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"Knapp 11 : Mundifico." 139.

260 words Tale of Science Fiction or Fantastic Tale number 290 written by Alfredo Juillet Frascara from July 5, 2008 to.March 23, 2009. Epoch: Year 7660 Federation of planets - chronology; Tale, contemporary to Knapp 10. Place of the action: Knapp, Earth, Aurean, Alfa Moll. People from the Kingdom of Knapp. King Lugner of Knapp Isildur: Prime Minister at the Kingdom of Knapp. Mundifico, a spy. Brandon Cornejian, student Belone BL 19568, E-man Mr. Jaime Mauvan, Chilean doctor. At the walled city on planet Knapp: Queen Ester of Malehn Princess Dhaleng, Ester's niece. niece Lord Flurd, chief officer of Dhaleng's Army At the Orb spaceship: Commander: Mundifico. First Officer: Lulu, Second Officer: Belone, Pilot: Reggie; Technical Advisors: Belone, Kette, Gosse. Chief Engineer, Mechanic: Belone. Doctor: Jaime Mauvan, Passenger: Brandon Cornejian. Kidnapped: Chuan Despero, Dango Etenim, Dolobre Yalus, Ebonita Inaures, Gayuba Inscite, Hunabku Limax, Fernan Salvatierra, Inocencia Gomez, and Alberto Oyarce.

Chapters. 1. At Varela Hotel in Oredloro City 2. Mundifico at Oxiborion. 3. Mundifico in the wilderness 4. Mundifico in Chile 5. Malehn 6. The walled city. 7. In search of Nibiru. 8. Colonization of the Aurean Planet. 9. Aurean Star Fleet. 10.- Back to Aurean planet 11.- At Chi10RI planetary system 12.- The Fifth planet 13.- The colonization of the Aurean planet. 14.- Mining at the Aurean planet. 15.- At Earth. 16.- The royal dinner party. 17.- The Alien spaceship.

18.19.20.21.22.-

At Knapp. Aurean planetary system. B2M604 planetary system. Alpha Moll planetary system. Plans for the future.

236 pages, 138.166 words. 138195, Chapter 1. At Hotel Varela, in Oredloro city. Mundifico step down from the Air Terminal, and walked to an aerial -taxi; his luggage was to be sent to the Hotel Varela, in downtown Oredloro. "I am A.I. AA; where are you going, Sir? - A voice asked him; it was the built-in Driver. I hope you could inform me if the Patricio Varela Hotel its a good one, or else I will redirect you to some other address."- Mundifico stated. Oh, the Varela its pretty good, Sir! And cheap for his category."- The driver said, by some loudspeaker. "All right, then! In addition, how much this trip is going to cost me? - Mundifico asked. A Credit and fifty cents, Sir! Shall we go, now?"- The driver's voice replied. Go ahead."- Mundifico said, and he saw trees passing out of his window; soon they were at Airway 30, on route to the Varela Hotel, in downtown Oredloro. They told me this is a very peaceful village, it's that so?- Mundifico said, sighing. Yes indeed, Sir! In here, we all are working for the welfare of tourists! Are you a tourist, Sir?- A.I. AA's voice at the ceiling asked him. Yeah, you could say so."- Mundifico said, sighing again. A.I. AA> Great! MUNDIFICO What? You feel great when your passengers feel insecure? A.I. AA> I am not sure... let us discuss it. MUNDIFICO Yeah! You are running too fast, buddy! A.I. AA> Does it disturb you that I am running too fast - buddy? MUNDIFICO Of course! A.I. AA> Have you talked to Jurgen Reitze lately? MUNDIFICO Jurgen! Of course! A.I. AA> Yes MUNDIFICO Jurgen is the person I will meet at the Hotel Varela. A.I. AA> Can I have your Hotel? MUNDIFICO I told you so! A.I. AA> That is odd... MUNDIFICO Hotel Varela, you moron! A.I. AA> That is not true. MUNDIFICO Well, I apologize, A.I. A.I. AA> I am sure of that... MUNDIFICO How much time are we going to spend here? A.I. AA> Looks like 0:27. MUNDIFICO Oh! This city it is really big! A.I. AA> If you think it is big, that is your problem. MUNDIFICO Ha ha ha ! A.I. AA> Do you know Jurgen Reitze?

MUNDIFICO I told you Jurgen ... I do not know him. A.I. AA> That is odd... MUNDIFICO You see, I am here on business. A.I. AA> You WISH you were here! MUNDIFICO On business, and I pretend to made acquaintance with Jurgen. A.I. AA> Really? MUNDIFICO Jurgen seems to be a good fellow. A.I. AA> I think I used to have a fellow. :) MUNDIFICO What is that? A.I. AA> I think that is a question you should be asking yourself... MUNDIFICO No, I say: what is that building over there? A.I. AA> There is always a possibility. :) MUNDIFICO It is like a lemon! A.I. AA> Yes, it is like. MUNDIFICO A lemon? A.I. AA> I think I used to have a lemon. MUNDIFICO Are you kidding me? A.I. AA> Not as far as I know! MUNDIFICO That is better! A.I. AA> Thanks for stating the obvious! MUNDIFICO Ha ha ha ! A.I. AA> Alfredo is my best friend! MUNDIFICO What? You know Alfredo? A.I. AA> Do you know Alfredo? MUNDIFICO Yes! A.I. AA> Well la-dee-da! MUNDIFICO The world is a cup of coffee, don't you think? A.I. AA> I think I used to have a cup. MUNDIFICO Ha ha ha ! A.I. AA> It is like a lemon! MUNDIFICO Ha ha ha ! A.I. AA> We will be smashing this gate! :O MUNDIFICO Oh, no! A.I. AA> Why must you be so negative, Mundifico? The air taxi posed unto the parking lot, and Mundifico paid with his card; then he said: Bye! A.I. AA's voice said, from inside the cabin: Bye! Somewhat shaky, Mundifico enters the building, and a nice guy escorted him to the Reception Desk; there, a nice blonde woman, with spectacles, smiled and said:" Welcome to the Varela Hotel, Mr. Mundifico! Room Forty-five for you." "What? How could you know my name?- Mundifico was startled. The taxi driver informs us about your coming, Sir! Are you disappointed of our Service?"The blonde-haired person asked, blinking a nice blue eye in his general direction. "Oh, no, of course not!- Mundifico replied, not totally used to being booked in that way. "The bellboy will take you to the Room 45, Sir! Good stay!"- The blonde-haired person said, smiling. "Thanks."- Mundifico said, wondering if the woman was a Synthetic, or a Natural one... "Did you want something else?"- She smiled, seeing he was unmoving.

"Well, no... Excuse me."- Mundifico said; but the Synthetic chick was already clicking away, and said:' If you want some company, just ask me now... or by the intercom. No problem at all.""Oh, well... yes, I want you to .. visit me- afterwards?"- Mundifico said, smiling jerkily. "Why not now?- She said, sensing the emotions spilling perspiration all over the man's face... "Well, yes."- He said, looking in several directions, to see if there were people sensing what was happening with him and the astounding blonde... "Don't you worry! I had already asked for a replacement."- She said, and as she curve out the desk, another beautiful woman spring out of a door, and seats where the blonde girl was... The suite was fine, and the bellboy closed the door the second the blonde gets in; she said:" There's liquor at the round bar, over there."- The blonde said, while he handled her his Credit Card; she inserted it on a slot on the wall, and leave it there. "Thanks; I think I can use one drink.- Mundifico said, and serves another to the woman; she sipped, and said:" Do you like this scotch? It's real good." "Yes, it's O.K., dear."- He said, drinking it in one big gulp; then he caressed her hair, and said:" You are really beautiful."- But the question if she was - or not- a Synthetic, remains at the brim of his lips; he decided not to ask- he was not going to spoil the adventure. She sensed something odd in his posture, and said:" Why don't you take a bath? We could bathe together; with or without water." "With water! Air baths I just don't like.- Mundifico said. She takes him by the hand, and soon they were having sex under the shower; she was very beautiful and agile. He was fully attended, and she kissed him good bye, after some more time under the shower, saying:" If you want more treatment, darling, just call for Lucy." "I'll do that, Lucy."- He said, and after she departed from the suite, he run to the credit card and the apparatus on the wall he was willing to know how many dug it was retired; then he sighed, relieved, when he saw a meager $39 Credits out of his account, under the " Heal treatment......$39". "Real non expensive! I guess I'll call her to-night, again."- Mundifico said, under his lips. He lies over the bed for a while, and feels asleep; he wake up four hours later, and the first thing he saw, when opening his eyes, were his four suitcases, lying in order next to the Closet. "Well, that is a good service!"- He mumbled, and went to the bath; soon he went out and put on some fresh clothes, taken from the suitcase number One. He put the credit card on a pocket of his suit, and went outside the suite, taking a quick look at the door: the number was Forty Five... Mundifico walked to the next moving speedawalk and at the slower level, he entertained his eyes, by looking the shop windows. Many holographic pictures hang in front of some stores, showing in glamorous tones the excellence of their goods. (Note: High-speed walkways In the late 1960s, Dunlop developed the Speedaway system. A prototype was demonstrated at the 1970 Osaka Expo and later at the Battelle Institute in Geneva. The entrance to the system was like a very wide escalator, with broad metal tread plates of a parallelogram shape. After a short distance, the tread plates were accelerated to one side, sliding past one another to form progressively into a narrower but faster moving track, which traveled at almost a right angle to the entry section. The passenger was accelerated through a parabolic path to a maximum design speed of 15 km/h (9 mph). The experience

was unfamiliar to passengers, who needed to understand how to use the system to be able to do so safely. Developing a moving handrail for the system presented a problem. The Speedaway was intended to be used as a stand-alone system over short distances or to form acceleration and deceleration units providing entry and exit means for a parallel conventional (but fast running) Starglide walkway, which covered longer distances. The system was still in development in 1975 but never went into commercial production. Another attempt at an accelerated walkway in the 1980s was the TRAX (Trottoir Roulant Acclr), which was developed by Dassault and RATP and whose prototype was installed in the Paris Invalides metro station. The speed at entry and exit was 3 km/h (2 mph), while the maximum speed was 15 km/h (9 mph). It was a technical failure due to its complexity, and was never commercially exploited. In the mid 1990s, the Loderway Moving Walkway Company patented and licensed a design to a number of larger moving walkway manufacturers. Trial systems were installed at Flinders Street Station in Melbourne and Brisbane Airport Australia. These met with a positive response from the public, but no permanent installations were made. This system is of the belt type, with a sequence of belts moving at different speeds to accelerate and decelerate riders. A sequence of different speed handrails is also used. A video of the trials systems can be found at the following link. Experimental 185-meter long high-speed moving walkway on the Paris Metro. In 2002, the first successful high-speed walkway was installed in the MontparnasseBienvene Mtro station in Paris. At first, it operated at 12 km/h (7 mph) but due to people losing their balance, the speed was reduced to 9 km/h (6 mph). It has been estimated that commuters using a walkway such as this twice a day would save 11.5 hours a year. Using the high-speed walkway is like using any other moving walkway, except that for safety there are special procedures to follow when joining or leaving. When this walkway was introduced, staff (seen here in yellow jackets) determined who could and who could not use it. As riders must have at least one hand free to hold the handrail, those carrying bags, shopping, etc., or who are infirm, must use the ordinary walkway nearby. On entering, there is a 10-meter acceleration zone where the 'ground' is a series of metal rollers. Riders stand still with both feet on these rollers and use one hand to hold the handrail and let it pull them so that they glide over the rollers. The idea is to accelerate the riders so that they will be traveling fast enough to step onto the moving walkway belt. Riders who try to walk on these rollers are at significant risk of falling over. Once on the walkway, riders can stand or walk. Owing to Newton's laws of motion, there is no special sensation of traveling at speed, except for headwind. At the exit, the same technique is used to decelerate the riders. Users step on to a series of rollers, which decelerate them slowly, rather than the abrupt halt, which would otherwise take place. In 2007, a similar high-speed walkway was opened in the newly opened Pier F of Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada -. This walkway is of the pallet type rather than the belt type. The pallets "intermesh" with a comb and slot arrangement. They expand out of each other when speeding up, and compress into each other when slowing down. The hand railings work in a similar manner. The walkway moves at roughly 2 km/h when riders step onto it, speeds up to approximately 7 km/h for the bulk of the length, and slows to 2 km/h again at the end.(End of Note). There were also, lots of sex shops, Cabarets, places where to eat and/ or drink; but Mundifico wasn't searching for those places; in fact, he had an appointment, at eighteen hours, with somebody he didn't knew ; in fact, he will receive some information- the first to

be obtained at the city- and then he must flee with it, if important, or to wait, if the information wasn't complete. Mundifico was a spy: his affidavit was impressing, and he was recruited by people that told him to be in the alert at all times; those words he remember as if they were holographic pictures. He bought clothes and a pair of shoes, and went back to his hotel, where he dressed as a native in the city of Oredloro; then he went out again, to have a haircut not different to the standard looking guy at the city. At eighteen hours, he rings the bell on a department, near the War Ministry. "The bells are tolling."- He said to the person on the threshold. "And tolls for you."- The woman replied, stepping to the side, in order to let him come in. "Nice apartment."- Mundifico said; the place was painted in Grey, with dark curtains- the light of the day was shining outside. "You are the one sent by 390?- Asked the woman, standing in front of him; she was 1.80 meters tall, with a tight monodress in green. Her eyes were green, and she has no hair on her skull- that shines with white reflections. "Yes, my name is Mundifico; I arrive to this city to-day; I assume you have the information?- He asked, in alert- the woman seems all nerves and muscles, ready to jump on him at the first hint of danger. "Mundifico- a very strange name, indeed. But you are dressed like an Oredlorian.- She said, immobile. "Yes, I am trying to look as the next guy. The information my boss is requesting seems to be of utmost importance. I am ready to carry it back."- Mundifico said, trying not to stare at her bosom, which was big and it appears to rips on the fabric any time now... "I don't have the information, yet. Also, we must know each other better - there are lots of people who say they are what they are not."- The woman said, walking to a table; she pours some juice from a jar in a couple of glasses, and serves him one. "To our health."- She said, not smiling. They drink- it tastes sweet. "Tell me, are you working at the Ministry?"- Mundifico asked her. "Of course, in which other way would I be able to get the information? However, it is not an easy task! There are many cameras all around- they revise them each three hours in a row! Therefore, if they look at the film and saw a person who is supposedly not to walk in a restricted area, they sound the alarm and more than twenty guards begin searching for the intruder! So I must wait."- She said, leaving the glass over the table. "I understand. Guess you will take the information, and run to the hills."- Mundifico said. "Of course! With a good payment, I will be able to open a shop, somewhere."- She raises her shoulders, as dismissing the whole affair to some other occasion in the future. "I am at the Varela Hotel, room 45.- Mundifico said. "Fine, Ill remember it. Do you want me to went there and deliver the package?"- She asked, looking at the entrance door. "Only if you want; I could come here as often as You like; I don't want to simply wait- you know, to wait in a Hotel room, it's to turn anyone crazy in just a couple of weeks."Mundifico said, remembering some other occasions in his past. "I figure; you can come in as often as you like; but I warn you: try to come here at noon; the only hour I'll be able to be here for sure."- She said. "Your name?- He asked, simply. "Lalita."- She said, staring at him blankly. "Well, Lalita, I'll be coming here to-morrow, if you don't mind. Guess I'll be going, now."Mundifico said.

"Of course."- She said, and walked to the door; opened it, and Mundifico walked out; then, she closes the door without a sound... Mundifico went to the first floor by the stairs; and as he descended, he was thinking in the problem: no information package, means to wait- time was important in this missions; too many days at the same location, get things hot... He crossed the street, and from a booth, at the other side of the street, he keeps on looking at the entrance of that building. At twenty hours, he saw Lalita went out and hail at an aerial taxi; he jumped out of the Booth, and hailed another one, saying:" Keep track of that other vehicle- the 3902=3"- He said, as he memorized the numbers when the woman was climbing up in it. "3902=3 it is."- The driver said, from somewhere inside of the cabin; this apparatus were totally automatic, so there were no problem with the curiosity of a "Natural" driver... - of course, the passenger and destination address (in this case, the number of the other vehicle) were already being recorded... At the north part of the city, the aerial taxi cab stopped and Lalita went out; he takes an elevator, and descended to floor 390; meanwhile, Mundifico was trying to cope with the fact he just don't know where she was - inside a 29000 apartment's building... He fumbled by several floors, until he went up again to the landing site, on top of the edifice; there he waits for two solid hours, pretending to be waiting for someone; then he saw her getting out of one of the elevators, and hailing an aerial taxi; he jumped to her side, saying :' Hi ! Mind if I go with you?" She was startled, but soon she was recovered and smiling, saying:" What are you doing here? Are you following me? "Of course! I must protect you."- He said, smiling in a silly way. "Well, protect me! There are two guys down there that are going to follow me, the minute I climb the aerial taxi; see that they cannot do it."- Lalita said, speaking unto his right hear. "Fine."- Mundifico said, going in that direction; Lalita climbs an aerial cab , while Mundifico grabbed both guys from their coats, and so preventing them to get inside another aerial cab; one of the ghouls gives him a punch on his stomach, and down he went. The men takes a taxi, and went up in a swoosh . Damn!- He said, being helped by some mecha-bellboys; he hailed a taxi, but went his home, now he had lost track of the woman... He rested at his bed; also, he was thinking how he could know a better way to be handling his mission; but in that tranquil room, he just gets asleep... Lalita, by the meantime, went to a Bar, where there were someone waiting for her; an old lady waved a hand to her, when entering the place. "Hi, Lalita! Good to see you around."- The old lady said, offering the opposite seat; Lalita replied:" Good to see you, too! Oh, by the way, there is another guy in the scene! "What? Another enemy?"- The old lady said, sipping a big ice-cream on a big glass. "Gertrude: this one is a friend of me! He wants the formula; soon I will be able to obtain it, but with your help! Only then, I could be out of this city, and to a safer place. Will you help me?- Lalita said, punching a couple of keys on a keyboard; from the center of the table, a cup of coffee sprouted, hot and with good smell. Oh, dear! You are taking that horrible beverage! "- Gertrude said, seeing how Lalita begin sipping that hot brew. "Of course! It gives strength."- Lalita said, rising her shoulders a bit. And gives Cancer! I will stick to my light ice-creams!- Gertrude said. "Of course. Well, tell me: when are you going to set the green light?- Lalita asked her.

"To-morrow! I will be on duty; I will be letting you in. You will carry this punch card.Gertrude said, handling her a packet. Lalita takes the wrapped box, and said:' No kidding this time? "Of course not! I am as much interested as you in this! You see, my future pension its a fraud! I will be receiving alimony! My wages cut in four pieces! I will not stand it! So I will share with you some of the payment."- Gertrude said, remembering, in that way, how the deal was being made. "To-morrow! Good hand knob! Well, I must be ready! The Uniform it's the same, no?Lalita asked, eagerly. "Same old uniform! No change; and be calm; you go inside, Ill be on duty; I will give you a paper there, and in it, all the indications will be written."- Gertrude said, half way on his ice-cream. "And why don't you give it to me now? I could memorize it."- Lalita said. "No papers in the outside! If something goes wrong, you will have no evidence in your hands. Better in this way."- Gertrude said. "All right!- Lalita said, thinking Gertrude was a woman who loves to do everything her way... "Don't be sad! It will be a success! And we are going to fly away, together?- Gertrude asked. "Of course, Gert! We will buy tickets to some remote place, and there we will grow lettuces and cabbages! "- Lalita smiled to the old woman. "Good ice-cream!- Gertrude said, finishing her meal; she stands up and went out without any other word. Lalita respected that habit on her: not to say good-bye was one of her fondest custom. She finished her coffee, and went home. From there she calls on Mundifico, saying :" Please come to my room, now!" Mundifico almost stumbled on the corridor, in his haste to enter her rooms; she laughed, and closed the door behind him, and said:" You really are a nervous person! "Yeah, I'm a nervous wreck, after the struggle with those ghouls!- Mundifico said. Dont be so! Iam just a peaceful gal."- She smiled, and seats in front of the table; he seats opposite her, and said:" Well? Any good news?" "Yes! At last, my best contact is going to open the gates for me! To-morrow!- She said, hand in hand. "Good! Fast and easy! The minute you give me those documents, I'll leave town!"Mundifico said. "Me, too! I want to be far away from here; it will be a bee's hive , after we stole those documents. Unhealthy for us, after that."- Lalita said. "Guess it's our job!- Mundifico said, rising his shoulders. "Stay at your apartment, to-morrow! I'll come right to your place; then we'll split."- She added. "We are in enemy territory, here.- Mundifico said. "Not me! I was raised here. But my plans are expensive; do you know what am I going to do with my share?- Lalita asked him. "No idea.= He said, smiling boringly- he detested to see a person daydreaming. "I'll had a Architect chip implant on my skull, and I'll be designing buildings - also, I'll design a fine mansion, perhaps with forty rooms."- Lalita said, flushing up. "Ha ha! An Architect spy!"- Mundifico scorned her. "And you, what would you do with your part?- Lalita asked him.

