The Cyborgs

 

Continued from The Quest for Solor

Many of those who had not agreed with the idea of the expedition to Solor, and some of those who had repented of it, were determined to punish those responsible.  The subsequent agitation led to a discovery which increased popular indignation and fear still further - the expedition had been inspired by beings who were not fully human.

A variant on the theme with which the Gold Era had begun - that those who believed themselves to be without souls, thirsted after them - returned to haunt the era's end.  This time, though, the culprits were not mere Ghepions masquerading in man-shape.  They were, instead, real man-machine hybrids.

And this time the plotters were ready.  Instead of allowing themselves to be prosecuted, the Cyborgs revealed their true strength, which had been accumulating unseen during the Gold Era, and virtually took over Syoom.  They seized strong points in what was left of the Sunnoad's Navy and in all of the major cities except Vyanth and Pjourth.  The rule of the Cyborgs began.  It was a rule of despair, for all they really wanted was Solor, which they regarded as the key to the possession of souls; and Solor was gone.

The Mercury Era, the 80th era, lasted just 7,342 Uranian days; equivalent to 25 Earth years.  No doubt the Cyborgs' rule was unstable and would have ended before many Uranian years had passed, but the fact that it was so short, not lasting even a third of a Uranian year, was due to the emergence of the first great mind-reading leader among the Nenns, a woman, Hevad Notoxt.

She succeeded in overthrowing the Cyborgs by splitting them into two camps, winning one of them over by showing them that they must already have souls, and using them as allies to defeat the other camp, that of the irreconcilable pessimists.  She could do all this because she was a telepath, and in a more general sense a psi, able not only to read minds but to operate on moods, encouraging co-operation.  A highly dangerous and ambitious woman, she left a record in her "Confessions" of the efforts she had to make to repress the dark side of her character, and she convincingly revealed that her reluctance to accept high office was not feigned.  After much hesitation and refusal, she became the 69,546th Sunnoad, and the second most famous female Sunnoad after Hyala Movoun 1.

>> The Era of Psi

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