2558 - Die Stadt am Ende des Weges
The Town at the End of the Path
Marc A. Herren

Alaska Saedelaere once again goes to an area of the LUMINOSITY, which does not stand under the control of the ship’s computer DAN. He supposes that it is a refuge of Samburi Yura’s, and that the surroundings there are always based upon the mental world of the visitor. This is how Alaska explains to himself the meetings with figures from Lewis Carroll’s "Alice in Wonderland" whom he has met there time and again. Moreover, he finds some huts there in which Proto-Enthones - or projections of beings which Alaska holds as the forefather of the Enthones - live and which entertain him. They know Samburi Yura, for whom she is the Morning Sister. They call themselves the day people. Nearby there is a tree on which a Suit of destruction is hung up. Alaska desires the suit almost more than he longs for a reunion with Samburi Yura, but DAN and the crew of the LUMINOSITY do not want to allow him to take this instrument of power for himself and there is a force field around it, stopping him.

When the LUMINOSITY reaches a wandering planetoid in the system of the white sun with four planets which is in location stored in Samburi Yura’s star jewel, a new opportunity arises for Alaska to finally bring the suit into his possession. On the planetoid is an Immaterial City (Alaska knows these cities from Reginald Bull's reports on the Stardust system). Its color is ultramarine, but it lies for the most part in ruins. Alaska supposes that it is not able to continue its "distance shifting" which would explain why a city of this color was not observed in the Stardust system. It is determined that it must have been stuck here for thousands of years now. Alaska enters the city and is almost immediately overpowered by its mental lures. The psionic influencing is darker, more evil, than that of the other known cities. He only with effort succeeds in returning to the LUMINOSITY. There is certainty that Samburi Yura has been here or at least wanted Alaska to look around Ultramarine City, so he must return there. And this is only possible for him, as he tells Eroin Blitzer and himself, in the protection of the Suit of Destruction. Hence, he enters Samburi Yura’s refuge, the "Wonderland" once more, and is led by the rabbit to the village of the Proto-Enthones. After an intimate experience with a woman from the day people who seems to change into Samburi Yura and tells him that some taboos must be broken. The force field is gone and Alaska takes the Suit of Destruction from the tree on which it still hangs, and puts it on.

Thus prepared he enters Ultramarine City once again. He feels an evil radiation which seems to emanate from the buildings and which stirs up the numerous inhabitants of the town to constant battling. Alaska observes how a lynch mob pursues an individual being and saves him. The being is named Korte Hanner. He is a Jaranoc, and townspeople accuse him of being guilty for the current state of the city. Because Alaska has saved his life, Hanner is now indebted to the Terran, due to the after the code of honor of the Jaranocs. Alaska shows some recordings to the Jaranoc. Hanner recognizes Samburi Yura’s picture and that of the star jewels. Suddenly the buildings become transparent. A Proto-Enthone female appears. No radio communication is capable with the LUMINOSITY. The city is beginning to continue its journey through the universe, with Alaska in it...

Jerry Schneiderman 2012-05-04

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