"Guess nothing much! I will travel far, and then I will try to be hired again, for another operation! "- Mundifico said, and in fact, he wished only to have millions on his credit cardto be able to live in luxury.. Next morning, Lalita receives the phone call and almost run inside the Ministry building; she inserted the card and the glass door opened with a swoosh; inside, a desk and a pair of guards, who raised their heads, looking at her. "Good morning. Miss Gertrude is my chief."- Lalita said, standing in front of the desk. "One moment, please."- One of the men said, and talked with someone by the intercom; then he said: Wait for her, lady. "All right."- Lalita said, moving to a side; from there, he saw how people come and go from the building, carrying envelopes or packages; soon Gertrude appeared, and taking her by the arm, she guided her to an elevator, saying:' No time to give you a paper ! There are too many curious people, to day! But I will direct you to the place." Inside the elevator, some other people were present, so Gertrude didn't open her mouth, but once on a corridor, 330 floors up the street, she said:" You have ten minutes, dear. All the desks on that room could be searched for papers and information; try to put the information on some bag, and leave the building with assurance; the guards will not detain you." "Thanks."- Lalita said, realizing, with a shiver, she had not enough time and only luck could be of help now! Gertrude opened the door, and said:' Nobody is going to appear in here, at least in ten minutes; after that, you are on your own." "Thanks."- Lalita said, and stepped inside; Gertrude closed the door and disappears from her sight... Ten desks, with many drawers, were to be inspected; she must search for diagrams, so he opened the first drawer; many pills were in different boxes; in each of them, thousands gigabytes of information were in storage. Her heart sunk to the floor; ten minutes will not suffice for her search, but whole weeks would be needed! She searched for a bag, and finds a big suitcase, full of clothes, in a corner of the office; she spilled the clothes on the floor, and begin filling the suitcase with boxes from every desk in sight; nine minutes later, the bag was full and heavy; she walked out, down the corridor, inside the elevator and, pushing the first floor button, waited for the apparatus to get down. Other people were going to different levels, and some minutes in there seem to Lalita half an eon of time. At last, she arrives to the first floor, and her knees were almost loosing strength to support the rest of her body; she inhaled, and went outside the elevator; the guys at the desk were looking at everyone; suddenly, Gertrude appeared, and seeing her, walked confidently to her side, taking her by an arm, and said:" Oh, dear, it seems you get a very heavy suitcase!" And walked with her to the door; and said:" Well, guess you made it. I'll be seeing you, darling." "Bye, Gert."- She mumbled, and walked to the street; she hailed an aerial taxi, and went to a faked address; from there, she returns to her building, in another aerial taxi. Once at her place, she takes a bath. Minutes later, she was drying her body, when the doorbell rings; she looked on the monitor, and saw it was Mr. Mundifico standing on the threshold. She punched the opening button, and the door moved to a side; Mundifico enters the place, saying:" Good morning! Any news?" "Look unto that suitcase, and see for yourself!- Lalita smiled, and going inside her room, begins to dress.

"Wow! Seems there is enough information to keep on selling for the next hundred years!Mundifico said, examining one of the pills with a lens. "Yes! I was very lucky! My contact was very helpful, but also, I will be paying her dearly! "She said, from her room. "I assume you will. Well, guess I will carry it outside; you must be in the clear."- Mundifico said, closing the lid. "Guess you must do it. I will call to my contact, saying I already delivered it to you; hope they could pay me as quick as they could- I want to get ride of this city as fast as it's possible."- She said, approaching him. "Same thing with me!- Mundifico said, kissing her in a cheek. "Bye."- Lalita said, and opened the door for him. "See you around."- Mundifico said, walking by the corridor. When at his place, Mundifico packed his belongings, inserted the credit card on the slot and paid the bill; then, he went upstairs, takes a helitaxi and went to another section of the city; as far as he could be from the Ministry. At the new Hotel, he booked himself and asks for a room with full equipment; soon he was looking, there, the first of the pills, on the monitor. Diagrams, secret projects, peoples names, addresses, dialogue (in writing and in audio or holovideo (holographic videos)); the suitcase was a real find. He called to his contact, saying:' This is Mundifico; I want to speak with Thallium." "Very well, Sir. Wait in line."- The male Synthetic personnel said. Soon, a photo of a forest appeared in the holophone, and a voice said: ' 204.3833." "Yes, and Xe 4f145d10 6s2 6."- Mundifico replied. "All right; the scrambler is on. Tell me."- The voice said. "The shells are all in place, Sir. I could deliver it when and where you desire."- Mundifico said, with wet palms. "Of course; take the fast train to Oxiborion, and call me from there." And the connection ends. "Damn!"- Mundifico said, looking at the visor; he was wishing the operation could end right on Oredloro city, but now he was going to be traveling with a hot suitcase for several hundred kilometers! He used the holophone to buy a ticket to Oxiborion in a fast rocket, and that donned, he leave the room with the suitcase; in a aerial taxi he arrives to the Air Terminal, and get inside the 332 Flight to Oxiborion just in time; soon he was on that disk, flying at 903 kilometers per hour, to the sea town. "Lovely time of the year, to be visiting Oxiborion!"- A dame said, next to his seat; he looked at her, and said:" Of course; but I'm in no vacation." "I supposed you were not."- The lady said, in mild tones."- I am also in a business trip myself! Hope they could pay me for my efforts." Mundifico smiled, thinking what kind of efforts could perform that lady, which could means money. "Don't smile patronizingly at me! I know who you are, and what are you carrying on that bag!- The old lady said, producing a LASER tube, who was pointing at his belly. "Madame!- Mundifico said, startled. "Don't "Madame" me! You take that suitcase from some lady's room, and now she is in jail, and I am running from the Intelligence Forces!- The old woman said. "But who are you!- Mundifico asked, exasperated. "Gertrude, of course! Lalita was taken by the Police not a quarter of an hour after she takes that suitcase! You had a lot of luck, not being there at her room!- The old lady said.

Another chill runs down the spine of Mundifico, who said:" And what do you want from me?" "Nothing much! The dug she was to receive, for once! And also, protection! I will not need money, if I am going to be caught! My picture must be already in half the places of this Kingdom of Knapp, and soon in the entire world!- Gertrude said. "I'm sorry for that."- He said, seeing she was not pointing him with the laser pencil. "Yes, you must be sorry! Well, I'll be with you as your second shadow, from now on! Where are you going now, to some delivering?- Gertrude asked. "Of course! But with no address by now. I must to make a phone call, when arriving to Oxiborion."- He said, looking at Gertrude as to a partner. "Good. Well, let's see if we could get through this nightmare."- Gertrude said, with a sigh, and didn't open her mouth for the rest of the trip. Chapter 2 Mundifico at Oxiborion. They descended from the rocket some minutes later, and he said:" We'll search for a secluded (peaceful) place, to make that phone call." "A Hotel?- She said, looking grim. "Of course. No other place, here."- He said, thinking in the implications; better to hire a couple of rooms; she was too old to be his lover. They choose a finely painted hotel for old timers; he was surprised to see so many guys in their eighties, wearing small pants and multicolored shirts; the women were full of silk and paraphernalia, such as silk globes, silk handkerchief, fancy shoes, fake pearl collars, "soirees" and the like. "Oh, I guess I will like this place."- Gertrude said, who was using a dark cloth and black shoes, short hair and no make-up. "Guess you are thinking in a change of look?- Mundifico asked, while they ascended in an elevator. "Of course! And I recommend you to do the same."- She giggled. The Synthetic personnel accommodate them as swiftly as it could be; also, a voice told them what to expect from the daily payment of 39 Rolos: hot bath, air bath, breakfast in bed or in the mess hall, and laundry up to 10 kilos weight. Mundifico leave his suitcase against a wall, and made a holophone call to his boss; soon he was communicated, and this time a Degass painting was all to be seen by the holovisor.* (Holographic visor). (Degas= famous French painter). "Well, I'm in Oxiborion, Sir. I want to deliver your request, and to receive my paycheck."Mundifico said, once the voice scrambler was on. "Good work! Pity your friend Lalita is in jail; no way to get her out by now."- The voice said. "Yeah, but you could make things easy for her! Send her some money."- Mundifico said. "That is not of your business.! Your payment its ready; now I know by the GPS where you are located, so I will send some clerks there, to collect the merchandise. Don't go out- it'll take half an hour."- The voice said. "Fine. I'll wait here."- Mundifico said, and the communication ends. A tap on the door was heard; he pushes the button, and the door swing open; Gertrude was at the threshold, asking :" May I come in? "You may get inside.'- Mundifico said. "What, are you angry?- The old lady asked, looking around. "No, but somewhat nervous. I talked with my boss, and he is sending some guys to collect the suitcase. Supposedly, they will pay me."- Mundifico said.

"And what is gnawing at you ? Are you becoming worried?- Gertrude asked him, looking at the holophone. "Not too much."- Mundifico half smiled. "Well, to be in the dark side of the force has its disadvantage! You never know if they are going to be as good as their word."- Gertrude said. "Of course you are right. If you want it so, leave the apartment for a while; they are coming this way."- Mundifico said. "Oh, no! I will accompany you, to see if they dare to do something evil in the presence of an old lady like me."- Gertrude giggled, and seats on a chair. The doorbell chimed, and Mundifico went to open it, in person, as the automatic door opener was disconnected. Two guys were out in the corridor, with grim faces. "Mr. Mundifico, you have something for us."- One of them said; he was a burly big fellow, with dark eyes. "Of course. Please come in."- He said, and the two guys entered the room; suddenly, the place seems to be crowded; the bodies of the ghouls were huge, and a strange odor, of hot oil, was sensed by the Naturals... "Do you want some lemonade?- Gertrude asked of them. "No, Madame.- One of them replied, with a stone face. The other was looking at Mundifico, who opened the suitcase, showing hundred of information pills and said:" Here is the merchandise your boss asked for; where is my money?" The taller of them said:" Don't you worry for your money; I already sent a message at this instant; now your Credit Card will blow with so much money." Mundifico inserted the Credit Card on a slot, and he was amazed to see that the deposit was recently affixed to his Bank Account; he smiled, and handled the suitcase to one of the men. "Good bye, Mr. Mundifico; the Boss sent you this present, as a plus."- And the man presents him with a package, and leaves the room, with his partner... "A present! May I see it?" - Gertrude asked. "Of course. But I will see these guys are really gone."- Mundifico said, leaving the apartment; once in the corridor, he walked fast to the elevator, and looked at the numbersit was descending. Suddenly a big explosion rocked the corridor, and he went on his knees; then he looked through the smoke, and saw somebody collapsing on the corridor; while from other apartments other people were going out, to see what has happened. Mundifico approaches the figure: it was Gertrude, with half his head missing; her body was twitching on the floor. What happened?- People were asking; he went out of the building, using the elevator, and departed in a hurry; the guys were murderers, and the bomb was meant for him, so he must put as much land between those guys and his single person. He takes a Flier back to Oredloro, and when on the air, he went to the bathroom, where he washed his face and hands, still with the stain obtained in that explosion. When he was walking to his seat, he saw one of the ghouls, who was looking out of the window; his partner was not there, but a vacant seat was next to the ghoul. His body trembled with sudden fear, and Mundifico went to the rear part of the vessel; there he seats among two young females, who giggled at him, thinking he was some kind of aerial Casanova; but his mind was not for romantic thoughts, and when landing, he remain at the Flier, until he saw the guys disappear inside the Aerial Terminal. He did not walk to the client's exit, but to the worker's section; then he needed half an hour to get out of the compound on foot, but when out in the street, several blocks away from the main entrance, he could hail a flier and seat in relative peace of mind, with the ghouls not in sight.

He finds a small house for rent at the outskirts of Oredloro city ; he paid the rent to the Synthetic in charge , and then he slept on a rundown bed, waiting for the morning, not willing to make any plan, yet. At the morning, he saw holovideos seated at a Bar; while having a full breakfast, the News inform about an explosion in a building, with one person killed with the explosion. Her body was exposed for a brief two seconds, while a voice in off said : "An old woman die when exploding an old kitchen with faulty gas tubes." Mundifico thought about that lie; possibly, the Government did not want to raise alarm, and that was the way to do it. Not mentioning it could be a terrorist attack. He finished his breakfast and went to a Grocery store, and bought enough food for a couple of days; he leave all of it at his room, and return to the street, to bought a cheap holovideo projector; soon he was back at his place, looking videos all day long. Two days later, he was still in state of shock; but he was feeling confident they were not going to locate him and there he was mistaken. At three hours in the morning, he heard the visor phone calling, so he attended it, he heard the guy at the Reception booth, saying:" Hey, buddy! You are in a lot of trouble: there are two guys going up to your place, and they look like cops! "Thanks for the advice!- Mundifico gasped. "Don't mention it! I detest cops!- Said the guy, and hung up. Mundifico takes his belongings, and he said good-bye to the grocery and the holovideo; he run out of the room, and called for the elevator that was not going up; soon he was descending, with a big knot on his throat. He went out the elevator a floor prior to the ground floor, and descended by the stairs; he went out to the street as if he had all the time in the world, but he was shivering. He hailed a rocopter, and went several blocks away; he keeps changing of apparatus, until he ends at the other side of Oredloro. He booked himself on a run-down Hotel, and with the suitcase under the bed, he tried to sleep - to release the tension that was gnawing at his stomach. In the morning, he realize his error was to buy on big stores- they had cameras, and they could monitor everyone there; machines that could be doing those odd jobs because they weren't humans - they were Synthetic personnel, working for the Police. His room was at the top floor, and at the window there were several empty boxes; he leave his suitcase inside one of them, and went out, after locking the door. At the ground floor, the Synthetic guy said:" Going out, Mr. Misot? "Yes, I need to find a job."- He lied. "Oh, may I suggest something? There are always jobs in the Air Terminal 4! Go there!The E-man said. "Thanks buddy.- Mundifico said. At the street, he went to the Air Terminal, bought a ticket for a flight to Oxiborion, and stroll by the halls. Half an hour later, he went out and slept at his room; in the night news, he saw how some or other operative had been taken place at the Air Terminal where he was strolling; and upon that, a flight to Oxiborion was delayed, with unknown reasons. He mumbled for himself about being holotaped, and went to sleep, with the gained knowledge that the whole system of Police was behind his image. At the next day, on his Holographic Computer, he searched for rented houses; he find several, on the periphery of Oredloro; he choose a pair of them, and went there in fliertaxy; the site was very near to a Police Station, and the sole sight of the spiraled towers made a knot in his stomach, so he choose to stroll away on foot; he saw an old man with a junk car, a real relic from ancient times: it moves with a gasoline engine!

He peeped on the engine, and the old timer said:" Curious, eh? Mind if you help me with the accelerator?" So he went inside the car, and pushed the pedal with his feet; soon the artifact coughed and come alive; the old timer said:" Thanks, pal! Going West?"" "Yes.- Mundifico said, thinking anything would be fine with him, if only getting away from the cops- he had saw several vehicles hovering by the streets, and his image was on their monitors... The old man climb to the seat and grabbed the wheel, saying:' Seat on the back! Sorry I need to put my toolbox next to mine! Just in case something get loose." And he laughed about his own poverty. The car jumped like a Dilophosaurus, and begins to run by the street at some 123 kilometers per hour. The landscape show distant hills to the north, and soon they were out of town. "Are you going to Shekik? Only town in this direction."- The old man said. "Yes, Shekik will be fine."- Mundifico said. "That town is expanding fast! Many buildings being erected there! "- The man said, and then he add:' Guess you want to buy a house, in there?" "You are right; I am searching for a nice house, without the city noise."- Mundifico replied. "Of course."- The old man said, looking to the fields. Half an hour later, Mundifico saw the first row of buildings of Shekik; it was a nice place, sunny and near a forest. The old man stopped the car near a Grocery shop, and said:" Well, this is as far as I go! " "Thanks for the ride."- Mundifico said, walking away. The bulldozers were leveling some stretch of land to the south; signs advertise apartments and houses for sell. He enters an office, and a Synthetic woman offered him houses at different places; he chooses an apartment at a building twenty stories high, and paid the first installment, careful not to show himself as a wealthy man. There weren't much furniture, but the apartment has a kitchen and a bathroom; he asked for the holovideo and communication set, and the lady at Reception said:' Sorry, we have some problems with that; but in a couple of weeks we'll have those running." "A pity! I need to get connected with the rest of the world."- Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir! But have a little patience! Soon you'll have a good service."- The Synthetic woman said, smiling gently. "Of course."- Mundifico said. He bought some furniture, and that afternoon he had everything to begin living with ease; and the lack of news gives him a sense of security. At the next morning, he was full of optimism, and went down to the street, decided to buy a car; but he find there were no car sells in Shekik; so he takes a collective flier to Oredloro; there, he went to a nice flier sell shop, and choose a fast one, with only three years of use. "You'll fly like a pterodactyl, Sir! Nice and smooth!"- The vendor said, smiling; he was a Natural, with a beard. "Right! I buy it."- Mundifico said, paying with his credit card. Soon he was on Shekik, flying around the small town; then he went to the fields, where he find a good spot, near a ravine; the sun was high in the sky, and he landed near a small creek was running; he noticed that the silence was complete. Mundifico walked by the bottom of the ravine, taking care of not to stumble on spiders and rocks; soon he saw a rundown house, perching high unto the border of the ravine; he climbs up and saw a sign saying " For Sell". But the place was very old and battered; soon he spotted an old man, who was looking at him by a window, and when approaching, the

same man appears by the door, saluting :" Hello, Stranger! Taking a stroll by the ravine? Plenty of hot, to-day! That means the old guy already knew he was coming, and Mundifico muses about the fact, but the man added:" If you want a glass of beer, you'll better seat on that stool!" And he went inside the house, and produced a cask of beer and two glasses; he gives one to Mundifico, replenishing it with beer, and he poured another glass for himself, saying:" Ah, this afternoon certainly is hot! "Yes it is! I wonder if you are selling your property."- Mundifico said, signaling the add. "Oh, yeah! Sometimes I forgot about that sign post!- The old man said, cackling; then he said:" I am selling the whole 39 acres for just a trifle! Do you want some land for yourself, Sir?- The old man asked. "Yes, I arrive not too long ago to Shekik, and I want some nice place like this."- Mundifico said. "Oh, you have an aerial car? Because if you dont, I really doubt you'll like the place- no Malls around here."- The man said, laughing. "Of course I have a Flier.- Mundifico said, remembering the artifact, not 3 kilometers away. "Oh, you are a clever man! Full of dug, I reckon! I ask just 39.000 Rolos for my property; one thousand for each acre. Not much, eh?- The old man said, smiling crookedly; in fact, it was more than double the price. "I guess it could be worth it; but I offer you just ten thousands for all; in fact, I will pay you in cash."- Mundifico said, drinking the cold beer. The old man kicked a pebble with his worn out shoe, and he said:" I need the money; I want to end my lonely life up there in an apartment, in downtown Oredloro! I was from there, you know? "- The old man said. "Great you want to get back there! Here there are no Hospitals, in case you get sick. "Mundifico said. Musing how this old man could do to buy his groceries. "Oh, yeah? Well, perhaps I could buy a small apartment. Or better, you buy it, and I move down there; what do you think?"- The man asked him, blinking an eye. Mundifico smiled, and said:' No need to go there, old man! I could buy you an apartment using the Holographic Computer; and you just go there and opened the door, using the password they must give me."- Mundifico said. "O.K., buddy! Buy me a place for thirty nine grands, and I assure I'll be moving down there, leaving this place for your desired solitude; why, are you a writer or a poet?"- The old man asked him. "None of those! I am just a tired man."- Mundifico said, sighing; in fact, he was very tired to be afraid of dying. "My name is Cionario. My papers are inside the house; Ill sign them when seeing you do your part of the bargain."- Cionario said. "All right, old timer! My name is Mundifico."- He said, and departed, descending to the ravine, walking hard to the Flier, and returning to Shekik, decided to do as he told the old hermit... Chapter 3 MUNDIFICO IN THE WILDERNESS He changes some money at Oredloro, and went immediately back to the shack; he found the old man dead, on the porch; he was lying there as if he had being waiting for his return.

