666 - Im Bann des Sonnendreiecks
The Sun Triangle
Hans Kneifel

Reginald Dick is reading a report which tells the story of two Explorers. It happened shortly before the Swarm arrived in the Milky Way, twenty years ago.

20 years in the past, November 3440.
Lerg Mopron, commandant of EX-1819 and EX-8977, has been sent in the center of the Milky Way in order to find a Lemurian solar transmitter. The information, retrieved from the Lemurian city at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, states that the transmitter is made of three suns forming a triangle. The transmitter is eventually located and baptized Archi-Tritrans. Further analysis reveals that it's not powerful enough to reach Andromeda. Therefore, its destination must be somewhere in the void between both galaxies. Besides, one of the sun happens to have a companion, called Goblin, another mini-star in a very low orbit, probably altering the functioning of the transmitter.

As the two spaceships are expecting orders from the Earth, a debilitating radiation hits them. The EX-1819 departs and the EX-8977 heads right through the transmitter. They emerge in the void, 880,000 light years away from the Milky Way. The receiving station is made of two suns, which they call Duet and eleven planets, of which two are viable. The whole system is baptized Gulver.

The Explorer is attacked by a small fleet of outdated ships piloted by creatures called Pacatians. The enemies are easily defeated. Then other kinds of ships contact them, Lemurs obviously. They don't seem to have any notion of the connection that exists between Lemurs and Terrans, who they accuse of sacrilege. Despite their obvious technological edge, the Terrans decide to comply and land on the planet under escort, which they call New Lemur.

The Neo Lemurs are governed by an Emperor-God called Gulyv-Tau. Searching into their archives, the Terrans learn that they exiled voluntarily fifty thousand years earlier and settled on this world. The Terrans decide to stay there for a while. Four months go by, then New Lemur is attacked by the Pacatians. The Terrans successfully fight them back and realize then that some kind of radiation must be happening on the surface of Neo Lemur, lulling them into forgetting what they were here for.

The Terrans decide to head back for the Milky Way. They program the Explorer so that minimal piloting is necessary, fearing that the debilitating radiation might be awaiting them when they emerge from the transmitter. However, they don't know that since then, the Swarm has fully engulfed the Milky Way. Upon exiting the transmitter, the Explorer travels on its own on auto-pilot and eventually completes a full circle, going through the transmitter again.

When they recover their senses, another four months has gone by. They suspect that Goblin is the cause of the black-out. The EX-1819 materializes in the system but it is captured by the Pacatians before Mopron can help them. The Terrans have no other choice than settling in the Gulver system.

Cedric Beust

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