- Der Weg des Vatrox
The Way of the Vatrox
Frequency Follower Sinnafoch, who has fallen into the hands of the Terrans during the second battle for ITHAFOR, is exposed in the protection of an ambient-suit to the hell world Oxtorne. There he joins the Oxtorner Steelion Hartok, one of three thousand pilgrims who travel in search of spiritual inspiration to the final resting place of Deshwan Jankoff. Before his death, Jankoff had won spiritual inspiration, which has become for some Galactics a kind of doctrine of salvation. They proceed on a difficult pilgrimage and renounce technical aids as far as possible during it. For Sinnafoch this journey becomes not only a physical challenge. His previous view of things is changed by the various dangers to which he is exposed on Oxtorne, and his conversations with Hartok, but most of all, by the friendly feelings which soon connect him with Hartok’s eight-legged Okrill Philip. Although it is clear to him that this situation must have been set up by the Terrans, he ignores the demand of his inductive cell to commit suicide, in order to become reborn on a Hibernation world of the Frequency Monarchy.
Sinnafoch prepares his escape, but unwittingly fulfills Reginald Bull’s plan with it. The League Secretary of Defense observes the pilgrim's train from the light cruiser DESERT SUN floating in orbit of Oxtorne. Bull hopes that Sinnafoch will lead him with his escape to a secret base of the Frequency Monarchy. Hartok is a TLS agent and supposed to guard Sinnafoch. But Hartok turns out to be unreliable. He was manipulated psychomechanically before his mission, so that he now believes himself to be a penal prisoner who is convinced of Jankoff’s theses. The manipulation was carried out too hastily, and in the end Hartok succumbs to Sinnafoch’s insinuations. The Oxtorner regards the Vatrox for a kind of Guardian of the Light whom he must join to be able to reach a higher goal. With Philip’s help Sinnafoch succeeds in causing chaos at the destination of the pilgrim's journey. The Okrill drives dangerous predators towards the pilgrims, so that a panic breaks out. In the appearing chaos Sinnafoch captures one of the ships prepared to take home the pilgrims. He also convinces Hartok to throw away his amulet, as a symbol of breaking completely with his old life. However, it turns out that the piece of jewelry is a radio beacon – Bull’s single possibility to follow Sinnafoch.
Because Bull is on the spot with only a single cruiser, he cannot possibly pursue all the small ships carrying pilgrims fleeing from Oxtorne. Sinnafoch escapes, with Hartok accompanying him.
Cosmogony of the Vatrox
The cosmogony (world birth teachings) of the Vatrox is revealed in the introductions to some chapters of this novel:
The Vatrox believe, to be born from and inspired by the Vamu as “true life”. In the age of the first hyperdepression these people appeared on the planet Vat and from their Vamu the bodiless entities VATROX-VAMU, VATROX-CUUR and VATROX-DAAG developed themselves. These entities watched over the Vatrox and collected more Vamu to create a new, almighty spirit being. But this being turned against its creators. Vat was devastated, and VATROX-CUUR and VATROX-DAAG had to flee. They took the Vatrox with them. VATROX-VAMU, the strongest of the trio, stayed behind to fight, but was overpowered. The new spirit being consumed VATROX-VAMU and took on its name. The Vatrox discovered a station of the Anthurianera and stepped into the services of these people. At the same time they tried to live in a new way and created themselves a refuge in Hathorjan.
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