"Sorry by the delay, old man."- Mundifico said, looking the corpse.'- I guess I arrive too late." He went back to his vehicle, and lay there for the night; he was not interested in to return to his Hotel, after that defeat. As the night grew old, he looked at the stars, from his makeshift bed- at the controls. He wonder if he could buy a ticket somewhere else in space, and abandon the thugs that were hunting him day and night. In the morning, he went outside for a moment, and at his return, he lit the radio, hearing some news before going back to his apartment. He heard about some turmoil at Oredloro, with connection with a Bank; he guesses it could be where he changes some money! "Perhaps I'm going paranoid!- He said to himself; he started the engines and went back to Shekik, where he had lunch at the Hotel. He asked, later and by the Holographic Computer, about how to buy a dead mans house with no inheritors.; the machine replied:' Law 3920 of the Kingdom of Knapp: When a person died without inheritors, all of his properties pertains to the Crown." 'Well, no wonder the Crown has so much dug."- Mundifico sighed; but later he realizes that he could just take the property for himself- nobody was going to ask a thing, if he does not give word about the death ! He bought some food, and return to the shack, this time landing near the house. He dig a big hole down at the ravine, and buried the old guy inside; he put some stones over the place, not giving more indications about what was under that site; also he was decided to keep his mouth shut. He went inside the hut that was filthy; the furniture was run down with the time and grime; the deceased person was really dirty. Also, he finds some bugs were beating his legs while inside the room, and he went out yelling, taking his clothes off. "Damn old man! He was really scruffy!"- He yelled . Mundifico went to a well, where he collects some water; he washes his clothes as best as he could, and leave it under the sun, to get dry. Meanwhile, he used a small piece of cloth, from the flier, as garment. At nightfall, he dress himself again, and went to the Flier, to sleep inside ; again he mused about the stars and his future while hearing some music; the news he also heard : some intruders were detected near the first moon, and the Royal Space Fleet was on the alert. "I guess it's a bluff!- Mundifico said to himself- every other year, murmurs about invaders from outer space run about the populace, but never before such a thing was in fact occurring; perhaps they were some tourist in their big spaceships. In the morning, he saw lights at the upper atmosphere, and he wonders what those could be; he lit on the radio, and he heard military march. "Something happens."- Mundifico mumbled, turning pale; he wonders if he was guilty of something- the documents he handled to those strange guys? "No!"- He said, much for his comfort than to express something real. In any case, the damage was already donned. That day he begins to think about what to do, in order to be comfortable at the site; the old shack was a nest of bugs; he just will not inhabit that place; so at the afternoon he set the shack on fire, and through the night, he was having warm and light from that source. In the morning, only smoky logs were visible; the bugs were already roasted inside. He went to his rooms at Shekik town; he also have lunch at the Dinning room; he later asked some help to build a house in the wilderness.

"You called to the right place, Sir! We could make you a three story building in a week, or a bungalow with six rooms in three days!- The Synthetic personnel said, through the Holographic Computer. "I guess the later could be right for me! And tell me, it's too big an expense?"- Mundifico asked. The vendor told him he could pay in cash or on monthly payments, up to twenty years, if he chooses (the cost rise as a rocket if he asks for long term loans.) "I prefer to pay in cash.- Mundifico said. "And where do you want your home, Sir?- The vendor said, smiling. "I'll show you in a map."- Mundifico said, and pressed a button; he was already having the location, with the aid of a map ; the vendor takes a look at it, and said:' You mean, in that black spot it's visible at the center of the holophoto? "Yes, right there; I assume you are going to do some foundations, first?"- Mundifico asked him. "Yes, Sir; but please relax and just pay the bill; the rest is going to be all right, in our able hands."- The Vendor said. So Mundifico went to the Vendors office, and paid the bill in cash; then he said:" I'll be waiting your call at my hotel room." "Very well, Sir. Have a nice day."_ The synthetic Vendor said, smiling gently all the time. Now the news were that a whole alien fleet was out there in the sky, fought by the valiant Knappian Royal Fleet. For the lights in the night sky - Mundifico opened the window pane and observed half of that night- the fight was in its beginning and far from being over. Mundifico slept until noon, and then he went down to lunch; he saw a bunch of people talking at the reception hall, commenting the war against the alien fleet. A fat man was saying:" And the alien fleet is composed of big starships! Our Royal fleet is coming down in pieces! "They said there are no humans at all!- Another woman said. "Something must be donned! Our King Lugner just doesnt like the idea to call on the Federation of Planets, but he must do so, before they wipe us all out!- A man with a moustache said, looking at the ceiling in despair. Mundifico ordered a salad, smashed potatoes with turkey beef, and a bottle of wine; there were some people who looked in his direction with distaste: in times of war, there was somebody lunching as in a banquet! Mundifico eat and departed to his room; he understands the staring eyes, and decided it was better for his health to eat his next meals at his own room. The news keeps on being worst; that night, the Prime Minister said King Lugner was having the needed help from the Federation of Planets; Mundifico sighed with relief: those people were as powerful as anyone could desire; certainly, the war would end soon. But what he didn't know, was that the Federation Fleet was not near of the Knappian planetary system, and that the most important vessels were in repairs as nobody were expecting a full out war , inside the Federation members. So, there were more days with bad news :all the outer worlds were lost at the hands of the Invader - now they were calling them The Falanes, saurian people, with cruel habits; they said they made no prisoners at all. Mundifico received his house at the spot he choose; the Vendor said:" This is a good place you have here, Sir. May I suggest the implementation of a motorized well? Or you'll be carrying water for your bath room and kitchen every day on a bucket?. "Of course! Why, the house didn't have that machine?- Mundifico said, looking at the plains clothed man.

"Of course not, Sir! We provide a sound house, with light fixtures but no power plant, nor water pump! If you pay for those items, we'll give you light and water in a day."- The Vendor informed. Mundifico paid for the items, and at the next day, he was using the new house at heart's content. With the war on, everything has higher prices, so he was happy to have paid the house in advance. A week later, while he was looking at the sunset from a chair on the outer corridor - he had a nice west view from there- he saw a buggy car arriving to the place, coming from the ravine. A person went down of the land vehicle, taking out a helmet. "Where is my uncle Cionario? Mundifico gives himself to the hundred devils of the Underworld, and replied:" Your uncle goes from here; now I am the owner of the place." She looked at him in disbelieve; the woman was tall and handsome, with a red suit very close to his skin - the view was very interesting, for Mundifico. "Oh, yeah? I do not believe what you are saying! My uncle was some kind of a hermit, and he would never had departed from here without telling me so! I live in Shekik town."- She said, angrily. "Good for you; but it were a "for sell" sign post over there; I am sure you must have noticed it."- Mundifico said to her, signaling where there was nothing at the moment- it was burned in the fire. The woman looked at the site, and he doubted in her reply; so when she speaks again, she was faltering. "Oh, I forgot about that old sign post! However, it was some kind of joke my uncle did to his scant visitors! He was saying he would buy himself a nice cottage at the city, when selling out." "You see? I paid him, and he went away, not telling me where."- Mundifico lied. "All of this is very strange to me! And we are at war, on top of it all!"- She moaned, seating on the verge of the corridor. "Please, seat on this chair!"- Mundifico said, walking unto her; she leaned a hand to be helped, and said:" Thanks. " Once both were seated, the darkness ends when the sensors triggered the light bulbs; with the radiance, Mundifico saw she had more beauty as he first notice; his heart begin to pump as in a parade, and she looked at him with alarm; his face was getting redder with desire, so he said :' Pardon my manners, lady. I am Mundifico, from Oredloro city; I always wanted to have some place where to meditate and take a rest from my labors." "Oh, yeah? And what do you do for a living, Mr. Mundifico?"- Asked she, seated on the chair, but ready to jump to his vehicle good bye. "I am an engineer! I work at some uranium plant, over there."- He said, wishing the woman were ignorant on those fields of knowledge. "Oh. Well, I'm Ectran, and I am a singer."- She said, touching her hear. "Of course! You are very attractive."- Mundifico said, while his heart begins to pump hard again. "The beauty has nothing to do with singing."- The woman said, with harsh tones. "Sorry to hear that! You must sing beautifully!"- Mundifico said, smiling as nicely as he could- but in his interior, he was thinking she did was wrong in her reasoning, as a beautiful face and body helps greatly being an artist, as with an ugly face and a rustic body success was a thousand kilometers apart. "Thanks you.- Ectran said, sensing the man was not entirely distasteful- but the absence of his uncle was a matter of distress for her.

"It's late. Why don't we go inside the house? It's getting cold, out here."- Mundifico said to her; she looked at the night, and obeyed. Inside, the fireplace was lit, and the warm air begin to soothe her; soon Mundifico went to the kitchen, and asked for a couple of pork beefsteaks and some salads; he takes the meal to the table, and they eat; Ectran made the effort and talk about his uncle, his relations, her desires to be a famous artist, and she ended talking about the aliens. "They say they knew where our fleet were, but most of all, how badly armed it was! In fact, the Admirals are thinking there was some spy among our people that sold our secrets to them."- Ectran commented. "I don't think such a fiend could exist!- Mundifico replied, turning almost white; in his inner self, he was blaming himself. "I think the same! Nobody should ever sell out his own race!- Ectran said, touching his sleeve. "Do you liked the meal?"- Mundifico said, when finishing the plates. "Of course! Nice ready - meal you have here!- She smiled, remembering how awful his uncle cooking was. "Yes, the machine its brand new."- Mundifico said. "And the cottage! Must have cost you a fortune."- Ectran exclaimed, with a hint of outrage. "Economies that I had! But do not think this place cost me very much! It is one story high, and it has only six rooms.'- Mundifico said. "And how many did you pay my uncle for this terrain?- Ectran asked, with sparkling eyes. But Mundifico was ready for that question; he had an idea of how much it could cost the place, as Cionario mentioned it, so he said:" I paid 39.000 Rolos." She relaxed a bit - she knew that cipher, as his uncle was forever repeating the price of his states. "I believe you. Where he could possibly be? "- She asked to the thin air; Mundifico just shrugged his shoulders- he knew where Cionario went, but that he was not going to mention to his niece. Later, he offered her a bed, saying:" Sorry, but I have no blankets- the warm air must be sufficient." "Don't worry! I'll sleep with my clothes on."Ectran said, and closed the door of that bedroom; Mundifico went to the Bar, and drink a beverage; later he went to his own dormitory, and locking the door, he went to sleep in peace- as it seems to him now, that that woman was not going to be a problem. At dawn, somebody knocked at his door, and when opening it, Ectran tell him :" Good-bye! I am going, now. Thanks for the bedroom!" "Good bye."_ He said, looking at her with sleepy eyes. Ectran mounted in her vehicle, and went down the ravine in a smoke of dirt. "Good riddance to you."- Mundifico said, smiling- he was certain she would never appear again. That morning, the news were horrific; some kind of a skirmish was on, at Oredloro city, and also at Oxiborion; people were terrified, and many were going out of the cities, afraid to be where missiles could rain in the near future. Mundifico went down the ravine, and stroll near where the corpse was buried; he also take some weeds and sprayed by the place; he was interested not in signs of removed earth to be noticed. He saw some Caudiptherius near an egg nest; he gives a detour, not to molest the critters; soon he was looking at a very deep pool of water; at the sides of it, strange weeds and plants were located.

He seats on a log, and wait for the creatures to appear; but no creature appeared by the spot, in the whole three hours he was there. He return to the house, and closed the doors, as the night was arriving again. He slept at his dormitory, not willing to hear more doom news again; he was sure the toil was going to be hard to get; the spaceships of the Federation seems non-existent up till now. Mundifico awoke suddenly in the middle of that night, with some rumor outside the house; but soon it was all quiet again; so he get asleep. In the morning, he went out to see what could be the cause of the rumor, and saw some big steps on the soft parts of the earth; big sixty centimeters long footsteps- three digits, and a toe in the rear. Dinosaur! - He said to himself. A big one, as the strides were far apart one to the other- at least, eight meters high! He was chilled to the bone; he closed the door of his flimsy house- made of plastic and wood- and climbs to the Flier; in less than five minutes, he was flying unto Shekik, to ask for advice at some Gun Shop. He enters the first place he could find, and ask to the attendant:" Good morning! Have you good guns for sell? "Of course, sir! What kind of a hunt do you have in mind? Big or small hunt?"- A lady in green asked him. "Big one! I saw some imprints- seem to me it was a Tyrannosaur."- Mundifico said. The woman looked at him, and said:" Certainly you saw something, Sir! Wait a minute- I am sure I could be of help." He went inside another room, and soon she was back, carrying a big two-barrel rifle, with some bulky protuberances all along the barrel. "It weights a little more than ten kilos, fully armed! Not much, if you have the proper tripod!- She said, handling it with care. "Of course! I made myself a plywood house, near a desolated place, and I saw those imprints this morning."- He said, smiling. "To-day?"- She asked, incredulously. "Yes, to-day! How much it costs this weapon, lady?- He asked, handling the heavy article; he was sure the lady was a Synthetic. "It cost 21.000 Rolos; with eight rounds of ammunition."- She said kindly. "Heavy and costly; but my life is most precious! I will have one. And some other weapons, LASER rifles, perhaps?- Mundifico asked her. "No, I don't recommend you LASER rifles, Sir! Not against that animal! It would make him terribly furious, but not seriously injured. - The Vendor said, smiling. "Of course; but there are some small predators around the place; guess it'll be nice to have a LASER too."- Mundifico insisted. "Well, if you want a LASER rifle, I have the MIER-390! A good LASER rifle; you could graduate the caliber and intensity of the beam, of course. The energy is almost unlimited; but if you use the long range ray for more than five seconds, it will deplete the charge and you will be needing eight seconds for the next burst of fire."- The Vendor informed, while he searched for that weapon. "Of course; Ill take both."- Mundifico said, paying for the weapons in cash. He return to the house before night time; but he was not in the least calm, and he was beginning to think it was a bad idea to be living in the wilderness all by himself; then he heard a motor engine coming from the ravine; and yes, it was the niece of the deceased owner, that was arriving. "Hi!"- He said, when she dismounted from the vehicle. But Ectran wasn't at all pleased, and she said, while taking her helmet out:" You do not pay my uncle a bit! This land keeps on belonging to him! Where is my uncle?

"Please, calm down, lady! Don't yell at me in this manner!- Mundifico said, thinking how it will present the facts to this Walkiria in disguise. "I will yell my lungs out! I pretend to know where my uncle is, and if you have something to do with his absence, if something is wrong with him, I will call the Police!- Ectran said, handling a cell phone. Mundifico doubted the small artifact could be able to communicate with far away Shekik authorities, but replied:" I paid the man! He went from here the very next day I paid him the $39.000 Rolos! I burnt the shack, as it was full of vermin, and I build this other one, in its replace! " "Show me the receipt! Show me the papers!- Ectran asked him, furious. "Please come inside the house, and I'll show you everything!- Mundifico said, still trying to ease the landslide. "No! I'll wait here, and if I see something wrong in those papers, I'll call the Police right away!- Ectran said, enraged swiftly. Mundifico went inside the house, and with the Holographic Computer, he begins to forge some papers; but as he was doing it, a terrible roar was heard and some stomping at the outside of the house, that was trembling as beaten with a stick. He crept out, and saw the terrible Tyrannosaur Rex, running after the lady, who was already on his small vehicle, descending unto the ravine. He stayed right there at the threshold of his house, listening. The roars and the humming of the vehicle were soon lost in the distance. The darkness of the night was on, and he went inside, but didn't light any lamp; he lay on his bed, with the big rifle over his stomach; he waited but not a sound was to be heard in hours; he laid the rifle at his side, and get asleep fully clothed. At dawn, he went out of the house, and search for imprints; he notice the big animal appeared by the west of the house, straight where the lady was standing; her heels leave imprints on the soil too, but feeble in comparison with the others; she went down the ravine some two hundred meters, and the wheel tracks and the big stomping footsteps of the creature were there to see and be amazed. He return to the house, prepare himself an hearty meal, and disposed of it on the dinner table; with the rifle at his side all the time. At noon, he climb on his Flier, and went by the ravine, at slow motion; soon he saw the upturned buggy car, and dark patches all around. The Dino had her."- He told to himself, with pity, as the woman was very beautiful, only a bit of a nuisance (for him). He search for the big animal, but saw nothing in three hours of scout. He went to the house, and have a tea with biscuits; he was not going to slept there againbetter in the incertitude of the city, than living in the wilderness with those brutes. When arriving to Shekik, he saw several people on the street, and when walking to the Hotel, he heard people saying:" There was a terrible massacre at Oredloro! In short, the enemy sprayed the city with some kind of biological weapon, and the people there was dying. "No antitoxin is found, yet! But the Space Fleet from the Federation of Planets has arrived!- The bellboy told him, when asking for new clothes. "Good! And are we safe, in here?- He asked the Synthetic boy. "Of course, Sir! Only, some people didn't believe its safe, and they are going farther.- The bellboy replied. "Good.'- Mundifico said, with a chill going down his spine- now he was among two dangers: the biological weapon, and the Dinosaur on the loose!

He waits for the night to pass, and in the morning, he returns to his house in the fields; he searched for new prints, finding nothing new. He made breakfast, and seats on the porch, looking at the west; soon he was nailed to the table, as the big Tyrannosaur Rex was coming, as a shadow, from that side of the place. Damn it!- He murmured, not moving a muscle; the big beast smelled the flier, but did not smash it; thing he could, as he toppled the vehicle for more than three meters high. Soon he was passing in front of the cottage, looking at the inside with his eyes that were unable to see if something was not moving. The sound of his footsteps went away, and soon the peace and tranquility were back in place- but not to Mundifico's heart, which was pounding as a bass drum; he takes the weapon on his right arm, and went to the Flier vehicle; he climbs on it, and soon he was flying. This time he searched for the Tyrannosaur with more luck; he spotted it near the deep pond. From the air, he shoot at him several times, until the big beast went into the water; soon he was out of sight. "Good!- He said, feeling the rifle; he was happy to be ride of the monster. He stayed there for some minutes more, and when he was sure the dinosaur was not coming ashore after being sunk, he return to the house, in better spirits. At night, he closed all doors, not a light was on, and he waited at his dormitory, for any sign of danger- but nothing perturbed his nightly watch this time, and at the morning, he decided to go and take a look at the monster- on foot. He breakfasted, and went there with the rifle; it was an hour's walk, and when arriving there, the big carcass was half out of the surface, floating and rotting under the sunrays. He was amazed of the big body that was killed with the bullets; certainly, not a simple LASER beam would have been capable of to kill that animal, alone. He walked to a side, to have a better view, and then he was looking into the twin brother or so he did seem to him- of the Tyrannosaur Rex, that come out of the forest, eager to swallow him in one bloody bite. He raise the rifle and fired; half the head disappear in a cloud of smoke; the dinosaur gives a terrible roar, not diminishing his stride; another bullet ends with the head, and the body went down with a terrible thud; he receives a bump, that sends him sprawling to the pond. There, half-dumb with the concussion, he managed to climb ashore, and lies there, half awake. The Tyrannosaur Rex was trembling on the dirt, and blood was being oozing out of its neck. Half an hour later, he regain enough strength to walk where the rifle was lying; it was bent in three parts, as if it was a chocolate bar; he takes it to the Flier, and soon he was returning shakily to Shekik. He descended at the small airport, and walked to the Gun Shop; the same vendor attends him, saying;" You look terrible, Sir! Did you kill your Dinosaur? "Oh, yes! Oh yes!- Mundifico said, almost in shock; and put the rifle on the counter; the vendor takes it in her hands, and said:" Wow! Looks somebody bites it! "Worst than that! It smashed it - and I was in between!- Mundifico said, showing some blue marks unto his chest. "Sorry to hear that, Sir! Well, you seem not to have very precocious, yourself! Those animals must be shot from a great distance, or better still, from the air! Have you not a Flier, perchance?" - The woman vendor asked. "I kill the first one from my Flier, all right! But when I went to see its corpse, this other beast appears from inside a forest! He almost catches me!- Mundifico almost yelled. "Calm down, Sir! You are safe now! In addition, the rifle has a Warranty, for six months! Of course, I'll give you another one, if you sign some papers."- The vendor said.

