The student of Uranian history is bound to notice, at an
early stage in nen's studies, that the eras can be grouped into two main
categories: the very short, ranging from minutes to about a hundred
Earth years, and the very long, ranging upwards from ten thousand Earth
years. (There are three exceptions, eras of intermediate length, a
few thousand Earth years, namely eras 54, 57 and 77.)
Next, the student may notice, when examining the
sequence of eras, that it is unusual in Uranian history for
two of the long eras to follow on directly from one another without
any short era or eras in between. This is because the major
transitions, instead of being clean breaks, usually consist of
a volley of crises which are apt to cause more than one
world-shaking eomasp in fairly quick
But eras 72, 73 and 74 are exceptions to this
pattern. Each were very long (60,000 Earth years or more), and
they occurred one after the other with no intervening short
It is not difficult to explain the smoothness
of the transition from 72 to 73. It was deliberately managed
by the mighty brain of the last of the Simulators. Afterwards,
this great Ghepion lived on, but in secret, having announced that it was
taking no further official part in human affairs.
Our account has now reached era 73, the Tantalum Era: 17,532,219 Uranian days, 714 Uranian
years, equivalent to 60,000 Earth years. By Uranian standards,
though not by Earth's, it was a decadent era, in the sense that it was
living off the moral capital of the past, without adding to it. In
the main it was not degenerate, but neither was it heroic - and this is
unusual for Ooranye.
This statement must (of course) be qualified. A
relatively few individuals were heroic. They "kept
the world turning" by their own standards of honour, courage and public
service, as well as by flashes of personal genius. But they had to
do so while operating within a culture of cynicism and of lack
of confidence in its own values.
It is no accident that this is the era in which most of
the lawyers and police in Uranian history have lived; most other periods
have had no such close equivalents to these typically Terrestrial
phenomena. Two of the era's most famous characters were a great
detective, named after the legendary twice-Sunnoad, Restiprak Zentonan
(another sign of decadence: in no other era were people "named after"
anyone) and his opponent, the un-named criminal mastermind known
simply as the Grardesh Sponndar. Adventure is something that no
Uranian era - decadent or no - has ever lacked.
It is not, perhaps, a coincidence that the sunnoadex
dwindled into a largely ceremonial institution for much of this
period. Most of the Sunnoads of era 73 were figureheads rather
than foci of events.
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