Era, era 87, lasted for scarcely more than a generation: 11,496
Uranian days plus 24 hours; equivalent to 39.35 Earth years. It
was sometimes looked back on as Syoom's Last Stand, before the era of
subjugation which followed. It was an individualist's era par
excellence. The Sunnoad had been murdered and no new one had
been chosen; much other authority had also disappeared, much
organization broken down; the defence of Syoom was left to personal
initiative. The only reason the "last stand" took as long as it
did, was that the invading Fyaymans had been almost as damaged as the
Syoomeans by the nightmarish broadcast
of the Corruption
For some thousands of days the demoralizing effects of
this ray prevented a new Sunnoad from being chosen. It was
felt, with irrational fervour, that no such election could
wholeheartedly be made while the villain Fozdak remained at large.
Finally the man was tracked down and killed, but by that time Syoom had
been without leadership for thousands of crucial days.
When preparations at last went ahead for the election of
the 77,063rd Sunnoad, it was realized that occupying forces held so much
of Syoom that a normal peace-time election was impossible; and as for a
wartime election, it was thought that the mandate of Fate did not at
present favour any one candidate to a sufficient extent. The
preparations were called off.
Syoom was rudderless. The news spread. An
eomasp ended the Francium Era; the "last
stand" was over and the era of subjugation had begun.
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