1989 - Countdown für Chearth
Countdown for Chear
Susan Schwartz

A prisoner's exchange is taking place in Chearth : twelve Maahks formerly captured by the Algiots are returned to the Terrans. Myles Cantor is stunned when he realizes that the Maahks have been converted to the Tazolan religion. They seem to have a very advanced technology to alter people's thoughts.

A Tazolan, Corr re Venth, is not pleased with Dro ga Dremm's leadership. He thinks their commandant is blinded by his faith and that he should be removed. The recent events in the Eleprysi system as they were explained do not make sense : why would the Terrans have destroyed a full solar system, including its star ? Corr re Venth conspires in order to get Dro ga Dremm killed.

On the Pyxis, Tuyula Azik and Vincent Garron are chatting when suddenly, the multimutant has a vision. It is different from his usual contacts with the Solar Worms, but he cannot explain what he saw, except that it was like a dark silhouette. Suddenly the alarms sounds off: the Algiots are launching a massive attack against Thagarum. There are more than sixty thousand ships involved.

First outnumbered threefold, the Terrans start losing ground but when the She'Huan comes into play, its interval cannon wreaks havoc on the Tazolans. However the Terrans do not want to slaughter them, so they eventually back off. The Tazolans mistakenly interpret this as a victory.

As Dro ga Dremm is celebrating their success, a hooded silhouette appears in the hall and whispers one word : Gangrangoranka. Dro ga Dremm is reinforced in his faith and kills one of the conspirors, as a warning to the others. Corr re Venh understands the message but even though he knows the Terrans were far from being defeated on Thagarum, his hands are tied.

On the Pyxis, Vincent Garron is suddenly possessed by an unknown being who introduces himself as Sirku-Rizz. The strange being adds "Gan Grango Ranka".

Cedric Beust

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