Impostor

 

Continued from The Mascon Expeditions

Fozdak's Opportunity 

The crime which troubled nearly four million days of history, and altered some of the customs of the sunnoadex for evermore, was allowed to happen by a striking coincidence of misfortunes.

Fyayman powers, encouraged by Syoom's absorption in the mascon expeditions, and perturbed by Syoom's capacity to mount those expeditions, had prepared an attack.

Society being healthy, and crime levels low, security was lax around the Sunnoad and his palace in Skyyon.  Security was also lax around the installations he and his staff were using for research and for the storing of secret intelligence concerning the mascon worlds.

On one of the mascon worlds, a species of bird, made, like the mascons, from partly degenerate matter and able thus to fly through ordinary solids as though they were air, had been penned by force fields so that scientists from Syoom could study them.  The bird-creatures were in a state of rage and, if released, were liable to fly in any direction and wreak havoc.

Finally the presence of the warped genius of Nehal Fozdak, the criminal mastermind who was determined to leave his mark on history, ensured that the opportunity was taken.

Fozdak's Crime

He accomplished the seemingly impossible.  He arranged for the mascon-birds to be released in such a way that they flew upward towards the Uranian surface at a point in the mountains of Jersh; and at the same time he himself wormed his way into the Sunnoad's quarters, murdered him and donned his golden cloak and took his place.

Fozdak had had a long feud with Sunnoad Ahim Trarv 77062, but it is unlikely that the killing was pure revenge.  It is more probable that Fozdak meant the impersonation to last, and to take control of Syoom in the chaos that soon ensued.  For the mascon birds, as they shot out of the surface of Ooranye and into the atmosphere which to them was like a deadly vacuum, broke the mountains of Jersh in their throes, causing volcanic outbreaks and signalling to the waiting Fyayman forces that it was time to invade.  The latter did so in force, and this, combined with the havoc caused by the great birds, meant that this day, 13,324,486 Bi, ended with an eomasp and was followed by day one of the Polonium Era.

Fozdak's most evil act, however, would have been repudiated even by his Fyayman allies, had they known of his plan.  For Fozdak had rediscovered the long-lost and well-lost Corruption Ray, last heard of in the dawn of history in era 7.  To make sure of the chaos out which he planned to forge his own regime, he released the Ray, in more concentrated form than ever before.  This event brought the Polonium Era to an end when it was only two and a half hours old; yet another eomasp wracked the minds and disturbed the clocks of Syoom.  Thirty-two minutes (the Astatine Era) the ray blazed; then it was found and destroyed, and Fozdak driven into hiding.  The end of the broadcast of the Corruption Ray brought on another eomasp, this time of relief, and yet another 1 day, 2 hours and 40 minutes later, after its influence had been sufficiently shaken off for the horror to fall below the threshold of despair (this short period of recovery counting as the Radon Era).  None too soon.  Fyayman forces were advancing, Syoom was being invaded, and morale needed to be at its height in order to save the situation.

>> Invasion

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