2571 - Die zeitlose Welt
The Timeless World
Wim Vandemaan

The Nishai vegetative intelligent beings like leafless trees with four eyes, three root legs and a relatively low level of technology - look at the planet Raqia as their home. They do not realize that they are the living on the timeless world of the Essa Nur and that the crystals in which their memories have been stored for millions of years are deposited there. Raqia is the most important world the Essa Nur because without their memories which they cannot keep in their minds due to their longevity, but have to hold externally, they would be lost. The Nishai describe the deposits as crystal ranges, as they are where the entire ground is covered with various sized crystals. They believe that phantoms exist in the crystal ranges. Therefore, these areas are usually avoided. Only Aghinjan, an enterprising Nishai, and her companion Munsguj dare to penetrate deep into a crystal range and remain there for prolonged periods. They witness a spaceship landing and the crystal humanoid creature emerges: Clun'stal.

Clun'stal is in search of his lost memories. As he steps onto the planet, the Essa Nur Udkigom forms from crystals and meets him. Udkigom will act as mentor and supply Clun'stal with crystals containing memories, but he also warns Clun'stal of the dangers that can be associated with it. The mind of an Esnur could be overwhelmed by the wealth of information. The first crystal that Clun'stal touchs contains the memories of the Essa Nur Bhuggadem. For Clun'stal it is as if he was seeing for himself what Bhuggadem had done long ago: He was part of a delegation of Essa Nurs, who had negotiated with representatives of the Tryonian Alliance. The Essa Nurs had refused to cooperate with the Alliance, as it had taken up arms against their enemies. The Essa Nurs always rejected violence as illogical.

Given a second crystal Clun'stal sees a much more distant past. He lived through the great song of the Anthurianers, after they petrify, which materialize psi-material artifacts in their bodies. Clun'stal wants to penetrate further into the past. A third crystal gives him the memories of Ghos'fajer and through his eyes he sees his former self, because it turns out that Ghos'fajer is his son and is working with him on the creation of TALIN ANTHURESTA. On disc world 2861, strange faults are reported. Ghos'fajer accompanied his father there. It turns out that foreign beings who refer to themselves as Peers and look like giant winged worms with mouths, beaks and foot tentacles, are there to spy on and steal the technological secrets of TALIN ANTHURESTA. The two Esnurs are captured and taken to the home world of the strangers. Lowered into a prison well, they come upon Kuum 0505, an intelligent machine that they can manipulate so that with its help they manage to escape. This memory is marred by growing problems, and Clun'stal eventually recognizes the reason for this: Ghos'fajer, his son, was killed during the escape, and thus his memories were damaged.

The grief over the loss of his son, of whose existence he had not remembered, is almost too much for Clun'stal. It threatens to devour him. But he hears the voices of Aghinjan and Munsguj, who also came into contact with the memory crystals. They give him courage, so that he is still able to come back to reality.

From a guard of the crystal range Clun'stal obtains a fourth crystal. This is supposedly the oldest of all the memory crystals. Again Clun'stal sees himself after his own creation, which dates back tens of millions of years. His creators were the Anthurianers Tanfacher and Fogudare. They tell him that it was their intention to create an intelligent and creative machine that should help them to understand the world. As they constructed the first of these machines after their mental image, it unintentionally raised it to genuine self-knowledge and insight - Clun'stal was alive.

Leaving the crystal range, Clun'stal wants to travel elsewhere now to recover more lost memories. Meanwhile, Aghinjan proposes to return one day to the crystal range in order to learn from the memories stored there.

Jerry Schneiderman 2012-11-13

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