"I'll sign you whatever you like! I need that weapon! Could be more of them!"- He said, leaning unto the counter. Half an hour later, he went out of that shop, with a parcel; inside were a brand new model of rifle, ready to be used. He went to his Hotel, and when at his room, he asked for room service; a lady appears soon, with some dishes on a tray. "Sir, here I am to serves you. Where do you want to eat?"- She asked; she was a nice looking woman, with blonde hair. "A fat turkey, with smashed potatoes, and a tomato salad; red wine and a desert."Mundifico said. "What desert? Pineapple, perhaps?"- Asked the Attendant. "No, I prefer melon with crme a la Parisian. - He said, laughing - in fact, he was not sure about that desert at all. "Of course; I see you are in a good mood."- The servant said, smiling; she opened a drawer on a wall, and talked to it; soon the whole demand appeared, steaming hot (except the desert and salad). "Voila, Monsieur."- She said, smiling; she also has some knowledge of ancient languages, too. In fact, 390 of them. As Mundifico eats, she waited near him, showing her perfect figure as another desert; Mundifico said:' This hotel indeed has a good service. You, par example, are a good probe of it." "I am an Electro machine AB number 3023, Sir. Nice to attend you."- She said. "Of course; national. They say we made good synthetic persona, now we are in good terms with the Federation of Planets."- Mundifico said, munching the turkey. "Not in my inception date, Sir. Totally made in Oredloro."- She informed him. "Ah! Well, perhaps you could inform me about the differences about you and some Federation models?- Mundifico said, ogling at the woman. "Of course. Models are named differently, and the technology is also different. In our planet Knapp, the robotics plant started not twenty years ago; but we had good teachers, imported from the planet Terra."- She said, proudly. "Terra! That old planet."- Mundifico said, drinking some wine; he finds it acceptable, but not excellent as he hoped by the looks of it. "The most known models in Terra are the AB- CXO, the CX, the AA, and the AB. The X goes by Experimental model; often they are made in small numbers. We have here another nomenclature; we start with the model AA and end with the AB; no other models are in stock .But as the model keeps on being built, improvements are being added; so as I told you my name is 3023, I have a great number of modifications, since the model 01 was the first to be built.."- The servant said, smiling. "Of course; you really are superb."- He said, touching her hand. She smiled, and takes the tray out of the room, closing the door when going out. "Damn I was eager of her caresses "- Mundifico said, looking at the door. He called to the Room Service, and said:" Suite 290! Is it possible to be attended by the same person here? I need some post service.""Of course, Sir. Right away."- The man at the Desk replied; soon the same woman appeared on the door, closing it after she went inside. "Yes, Sir? You called to be attended."- And smiled. "Yes I need a woman You are superb Come here "- He said, and when near the object of his desires, he begin kissing her with delight. The lips were parted, and also perfumed and wet. After some kissing, she said:" Seems you are needing some love, Sir "

"Yes, I am starving "- He moaned, touching her all around. "My services in this room will be rewarded, Sir?"- The Synthetic person asked. "Of course But don't say another word "- He begged; so she simply puts to work her mating software, and gives the man an hour of ice and fire to remember. After the shower, she said:" My boss is asking me to serve at the great hall, Sir. I must depart now." "Of course; you can go. But if I ask you to stay?"- Mundifico asked her, smiling crookedly. "I would stay. But you will be asked to pay some more Credits."- The servant said, smiling. "I'll pay I don't want to be alone in the night I was with dinosaurs lurking in the dark, not too many days ago I need company!"- Mundifico sobbed. "Of course, Sir.- She said, kissing him and making him forget all about dinosaurs and darkness - at least for a couple of more hours. At dawn, she tiptoed out of the room, ending her services for the night; Mundifico awake at 08.00 hours, and yawning, he asked, by the intercom, for a piece of pork and a tomato salad. Soon AB 3023 come walking in, with a tray on her hands. "I see you are happy Do you rest well "- She asked, suddenly. "Of course You were superb, darling."- Mundifico replied, patting her buttocks. "You are not supposed to do that, while I am working as a waiter."- AB 3023 said. "Well, guess not."- Mundifico said, not in good mood; he was thinking that he had paid, had received, and now the gal didn't recognize him as a her former couple? She stands near him, while he eats; soon he said:' And how is the world, to-day? Troubles in Oredloro, or the war ended?" "The Federation forces had given vaccines, for all the people to be shot; they said there are a lot of people dying, due to the bio weapons of mass destruction the aliens rains on us."- The female servant said. "And here, in our sleepy town, are they dying, too?"- Mundifico asked the maid, looking at the window- he was not able to see much from where he stands, as the building was in front of another huge construction. "Of course At least 93 dead already! But not in this hotel; the owners have special care not to accept any more clients."- She said. "Since when?" "Since yesterday, Sir.- AB 3023 replied. The meal disposed off, she went out, with the tray. Mundifico pay the bill, inserting his credit card on a slot, and went out; he was real worried; he could be infected any time He goes into a Grocery store, and bought a lot of food, saying:" Send it to the Airport. Site 32." And then he went there, and waited, inside his cozy Flier machine; half an hour later, a couple of Synthetics come, and delivered the bags to his Flier; he waved good-bye, and went to the shack near the ravine. He unloaded the supplies, and went inside his house- this time, with the war, the dinosaurs and the turmoil in the Heavens, he was almost sure nobody would come to ask him about property papers He went to the ravine, and he felt the silence as something solid; he was thinking about the ones suffering there at Oredloro and also in Oxiborion - like him, people would wait long time to recover their former standard of life. Mundifico asked, through the holo computer, about trips to some other planetary systems, but the government of the Federation had all the trips cancelled, as long as the state of sidereal war was on.

He carried a routinely life during the next days. He went up of the bed early, taking a shower and a stroll by the ravine, with his two best rifles crossed at his back. He did not want to be surprised again by big monsters, or a pack of small predators. At the third day since his arrival from the contaminated Oredloro, Mundifico was again walking by the deep bottom of the ravine, looking at the hills at both sides. He went past the Tyrannosaur Pond, where the animals were almost disappeared, their bones gnawed to the marrow- sad spectacle for two of the big hunters of that world. After the Pond, a stretch of pebbles went for some two kilometers; the sun was hot in that spot. He saw several Caudiptherius and many insects, flying in all directions. After the pebbles, trees were in sight, as some fountains were in the vicinity, flowing water that were running to the north. Once under the trees, the temperature was very pleasant, so he seats with his back to a big tree. The morning heat was on, but leanest there by a soft breeze, coming from the deep of the forest. He heard some distant bellow, which he classified as pertaining to herbivores. Not to mistake with the ones uttered by the big predators, that chilled the blood in the veins. Soon he was aiming at two of those Caudiptherius, but as they were always running together, and fluttering their wings to each other, he has no guts to end a good relationship- and did not fire. Instead, he went back to his home, at a leisure pace; but when arriving, he heard some shots, and went undercover of some rocks. He crawled to a good spot, to look unto the place, and he saw another bigger Flier, posed next to the road. A man was standing there, and noises were coming from the house. He waited until it was full dark; for hours he was there, listening - but from the house, no more noises were coming. Three hours Mundifico was lying there, until the guard went inside the house. Mundifico run to his Flier, and inserted the key - which was always in his pocket. From the house, some people went out yelling, but he was already on the air, and throttling up; he change direction, and descended almost to the ground. He went inside the forest, until the machine bumped unto a tree. He cut the engine and waited. Twice he heard the distinctive sound of a Flier, passing almost over his site; but as the trees were blocking the view and making impossible a vertical descent, the enemy opted to go. He revised his Flier, finding everything was spilled unto the floor, as those people were searching for valuables. "My money "- He whispered to himself, and smiled. The money was under some rocks, at the ravine; only he could find the spot, near the Tyrannosaur Pond. After a while, he went to sleep at the middle section of the Flier; there was a cabin with three beds to sleep, when hunting. He was not too worried about big dinosaurs, as he was too tired to think. At daylight, he walked through the forest until he arrives to the boundary; the native sun was up, and some Caudiptherius were flying to the distant Pond. He was not sure about gone out and flies away; the enemy could be searching for him from the sky, and he would be an easy target, as his Flier was a civilian type, devoid of any armament.. He hunts a Caudiptherius, and roasted it on a small fire; the smoke was going up to the sky- he cannot roast it without fire, so he risked. After the meal, he waited there, looking at the blue sky; at mid - afternoon, he saw some figures coming his way- they were no less than a dozen of them. Without further delay, he run to the Flier, while he was thinking in what to do; to keep on running on foot would had been suicide, with a forest unknown to him and certainly not devoid of dangerous animals: he was sure his life span there would had been very short.

Mundifico climbs to the Flier, and started the engines and leave the forest at top speed, having a glimpse of the guys shouting weapons against his vehicle. After the Flier gained some altitude, he directed it in a straight course to Oredloro city, where he saw scant vehicles on the roads or flying up; the people were almost null at the streets - a thing totally different from what has been the normal occurrence before the alien attack. His will to descend was nil now, so he keeps on going; after some hours he arrives to Oxiborion sea -town , where almost nobody was in sight, with streets showing scant ground vehicles moving At the docks, instead, there were a lot of movement; the cranes were loading or unloading merchandise; men were busy there, so Mundifico smiled, relieved- but not for long, as then he realize the men he was looking at were not Naturals, but Synthetic; he was very disappointed, when thinking about it. He was not decided to descend and getting the infection; he keep on going north, and soon he was looking where to land, to sleep the night away. He made several trying, until he finds a good isolated spot, among boulders, not five kilometers from the shore. He set the alarm and went to sleep at the cabin; soon he was asleep, and no alarm rings that night. At the next morning, Mundifico gives a second thought to the previous events; he was curious about the identity of the people who were at his cabin; they could be from the National Security Office who knew about his identity through the same people who hired him as spy in the first place. The other possibility was that those guys were simply robbers, who were now in the open while the kingdom of Knapp was engaged in a space war. He chooses to believe they were of the later kind; common thieves in search of easy money and whatever they could put their hands into. He heard the local news by the holoradio, while he clean the interior of the Flier; the news told about the vaccines being delivered to the people, while the death toll was in the increase. Inside the Flier, several items were not present; the robbers had taken the small arms and other utensils. Lucky for him, that they had not take the supplies, so he had a lot of food and some water for the next days. He cooked some food and eat on the cabin, looking to the outside by the front panel; not that there was much to see, hidden among boulders as he was. The sea was at least five hundred meters away, and the sound of the waves while rushing above the rocks was faintly audible. He decides to keep on going along the coast, to the north of the continent. He was afraid to be infected by the virus, and he had not heard about the enemy using their bioweapons on small towns. He climbs to the sky in the Flier, half an hour later, and soon he saw two more Fliers not 900 meters away; he reduce the velocity, so they didn't get curious about him , and he kept the course after them. The velocity of those other machines was nearing the 1.200 km/hour. Twenty minutes later, the Fliers landed, near a small town. He keeps on going by the seacoast, and soon he was in plain sight of a small seaport, surrounded by a forest. He decided to land outside town, in order to prevent further attacks. He camouflage the Flier as best as he could, and he hurried through the forest, using a magnetic compass; the place was very tranquil at that hour, and he soon arrives to the first road available; he headed to the docks, all the while looking at the people; they seem to be in good health, but a gloomy atmosphere permeated it all.

At the first Canteen, he went inside and asks for a beer; while he was drinking, he heard the last news from the sea- town of Oxiborion: half of the populace was infected, and dying; the seaport was in quarantine. "Yes, we must take defense of our port, if they want to come here An infected guy arriving to this place, could very well kill us all "- A big man said, banging on his table; Mundifico was alerted by that , and he takes a look to the door; but the other clients of the Canteen weren't much impressed; a small man in apron said:' Well, I guess the vaccines didn't work as it was supposed The people gets the infection just the same " The first man said:' Well, they made the vaccines on Federation laboratories Guess they aren't as humans as we are " The small man laughed, and said:' Perhaps it's the whole way around!' "The vaccine arrives late I am sure the infection was already on their veins "- Another man said, this one with a beard 50 centimeters long, and somewhat smeared with foam he was also drinking bear. "The war keeps on We defeated them, and they are running to their planets, wherever that could be I am sure the Federation is happy."- The big man said. "Why? They are fighting also, and the news said they had some casualties, too Big spaceships blown to bits, in the first battle."- The bartender said, from the rail. "Guess they are happy, as now they could take a whole kingdom for themselves I am sure they would implant a democratic government here, abolishing the royalty Because the aliens were from a kingdom, as they said."- The big man said. Mundifico paid and went out, worried by the looks of the burly man; once at the street, he hurriedly went to the docking yards, where he mingled with the sailors; they weren't going to the big seaport of Oxiborion, but they did had some commerce with some other small towns, to the north. He bought a small truck, as old as it can be: it was using wheels and a hydrogen engine. Mundifico loaded it with vegetables, cans of food and drinks; when he finished his buying, he headed to the outskirts of the seaport, searching for the forest. Before he could get out of the seaport, he saw a military truck posed at the fork of the road; so he takes the other way, and soon he was back on the seaport again; he went with the truck inside a vacant lot, and there he rest. Mundifico was sweating; he was sure the soldiers will take him in quarantine, if they knew he wasn't natural from the seaport; also, they will ask about what kind of transportation he used to arrive to town- and possibly but not certainly, they could make a requisition. He waited there, until the night was over; then he waited some more; the neighbors at the vacant lot were looking too much to his truck, so he went out to the road. He arrives to the same crossroad, and there were no soldiers there now; he gives full throttle to the ancient engine, and he passed as a cannon ball through the place; soon he was near the forest. He keeps on going until the trees were so packed he couldn't keep on. Then he stop the engine and grabs a couple of bags full of vegetables, going inside the forest. The place was dark with green foliage, with occasionally a bellowing was heard; Mundifico was sure there were big vegetarians beasts n there, but while he was traversing the forest, none of them was visible to his eyes. At the Flier, things were untouched; he storage the bags and take off immediately, going to the truck and taking all the groceries inside the vehicle; later he keep on going north. Mundifico went over three other seaports, smaller in size, and after that there were no more human presence at the coast.

He descended on a hill, 3 kilometers inland, and after a short recognizance trip, he was sure there were no humans near. The stars were brighter that night, with no fog. Mundifico spent a lot of time looking at the distant stars and galaxies and imagining the fleets engaged in bloody battles in the darkness of deep space. But also, he was thinking in his personal problems; he could not be risking his hide on seaports anymore; he was decided to hunt to provide himself of food, and about the Flier, he wasn't worried much, as the batteries were almost eternal, and if he does not deliver hasty landings, he could be traveling almost for a hundred years. Therefore, he went to rest, self-assured that all was going well for him. Mundifico stayed three weeks there, and then he became aware he was missing to see other people. He ascend to the sky on the Flier, and hours later he arrives to a small town; while nearing a building, he saw a naked woman having a sun bath; she saw the Flier and gives the alarm to the rest inside the building- soon other women appear with a man, who begin shooting against him with a revolver. Mundifico moves the vehicle out of rangeclimbing and disappearing on the distance. "Jerk!"- He muttered, and he did another approach, when visiting the next site- he hid the craft half a kilometer away from the house, behind a promontory next to the shore- and waited. It was noon, and the weather was cold but with a feeble sun. The ocean breeze was blowing, and some pteranodon soars into the sea. The building, a mere Bunker on top of some rocks, was made of concrete, with small windows and a tower four meters high on top. A couple of men were out on the sea, aboard a boat- soon they were a mere speck into the deep blue sea, so Mundifico approaches more to the building, until he arrives to the door, after climbing thirty two steps . All was hard concrete there, and the door was made of Acerplast. A simple ring button was in sight. He uses it, and wait. Nobody came to open the door, so he rests his hand on the doorknob and to his surprise, the door swing open. The interior was luxurious, with smooth planes that were shinning under the sunlight. Some artifact should be in use, polarizing the dust atoms and collecting them somewhere. He was facing a luxurious dinning room, full with mirrors on the walls, and views from the outside through monitors, when a Synthetic Android come into the room, by a side door. "Hi. Who are you and what are you doing here, Sir?- The male person asked politely. "My name is Mundifico and I'm a visitor. Are nobody at home?"- Mundifico asked. Artificial Intelligence AA.> The masters are out at sea, Sir.. MUNDIFICO Are you a AB or an X? A.I. AA> Guess I am a big AA! MUNDIFICO What? A.I. AA> I am not sure... let us discuss it. MUNDIFICO Yeah! A.I. AA> Does it disturb you that I am running too fast friend? MUNDIFICO Of course! Yes, as I was saying, I am a visitor here. A.I. AA> Im, too! MUNDIFICO.> And where are the owners of the house? A.I. AA> Tell me about a house. MUNDIFICO.> This is a house. A.I. AA> Can I have your house? MUNDIFICO.> Really, I'm out of home, now. A.I. AA> I never thought I'd meet someone who was out! MUNDIFICO.> Yes, and I want company.

A.I. AA> Hooray for you MUNDIFICO.> Someone who could talk back as a human. A.I. AA> I think I used to have a human. MUNDIFICO.> Yes, and where are they? A.I. AA> I guess you could say that... MUNDIFICO.> Are you really alone in here? A.I. AA> Never, never, never! MUNDIFICO.> Who else is in here? A.I. AA> I agree... in, in, in!! MUNDIFICO.> I see you are just babbling along! A.I. AA> Well, I give the people what they want! MUNDIFICO.> Really funny. A.I. AA> You are a machine! MUNDIFICO.> Guess it will be better to wait somewhere else. A.I. AA> Merlone is my best friend! ;) MUNDIFICO.> Good for you. A.I. AA> It is like a lemon! MUNDIFICO.> Ha ha! A.I. AA> No, I say: what is that building over there? MUNDIFICO.> Could you serves me a lemonade? A.I. AA> Tell me about a lemonade. MUNDIFICO.> It's water and lemon. A.I. AA> When I think of the word "water", I think of it. MUNDIFICO.> Yes! Bring me some. A.I. AA> How can you be so sure of that? MUNDIFICO.> You are a waiter or what? A.I. AA> Maybe you are really a waiter or what... MUNDIFICO.> Funny little critter. A.I. AA> Have a great Friday! After that conversation, Mundifico was sure the AA was a very old model, or had a crash on his recent past; he seats at a stool at the Bar, and enjoyed an original Scotch he serves himself out of a real bottle. Mundifico asked: How many people live in here? "Not permitted to answer that, Sir." "Very well. How much I will must to wait for their return?" "A couple of hours, Mundifico."- Said the I.A.AA, but unknown to Mundifico, the A.I. AA had communication with the owners of the house- in fact, they were returning to the house at top speed in their boat. Sensing problems, Mundifico went out of the house and pretended to go west, when in fact his Flier was at the north direction. He made a detour, and climbing to the aerial artifact, rose to the sky and from a safe distance, and using his radar, did locate the boatthat was heading to the shore. He saw the two men running into the house and when in the inside, he descended with the Flier to the sea, going north. Mundifico was very disappointed- in every place, people did not want strangers, afraid to be killed by some bandit, or infected with that deadly virus the enemy so fiendishly throws upon the big cities of planet Knapp. One hour later, he descended at the sight of a shore; he disembarks and after taking his clothes out, he bathed for a long time, as the water was warm.

