290 - Koordinaten ins Jenseits
Coordinates In The Hereafter
Clark Darlton


Pucky, Rakar and Tronar Woolver are hiding in the recesses of Eyhoe II. First alarmed when the Engineers tell them the Tefrodians know about their presence, they calm down when they realize they are in a room with no entrance whatsoever. Only teleporters can enter, and the Solar Engineers say they don't intend to help the Tefrodians in any way.

The Tefrodians, first infuriated by the refusal from the Engineers to help them, decide to have it their way. They ruthlessly make their way through the city, destroying buildings and even killing Engineers who stand in their way.

Don Redhorse, still at large in the escape shuttle of the defunct KC-1, tries to sneak onto the planet but fails. He is captured by Mihagros, the commandant of the Tefrodian base. The Tefrodian uses his prisoner to blackmail the three Terrans: if they don't surrender, Redhorse will be shot. Pucky asks for time.

Unexpected help comes in the form of Gerlachos, the captain of the first Tefrodian ship, with whom they had made a truce. Gerlachos doesn't like the way Mihagros is handling this, and is persuaded that this is acting against the good of the Tefrodians. The Masters of the Island need the cooperation of the Solar Engineers, or they won't be able to create more transmitters. He suggests that using this argument might convince Mihagros to ease his position.

Meanwhile, the Solar Engineers are gathering to decide whether they should help the Terrans or not, and if they should stop their cooperation with the Tefrodians. Pucky is invited to the meeting, which gathers all the twenty million beings who live on the planet. They reach the conclusion that they have been fooled for too long, and that it is not their destiny to help either race. They will therefore "join with the Great Mother", meaning that the whole race will throw itself into one of the suns. Pucky is appalled when he realizes that they are about to commit a race suicide, but is unable to talk them out of doing so.

However, Pucky decides to use this information against the Tefrodians. He pretends that the Solar Engineers are now on their side and will commit suicide unless the prisoners are released. Mihagros first doesn't believe him but when the first Solar Engineers leave the planet and throw themselves into the sun, he quickly complies. As the Terrans are running low on supplies (nothing on this planet can be eaten or drunk), they remember that Redhorse's corvette should still be where he landed, and it holds a lot of supplies.

Pucky teleports near the ship only to find out a trap laid out by Mihagros, who had anticipated this move. However, it's Gerlachos who has been assigned to the surveillance of the corvette, and he lets Pucky go. Back into their hideout, he eventually convinces three of the Solar Engineers not to take part in the global suicide, telling them they might help the Terrans maintain the existing transmitters. They steal a ship and manage to fly away from Hoel. They stop one light-day away from the planet in order to observe the three suns beginning to react to the mass suicide.

However, just as the ship emerges from linear space, a recorded messages sounds in the ship. It's the voice of Mihagros, who informs them he booby-trapped the ship, which will explode in five minutes. At this announcement, the three Solar Engineers express their sorrow to the Terrans and head back for their home planet. However, the Woolver brothers are able to deactivate the bomb. The Terrans then see the Eyhoe system turn into a gigantic super-nova. Then they head back and are eventually rescued by the KHREST, which had noticed the explosion of the three stars. The Solar Engineers are no more, but at least the Masters of the Island will no longer be able to build new transmitters.

*Note - found this summary several years ago on an old internet site - http://www.ed.ac.uk/~geas?CYCLO/P/PR-290.sub.html - that no longer exists (same site that the previous short summaries in the "Master of the Island" cycle that Cedric had obtained came from)

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-09-11

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