2254 - Der ewige Gärtner
The Eternal Gardener
Horst Hoffmann

On March 9, 1332 NGE the SWORD lands on Tan Jamondi II. Lyressealeads her friends into the Rogan Cathedral. The former center of theProtector Order is abandoned, most of the technical mechanismsdisappeared and all the databanks, even private computer diaries,deleted. They do not know, how much was dismantled by the Kybbs,which they assumed looked for the Paragon Cross here at that time inthe past. However the cathedral seems to hold itself ready, becauseno traces of desecration are to be seen. The surroundings also lookmaintained, as if there is a gardener at work. Lyressea's hope topossibly find a reference to the whereabouts of the Paragon Crossseems to have been futile, until she discovers a small, solar-powered toy robot, which was once the property of the ProtectorGimgon. Gimgon was the only one, who knew anything about thedisappearance of the Paragon Cross, and he fed this knowledge intothe robot: The Paragon Cross fled to Carya Andaxi on the planet GrayFoam - in the Arphonie star cluster, which is currently unattainableby Lyressea and her friends.

Fortunately there is someone that can help Lyressea. Orrien Alar,the former guardian of Ancient Trummstam, is still alive. Heoutlasted thousands of years, being reborn each time from his ownbody after its "death", whereby all his memories were preserved. Thefact that he can no longer remember his own origin points on thefact that this reincarnation process must have gone wrong sometime,still before the fall of the Protectors. Orrien Alar had builthimself a hut in the forest within the roots of a giant dead treeand spent his time maintaining the environment of the cathedral,listening to the Kybb with a radio and recording everything as intoa recording device. In addition, he tried again and again in vain toproduce a new Ancient Trummstam from seedpods of the old one, whichhe had saved. When Atlan and Zephyda seek him out, he is impressedby the Knight's aura of the Arkonide. They bring him together withLyressea, whom he recognizes immediately.

From the diary recordings of the eternal gardener it follows thatone can reach the Arphonie star cluster using the DISTANCE TRAIL.Unfortunately these realizations bring Lyressea and their friendslittle comfort, because conditions in the Tan Jamondi systemnormalize themselves. They would be located immediately, if theylift off now with the SWORD. In addition twelve Kybb Titans come toJamondi through the newly re-established DISTANCE TRAIL, and onegoes into obit around Tan Jamondi II. At least Orrien Alar hasreason for joy: The last seedpod began to germinate; a green tip hasalready broken through the soil. For Orrien Alar is that anindication of the beginning of a new era.


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