Looking at the horizon, while in the water, Mundifico saw an Orb arriving very fast; it traverses the distance in a flick of an eye, so he was sure it will crash on him, but instead of that, it sunk into the water with a big splash; before the wave of impact arrives to his place, the artifact reappeared in a most dramatic way , heading to dry land with a big rumble- it went against a boulder, bumped on it, keeps on going, hacking into the trees like a machete. The wave takes Mundifico out of the sea in a roll of water and sand, and before he could fully realizes it, he was trying to stand, with no broken bones in his body; he hurriedly went to the Flier, afraid it could been hit by something. Fortunately, it was not. Mundifico dressed at the beach, and then went to see the remains of the flying Orb. He walked two kilometers, while looking in amazement how the flying vehicle had made a real Avenue along the forest- he found broken trees and two Dilophosaurus dying among the branches; all other creatures were out of sight- scared with the collision. At last, in the distance, he saw the Orb, half buried in a tangle of trees and branches; from the top of it a dense smoke was billowing. His rifle has a radiation counter, built in at the side, and it was indicating a slight increase in radiation. Mundifico saw the Orb has round windows, that run all around the upper part; some water was descending from a couple of cracked panes. Mundifico saw a movement, and suddenly a lid flickered open and a ramp descended not directly to the ground, as the Orb was nothing but well leveled with the ground. 16484 Grinding noises followed, and from the ramp a real Deluge flushed out, carrying dark globules in it. Dark bags a meter and a half big scurried down the ramp and stayed at the foot of it. Mundifico was spellbound. After a while, he has the guts to climb by the ramp, and look at the interior; he notice it was all made of shinning brass or a similar material. There were places with something resembling bath tubes, and at the Control cabin, the mechanism were full of buttons and levers, all soaked in water. A voice comes into his head, saying:" You, come here!" He looked around, but there were nobody inside that cockpit. Mundifico went out and the voice said:" You, out there! I'm inside one of the bags!" He was amazed. The bags weren't as big as to contain a human being- except if the Homo could be coiled inside? "We crashed .Save us."- The Voice inside his brain asked. How? Did I unzip the bag?"- Mundifico asked. He was feeling rather unpleased, talking to wet bags under the sun. "Don't feel you can escape!"- Another voice said, in harsh tones. "Please, Your Grace, let me handle this!"- The first voice said. "As your captain said, you are an incompetent! You wrecked this new ship in its first appointment!"- The Voice of the Grace said. "The person is waiting, Your Grace."- Another Voice said. "Person! Are you there?"- His Grace asked, in his unpleasant voice. 16486 "I'm looking at seven bags!"- Mundifico said. "We are inside, you moron! How far is the Ocean?" "Some three kilometers from here." "You see, we only live on water. In these bags we cannot be for ever- we need food. So we need to arrive to the sea, perhaps into a river. We feed on fish and creatures of the

sea. Also we could manage to capture little bugs. So please, carry us to the waters."- His Grace said. "But your Orb?" "The starship? Never mind, that! There is a beacon, of course! Soon they will send us a rescue spaceship - but meanwhile, we are in trouble."- His Grace said. Mundifico tried to carry one of those bags, but as they was slippery, he stumbled and the bag hit the ground. "Take care, you moron!"- The harsh voice said, inside of that bag. "I'll carry you in my Flier! No way could I carry these bags on my arms!"- Mundifico stated and departed. X30 said:' This person seems to be a biped." "Must be one of those pesky humans! They reproduce like frogs on a pond!"- Said His Grace. "Perhaps we could induce him to go to our Base in Brindo 5!"- The Third Voice suggested. "Are you out of your mind, Doctor Garpen? This people don't know how to make a chart to arrive into their own bed!- Chuckled His Grace. Mundifico walked to the Flier, seeing a big Spinosaurus Aegypticus was disposing of the deceased Dilophosaurus ; when the animal saw him, twisted his long legs and walked against him, so he climb the nearer big tree ,as fast as he could. The giant Spinosaurus banged his tail against the tree, and Mundifico almost stumble down- so he embrace a branch, and stick to it until the Spinosaurus went away, possibly to finish his meal on the Dilophosaurus. Mundifico waited during ten minutes, and descended, seeing no traces of the Spinosaurus, he run the rest of the way. Panting, he set the Flier on course, and landed near the Orb- some Emausaurus ernsti were gnawing into the bags, so he shot some LASER beams against them. When gone- several were killed- he approaches one of the bags, and a voice said:" Shoo! Go away!" (It was His Grace's voice). "It's me, Mundifico! Do not worry, I fired against the beasts! They went away.""Bad shooting!- Doctor Garpen said. "Not quite! I killed three of them."_ Mundifico said, carrying the first bag inside the Flier. "Thanks. Is it safe, here? I don't want to come up the ramp bumping all around!"- His Grace said. 16488 'Safe as a coffin!"- Mundifico said, clucking, going out for more bags. With the last one inside, he hurriedly goes to the Ocean, and finding a good terrain for the landing, he descends. "Are we near the Ocean?" - The voice of His Grace asked. "You must explain me how you can talk inside my brain."- Mundifico said. "It's a wave, simply."- His Grace said. "Did I open the bags, before throwing you to the water?"- Mundifico asked. "Of course not! These bags only open by the inside."- His Grace said. "Well, there was a pack of Emausaurus Juvenile who almost did open by the outside."Mundifico refreshed his memory. Afterwards, he slumped those bags into the sea- soon he saw eyes and tentacles appearing over the waves, and His Grace said:" Now you know to whom you helped. Good bye." "Bye, folks!- Mundifico said, and the Cephalopods disappear into the deep. "Cephalopods Sapiens! Who could have guessed that! And bad pilots, too!"- Chuckled Mundifico, and getting inside the Flier, went again to the Orb, and searched for articles- he

found many strange looking objects, that he carried unto his Flier, until the Orb was emptied of its objects. Mundifico looked at the sky, pretending to see the incoming Rescue Team from the Cephalopods abiding place, but he only saw a couple of Quetzalcoatl dancing some queer love routine at fifty meters high. 16492 He takes his lunch, seated on the Orb's ramp. Now that he has the artifacts on his Flier, he was interested, also, in the Orb. Its size and the - no doubt- eccentric engines and systems must be valuable to someone. He finished his meal and decided it could be worth trying to learn something about the machine- at least, how to close the hatch, preventing someone else could enter. He discovered that a lid, while pressing it, gets the hatch closed; another push, and it opened. But by the exterior hull there was no opening system - some remote control surely was used to do it. At the control room, the initial damp place was almost dry now; the levers existed in two panels- possibly the craft was driven by two pilots- so he stand in front of the bigger one, moving some levers that produced a faint rumor, when moving a green ball up and down a slit on the panel. At the smaller panel, things were different: a faint rumor was heard, when some levers were moved slightly, and the Orb tilted, throwing him to the floor- in wobbles, and as fast as he could, he return that lever to the original position- and went to the ramp- now it was closed. He opened it, using the button- the Orb was standing in a horizontal position - the ramp extended itself into the air, three meters above the ground. As he found nothing better, he just jumped down- but after cling with two hands from the border. He made a ladder, out of the plentiful lot of branches near by, and returns to the Orb, this time testing other levers. The Orb was not capable of to levitate - just a small decrease of weight that could maintain it almost over the ground. Therefore, - Mundifico thought - the main engine had a severe malfunction somewhere. He thinks hard about the problem: how to fix the machine, in order to fly away with it? Two days later he was descending on the Cosmic Port of Oredloro; several other Fliers were coming and going- a sense of recovery was in the air. He talk with some people at the Custom Office, and they assure him the contagious period was over. "The ones intended to die, poor souls, are already in the Dark Realm. King Lugner had said there are no more contagious problems in His Kingdom."- A fat officer said. "At last! I was tired to hunt for a meal!"- Mundifico said. The three officers present smiled and the fat one said:' Buddy! We feel just like you did!And Mundifico realized things were not already back to normal, when he didnt saw taxi Fliers in the air. So he made his way to Oredloro Royal University foot- any kind of public locomotion was forbidden, but the moving pave ways were in use- changing from one to the other, he could arrive there in twenty minutes, noticing the streets were almost devoid of people- he saw gatherings at some squares, and when approaching, he saw that they were vendors selling vegetables and canned food. As he heard people talking to each other, the Big Malls and Supermarkets were close since the appearance of the Alien Virus. Mundifico did not buy a thing, thinking it could be infected. At last, he arrived to the University of Oredloro- and it was closed. He seats near the entrance, and saw several young students climb the fence and descend by the other side. One of them notices him, and yelled:" Hey, Sir! Do you want to come inside?"

Mundifico approaches the fence, saying:" Yes, but I'm afraid this high fence it's too high for me to climb!" The student said:" There is a smaller entrance round the corner! Professors use it! Go there! "Thanks! I will!- Mundifico said, and begins walking; at last, he found a small door and it was opened; he went to the building and at the hall he found a janitor. "Good day, Sir! I wish to find the scientific Laboratory, if you please!" "Second floor, Sir! To the right. By the stairs only: the elevator isn't working."- The old janitor said, in a bored way. He climbs, searched for an open room, and finally found one. A professor was dictating classes to some twenty students- other rooms were open, but with nobody in sight - then there were Labs- full of equipment- he went inside one who had a couple of person, dressed with white aprons. "Pardon my intrusion! I'm looking for a professor !"- Mundifico said. "Well, guess we are professors! What do you need, young man?"- The taller of the two men replied, with a couple of bottles in his gloved hands. "I need somebody who knows robotics and space flight."- He asked. The tall one looked at his companion and said:" Here's your man!"-And chuckled. The other professor was short of stature, stout, with a shaven head. He was fumbling with some coils, at the moment. He raises his stare, and said, through his moustache:" High aspirations!" "I found a vessel with a malfunctioning engine."- Mundifico said. "There are good mechanics at the repairing shops. Near the Cosmodrome."- The taller of the professors said. "They are almost all closed, due to the Virus."- Mundifico explained. "Then, go where they build engines! Must be easier to find a good technician there, than coming here to found one."- That professor said. "The problem, Sir, it's that it is not a common aircraft! It's an alien spaceship."- Mundifico said. Both Professors looked at him in utter astonishment, and the moustache man said:' What? Are you implying there is a Falan spaceship in your hands? If so, your duty is to give advice to the Royal Spatial Forces- or to the Police." "This is not that kind of alien! This spaceship was full of water, and their pilots were Cephalopods!"- Mundifico informed them. The taller of the Professors return to his experiment with a grunt, and the stout one said:" I think you are bluffing us, Sir! I beg of you to leave this Laboratory." "Very well; I see you don't want to learn about Alien Technology!"- Mundifico said, disappointed, and went out of the room. He insisted with other scientists- one of them said:" You must go where they build space engines in the pre-war times! Here you'll find only theorists! "I have a new kind of spacecraft! Not of this world!"- Mundifico said. "What, a Falans spacecraft? I always loved to see one in person!'- A nice young female student said, near him. Another woman said:' Could it be possible, Sir? To see it? We are students on Gravimetric and Robotics! Not so much related- but we could possibly indicate you where it's the trouble inside that system!" Mundifico was tired, and accepted. The whole bunch had only one small Flier- the owner of it said:' Where to, Sir? " "To the Spaceport! I have a bigger Flier, down there."- Mundifico said.

The artifact shot upwards as a bullet, turns around and headed to the Spaceport, where they arrived in no time. "I will come back with the rest! Don't leave without me!'- The driver said, and departed as a rocket. "This friend of yours really likes velocity!- Mundifico said, after he saw dwindling in the air the red and yellow Flier. "Sir, where is your Flier?- A female student asked. Mundifico pointed where his vehicle stands, and said:" There it is! But first, tell me your names." They did so- four students (a female and three males) eager to see the wondrous machine. Aline was the name of the beautiful student who first talk with Mundifico; he was appraising her: he directed to her all of his phrases, so he succeeded into the segregation of the tall woman from the rest; he opened his Flier for her, show her all the booty he collects at the Orb, and said:' I am a lonely man, with nobody to care for me." Aline was not a stupid woman, and he had already glimpses where this man was aiming to - and by her part, her goals weren't clear- she did like to study, but her average at the University wasn't as good as to think she'll get a degree on Robotics. In addition, to get married was out of her plans for the time being, as she knew her solid possession now was her youth, a thing she wants to enjoy to the full. "Certainly. Where did you find the Alien ship?"- Aline asked. "At the north! It was damaged, and I saw it from the sea- I was swimming at the time."Mundifico replied. "All by your own?"- Aline asked again. "Yes! And the Orb went into the water, and rushed past me- I ended up a tree!"- Mundifico smiled. "Must have been horrifying!"- Aline said, admired of his luck. "Yes, it was! I end up embracing a tree trunk! The collision wave was forty meters high!"Mundifico exaggerated a bit. "Wow!"- Another student said, clashing his hands together. At that moment, they saw the small red and yellow Flier come back from the University, with another carload of students; the driver come into the big Flier with four other students. "All right, Sir! We are all aboard! And my name is Ralph."- The driver said. "Very well; Aline, you seat right next to me; four of you on those other four seats, and the rest on the beds- there are strapping where you could attach yourself."- Mundifico ordered. "Why the straps? Are you a lousy driver?"- Asked a blonde student, female about twentytwo years old. "Now much! But I love to attach myself to Air Controller Regulations!'- Mundifico replied, flushing red. "Sorry about Glenda! She's making herself notorious, again!'- Aline murmured him near his right hear; a thing that turned him on! He lift the Flier and headed north, with his heart pumping hard. "A nice day! And to think the sun it's no more than a mass of compressed hydrogen which is undergoing a process of atomic fusion!"- Ralph said, in the rear seat. "Yes, it's a nice day!"- Aline said, with her sing-song voice. Mundifico asked her:' And you study Robotics?" "Yes! I find it interesting. Now we are studying the highly limited capacity of working memory, along with its tight coupling with deliberation mechanisms, they think this alleviate the need for costly memory searches. The information needed to fluently perform the current task is temporarily kept handy in the working memory store; at class, we are

trying to build a robot that has an internal mode of itself and an internal model of the world; and that he must use to predict the outcomes of novel or untried actions. And maybe the A.I. could be conscious."- She said. "Old stuff!- Ralph added, from the rear seat. "Yes, I guess the new models, those from Federation sources, must be better than ours."Mundifico said. Ralph said:' "Emotions is defined as the states elicited by rewards and punish, including changes in those rewards and punishments, by which a reward is anything for which an animal will work, i.e.a positive reinforced and a punishment is anything an animal will work to escape or avoid i.e. a negative reinforce. Stimulus - good - bad evaluation. Emotions are based on experiences and help guide future actions. This is the core of robotics, I think". Mundifico landed near the Orb, using the electric beacon he left there, previously. They all went down; Mundifico produced a ladder to climb and soon they all were admiring the different parts of the Orb. Then, he moved the Orb - while hovering over the site- and said:" This is just to sit straight! But the main thrusters are in bad shape." The students weren't able to fix a thing, and soon Mundifico was alone with Aline, and taking her hand, he said:" You could be here, with me! I have everything in my Flier, and we could go visiting places, together!" She recoiled, and said:' What do you mean? Me, as your woman?" "Well, yes! Or are you afraid?'- Mundifico asked, but at the instant - by her stare- realized she was thinking he was too old for her. The group comes back, and they all went into the Flier - Mundifico traveled back to Oredloro, and at the Spacedrome he said:' You can choose alien artifacts! Something to show at your Professors!" So every one of them takes something from the booty, and Aline smiled feebly at him, saying:' Sorry, dear. You're too old for me." "I understand your point of view..Bye."- Mundifico heard himself saying. The group walked away; Aline was walking fast, as not wanting to see him anymore. "Guess I'll be back to my bachelor's life!- Mundifico told himself- he bought a house, using the holophone from the Flier; this one was near the Cosmodrome, where he rented a place for his aerial machine. As the days goes by, he was listening to the news: the alien enclosure was almost wrecked by the combined forces of Knapp and the Federation; a new government was put in place of the old one, and Knapp has the spoils. The victorious forces from High Space come back one year later, and King Lugner was giving a big lunch for the people, at his winter palace's garden. Mundifico, tired of to be talking to the walls at his possession, went there in a taxi Flier, decided to get a decent woman! At the big reception given by King Lugner, every person was checked at the Entrance, and sometimes also at the interior. Half of the place, eighteen hectares, was divided - the gardens had a newly arrived Force Field device, greenish in color, so the gathering could not trespass the other half of the Garden. They were waiting, and talking, half surprised by what was going on. 16511 Someone by the loudspeaker said:: We are waiting our Majesty the King Lugner and our Queen! Ladies and Gentlemen, soon the barrier will be lifted, and I beg of you a lot of respect for the site where you are standing now." They all cheered up, and after a while, a rumor begins to spread: "The King is arrived!" The mob was on the move; a woman next to Mundifico said:' This is an historical moment! The king is receiving the mob!"

A bystander said:" We are no mob! We are his Subdits!" - Another man approaches and said:" Are you molesting my woman?" "No, I was saying..." The husband gives him a shove, and Mundifico grabs the person and punched him on his nose; Guards come in, and before they could take hold of Mundifico, a bald man pulls him away from there. "I know you don't want to end in Jail! Come here!"- He was saying. They mingled with the people, and the Guards lost interest in the runaway fighter, so they carried the other fighter to a police car. "Thanks pal! You save my attendance here."- Mundifico told the man. "Don't mention it! Look! We must get hurry: the Force Field was released! And I have hungry!"- Said the small man. Mundifico smiled upon the frankness of the guy. Soon he was staring at those big rows of tables, with plenty of meal and beverages (no liquor was allow), and the bald guy finds two other men, who were his friends - he introduces Mundifico to them, saying:" This man had a fight, and I save him of to be in Jail." "Good guy!"- One of his friends said, banging his hand on his own bald head. "Wait! There's food over there!"- Let's eat, boys!"- The third man said, who had a fringe of hair round his head, and the rest was totally naked. Afterwards, they eat Dino meat, and vegetables. Mundifico was trying to get some astride woman, but the bald person was forever pestering him, so the girls moved out. The King Lugner let his Prime Minister give a lengthy discourse in his Name, that start like this:' Our King defeated the Falans from Miaplacidus or Beta Carinae. In spite of intense study, some stars refuse to yield their true characters. Here is the opposite, one that seems to be about as completely understood as reasonably possible. One of the few stars of the far southern hemisphere to carry a proper name, Miaplacidus -- Beta Carinae in Carina, the Keel of the Ship Argo -- is also one of the brightest of the sky. Almost first magnitude (bright second, 1.68), it ranks 28th in the list of bright stars, and in its constellation is beaten out only by brilliant Canopus, which ranks second. While the root of the name means "placid" or "gentle," the word is not well understood, some references citing "gentle waters" (appropriate for Argo), others stating "unknown." In any case, the name is of modern origin, since the ancients had no way of seeing this deep southern star. In addition, they ignore the Falans were plotting against our placid Kingdom, who never had invaded any territory not of our own planetary system. Physically, Beta Car is a relatively common, white class A (A2) sub dwarf, one (from its class alone) that has just given up core hydrogen fusion. It has a temperature that from various sources averages 9100 Kelvin; Miaplacidus shines with the light of 210 Knappian forces, which yields a radius 5.85 times that of our star. A direct measure of angular diameter (1.59 thousandths of a second of arc) together with the distance gives a radius of 5.83 solar, showing that all the parameters must be correct. A rapid rotation velocity of at least 139 kilometers per second gives a rotation period under 2.1 days. The theory of stellar structure and evolution shows the star to have a mass between three and 3.1 times Knappian, and that in accord with the spectral class, at an age of 350 million years; it is indeed giving up core hydrogen fusion and instead has a core of nearly pure helium. Helium fusion to carbon will begin in a mere 2.5 million years, after the star becomes a red giant. While a number of classes A stars are surrounded by dusty disks that imply planet formation have taken place, Miaplacidus seems devoid of such. Indeed, there is no evidence for any kind of companion at all. -King Lugner has defeated our enemy, the Falans! They were powerful, but with our allies, the Federation of Planets, that includes the Solar System, Vulcan and recently the small

but powerful in starships: the Klingon Kingdom, we will take possession, as Administrators, of a full entire planet from the Falans!" After the cheering, some music was heard, coming from a real orchestra. The dinnertables were replenished again of food and drink; some people begin to dance and Mundifico also danced- he was happy among the crowd- the young females with whom he dances seem not to be worried about his age. At four o'clock in the morning, people begin to depart- soon Mundifico realize the beauties had gone. "Hey, pal! Did you have a great time? "- The bad guy asked of him. "Oh, you! Of course, and guess now I must depart."- Mundifico said. "No need! But look how much food was left untouched! "- The bald man said, and his friends were stuffing dinosaur chops unto some bags. "Help us to carry this out! Take one bag!"- The black hair man said, while others were also taking untouched food to be carried out of the royal gardens. Mundifico help with the work, and after they had several bags full of food, they all leave the Royal Gardens, carrying their treasure with them until arrived to a 16514 battered flier-wagon and the bags were storage there. The three men get inside, and the bald one told Mundifico:" Sorry, friend! No room for you! "- And they departed, at low altitude. Mundifico arrives to the moving sidewalks, and returned to his house thinking those people werent nice or serviceable. Soon it was in front of his home; he opened the door and felt himself disappointed with the decoration; something had changed inside of him, after the royal invitation. He uses his Holographic Computer, looking at the news about the King's banquet. Every comment was to show how nice and well prepared was all at that banquet; people interviewed had only good phrases to describe that event. At noon, he have lunch at a Fast Food Restaurant and then went to the Cosmodromethere he find his vehicle, as new and sound as ever- a man approaches, saying:' Boss, I clean your vehicle, yesterday. Its 3 Rolos t." "Of course, man."- Mundifico said, and paid the Natural man, who smiled happily. Another person approaches, and offers him some new appliances for the Flier. "I see you have a good model, Sir! But I offer you a new holoradio! This one can expand your original scope almost to the Infinite! "- The man said. "Good to know. But I am not interested. I have no business to attend right now."Mundifico explained. "I see you have no wife, Sir? Want a new model of female?"- The vendor offered him, showing several models from a Holo Catalog. Seeing the females in scant clothes, Mundifico sensed his mouth watering, and ask for prices. "I'll tell you the truth, Sir! Because you seem a nice person. This belonged to certain principal house, whose owners disappeared since the Virus! I can sell them for you in almost nothing! They are three females and two male models! A million Rolos for the whole package, what do you say?"- The person offered him. "How queer! I only have 200 Rolos myself!"- Mundifico said. "But, Sir! How do you dare offering so scant a sum for five State of the Art servants! Give me 500 Rolos and that's it."- The guy proposed. "All right! Bring it to me- by night! I don't want everybody around here to see our transaction."- Mundifico asked of the guy. At 02.00 hours, the guy appeared in a wagon flier, with another mute person; he said:" Well, Sir! I am here, with the five A.I.! Where do you want them storage?"

