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Algol’s envoys

Algol’s envoys

woensdag 24 januari 2024 22:36
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  • The envoys of Algol


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The envoys of Algol


Lizampak was wide awake at once .  While his left eye studied the dimly lit hallway, his right eye scanned the clock faces.  They were all on pilot light.  Why did the Hibernator wake him?  He activated the intercom.  “Compuk, Lizampak here. Give update!”, he hissed.  No reaction.  He checked his equipment.  Everything seemed to be working.  “Compuk, state of affairs please!” he repeated. Silence on the line again.  Lizampak  decided to go over to plan B. His intensive training would come in handy now.  The odour signals were very weak.  Who knows how much time had passed since the markers were placed in the underground tunnel system.  His nose chose for the right.  Looking for the first lock gate.  He ran through the hallways in an agitated state of mind.

Fortunately, there was the first gate.  Supporting himself on his tail, he straightened up to unlock the three locks at once, as he had been taught.  A grisly discovery awaited him behind the door.  Apparently the power supply of that Hibernator had failed.  All that remained inside were the bones and dried skin of another reptor.  Lizampak looked away and  feverishly ran on.  The same image behind every gate .  At a junction he hesitated for a moment, until a more powerful scent reached his nose.  Resolutely he continued in that direction.

At the next marker he tried to make contact with Compuk again.  An unintelligible hum was the only answer.  But at least it meant Compuk was still active.  With renewed courage he rushed through the corridors, following his nose until he arrived at the double entrance gate of the room where Compuk stood.  The doors opened by themselves.  “I’ve been waiting for you, Lizampak,” the device spoke in a metallic voice.  “You are the last one. All the others were lost due to power cuts and water seepage. I myself have little power left. This whole thing took much longer than we expected.”

“Who won, Compuk, Tranchi or Trunkix?”

“Neither, Lizampak. We all lost. Shortly after you were frozen in the Hibernator, the war on the surface spiralled out of control. A huge explosion on Gondwana plunged the entire planet into darkness for many solstices. When the smoke finally cleared,  my sensors revealed a barren desert, littered with dead animals and plants. Those who were not killed by the explosion died of hunger, thirst and cold.”

“Did Algol’s envoys cause that, Compuk?”

“We don’t know, Lizampak. Probably not. Presumably that was another story made up by Trunkix. As far as I can tell from so deep below the surface, it was due to an attack with radiation weapons by Tranchi’s pterros on the headquarters of  Trunkix. The iridon stored there doubled the impact of the explosion. It created a huge crater that sent enormous tidal waves across the planet.”

“You’re exaggerating, Compuk, this can’t be true. Was there really uno one who survived? I can’t believe that.”

“I’m sorry, Lizampak, but none of our species made it. The world now belongs to the descendants of what we used to call sub-animals. My assignment was to monitor the developments after our era. I had to wake you reptors  as soon as I noticed explosions and high radiation levels again, so that we could warn the world of the consequences. Unfortunately, your Hibernator was the only one that continued to function all this time. That’s why I woke you up.”

“Then let’s get to work on it, Compuk.”

“It’s no use, Lizampak. You don’t speak their language and they wouldn’t believe you anyway. There’s a good chance you’ll be put up in a glass case like a rare fossil.

I have a better idea.  The new rulers are very sensitive to stories.  I taught myself their language.  Let us pose as the envoys of Algol who will put an end to an other warlike species again and spread that story through their channels.  We can’t do more.  My batteries are low and you’re the only one of us who alive.  Our hiding place under the ice is better left undiscovered.  Hopefully the planet’s new puppet masters are wiser than we were, but I doubt it. ”





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