746 - Der Zeitlose
The Timeless
William Voltz

The Sol emerges in the Hypton galaxy and the Specialists of the Night tell Rhodan they have decided to leave. Rhodan reluctantly accepts and allows Olw and his people to isolate themselves in a section of the Sol. The Specialists materialize a black hole within the Sol, threatening to destroy the spaceship. Rhodan's numerous attempts to interrupt them fail, and he is forced to abandon the ship. Pushed by a mysterious instinct, Alaska Saedelaere decides to stay on board.

The black hole grows within the Sol and after it has reached a certain size, the twelve Specialists of the Night vanish, in order to follow their masters, the Koltonians, as they explain to Saedelaere. Protected by his Suit of Annihilation, Alaska decides to enter the black hole as well. The black hole disappears, and the Terran crew comes back into the Sol. When Rhodan sees that Alaska has disappeared, he decides to stay in the area for forty-eight hours before resuming course toward the Milky Way.

Alaska emerges in an unknown land, by a village. He finds statues that look familiar, and he later remembers he saw those same statues back on Earth, in the town of Tiahuanaco, in South America. Further explorations makes him discover a dwarf, who seems to be asleep. Alaska wakes him up and the creature says that his name is Callibso, and that he is a servant in the land of Derogwan. Then the dwarf runs away and kills another creature who was lying in the next room.

The dwarf explains that this way, Callibso can no longer return into a physical body. Suddenly, the attitude of the dwarf changes and Alaska realizes that somebody has taken possesion of his body. The entity introduces himself as the real Callibso.

Callibso is a a mysterious being capable of transfering his consciousness into bodies. In a distant past, he met with the Accalaurie Zeno who assigned him the task to look for the Suit of Annihilation. Callibso is a Cyno, and he has been in contact with the Karduuhls, who were in charge of driving the Swarm throughout the galaxies to spread life in the cosmos. Callibso tells Alaska about the Suit of Annihilation, who understands that his presence in Derogwan is no coincidence. He gives the Suit to Callibso.

The Cyno explains that Derogwan is connected to places in the universe through time wells, but now that he has no longer any physical body he can use, he has to remain a psychic being forever, since the dwarf isn't able to sustain his presence for too long or he will die.

On Alaska's request, Callibso accepts to give him a glimpse of the Earth through the time well. However, the vision reveals a deserted Earth, without any human being. The vision could be in the present or the future, even Callibso can't tell. Then Callibso leaves and tells Alaska that he has set the time well to return him to Earth, if he so chooses.

Torn between left all alone on Derogwan or on the Earth, Alaska decides to step into the time well. He materializes on the Earth in a distant future, in Tiahuanaco, and just like he feared, he is the only human being on the planet.

Cedric Beust

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