2668 - Neuntau
Christian Montillon

Alaska Saedelaere is en route with the cylinder ship SHEYAR to the dwarf galaxy Dranat. There he hopes to find the designer Sholoubwa, because in Dranat are the construction planets on which the petals of the Time Rose were created. Eroin Blitzer recognizes that there are two suns orbited by construction site planets that are identical and connected by hyperenergetic lines. He assumes that Sholoubwa's main world, which monitored the construction of the Time Rose, is at the intersection of the connecting lines. On Saedelaere’s command (as an inharmonious on board, Blitzer has nothing to report) the SHEYAR flies to the target point and discovers a planet. There is a gigantic city, but no life there. The robots of Sholoubwa's Techno-guard lie around disabled, and everything seems to have been crumbling for centuries or millennia. This also applies to Nicomus Neuntau, a dwarf droid, whom the two encounter. He was left behind by Sholoubwa a long time ago and is gradually falling apart.

Blitzer is not pleased to see an example of his own transience in Neuntau. Neuntau is not happy with Sholoubwa and willingly provides information to the visitors. Neuntau was commander of the cobalt blue cylinder SCREW-B and served Sholoubwa at the behest of the Cosmocrats. Apparently there were differences at a certain time between Sholoubwa and his clients, because one day he could no longer enter his own tower, the heart of the entire system, and so he disappeared. Neuntau knows where to find Sholoubwa now and agrees to lead them to him. The journey continues into the Nahroin system, filled with planetary debris and gigantic aggregates created from it. There, the SHEYAR is subjected to various hyper-energetic phenomena. Nevertheless, Saedelaere, Blitzer and Neuntau manage to land on the third planet.

There are shifts in reality that allow Saedelaere to see images of the past. The planet has been mercilessly exploited for a long time without regard to its inhabitants. A large area is filled with huge, still under construction and interconnected Positronics, Sholoubwa statues and Sontaron generators. A humanoid statue, enthroned on a pyramid, appears to be Sholoubwa. Saedelaere speaks to him and learns that the designer is about to create something called Free Space - an activity to which he seems desperate to do. During the conversation, Eroin Blitzer taps into Sholoubwa's memories. Sholoubwa carries the visitors to another location with a transmitter field. There natives lead a hopeless fight against Sholoubwa's robotic construction machines. Neuntau is hit by a spear and dies, which he is not unhappy about. Since Saedelaere and Blitzer have nothing better to do anyway (their protective suits are inoperative), they look into Sholoubwa's memories, which Blitzer had been able to download...

Jerry Schneiderman 2018-10-12

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