Continued from Impostor

The Francium 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 Ray.

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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