2266 - Bastion von Parrakh
The Bulwark of Parrakh
Michael Nagula

Reginald Bull, Icho Tolot and Gucky smuggle themselves using one of the many spaceship wrecks which float throughout the Parrakhon nebula, onto the planet Parrakh. Gucky is periodically itching wherever a small local louse that he had put in his fur goes. It is supposed to groom and care for his fur, until Gucky totally regains his self-confidence after his recent injuries.

Once on the planet, Gucky looks around a little and ends up picking up a local teenage Arvezen(another branch of the Cortezen), who is trying to stowaway on a space hunter. Apparently he is the son of a Magistrate, who does not want to go into the religious order, but become a warrior instead. All around the area, the locals are busy refitting ships and producing mysterious devices.

Next to the Bulwark of Paarakh, which appears deserted, Gucky discovers another building, which he recognizes as being very similar to the Temple of the Gradual Decline that had been in the process of being built when the RICHARD BURTON had left Earth! This is further proof that they are on the right trail.

In the process of investigating a Kybb-Titan, Gucky's deflector fails and he suspects that he was caught on camera. When he teleports back to the hideout, he suddenly becomes incapacitated by burning pains.

It turns out that his grooming louse was female, pregnant and laying eggs in his fur which have now begun to hatch and plague him. Due to being in the presence of 5D radiation on the Kybb ships, they have also mutated into small 5D radiation broadcasting stations that might betray their location. Bull and Icho quickly delouse him.

As it turns out, Gucky was in fact spied out by cameras and the Governor of Parrakh sets a trap for them, complete with a Moto- clone. When the (now four) spies go back to the Kybb-Titan to investigate how it can move at the high speeds that had been observed, they discover thousands of containers with genetic material bread from Motana genes. It is used somehow to boost the ship's speed. A bit later, the Galactics fall for the trap and when Gucky and Bully appear in the trap on the Titan, the Moto-clone sets off his Moto-shock, which incapacitates Bully, Icho and Gucky and kills the teenager, along with everyone else in range of the Moto-shock.

Just as the Galactics are taken out of the fight, a psionic wave rushes out from the Nocturnen obelisk of Gon-Orbohn. The god is now waking up!

Cedric Beust 2005-04-18

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