Ghepion plotters, under hypnotic questioning, made
confession of their motives. It seemed that they had been moved,
at least in part, by a "desire to have souls". The
interrogators were baffled. Surely, they thought, the Ghepions must understand that any sentient
being necessarily has a soul - defined as the entity's qualitative
aspect, which (since quality cannot be derived from physical
nature) must be transcendent. Surely the Ghepions must know that their
material circuits were no more a denial of "soul" than the
equally material veins and bones of a man. What
were they worried
No one knew; no one could find out why these particular
Ghepions, and no others, had harboured these fears of being
soulless. But whatever the reason for their mental misfortune, it
turned out to Syoom's advantage. For the Ghepions in their search
for reassurance, besides trying to control Syoom through the Navy, had
discovered a clue that suggested the myth of Solor might not be a mere
myth after all.
According to traditional tales, Solor was a glowing, numinous place;
a land which conferred bliss on those who found it.
Some of the Ghepion plotters had regarded control of the Navy
as essential to the task of locating this land and of controlling
access to it.
Now that the
plot was foiled, and humans were back in control, the question remained:
what to do with the knowledge of the reality of Solor? It was decided
that the value of such a place could only be preserved if it
remained a hope, an ideal that might be accessible to those willing
to devote their lives to a quest for it; certainly not a pleasure park
overrun by the merely curious.
Sunnoad and his advisers rejected the idea of a Syoomean campaign to
locate Solor. Sending out dozens of airships into Fyaym
to search back and forth for the land of bliss would not only be
dangerous and expensive; it would also be a crude vulgarity, and
success would carry with it the great danger of annihilating the object
of the search - a search which should be left to
The Gold Era
lasted 9,066,758 Uranian days, or 369 Uranian years, equivalent to
31,029 Earth years. It was by and large a sane, healthy era,
though with occasional quirks arising from its distinct philosophical
bent (some states declared that the killing of a determinist could not
be regarded as murder, since according to the victim the killer could
not be blamed). Questions of size and distance, of place-identity,
were brought to the forefront of debate by the quest for Solor. Syoom had become a culture that
took philosophy more seriously than ever before.
feature of the era, however, was the great number of adventures that
have contributed to the Uranian saga. These almost all involved
the quest of individuals for Solor. A few found it and returned to
tell the tale, but were unable or unwilling to say where it
was. Ultimately the truth was made public that Solor was not
in Fyaym at all, but in Syoom.
remained free from discovery so long because it was a realm
possessed of the power to curve space around it. On a much smaller
scale this space-distorting power had been known for ages, as a
defensive weapon that was very expensive to use. No one had ever previously heard of a whole region of Syoom
being rendered incognito by such a device.
The few who succeeded in their
quest for Solor possessed either exceptional qualities or exceptional
luck, to get round the invisible barrier of curved space. A time
came, however, when Solor was throughly "bracketed" and about to be
located, curved space or not. An impatient generation of Syoomeans
arose, no longer willing to respect the isolation of the magic
realm. An expedition was mounted to break the barrier.... and did
so - to find Solor gone.
The anger and sorrow which followed
brought in their train an eomasp.
>> The Cyborgs
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