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Walls of Acid   By: (1913-1977)

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Five millenniums have passed since the loathsome Termans were eliminated from the world of Diskra.... But what of the other planets?



Braanol stirred, throbbed sluggishly once, then lay quiescent as his mental self surged up from the deeps of non entity. And gradually he came to know that someone had entered the room. His room , far beneath the city.

Now he could feel the vibra currents through the liquids of the huge tanks where he had lain somnolent for untold aeons. It was pleasant, caressing. For a moment he floated there, enjoying to the utmost this strange sensation as the renewed thought life force set his every convolution to pulsing.

"To be once more aware! O gloriously aware!" the thought came fierce and vibrant. "Once more they have wakened me but how long has it been?" Then curiously: "And what can they want this time?"

The huge brain was alert now, with a supernal sense of keening. Tentatively he sent out a thought potential that encompassed the room.

"They are afraid!" he sensed. "Two have entered here, and they are afraid of me. I shall remedy that!"

Braanol lowered his thought potential to one eighth of one magnitude, and felt his mind contact theirs. "Approach, my children," he said kindly. "You have nothing to fear from me! I take it you are the imperial messengers sent by her Supreme Magnificence, the Empress Alaazar?"

He felt the fright slip from their minds. But they were startled.

"The Empress Uldulla reigns now, fourth in the Royal line," came the thought. "Empress Alaazar died long ago!"

"I am truly grieved!" Braanol flashed to them. "Alaazar may she rest in peace did not neglect me! How well I remember her interest in the stories I could tell, stories of the Diskra of old when we sent men out to glorious adventures on the other planets! Aye! Five millenniums ago it was that we achieved space travel. In those days "

Braanol ceased in his reminiscences, aware that these two were trying to get their thoughts through to him.

"That is why we have come! The Empress Uldulla, too, wishes a story. The story of the first space flight from Diskra, and the events that brought it about. And of how you "

"Aye! Of how I came to be as you see me now! I shall be delighted, my children, to tell it again. But first, prepare the trans telector so that it may be recorded faithfully."

Braanol directed them to a machine on the far side of the room, and instructed them as to its operation. Soon the hundreds of tiny coils were humming, and a maze of tubes fed out of the machine, on which would be recorded Braanol's every thought. For a moment he paused, gently swaying, pulsing, a huge independent brain suspended in the pale green liquid. Then he began his story.

Your Supreme Beneficence! When the imperial messengers came to me, bringing the communication with which you deigned to address my decrepit solitude, it was like a glorious ray of light come to illumine the deepening darkness of my declining years!

It is with trepidation that I set about to fulfill your Exalted Command. Five millenniums, aye, even more, have passed, since those who were part of that segment of history into which you inquire, have become but drifting dust. Only within the feeble memory of your humblest servant is there any record of it.

Five millenniums! Aye! That was truly the golden period of our beloved Diskra not that our period under Your Serene Effulgence is not golden indeed! But in that day all Diskra was under the glorious rule of Palladin. His city on the scarlet shores of our central sea was the wonder of us all . Aye! We had a sea then, where there is now but desert.

The intelligent planets were three: our own Diskra, of course, fourth from the sun. And nearest the sun, Mirla, that fiery globe, where life apes the quality of our own salamander, existing by necessity near the flames... Continue reading book >>

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