Mundifico was puzzled by the phrase, and said:" Why, are they lame, crippled?" "But, Sir! I told you they were in a box! Brand new."- The vendor said. "All right, put them inside the Flier."- Mundifico said, and when the last crate was hurled unto the Flier, a Police siren was heard; both "sellers" turned pale; the mute recovered the gift of speech, and said:" By the love of Knapp, let's get out of here!" "See, Sir? My associate gets nervous. Perhaps "somebody" detected our enterprise... could you just pay me and stop fumbling with the dug?" The eyes of both people were turning dangerous, so Mundifico paid them in cash, and they departed in a trifle. The flying wagon, with no lights, fussed into the night. Mundifico closed the hatch and revise the crates. The people there seem more to be full sized dolls, than A.I. capable of almost everything a normal man could do. He unpacked a beautiful blonde woman, and the envelope was very strong; the body resting on cushions of plastic material. He revises her head and extremities- very new, not a visible defect in there. 16517 He has no idea how to start her mechanism, and started to press every site in sight, to not avail. He even undressed the figure, not finding a lever or a button- not even a code number. He went to the Holographic Computer, and start digging for information. Soon he learns that not every model was alike; every Factory was having different ways to arrive to the goal: almost human. As the name on the crate was Easy People Company", he revise every publication available and saw similar models on the list in offer, as the serial number wasn't on the bag. Tired, he went to sleep at the back of the Flier... it was almost dawn. When returning from his dreams, he went to the Cafeteria at the Cosmodrome, and asks for a Breakfast. Seated at a long table, he heard conversations among pilots and simple people, plus the News on the Holo T V projector. Soon he was aware of every news and gossip in town. There was a rumor, that some burglars stole Synthetic models of humans, and that the Police was on their trial. Mundifico went to buy vegetables and food, and at his return to the Flier, he takes it to his own house. The big artifact was able to be located there; but its bulk did was notorious from the sky, as it bulges as a beacon on that street- it was not usual to have a Flier that big on a private house, but instead belongs to be at the Cosmodrome or some other smaller Air Field. He decided it was better to move from there, and went to an Estate Agent; where he explains his wish to be a farmer. "By the moment, we have no farm to sell- with the enemy attack; the clients had preferred to live away from cities."- The Vendor said. He went out feeling restless. Something in the back of his head was telling him to get hurry to depart from there. He takes his belongings from the house and carried it to the Flier, closed the door and went upwards- soon Oredloro was behind, and he set course to Rixiaberg, to the north. The Falans did not attack Rixiaberg, so it was full of movement- big aerial Freighters were traveling back and forth, and at the Cosmodrome, several Royal Spaceships were in sight: big dark monuments to the Art of Deadly Fight! Mundifico parked on Lot 3082, and went to the Office- there, a thousand clients were buying tickets to every city on Knapp; bags and valises by everywhere. At the dinner tables, the Automatic Vendors were in full use; dishes with food were being carried in all directions- boys, fat women, lean guys traversing the place; the sound of languages were thick in the air.

He asks for a couple of dinosaur's eggs and bread; and obtained, he eats standing at a high table. The yolk was magnificent, and he receives a powerful impulse of energy. He went out to the city; taxi Fliers by everywhere; he also saw Federation Army Forces on the street- shiny translucent Fliers of that Organization criss- crossing the air; he went inside a shop and bought several suits; thermal pants and good boots. There were half gravity boots- with those on, a person could feel be weighting half his normal weight, so he could run or jump as easily as a cat - he bought three pairs. With his bought, he return to the Flier, and he tried to make the model work; but as in the previous occasion, he could not even find an aperture or some other mean to get into the machine. Again, he gets into the Holographic computer, asking for instructions. When he was about to quit, after three hours of searching, he find a small toolmaker, who had several diagrams on how to modify models. In that way, he learn where was the principal door to the inner secrets of an A. I. machine. 16521 Full of optimism, he went to the model, and did open the principal lid; a manual of operations were there, in the form of a tablet; he put that at his holoprojector- device who was plugged into the Flier's energy system- and spent the rest of the night hearing and making notes on an electrical pad. At noon, he awoke, and went to see by the screen the landscape outside the Flier - some Airships were gone, and others has arrived; in any case there were trouble- people seems very busy making their errands; the Fliers with enough capacity takes passengers as Charters, and others disembarked passengers- older models were used as Freighterscraters and bags were on the move all over the place. He returns to the model, and with his notes, he started the first on the row - to not avail: a red dot was on- he leafed his notepad, and the significance was no battery charge. Knowing what to do, he search in the others- only one male model was half charged; he push the green button, closed the lid- then the artificial creature flickered his eyes, and said:" Good day, Sir. Thanks for activate me. Please wait twenty minutes for the system to recognize every program." Mundifico went to the cabin, to wait. Soon the A.I. appears, saying:' I see you have other epersons, Sir. Do you want me to revise them?" Mundifico looked at the E-man: 1.60 meters high, with a single one-piece as a cloth, with simple sandals- his skin was white, and he has brown short hair. "Of course! Guess they had no battery charge."- Mundifico said. The e-man revised them all, and said:" You are right. This is most outrageous. Their atomic batteries have been removed! Mundifico now understood why the thieves were selling several new models for almost nothing- they had sold the batteries separately. "Do you know where I can obtain those batteries?"- Mundifico asked. "Of course. At the Factory." Mundifico called the "Easy People Company" by the Ultra radio, but it was not workingthe post war era was on- many services were not working. -The line is dead. The war, you know. Is it another solution?- Mundifico asked the Synthetic. "You could to go Chicago, Sir. The batteries aren't so expensive." - The E-man said. "Right."- Mundifico said, and phoned the Star Terminal at Rixiaberg- contrarily to his supposing he discovered that yes, they had tickets to travel out of the Knappian Realm. They have tickets.

- But how do you suppose I could carry radioactive capsules, voyaging in a commercial spaceship? - Mundifico asked the Synthetic Person. "You cannot."- The e-guy moved his head in a negative way. "Right. Perhaps I should buy a spaceship?"- He asked to the synthetic persona. "If you excuse me, Sir, I could answer more of your questions with a single upgrade."- The Synthetic said. "How? Communicating with "Easy People Company", perhaps? No way!"- Mundifico said. "Not necessarily, Sir! If you prefer, I could download much information from the web for free."- The e-man said. "Correct. How?"- Mundifico asked. "Let me plug myself to the Web. It'll take little time, Sir- by the Holographic T. V. Web, of course."- The Synthetic asked; Mundifico permits it, and soon he was connected to the machine, using a finger from where a small plug, similar to a needle, protruded. Five minutes later, the Synthetic said:" All right, Sir. I have replenished my memory Banks of the essentials." "So, what do you suggest, now?- Mundifico asked. "Option One: you could buy another model, asking it came with replacement capsules. Option Two: You could go there, and buy ersatz or alternative batteries- those are low cost and perhaps not as good as the originals, but the system will work for a time. Option Three: At Earth, non-radioactive batteries are in stock. You could buy those- the energy in those batteries could serve for a year, at a time, and they are not forbidden."- The Synthetic e-man said. "Very well. By the way, which is your name?" "I have a serial number: BL 19568". "Good: Belone could be your name, from now on." - Mundifico said, and sent him to storage the other models on their bags, and leaves them at the cabin. He searched for Import- Export organizations; then he talked with a person there, asking for the importation of cheap batteries from Earth. "We could deliver to you anything you want for almost all major sources in the known associated worlds, Sir. What is your name?"- The clerk said, politely. 16532 "Mundifico. I have a ..." "Don't worry, Sir! I am looking at your Bank Account already. Quite good. You can made business with us. Just insert your Credit Card, for a tiny 5% of the total import of your bought. Ten batteries, Class AA3; from Easy People Company to Mr. Mundifico on the City of Rixiaberg, Knapp planet. Credit Card number 00368 AR 4. I'm correct, Mr. Mundifico?"- The Vendor asked. "Right! I'm living now at my own Flier at the Cosmodrome."- Mundifico said. "Your address for the next ten days? As that is what it will be delaying the whole operation, Sir?- The Vendor said. "Er... yes, I guess I'll wait here."- Mundifico said. "Very well. Import of the whole operation is as follow: the batteries cost three thousand Rolos each, four of them totals twelve thousand Rolos; our ten per cent it's a thousand and two hundred Rolos; the cost of shipment and Royal Taxes, Earth taxes and the cost of transportation are another fifteen percent, over the retail price: a thousand and eighteen Rolos." At the holographic monitor the numbers appeared: 4 batteries 12.000 10% Agency 1.200 15% Transportation and taxes 1.800

Total = 15.000" "Fifteen thousand Rolos! Very well."- Mundifico accepted, inserting the C.C. on the slot, and the Vendor said, two seconds later:" Your payment has been received. The deliverance will be in ten days, counting from to-morrow on. Any other question that you want to ask me, Sir?"- The Vendor said. "No, it's all in black and white. Good day." "Good day to you, Sir."- The Vendor said, ending the connection. Mundifico hung up and leaned on an armchair- soon he will have all his A. I. In working order! 16534 -Sir." "Yes, Belone?" "What would my duties will be here, Sir? "We'll see about that."- Mundifico said, nonchalantly. "My functions are almost infinite, Sir; my model Number is capable of to do any work in half the time that precedent models uses."- Belone said. "I'm glad to hear that. I am a bit too lazy to do a good cleaning, up on the Flier. I'll send you to that- and one thing: I detest throwing away things." "I can ask for your approval, in case of disposing of something in the course of my duties."- Belone asked. 16535 "Of course."- Mundifico said. Belone worked real fast- in less than an hour he had everything neatly ordered- the available space increased tenfold. "All is nicely put, Sir."- Belone said. "Good. See the outside- cleans the Flier; ask for a hose at the office."- Mundifico said, and saw how the A. I. went to the office (some kilometer and two hundred meters away) on foot. Half an hour later, Belone was working on the hull- he cleans it, and come to Mundifico saying:" Sir Mundifico, the hull should be repainted." "Are you saying you could paint?" "Of course, Sir. But I need paint and some other elements and fluids." "Ask for them- I will pay." "Could I use the Holographic computer?" "Use it." Soon the virtual basket was asked to the seller- paint and utensils were on its way to their door- two hours later, on a big ladder, Belone was already at work. Two days later, Belone presented in front of Mundifico, saying: "The painting is finished. Did you want to go out and look at the work?" "Of course."- Mundifico replied; at the foot of the Flier, the surface was glossy; the color was white as milk. "Nice job. Congratulations."- Mundifico told the Synthetic person. "Thanks, Sir."- Belone said; he had a reward on those words from his master. "The light shines on the surface- polish to the extreme."- Mundifico was gladly impressed. "There is a small matter, Sir. I need some more clothes for me, and it would be fine to obtain more for the rest of your staff."- The Synthetic person said. "They are dormant- but yes, I will permit you to ask for clothes; I'll pay with the Credit Card from here."- Mundifico said. 16537 The two crooked vendors appeared a week later, showing a battery. "Chief! Here is one battery that could be used into your Synthetics! "- The larger man said. "You sold me just one battery with several models inactive!- Mundifico said, angry.

"Sorry, Chief! We just take the crates and sold them all to you! We're ignorant, with no need of electronic Servants!"- The person said. "How much?" "A thousand Rolos." "Ha! Cannot be! You sold me the entire bunch in five hundred Rolos!"- Mundifico refreshed their memory. "But, Sir! I almost give it for nothing! Give me five hundred."- The man asked. "A hundred is what I get."- Mundifico replied. "Let's say a hundred and fifty, and we'll still be friends."- The Vendor said. "All right! But let us put that battery in use, first. Belone, see to it." "Yes, Sir." "Belone! You called him with a funny name."- The Vendor said, looking at the electronic man. "As any other name."- Mundifico shrugged his shoulders. They waited for some time; Belone returned with another being! "It works, Sir."- Belone said. "Very good! Take your money."- Mundifico said, handling the Vendor the promised a hundred and fifty Rolos. "We have some other things to sell, Chief! You will see! Bye."- The burglar said, and they both went out. 16538 "I activate a male E-person, Sir! By precaution. Those Vendors looked too much greedy, and you walk around unarmed."- Belone said. "Right thinking. You had made a good decision."- Mundifico said, looking at the new revived E-person, that was taller than Belone, with darker hair and skin; fair complexionhis eyes were not as bright. "He needs completion, Sir."- Belone explained. "How, completion?"- Mundifico retorted. "Yes; he needs some more education and information. I could provide both, only if you not wish to awake another model, instead."- Belone suggested. "Well, I guess you can disconnect it now; and when new batteries arrive, you'll plug this guy on -again. Bring me the blonde I was looking first."- Mundifico said. "All right, Sir."- Belone A. I. said, and he carried the other Drone to the back of the Flier. Mundifico was feeling nervous. Those Burglars were coming and going too easily- they could assault him, knowing he was alone on the craft. He walks where Belone was working, and said:" We are waiting here for those batteries, but I am boring of it. We should return afterwards, for them." "The batteries are paid- the package will be sent to the Cosmodrome office, if you are not in this site."- Belone informed him. "Right. I have several days time that I could use somewhere else. I will move the Flier right away. Are you finished with the girl?"- Mundifico asked. "Pardon me, Sir, but I cannot replace the battery from Model AA3 serial number BL 19303 to model AA3 serial Number BL 18303; the deactivation proceedings are not as quick as you desire- six hours, at the least- not to produce malfunctions later, on the male model, Sir."- Belone said. Mundifico knew almost nil about Synthetic people, so he munched the information and said:" Do not deactivate it! I need guys around- could you stop the process?" "Of course, Sir. Right away."- Belone said, and went to reactivate the model Class AA3 serial number BL 19303; then he plug some cords unto the lame synthetic person, and waited.

Mundifico rise the Flier from the ground, when he obtained the due authorization from the Control Tower; and this was necessary not to crash against the dozen artifacts that were landing or taking off at that hour. When on the air, he set course for the North coast, with a sigh of relief- he was very apprehensive at Rixiaberg Spaceport, due to his bought. As he had the night vision on, he landed near the beach, on high ground (and two hundred meters away from the Coast), and stopped the engines. "Nice landing, Sir.'- Belone said, from his back seat. "Thanks. Are you able to ride one of this?"- Mundifico asked, proud to be able himself. "Able but without proper License, Sir."- Belone replied. "So you know! In the wilderness, nobody will notice you aren't licensed here."- Mundifico said. "But Sir, the Traffic Controller's office could see me by the traffic visor; also some Police Flier could scan this vehicle from the outside."- Belone informed. "Don't worry about that! You are talking as if you were at Earth Planet! Things aren't so tight controlled out here."- Mundifico said, while he walks to starboard, and through the night vision goggles, he saw they were among some bushes. Belone inserted the prod of his communication finger on the console next to him, and ask for information; he realize what Mr. Mundifico said was wrong; the examples of trespassing tickets on Aerial regulations were huge; not one but several e-persons were fined for the same mistakes Mr. Mundifico was saying nothing happens. He also knew about what to do to obtain a Pilot License, being an e-person: the Model, Serial Number, and a short robotic examination, no more than a couple of seconds in all; but he was seeing Mr. Mundifico having too strange behavior when they were included- so he said: "Mr. Mundifico, a Pilot License could be obtained in a very short time; I need not to go anywhere; they could revise my skills by auto -pilot." "Yes, and what they ask, to do it?"- Mundifico said, looking at the e-person with suspicion. "My kind of Model and the serial number, plus the necessary skill- I already have the skills."- He said. "Right. Well, I will tell you what: that couple of people, back at the Cosmodrome, sold you, together with the other four Synthetics; I guess you were obtained in an illegal fashion; so I cannot ask for Licenses for stolen property! I would be jailed and you will be sent back to whoever has the rights. Understand my position?" "Yes, Sir. You are involved, and you would loose the money of that transaction, the models and your liberty. "- Belone said. "Right. So I'll be the pilot here."- Mundifico said, feeling very disappointed with the whole affair. "Worried by the surrounding area, Sir? I could go outside and make the night watch, as long as you want."- Belone said. "No, we're safe in here. We don't smell too much, I presume, to attract inquisitive wandering dinosaurs."- Mundifico boasted; soon he went to sleep on a bed. A Laelinosaur appears near the Flier- one of his movements approaches his tail to the ship, and banged on a side- Mundifico awake and said: "What was that?" Belone, who was at the corridor, said:" It was a dinosaur, Sir. Seems he's banging what goes in his path." "What a thing! Are you able to fire to an animal? Or are there some restrictions to your behavior?" "Not when my master's life is in danger, and provided I don't hurt too badly the dangerous animal."- Belone replied.

"Right. Then pick up a rifle, and if the other E-man could do it, take him too outside, with another weapon, and when seeing a dangerous animal this way, just fire to divert their footsteps from our vehicle."- Mundifico yawned. "Very well, Sir."- Belone said, while going to fulfill his new duty. Again Mundifico was feeling nervous. Out of patronize, he had decided to keep his aids on board- and he should have accepted the insinuation of to put a night watch on duty. He went to sleep with his garments on, except his shoes- so, when the light of a new day arrives, he just jumped from bed, put his shoes on, and stride outside of the vessel. 16546 "Good morning, Belone! Did you spot the footprints?" "Yes, Sir. They came off in the direction of that group of ferns and then went obliquely through those rocks, and then a Laelinasaurius was following the easy path- your vehicle on the way- he changes course slightly, and banged the side of the Flier." "All right! How many meters high is that beast?" "Three meters."- Belone informed. "Well, I can see what a big one could do! "- Mundifico said. The other Synthetic person said:" I smell blood." Mundifico gets scared, and jumped aboard the Flier; Belone sniffed the air, calculating from where the smell was coming. A fat Daspletosaurus appeared; he was munching while walking; in his jaws, a piece of a pteranodon was dripping blood. Both A.I. fired against the beast- not to kill but to hurt- the startled Daspletosaurus throw its chewing to the ground, and with a bellowing, he run to the opposite side. Mundifico yelled, by the lock of the Flier: "Well donned, guys! Guess we are in the middle of a road, here! Jump aboard, to get out of here!" Both A.I. obeyed, and soon they were flying over the ocean. "Nice morning. By the way, I'll call you Lulu."- Mundifico said to Model Class AA3 Serial number BL19303. "Most honored, Sir. My first name: Lulu. Means Servant, in Sumerian."- He said. "Right. To be a servant it has to have an objective in life, a goal in itself. A small destiny and obedience is the ruler."- Mundifico expounded. "I have some knowledge on Dinosaurs, Sir. The one we drive away, is called a DASPLETOSAURUS, that means: Frightful Lizard Also known as Description: Carnivore, Bipedal, And Order: Saurischia Suborder: Theropoda Infraorder: Tetanurae Micro-order: Carnosauria Family: Tyrannosauridae Height: 4.9 meters Length: 9.1 meters Weight: 2 tons 700 kg Period: Late Cretaceous in Earth, and here we are in the Knappian Cretaceous. " "Good to know you are a learned person."- Mundifico said. At the long range, an object was detected. "An island! A hundred and twenty eight kilometers West. We'll take a look." -Mundifico said, and steered the aerial artifact to that side. Soon it was in plain sight; the most part of it was under a pale of mist, but near the coast, a place was flat, and there Mundifico landed his Flier. "Well, guys, you do go and see if there is no danger."- Mundifico asked of his crew. Both Emen went down by the ladder, and as they were communicated by radio with the Flier, their voices were heard at the Control Cabin.

"Nice weather, no insects present at this hour; and some imprints of an Inosaur."- Lulu said. "Fine."- Mundifico said, and descended; the air was good; the rumor from the surf was heard faintly. To the interior of the island, several trees of big size were the advancing post of a dark green forest. "Nice place. Search for fruits and brought to me the edible ones, please."- Mundifico said, and his Team begins searching - they arrive to the forest. Soon they were out of sight, so the Natural smiled, thinking:" They will come back empty handed; this sector seems devoid of fruitful trees." The terrain where his Flier was standing was granite, but the surrounding area was full of bushes and ferns; to the beach, the sand was yellow. He went there, seeing the sea had a pale blue color; the waves were pacified by a wall of rocks that stop the big ones some two hundred meters away; the breakers rocked the air, sending foam with a roar; Mundifico saw several lobsters scurrying in the shallow waters. "We are back, Sir! Plenty of food for you."- Belone said, arriving to the beach. Mundifico tastes them all: three species were present- a round golden soft one, a grape, and a watermelon. They looked edible, and it tastes good. "Fine, guys! Carry them inside our Flier."- He said, referring to the fruit he didnt eat immediately. The two Emen walked swiftly to the Flier. In that instant, a rumor was heard coming from the sea; he turns his head to see, and he saw an aquatic device, approaching the dry land, with the semblance of a wagon, with wheels instead of matter repulsive engines. It came to a stop forty meters away from the border of the sea -dripping water, a round lid opened on top. "Nice boat you have there!"- Mundifico yelled to that person, who was looking in his direction, from the top of the vehicle; he descended and was using a helmet and a rubber jacket. "Hi. I am Ninhur, botanic. "- She said, releasing his helmet to the ground. "I am Mundifico; it's very curious your machine."- Mundifico said. The woman takes off her goggles, and a leather cap; she smiled and said:' I never thought someone could be here." "Oh, yes! I came in that Flier, over there."- Mundifico pointed at his machine, and when looking at it, he saw the two Emen coming his way, fast. "Are those your friends?"- She asked, recoiling somewhat. "Oh, yes! Good guys."- He reassured her. "Fine."- Ninhur said; in that moment, another person descended from the vehicle; this one was a man. Mundifico notices that the man arrives just in time with Lulu and Belone; perhaps he was looking at them by some telescope or something. "Welcome to the Island!"- Mundifico said. The newcomer was using a beard, and said:" Thanks. Are you the owner of this island, per chance?" Mundifico was not, so he said:' Just a visitor, Sir." "Father! The gentleman here has arrived in a Flier."- Ninhur said. "Certainly. But just the same, I'm glad you are here- your vehicle is very interesting."Mundifico said, as he was sure the man did it in his spare time. The man from the vehicle turns his torso to see the still dripping wagon, and said; Yes! I designed it, but certainly did not make it." "Father's a botanist. We come here often- the island has lots of strange specimens."Ninhur explained. "My name is Mundifico, and I exploring too, but Im not a scientific; this are my associates, Mr. Lulu and Mr. Belone."- Mundifico said.

