 and is piloted by Toricelly, a female Laimacanian. More ships start arriving during the following days but no pilot has any idea about their mission and why they're here.

The past. Abba Ossaq, still in the body of a Yac Real officer, realizes that a member of the crew, who introduces himself as a Dark Master, is actually able to feel his presence. Abba Ossaq understands for the first time in his life that his life can be threatened. He decides to fight the Dark Master.

The present. The eighteen Virtual Ships have arrived on Duxic and one night, Vaiyatha explains to all the K Factors the purpose of their presence. The Galornians, the Baolin-Ndas, the Nonggos, the Gharrians and the Terranians are all member of the Thoregon coalition but they are all endangered or even, exterminated (there are only two Baolin-Ndas left alive). Vaiyatha says that now, they must find the Creators, who are the first people who joined the Thoregon coalition. The Heliots were supposed to staff each Virtual Ship with a K Factor and a Creator, but for some unknown reason, this didn't happen, so the Ships had to look for their K Factor themselves (Vaiyatha reveals that K stands for "Cosmic"). The K Factors must now search Kharakhoum for the asteroid swarm where the Creators are said to dwell.

The past. Abba Ossaq is now on a Yac-Real planet and, hopping from host to host, learns more about the political situation between the Yac-Reals and the Truzenians, who have been at war since ages. The Truzenians happen to have their counterpart to the Yac Real Dark Masters, who are called the Black Shadows. Feeling more and more threatened, Abba Ossaq decides to destroy the two races by all means.

In the asteroid swarm, the Creators have lost track of Abba Ossaq and decide to attend to more urgent matters : the war between the Yac-Reals and the Truzenians will plunge Kharakhoum in total chaos for centuries, so they must stop it at all costs. Jorim Azao and Gabrel Gurth incarnate into two Yac-Real leaders and start influencing the economy of their people. Their efforts eventually pay off and both races are brought to the brink of total bankrupcy. They can no longer sustain the war effort and are forced to conclude a peace treaty. Azao and Gurth find Abba Ossaq and capture him. When they realize what he has done, they decide to inflict him the maximum penalty, starting by losing his name (Light of the Stars) and rechristening him to Sha Bassa (Darkness of Stars). Sha Bassa is brought back into the asteroid swarm and imprisoned for several centuries.

The present. Alaska Saedelaere and Toricelly come to the conclusion that if the Creators are to be found in Kharakhoum, they will be where conflicts are about to break, since their mission is to secure peace. After reviewing the political situation of Kharakhoum, where Yac-Reals and Truzenians are still at war, they decide to investigate the Krimor System, where two massive fleets of both races are about to engage in a battle.

The Krimor System presents a cosmic anomaly : it is so close to the Assosso System that one planet orbits around both suns, going from one system to the other. This is the main reason for the current conflict as one system is controlled by the Truzenians and the other one by the Yac-Reals.

The past. On the planet Rumbiak-Awy, the Creators meet for the first time with a representative of the Heliots. It is a shining sphere that came out of a Mushroom Dome that the Creators found on this planet. Since the Creators had been spreading peace around them since so long ago, they have been chosen by the Heliots to be the first people to join Thoregon, a peaceful coalition of selected people known for being pacific. The center of Thoregon is a mysterious place known as Pulse.

Meanwhile, Sha Bassa has regained the confidence of his people and is allowed to travel again. At the first occasion, he escapes them and keeps working on his secret agenda : exterminating the Yac-Reals and the Truzenians. Sha Bassa is then contacted by a mysterious robot who calls himself Cairol the Second. Cairol says he works for Torr Samahos who thinks that war is a natural state for live beings, not peace. Therefore, he asks Sha Bassa to help him fight Thoregon. Sha Bassa refuses and engages in a fight with Cairol. He almost loses his life but manages to escape.

The present. Alaska Saedelaere and Toricelly arrive in the Krimor system and make contact with Jorim Azao. The Creator leader tells him the history of his people and mentions that his race is made of 319 beings. Alaska, informed by Vaiyatha, asks about the three missing Creators. Azao mentions the still unexplained death of two of them and also the disappearance of Sha Bassa. When he hears the name, Alaska immediately makes the connection with Shabazza and he is now persuaded that they are on the track of their deadly enemy. But he can't communicate his newly acquired information to the Terranians...

Cedric Beust

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