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2391 - Die Schwarze Zeit
The Dark Time
Wim Vandemaan


Malcolm S. Daellian and the Algorrians are occupied on the planet Jonathon with the construction of a device which is called the context converter. This project is top secret, and the facilities are not accessible to the public. All the work takes place in a partitioned off area, called the UltraTech Complex (aka: the Tech Farm). Not even Julian Tifflor is informed about its details or the intended purpose of the context converter and, therefore, has to work hard in order to move Aktakul to give any a meaningful cooperation with it. Daellian is also groping about largely in the dark - what the context converter really is, how it can be built and how it supposedly functions, only the Algorrians know in its full extent. All he knows is that it takes large amounts of Salkrit for it.

While the adult Algorrians work on the project, their youngsters are babysat by Viltur Milla, an Ertruser that suffers from the Gingor Trevala syndrome. This disease caused gigantism with him, but also stunted his mental development at the level of a child. He is the ideal playmate for Hargh Dor, the second youngest Algorrian. At the beginning of February 1346 NGE, Milla observes strange light phenomena that he cannot explain, but which on account of his childish intelligence, simply accepts. However, on the twentieth of February Hargh Dor ends up in the middle of one of these apparitions and dies. His corpse looks as if it is already millennia old.

The fact that it is a side effect of the context converter, which is traveling backwards in time, only become clear when on the twenty-fifth of February the first real test run takes place. In all of Photon City it comes to peculiar phenomena: causalities are turned around, delays and dimensional shifts appear, and people die in zones in which the lapse of time is accelerated extremely. However, due to micro-time zones it also comes to deaths in areas with an extremely slowed down lapse of time.

The test run of the context converter calls an unknown power onto the stage which resides in the Time Farm. It is unclear whether after this contact any further intervention of this power is to be counted on by Julian Tifflor and Daellian with further test runs.

Certain of these apparitions are reminiscent of Pararealities. In one of these, Julian Tifflor, who is at the deathbed of his sister Eileen in the twenty-first century sees the REGINALD BULL VII, an ultrabattleship of the Jupiter class, emerging over Terra.

In the appearing chaos Le Anyante is badly injured by an exploding console. Nobody can do anything against these phenomena except for Milla, who hardly suffers from the effects. He smashes the central operations desk of the context converter, shutting it down, and at the same moment the effects end.

Julian Tifflor and Aktakul now theorize that the context converter is a kind of time machine. But the Algorrians continue to stay silent, and so Julian Tifflor can only speculate upon the purpose of building the context converter. Is the original entry of TRAITOR into the local group to be undone by an enormous time paradox?

All that stands certain, is that the work on the context converter will be continued.

Jerry Schneiderman 2007-11-26

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