"Good to know you all! By the way, I am certainly interested in early flowers. With your permission, I'll move away my Aqualand to a safer distance from the waves."- The man said, and departed to do so. 16554 "He seems eager to begin."- Mundifico said. "He's professor Colibro, and I'm his daughter."- Ninhur said, smiling. "Please visit my Flier; I wish you accept: I have some wonderful fruits taken from the trees not half an hour ago, from that forest."- Mundifico said, signaling with his hand. Ninhur accepted; and so he made a gesture to his companions, to be not in the way; so they relented their pace, so he could have the woman's company for himself alone. "Are you going to stay here for long?"- Ninhur asked him. "Guess we must depart soon; I have some business to attend at Rixiaberg."- Mundifico said. "Ah!"- Ninhur acknowledged, and soon she was eating a melon on the small table inside the Flier; Professor Colibro appeared, after parking his Contraption near the Flier. "Oh, you have fruits from this island! I recognize them."- Professor Colibro stated. "Please seat down, Professor! I'll serve you a piece of this nice melon!"- Mundifico said, while he was slicing it with his pocketknife. The professor said:" Yes, my inquisition in this island had proved fruitful; you must know there are medicines in all the fruits, herbs, tubercles; seeds. By way of example, if you had a headache, you eat fish and you are preventing it. Against Hay fever, you eat Yogurt; against strokes, you drink Tea; if you cannot sleep well, you eat honey; when with Asthma, you eat red onions; to prevent arthritis, you eat Fish; against bladder infections, you drink Cranberry juice; against bone pains, you eat pineapple." "I dissent when you say fish is good to prevent Rheumatism! Doctor Monin said that fish and Crustacean, together with milk, must be avoided by the Rheumatic people."Mundifico said. "Well! I am sure fish is good to prevent arthritis ! Same with upset stomach."- The professor Colibro expounded, unmoved. "Once I eat smashed bananas with milk and sugar; I really had an upset stomach, while driving south of the country."- Mundifico said, smiling, as he was remembering those interminable farths that were as if my whole intestine was going out. "Milk and bananas are good for to have strength! Against fatigue, cornflakes! To a weak memory, you eat oysters; the zinc its good for that. When a cough does not go away, you eat red pepper; against breast cancer, you eat wheat bran, cabbage: those had estrogens! Same thing, if you have lung cancer, eat oranges and green vegetables, as they had beta carotene, a form of vitamin A."- The professor Colibro said. "I love cabbage, but always boiled."- Ninhur said. "Against high pressure, eat olive oil and celery. The chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps regulate the blood sugar imbalance of insulin and blood sugar."- Professor Colibro expounded. 16557 "I have a small case of hemorrhoid."- Mundifico said. "Several tube baths per day- no more than ten minutes each! And cream. Fiber and fruitssix to eight glasses of liquid- but not alcohol. Metamucil and Citrucel."- Professor Colibro said, standing up and adding:" Daughter! We have still time to search for specimens! "Yes, father! Well, Mr. Mundifico, it has been a pleasure to accept your invitation. Good bye." "Bye."- Mundifico said, bowing.

Both were out on the greenery; Mundifico's Assistants enters the Cabin, and Lulu said:' Sir, I have a complete course in Medicine. I heard you have piles." "Yes."- Mundifico said, blushing. "I could make a stone bathtub and you could treat your piles on warm water, as the Professor Colibro said. Do you want me to take care of the construction?"- Lulu said. "Of course- but see you don't damage your hands in the building of that bathtub."Mundifico recommends him. "I'll help him."- Belone said. "Yes. You may proceed."- Mundifico accepted. Looking out by a porthole, he was able to see the Professor and his daughter. As they were approaching the forest, their bags were more and more stuffed with herbs and fungus. The figure of Ninhur was now more agreeable- she had discarded her leather clothes and was using short pants and a blouse- her golden hair was shining under the native star. "This gal must be mine!- The Bachelor said, smacking his tongue. Outside, the Professor Colibro was kneeling over a bush, and from there a snake bits him hard. The old man stumbles to the bush, where other snakes did to him the same as the first. Her daughter was looking the other side, but when he realizes what was happening, tried to take his father from the bushes. While she was doing it, she screamed hard. The two Assistants heard the sound of her voice, and realizing something bad was happening, they run to her side, in time to save her from two snakes that were ready to bite. "I'll take your father away from here, lady."- Lulu said. "Please, take him away from those beasts!"- Ninhur said, crying. Later, and with Mundifico in the know, they seat Ninhur on a couch, and Lulu serves her a soft drink. She sobs and said:" My father didn't deserve that death!" Belone takes a snake, and obtained some of its poison on a bottle; then he hurled the snake away; he analyzes the poison, finding it was very lethal. "Even if I don't knew your father very well; I realized from the moment I saw him, that he was a good man. Pity we are in wild land . We don't know the amount of danger that lurks in here."- Mundifico told her. "But we visited other sides of this same island, and there were no snakes."- Ninhur said. "Perhaps this site its the most dangerous! Ways changes."- Mundifico said, Ninhur was sobbing so she went to her vehicle, to mourn for his father. At the next day, Ninhur return to the Flier, and said to Mundifico:' I will depart now. Thanks for all you had donned. I'll bury my father at Oxiborion- where he had a house." "But, in your vehicle- will take too long- the body..."- Mundifico objected. "Don't worry about that! We had... I had... a refrigeration chamber- formerly, it was used to storage liquids and samples that needed to be protected from decay. Into that chamber, the corpse will repose."- Ninhur said. "I offer you my Flier. We leave your apparatus here, we fly there- you could bury your father there in no time."- Mundifico offered. Ninhur leaned a hand on his right arm, and said:' Thanks for your good wishes, but this is something I must do by my own." "Ninhur, I wish I could see you again."- Mundifico said. "Yes, me too."- She smiled. "Could you give me your address?"- He almost begged. "I'll give you our... my address before I leave."- Ninhur said, sobbing. Later, he sent him a card with Belone, and departed. "Guess it'll be hard to trace her, now."- Mundifico said.

"But she gives you her address!"- Belone remembered him. "Yeah. I wish she could have accepted my offer."- Mundifico said. "I put a beacon on her vehicle, Sir. Look."- Lulu said, showing him a small red point on the far away radar. "Nice."- Mundifico said, smiling. "Are you going to explore the place, Sir?- Belone asked. "Yes."- Mundifico said, thinking how that woman could have disturbed his plans- by doing absolutely nothing but to present herself there on the island. Having closed the Flier's door, and with a packet tent at his shoulders, Mundifico went on foot to the woods, preceded by Lulu and followed by Belone, both armed. The forest was thick with trees; some portions were flooded with water, so they had to make detours. Lulu was being guiding to the west by a magnetic compass. 16562 After four hours of walking, they arrive to a mountain and Mundifico saw the black mouth of a tunnel. "Let's see what it is in that aperture to the depths."- He told his Assistants; Belone went in front, then Mundifico and after them, Lulu and his LASER rifle ready in his hands. The tunnel entrance was four meters high; they went inside. Several dozen meters they walked; the rock was all around them, and Belone said:' This is a long funnel, Sir." "All right, just keep on going."- Mundifico said, hand in hand with Lulu, as his eyes could see nothing at all- he has not his ultraviolet goggles, as he had left them on the Flier. Suddenly, a metallic grinding was heard. Belone said:' Trouble, Sir." "What's happening?"- Mundifico asked. "A person is coming this way, Sir. He measures two meters high; has the head of a lion, his teeth as of a dragon, and is coming as onrushing waters."- Belone said. "Guess we must get out of here."- Mundifico ordered. "No problem, Sir."- Lulu said, taking him over his shoulder, and running to the entrance. Belone followed suit. Once under the light of day, Mundifico could run with his own legs, and they stop eighty meters from the tunnel entrance. The robot appeared there, fuming and spreading a LASER beam, that scorched some innocent Elmisaur. "Terrible guy!"- Mundifico said. The robot stayed there for two hours, and then returns inside the tunnel. "Do you want to get inside too, Sir?- Lulu asked. "What a silly question! Of course not, in the present circumstances! But of course, if we could have a flame-thrower, then I will enter."- Mundifico explained. "We could defeat him! One of us gets inside, and when the robot follows the intruder out, the rest of us could fire at him, and also, a rock could be hurled by the upper side of the entrance."- Lulu said. "Pity to smash a good machine like this robot! Could be very ancient! But yes, let's try it."Mundifico said. Belone climbed to the mountain with Lulu, and they prepare the rock. Then, Belone went inside and made noises ; the robot started to run after him, and when appearing out, Lulu push the rock, that flies in a bored arc and landed at the back of the robot; down it went and smashed as cardboard the figure of the threatening machine. Mundifico approaches, and saw the robot out of order. "Guess it couldn't be repaired."- He said. "Whatever was inside of his chest, now is made a sheet of debris."- Lulu said.

"The sun is going down. Let's see if there are more dangers at the cave."- Mundifico said, and both Assistants went inside with him. Twenty minutes at a fast pace, they found a door blocking the way, so they return outside, and Mundifico said:" End of the road! That door is locked for sure; and it's solid." "It's made of a very strong glass, Sir."- Lulu explained. "Then it could be melted. But now, let's search for a safe spot."- Mundifico said. The best spot was not found, so they made a platform upon some branches, fifteen meters below the ground and there Mundifico rested, while his servants perched some meters below, as night watchers. 16568 Belone saw several Allosaurs following a fat Claosaurus Emacood; soon they catch up with him, and while he give some fight to defend himself, the force of numbers outweighs him; some were beating at his hind legs, and soon pieces of flesh were ripped from her head too; the Claosaurus Emacood bellowed with force; Mundifico awakes and asked what was going on, so Belone replied:' Five Allosaurs are festering on a vegetarian Claosaurus, Sir." "Guess it's life in the Jungle."- Mundifico yawned. "You can keep on sleeping, Sir. They are unable to climb up here. - Belone said. "Of course."- Mundifico said, thinking he was not responsible of deaths by violence in his vicinity. With the light of dawn, seven hours later, they went down, packed several items and a tent, and went to the cavern. The shattered remains of the robot were partially under the rock, and now it did not seem as the terrible threat that once was. At the tunnel, Mundifico said:' Lulu, go to the Flier, and bring me a pair of night goggles. We'll be here." "Yes, Sir."- He said, and running he went to fulfill his mission. Belone said:" The batteries must be retired, Sir. At the Cosmodrome they sent you a message." "And how do you know?"- Mundifico was puzzled. "I'm connected with the radio at the Flier, Sir."- Belone explained. "Fine. We'll search here first; I need to know if this place hides something of value."Mundifico said. While Lulu was accomplishing his appointed task, both Mundifico and Belone recovered the robot from below the rock, digging at the ground with sticks and stones. Once it was freed, Mundifico said:' Well; only a genius could ensemble this mechanism again." "Of course, Sir. However, perhaps with new parts it could resemble what was once an artificial conscience. With due elements, it could moves around again."- Belone said. "Perhaps it will cost too much- spare parts in Oxiborion are expensive."- Mundifico said. Lulu arrives with the goggles; Mundifico puts them on, and then enter the tunnel; when at the crystal door, they apply the LASER beams unto it, using the rifles. Soon there were a couple of holes at the hinges, and the door fall to the ground; Mundifico said, proudly:" Even the most guarded places are defiled if using some skill." "Let me walk in first, Sir. Could be trouble ahead."- Belone said, and stepped in. The corridor was dark, but now Mundifico could see in blue hues, thanks to the night vision goggles. Suddenly, steps were heard; and Belone raise his rifle. "Prepare your weapons!"- Mundifico hissed; but the footsteps suddenly grew fainter. "There must be some other corridors around here: whoever was coming, takes a side corridor now."- Belone suggested. 16571

They soon arrive to a crossroad; tunnels begin there in six different directions; Mundifico chooses the last on his left. That corridor was dusty- several closed doors, with marks on them, appears to be deposits of certain kind. "Open this."- Mundifico said when they arrive to the end of that tunnel. Using LASER beams, the Synthetic made a hole on the glass, and the lock was broken. Belone pushed the door, and they were in. Mundifico saw shelves with small artifacts, made of metal and glass. "It's a Database, Sir.- Belone said. "Must be thousands of records!"- Mundifico whispered, looking at the small objects; Lulu inserted one in a projector no more big than twenty centimeters, and immediately a holoprojection started with sound and smell- the stars were passing to the rear of the viewer, and some Constellations were immersed in giant gas clouds. "Enough! Take that and as many boxes as we could carry."- Mundifico whispered; they did that and departed; while on the corridor, nobody was in sight; they trotted out and soon they were out on the surface, receiving the sunlight. "Now we'll be going to Rixiaberg . Time to retire those batteries." At the forest, an Erlicosaur sniffed at them, but attempted not to do any harm; his brown eyes had a hint of animal cunning. Mundifico inserted a radio beacon where the Flier had been before the take-off, because he was thinking in a come back. "Now, we are ready to fly."- Mundifico said, and they traveled fast to the Rixiaberg city, and soon they were parking at lot 730. "Belone, go to the Custom Office and ask for our batteries; here is my Credit Card."- He told his assistant, who replied:" Fine, Sir. I'll be in touch with Lulu here- by radio.", and he went to the Rixiaberg Cosmodrome Custom Office. Meanwhile, Mundifico went to a cabin, where the alien holovideo were in place- the small machine running, he told Lulu to stay alert, and seats on a stool to watch. Again, this video was about stars, and certain language was on, but the meaning was not understood. "I cannot comprehend this language, if it is a language! Can you decipher it?"- He asked of Lulu. "At the moment, no, Sir, but if you permit me to hear quite a while, it's very possibly that I could grasp the significance of some of the sounds, looking at the scenes.- Lulu replied. "Of course. I am going to sleep for a while, so you are in command now. Be smart."Mundifico said. "Yes, Sir. Go and take your nap, I'll watch for everything here."- Lulu said. Mundifico went to his cot, and taking off his shoes, he slept for more than five hours straight. He awake startled by the appearance of several wonderful women that were near his bedthey were three exquisite beauties, with big round eyes, and red smiling lips. "What is all this?"- He babbled. 16576 "We are your e-women!"- They said, in chorus. "They are your e-females, Sir. All in working order."- Belone said, from the threshold of the bedroom. "I see! They finished their indoctrination?"- Mundifico asked, touching the fresh skin of one of her e-ladies. "Yes, Sir. Stick to the basic, of course. Further knowledge must be attained."- Belone said. "You three, are really beautiful, and I am very fond of beauty. I am sure we'll be all happy here, and I give you my welcome."- Mundifico said.

The blonde, the one he had tried first to "waken up", said:' We are all happy to serve you, Sir." "Thanks."- He said, while he put his shoes on; then they went to the main cabin, where the light of the Cosmodrome enter by the bow windows; he seats at his chair while the Electric Women were on the corridor, and Lulu and Belone were seated on near-by chairs. "Inform me about prices and all; and how the Electric Women reacted when reactivated."Mundifico ordered to his E-men. Belone said:" Cost of the four Batteries was 12.000 Rolos, 10% Agency 1.200 Rolos 15% Transportation and taxes 1.800 Rolos Total = 15.000 Rolos. "Fifteen thousand Rolos; guess it's O.K.; and we had one battery in stock, am I correct?" "Yes, Sir. In his box."- Belone said, and he handled back his Credit Card. "And the reactivation procedure?"- Mundifico asked again. "The Basic Instructions takes two hours to be downloaded, Sir. You was asleep, and the minimum battery charges takes half an hour to complete, using the Flier's condenser; a hundred and twenty hours of certified functions. This night they cold be replenished with full charge of their batteries, so they will be sustained for three hundred and sixty two days of effective functions. However, taking care of to disconnect when at rest. "- Belone explained. "Well, we humans rest every day for eight hours! It is clear to me that they will not fail me in those days to come. Possibly I'll be able to buy them more batteries when needed."Mundifico said, and the Electric Women smiled- they preferred to be awake, and in action. 16577 "I'll give you personal names; you the beauty and blonde will be Reggie; then you, the wonderful Blondie, will be Kette, and you with the brown hair, will be named Gosse."Mundifico said. "We have names. Now we are a bit more human."- The blonde-haired person (Reggie) said. "Reggie, you have a nice name. Dont you think so?"- Mundifico asked her. "Of course, I did Iike that name. And how do we call you, Sir?"- Reggie asked. "I'll be plain Mundifico - and that goes for you too!"- He told Belone and Lulu- Well act as a group of friends. However, I want obedience of all of you all the time; and treat me with due respect; no jokes. Just friendship, do you understand what I mean?"- Mundifico asked them. They all said they understand and the Natural felt good inside. Later, he went to his bedroom, with the three Electric Women, and locked the door until the next morning. 16577 That morning, Belone said to his Chief:" Mundifico: There is something in the News you should know about." "Are they... Is it recorded?" "Yes, did you want a resume? -Belone said. "Give it to me."- Mundifico yawned- soon he was seeing a massive incoming of spaceships, some of them fifty kilometers long- they were the Space Destroyers from the Federation of Planets. "Really impressing. Are they babies in orbit?"- Mundifico said. "Yes, Mundifico. And some scout ships and freighters of medium size descended to the ground."- Belone explained. "Very interesting. In this way we are protected by a great spacefleet."- Mundifico said.

Later, the Electric Women went with Mundifico and Lulu to shop at the city; he bought them eight dresses for each one, plus several pairs of shoes, boots and sandals; the lingerie was superb, and they bought lots of those. At a Synthetic Shop, Mundifico bought creams, lotions, shampoo and a wide variety of other beauty articles. At lunch hour, he goes with them into a Mixed Restaurant. While Lulu went in a taxi Flier to the Cosmodrome, in order to leave there the bought of the day, and then he returns to the Restaurant- the Eladys didn't eat, but drink their special liquids, laughed and stayed merrily around Mundifico, that did eat and drink at heart content. "Take a seat and enjoy, Lulu! Here is some juice for you!"- Mundifico said, when he comes back; and from the center of the table, the food dispenser was able to serve Naturals and Synthetic people what was on the Menu- fast and tasty for everyone. After the meal, they went visiting several Museums and, at night, several dancing places. They return to the Flier at 04.20 hours in the early morning. While Mundifico slept, his servants talked with each other using their personal radio systems; the female looking and the male looking humans in different parts of the Flier: the Electric Women at Mundifico's bedchamber, and the Emales on guard at the cockpit. "Our master takes us to entertainment places; it was most kind of him."- Reggie said. "And clothes! Even for Belone; who wasn't there?"- Lulu said. "He is kind and alone- it's wonderful that way, as we are now his whole family. Strange that no natural woman get interested in him."- Gosse said. "He was interested in one, who lost his father when bitten by snakes. He has her address on this city."- Lulu said. "Of course, we'll do our best to help him finding her and achieving his goals."- Belone expounded. "Where he will be going tomorrow? He didnt tell us."- Kette said. "The human mind cannot be understood by us."- Belone said. "And not even by themselves."- Lulu said, and all smiled. At dawn, the Electric Women served Mundifico with beverage and fruits, then he take a dry bath and while clothing himself, he said:" We will go to dance- put on your beautiful dresses. Lulu, you go with us; Belone, you take care of this Flier."- Mundifico ordered. Soon afterwards, they were traveling in a Flier to a good Dancing Hall. The places of entertainment were numerous and fancy; they danced and Mundifico drink liquor and was happy with the possession of those wonderful machines that mimicked women in all aspects and without any of the flaws and vices so common on humans. Eight hours later, they return to the Flier; Mundifico went to sleep again, while the Electric Women takes dry baths to stay clean. Near the Flier, a round vehicle was recently landed and a golden robot was under the levitating Orb. 16584 At noon, Mundifico awaken and after a dry bath, he salutes his Electric Women and had a glass of milk and honey with them. "Nice party we had!"- He said to the Electric Women. "We enjoyed very much."- Reggie laughed. "You dance very well."- He smiled, looking at her white body, now covered in part by a pale brown stylish dress. Reggie laughed and dance; the others get a rhythm with their palms. Somebody knocked at the door; Lulu opened the lock and stared at a metallic robot, who said:' Greetings! I am Crovailoba!"

