2573 - Dorksteigers Dilemma
Dorksteigers Dilemma
Wim Vandemaan

The battle light VOSTAR ends up in a massive hyperstorm. The form-energy structure of the ship starts to dissolve. After Fyrt Byrask tries in vain to make a forced landing of the VOSTAR on a nearby planetoid in the protection of an energy field, he leads Sichu Dorksteiger into the solid core cell of the battle light. The two thereby survive the crash, while the whole remaining crew is killed. The two lose consciousness with the crash.

Sichu regains consciousness in the sickbay of the CATARACT commanded by Stuart Lexa, on May 2, 1463 NGE. They treat her kindly (Lexa is actually almost entrancedly by the attractive Ator), but she may not leave her Medo-cabin. To her relief she finds out from the Chief Medic Ana Leshkov that Fyrt was also saved. Nevertheless, the Ana is still in a coma. Sichu undertakes an escape attempt which Lexa, who has observed her constantly, has counted on. He wanted to test her reactions. Indeed, the highly intelligent scientist is far more skillful than expected and disappears without a trace. She steals some technical equipment and prepares for the capture of a space jet, in order to flee together with Fyrt. Nevertheless, she always pays attention to endanger nobody. This does not remain hidden from Lexa. Even more than her thoughtfulness, he is impressed by the technical abilities which she reveals, while she makes a fool of the internal detection systems and alters three cleaning robots into battle machines. After a cat and mouse game, with Sichu always a step ahead of the Stardust-Terrans, Lexa nevertheless finds her trail. She tries to bring the artificial sun of a recreation center on the ship to explode. The thereby originating hyperphysical shock wave is meant to blind the ship's systems. Lexa orders the section sealed by a HU-screen, so that the shock wave blows off within only the recreation hall. Sichu falls paralyzed into the water and threatens to drown, but Lexa who has hated the water ever since his younger brother died in a racing boat accident, jumps in after her and saves her. When she has recovered, they make peace and allow her to move freely in the ship.

After this sidetrack and the awakening of Fyrt it comes to serious talks in which Lexa suggests to the two young people that they change sides in this war. With it he puts Sichu in a dilemma: Should she become a traitor, or should she remain loyal to a system which she rejects in the very core of her being? Finally, the Ator and Ana accept the offer of the Stardust-Terrans and are given asylum. They help the humans in the identification and investigation of some devices that could be rescued from the wreck of the VOSTAR. A Vamu-prison - a small, handy thing in which the Vamu of a Vatrox can be caught belongs among the objects. Sichu believes that the Vamu-prison could be the key to the freeing of the Tryonian Alliance from the power of the Frequency Monarchy. The device is first tested on the planet First Found. Lexa was already there once fifty-five years ago and has seen what happens if one touches the snowflake artifact found there. He and Sichu risk repeating this process. They promptly find themselves in foreign surroundings in which they meet a female Vatrox. The Vatrox merges with Sichu, but then her Vamu is caught by the soul trap.

Sichu and Lexa return to reality. The memories of the Vatrox have been caught by Sichu. She now knows that the snow crystal is a psi-material artifact of an Anthurianer, and that the name of the Vatrox is Lucba Ovichat. Sichu begins to tell the story of this woman to her companions...

Jerry Schneiderman 2012-12-12

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