1991 - Mhogenas Entscheidung
Mhogena's Decision
Uwe Anton

Alan and his fleet of four spaceships arrive in the area of the Gomrabianic Hyperspace Hills. Mhogena seems uncomfortable and is reluctant to answer Atlan's questions about the history of this region of space. As a matter of fact, the Gharrian doesn't know that Atlan and the Halutians have an ulterior motive for bringing him there. Mhogena activates the guardian of the Hills, an entity called Reasdot. Mhogena confesses that the Hills were not exactly sealed by the Gharrians. Twelve Gharrians turned into cyborgs take turn in cryogenic sleep and use their psy-reflection skills to keep everybody away from this area. The guardian opens up the Hills and a Halutian ship ventures inside.

While Mhogena is persuaded that the Halutians are lost, they reappear twenty minutes later. They explain that they turned their board-computers off, relying only on they plan-brains to find their way. Therefore, they were no longer subject to external influences. Mhogena then asks Atlan what the purpose of this experimentation is.

Atlan explains that despite the recent discovery of the Net Neutralisator, it will take a lot of time to free Chearth, and in the meantime, millions of people are being brainwashed and killed by the Algiotic Hikers. Atlan doesn't intend to wait that long : he wants to lure the Algiots into the Hyperspace Hills. First appalled by this decision, Mhogena is forced to come to the conclusion that it's the only solution. They will use several Virtual Creators which, combined, will materialize the image of Xion, the Algiot God, in the Hyperspace Hills. The Arkonide is persuaded that the Algiots will rush toward this illusion.

The two enemy fleets meet near the Hills. The Virtuals Creators are activated and a gigantic image of Xion appears. At that precise moment, Sirku materializes on board of Mhogena's ship. The Gharrian knows about this mysterious entity that has appeared on Terran ships lately, but he is puzzled. Is this a hint from Nisaaru that he should prevent the Terrans from slaughtering the Algiots ? But if he does that, then the Algiots will outnumber his friends and will most likely kill them all.

The battle starts and the unsuspecting Algiots rush into the trap. After seeing two thousand Algiot ships destroyed, Mhogena decides to call the fight off, but it's already too late. It's only after ten thousand of their spaceships have vanished into the Hills that the Algiots start to realize that something is wrong and decide to retreat.

In the Solar Safe, Vlatschos, the neutron star, is finally collapsing. It turns into a black hole and several Solar Worms immediately start feasting on it. The Terran scientists manage to restablish the balance of the Safe but their correction will only last for fifteen minutes or so. The Halutians modify the Yaronag, their weapon, in a way that neutralizes the Solar Worms without killing them.

On the Pyxis, Sirku finally takes a concrete shape. He is half a Maakh (or Gharrian) and half human. But as soon as he has appeared, he vanishes again with Vincent Garron. He appears on the She'Huan where the Halutians are getting ready to kill the now harmless Solar Worms. Sirku asks the Halutians not to kill them because they have been chosen by Thoregon for an important mission.

Mhogena goes meditating in his psychic shelter. He feels responsible for the death of the ten million Algiots and he feels he failed his mission as Fifth Messenger of Thoregon. He considers committing suicide...

Cedric Beust

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