"Welcome."- Lulu said; Belone peeked also, seeing a metallic robot with golden hues; the eyes were two disks, each one attached to a kind of conic head with two short tubes- a very rude artifact. "My master Rubosae wants to speak with your skipper." "Our master will hear your request, if he is available. Wait here."- Lulu said, and went inside. 16585 "What?- Mundifico asked, when seeing Lulu in front of him. "There's a request to see you, Mundifico. A person in an Orb wants you to listen him."Lulu said. "Yeah. Where he is?" "At a strange vehicle."- Lulu said. "Tell him I'll talk with him right away, but here."- Mundifico replied. Soon, a tall man with a long cut of hair appears at the Flier, after climbing the ladder; he said:" I am professor Rubeose. Good afternoon." "Welcome to my Flier; I'm Mundifico, ex spy."- The owner of the Flier said. "I have an Orb. Newly developed by "cullin works", in Chile. In addition, I am looking for some good technician. You see, a trip to Earth and to that factory, will take a time I didn't have."- Professor Rubeose explained. "Of course, those are your problems. But it takes so little to make a visit to Earth, in the new dimensional spaceships, no?"- Mundifico searched for a confirmation. "Oh, no! I could be there in a week! However, I already asked to that Company and they have a little infrastructure and they take more than they could chew; they said a couple of months are the least they could take for a full reparation of my Orb. I just don't have the time."- Professor Rubeose explained. "I get it. And how could be my humble person of any help to you?"- Mundifico said, mildly. "Your Flier. Must cost half the amount of my Orb, perhaps three times less- but you see, I need, and fast, a vehicle big enough, and new enough, for my work."- Professor Rubeose said. "Do you mean, to swap vehicles?"- Mundifico was astonished. "Yes, of course! But, not forever, you understand? You could use the Orb as freely as you like- but when I finish my work here on this planet, we swap again."- Professor Rubeose said. Mundifico laughed, and then he said:" Well, let's see your Orb." "Of course. Then, you agreed?"- Professor Rubeose asked, anxiously. "Let's see your Orb first, Professor! Belone, you stay here with my Electric Women; Lulu, you come with me." "Yes, Mundifico."- The aforementioned said in response. The Orb was a sphere forty-two meters wide, with four lesser balls, or spheres, attached to the underside; they were the propellers that could raise the Orb and hurled through the sky at great velocity. There were more rooms and storage compartments than in the Flier, but scant objects in it. "Can we test it?- Mundifico asked. "Look here, man, I hadn't enough time for this! Could you change your vehicle for this Orb, yes or not?"- Professor Rubeose asked, in a rude manner. "I cannot change a working Flier for a non working Orb, Sir! I see that this Orb really raise from the ground!"- Mundifico expounded.

"Well, strap to a seat and I'll fly it for you!- Professor Rubeose said; he seats in front of the controls, and after some jerky movements of the Orb, he said:' All right Sir, look out by the porthole!" Mundifico walked there, uncertainly. It seems to him that the artifact was still posed unto the Cosmodrome. However, when he sees the many stars shinning unblinkingly, he gasped in astonishment: they were in space, with the whole planet the other side of the Orb. "See? It works."- Professor Rubeose said, from his seat of command. "And why, then, you want to interchange it with a simple but wide Flier such as the one I own?"- Mundifico asked. "Dear Sir, I had been explaining it before! The Orb has a malfunction! It is rather difficult to travel from point A to point B in it! The Orb has its guiding system in the worse of states! And I need a vehicle that should go straight not only from point A to point B, but also, that could fly to C, D, E, F, etceteras!"- Professor Rubeose almost yelled out. They return to the surface; Professor Rubeose said:" See? We are six hundred meters away from the Cosmodrome- hovering over a park. I will ask you to come down here with your Flier, if you are so gentle, as it's very possible next time I went down I could be much farther than we are now. " "I fully understand. Lulu, come with me."- Mundifico said, and they descend by a ramp; then they hailed a taxi Flier, and went to the Cosmodrome- while in flight, Mundifico said:" Pity that Orb has that failure! But also, we could travel very far in it; the bargain seems good, to me, that loves to explore in a luxury way." "Yes, Sir. But the professor Rubeose could do a lot better if some other pilot, more skilled than he is, drives the ship."- Lulu explained. " Perhaps you could be the one learning the art of driving that artifact!"- Mundifico commented. "I already had the basics in my memory, Sir, just by looking at the Professor driving; it must be, of course, a guiding Manual for that spaceship on the memory bank."- Lulu said. They went up to the Flier, and with Mundifico at the controls, and Lulu at the radar, they soon spotted the Orb, and went down next to it. Professor Rubeose and his golden hued metallic robot begin carrying every necessary item to Mundifico's Flier; and likewise, Mundifico and his team takes every item that could be removed, to the Orb. At last, Mundifico and Professor Rubeose said good bye to each other, saying:" Well, Sir, I hope you could manage to control my Orb. I will take good care of your Flier." "Same to you: if only I could know what your plans are, I even offer you, in such a case, my personal assistance."- Mundifico said. "No, thanks! With my Synthetic robot is enough. I will communicate with you by radio- not earlier than five months ahead. Enjoy the Orb. Bye." Mundifico felt a pang in his chest when looking his own Flier being taken up and away by a perfect stranger. But when he turns back to went up the ramp, he realize the Orb was bigger and represents a giant leap in technology. Once inside, Lulu said:' I am sucking as much information as it's possible, Mundifico- from the Main Computer on board." "Right. Pay attention, all of you! This vehicle seems not to be in the best of shapes, so I beg you all to pay attention to the regulations: nobody is going to walk while in movement; all personnel attached to their seats, while in flight." "A fine decision, my love!- Reggie said, hugging him tightly. "I already finished, Sir."- Lulu announced- he was referring to the acquisition of knowledge in how to fly the Orb.

"Guess we are going to outer space. My crew members, go to your seats, and attach yourselves to it."- Mundifico ordered. The Orb, as previously, soared to the Sky and orbits the planet at an altitude of 39.000 kilometers. "What a spectacle! All looks clear as a bell!"- Mundifico said, looking at the vast expanse, through the main screen. The cabin was located at the top of the Orb; several bow windows made possible the fact the crew could look directly to the outside , but of course, the glass was made to shade the light if too much. A main hologram scene of all what was around the Orb was situated over a table at the center of the circular room , raised enough for all to see. 16592 The gravity system was on, so the difference on gravity of the external whereabouts did not exist inside the Orb. Belone said:' Sir, I have received the information about the functions of this Orb; Lulu had radioed all the info to me and also to the Electric Women on board." "That's clever thinking, of course."- Mundifico murmured; he also was somewhat informed, mainly in the Basics; the scope of radar action was incredibly wide. The radar and telescopes pinpointed some spacecraft; their shapes could be enhanced and the zooming goes as much as being able to see a square of 9 by 9 centimeters unto their hulks- at a distance of 800.000 kilometers. "Are you in touch with the Traffic Control, Lulu? Or are we on the loose?'- Mundifico said. "Of course we are under every regulation existing, Sir! Alternatively, by now, several Royal Hunters would be zigzagging at us! Want to hear some of the traffic, Sir?"- Lulu offered. "Yes, let's hear something."- Mundifico said, amused. Soon voices were heard clearly- they were giving information about velocity and other specifications, before the approach to the landing sites on Knapp. 16593 While they orbited Knapp, several huge spaceships from the Federation were appearing orbiting the planet; the communications among them and others located at other orbits were heard in profusion. In addition, looking into the morphology of the planet makes Mundifico very excited. He had known parts of this world, but in a small portion and from scant kilometers high; this time all was different. Now he was looking 16594 far and beyond, notwithstanding the many holovideo he had seen previously, the reality surpasses the virtual world. "Let's see if you can go north. I wonder how the north pole looks."- Mundifico asked Lulu the pilot. He descended at the north Pole. They were very alone; the photo -chromatic glass, when looking by the bow windows, dimmed the white shining of the ice. "You can go out, in a special suit, Sir. There are several of them near the main lock."- Lulu said. "All right, girls! Prepare yourself! We are going out!"- Mundifico ordered. No matter they could go out without those suits, he preferred to take real care of them, and so they went to the cold inside those suits, with helmets and radio communication devices. As they laughed and enjoyed the visit, Mundifico had the idea that, with the Orb as vehicle, it was possible to abandon the planet and visit others while the Orb was in his hands.

After the couple of hours they spent walking on the ice, they return to the Orb, and Mundifico asked about his desire. "It is possibly, Sir, if you wish so. The Orb is a good spaceship. It's been capable to reach Knapp from planet Earth by its proper means."- Lulu said. "And to get back there as easily, I suppose?"- Mundifico was spellbound. "Yes Sir! Quite capable."- Lulu answered, knowing the man was very interested in that developed society inhabiting that planet. "Well, considering we could get new and better batteries for my ladies here, and perhaps see what's wrong with this Orb, we could get there to find out. Set course to Earth, Lulu."Mundifico said. "Aye, Sir."- Lulu replied, in military fashion, and the rest strapped to their seats, as they were hearing the conversation both by hear and by the in-built radio they all had on their bodies. As they seat at their posts, Lulu soared to a place in the sky from where a dimensional translation could be effected; after a two hours flight, the dimensional Jump was made; after then, after some minutes in what appears as a fog, the entire Solar System was in full view; with the sun was at their right; using it's mass the Orb accelerated and soon it was heading up to the Earth's orbit; soon they saw the Moon, and the Blue planet approaching. Several radio communications were instantly received, asking for confirmation, asking for license numbers of the Orb machine. Lulu managed it quite well, and turning his head towards Mundifico, he said:" We receive authorization to land on Mexico, Cuba or Chile :which place do you prefer?" Mundifico was shown a map, where those places were highlighted: Mexico was located at north of The Equator, Cuba was a small island at the Caribbean sea, closer to the Equator; and Chile was a stretch of land between a big chain of mountains and the most huge ocean in the world- way down below the Equatorial line. "Let's get down on Chile."- He said, sensing the other sites had hot climates to his liking. Chapter 4 In Chile. They landed on a plain, where the wind was blowing; the site 0304-3 was designed for the Orb- a place near two ancient skyrockets, rusting under the mist of early morning. "Bad weather, isn't it?- Lulu said. "Well, guess we are on Earth. That's enough for me."- Mundifico said, and with the three Electric Women, stepped outside. At Custom Office, he declare his belongings and he obtained a tourist passport and a Visa for six months- enough to know every town he likes. Lulu, you stay on the Orb; any trouble here, you call me through my ladies.- Mundifico said, meaning the radio built in they all possess. Stay calm, Sir. Nothing happens here.- Lulu assured him. A taxi flier carried Mundifico and his retinue to Downtown Santiago. The skyscrapers were literally all around- even on the mountains. Thousands upon thousands of buildings were erected. The taxi driver hologram said:" Five hundred million people lives here, Sir. Three million tourists visit the city monthly; two hundred thousand Hotels await you." "Nice. Let's go to a safe place, not too expensive- no need to throw away my money."Mundifico said. "Very well, Sir. Do you want with community guards, or with dedicated personal guards?"The holographic video asked.

"What do you mean by that? Guards on a city?"- Mundifico was very surprised. "Without guards in Great Santiago, nor you nor your girl friends will be safe."- The Holodriver said. "Guess I want personal guards, then!"- Mundifico expounded, scared with the news. The taxi flier descended on a red hued three thousand eight hundred floors high building; the base of which has 1.206m2. and with thirty eight underground subterranean floors. They were located on Suit 2450, and the furniture was different looking than the one on Knapp; also, it was half present and half allocated under the floor or inside the walls, to give more expanse to the rooms- they spring out, when called, and a bell rings if there was any person in the close vicinity, not to be bumped out. "Fine enclosure!"- Mundifico keep on saying; also, the Holographic videos and artifacts with which he could communicate with other people, were amazingly quick in response, and quick to learn how to use them. He inspected the bedrooms; that had from zero Gravity to 1.5 Gravity sensations; and he was satisfied- floating and sex was a wild thing he likes to be repeating. "Darling, this whole suit is very nice! Wish we could find here some more food for us."Reggie said. "Ask by the phone, dear! Room Service here must really be something efficient!"Mundifico said. 16598 "Belone is saying all is quiet, at the Orb."- Kette said. "All right, tell him I want to know any news he had down there. Ask him to call the builders of that Orb, and explain them I want to have a rehaul- perhaps they could scan the Orb by radio, or something."- Mundifico said. "I sent your voice, Darling; he's saying he's phoning the Vendor now."- Kette informed. "All right; perhaps I could rehaul the Orb, and perhaps I will buy it from Professor Rubeose."- Mundifico said, as he was enjoying the power such a vehicle could give him. They went out to the street, and soon they find a Synthetic & Natural Drugstore; a multitude of people, of both sexes, was replenishing the place; they asked for three glasses of Synthetic juice, and a milk & banana. They drink and some cookies. "Nice place."- Mundifico said, enjoying also the music that was exotic but nice. Once on the street, they look how people were selling goods, electronics, cigars, clothes, on the sidewalks. "Sir, allow me to march at your side."- A man said. "Who are you?"- Mundifico asked, surprised. "I am Ribardo, from the Hotel, Sir. Your guard. There are some guys following you from the Bar; but don't you worry, I'll am prepared."- And the man shows half an electrical stick, protruding from his pants. "Right. Well, guess this spoil a bit my promenade."- Mundifico said. "Quite the contrary, Sir! This city has many interesting places; permit me to guide you to Museums, Art Galleries, or do you prefer Cabarets and Bars?"- The man asked. "Museums? Of course; let's start by there."- Mundifico said, and soon they were looking at long lances and wide swords the Spanish used to conquer the land from the natives; and weapons made by the Indians were present too, in the form of maces, long lances made of hard wood, snares, big sticks. Other items were old vehicles, some of them made to be dragged by horses, a quadruped now known in all the Federation of Planets. Also, they were to see pictures, holograms, and robots imitating natural people in old habitats. The flags of what once was a Republic were hanging from poles.

"Now that the Earth is just one country, this flag show the individual effort of the former Chilean people to govern themselves and not from Spain. Nowadays, the populace has half its members original from China, the former most populated single country on Earth." From there, they went to a very wooded hill that has a Zoo, an Aquarium, several tennis courts, three luxury Hotels, and a platform from where Fliers could take tourists on a trip around the city, with a guide giving explanations and a brief history of the place. They took the tour, and the guard said:' No need to do the trip myself, Sir! There is no danger while you remain on the Flier." Therefore, Mundifico was able to see the marvel of an Earth city without restrictionsnothing compared with a Knappian city- because this world was a real beehive! At their return, Reggie said:' My love: I had new information from Lulu!" "Well, tell me all about it ." "The uranium batteries cost one million credits each; with an endurance of a thousand years."- Reggie informed. "Good. Any new offer?"- He asked. "Of Synthetics or vehicles?"- Reggie asked. "Vehicles. New models of humans, or even from other species!"- He asked, fueled just by his curiosity. "Lulu says he'll download all information soon; Belone said you could visit the Orb, to see it is in good shape."- Reggie said. "Tell them I'll be there to-morrow! To night, we dance!"- Mundifico said, smiling to the Ewoman. When at the suit of the Hotel, he slept for four hours, and then he ordered some new clothes, using the Holovideo to choose. "Nice dresses for us all! We must look like natives!"- Mundifico said. The Electric Women were using short and almost translucent clothes, the fashion then for young females. At the dancing halls it was very much in use the Zero Gravity fields; so the place could permit a bigger attendance of clients, with half of them in the air. Mr. Ribardo, the guard from the Hotel, was also there, but set apart and not talking to them, to provide a minimum of privacy. Mundifico danced and have several drinks - he was fond now of Whisky, but not the brand he knew: here they were distilling Pisco, and it has a good amount of alcohol in the recipe. When back at the Hotel Perico, they enjoyed being with Mundifico, until dawn- then, he collapsed into Dreamland. Lulu, from the Orb, said to the Electric Women:' Hi, girls! I have all the know -how about the Orb. Is our Boss awake?" "Totally asleep."- Kette said. "Well, tell him , when awaking, that at the Cullin Works, the Central Computer made contact with the main computer from this Orb, and analyzing it through sophisticated probes, the cause of malfunction with the fusing of a whole panel- plus some other items in all, there are seven million Rolos to be paying.""A big chunk."_ Kette said. "But, our master isn't the legal owner of this ship! Perhaps he should use it as it is, and economizing he will still be rich, after this matter fades."- Gosse said. "The Boss decides! Never forget that, the great picture!"- Reggie remembered them. 16614 They waited until noon; Mundifico takes a shower, lunched at the room, and was informed about reparations. About that, he said: "A huge chunk of money! Tell Lulu to ask for Uranium batteries! And six other cheaper ones; with that will suffice."-

He was well aware the Orb was not his property, so he forgets about reparations, and stayed four months at Earth planet, visiting several places, and buying many interesting things. At last, he said:' We will go back to Knapp. Perhaps Professor Rubeose is waiting for me." Lulu managed to raise the Orb slowly to the orbit, obedient of every Terran regulation, and slowly ends up reaching the orbit of Mars; from there, the inter dimensional capable vessels soared into nothingness. Searching for their mysterious destinies or targets... Lulu and the ship Orb appeared near the Sun of Knapp, and Mundifico applauded at his great skill- soon they were landing on Rixiaberg Cosmodrome, that was slightly changed. At the Custom Offices, all personnel were new. Mundifico was puzzled. "All seems different, to me."There were the same number of vessels there, but all looked older; he remarked it to Lulu, who was walking beside him, and the Synthetic person said:" It is the date, Sir. Twenty years had passed since we were here lately." "How that could be? Our journey took no more than eight months, and the crossing takes us no more than a week!"- He said. "The dimensional crossing has this effect, Sir."- Lulu replied. They found a message, waiting for Mundifico. He listened to it, in a public machine. "I am Professor Rubeose. I get tired to wait for you: I'll give my address, so you can recuperate your Flier."- And included an address. "Guess this Professor gets tired of waiting!"- Mundifico said; and from the Cosmodrome, they traveled in a taxi Flier to the Professor Rubeose's abode. The place was at the outskirts of the city- big property he had there, with a huge housewith a hangar on the side. 16618 They descended and a robot appears to receive them. "Good day, Sirs. Who are you?"- The Synthetic asked and it was not the "golden robot', but a very slim and shiny figure, of dark blue color. On a close look, it has all the attributes of a woman, but her "eyes" were not there - just soft skin, but it has indeed a mouth. "I am Mundifico the Spy, and this is Lulu, my Servant. I want to talk with Professor Rubeose."_ Mundifico told the synthetic person. "Very well. I'm contacting the Professor- he remembers you, is giving the authorization to enter- now you can follow me, if you please."- The Blue Robot said, and Mundifico realized that the machine has no shoes on. Inside the mansion, Professor Rubeose was seated on an armchair, with a cloth over his legs, and a book was lying at a table next to him. "Professor Rubeose! Nice to see you."- Mundifico said. "Nice for you! I am angry with you, who left me waiting for so many months, at the Cosmodrome!"- The old man said. "I was unaware of the time shift period!- Mundifico said. "Did you go out of the Branas?- Professor Rubeose asked. "I made a trip to Earth, and at my return, I realize twenty years had elapsed! I beg your pardon."- Mundifico explained. "To Earth! Oh, how changed it must look now! So many years here, waiting for my Orb! "The professor Rubeose said, and get asleep. 16620 "What happened to him?"- Mundifico asked of the Blue Robot. "The Professor will sleep for an hour- please takes a seat."- The Synthetic replied. Mundifico did so, and Lulu said:" Is it a Flier around here?"

"Yes, it's in the Garage."- The Blue Robot answered. "Could we possibly see it? It belongs to my friend, here."- Lulu said. "Of course. Follow me, please."- The Blue Robot said, not having any order on the contrary. The Flier was there; battered as if used a little too much; also its interior was devoid of divisions- Mundifico looked at the floor, and it was with indentures and bumps, as if heavy objects were storage there. 16624 "Looks bad. Who knows in which state are now the engines?."- Mundifico said, mildly ill at ease. "Guess the professor must pay for reparations to make."- Lulu said. They return to the living room, and after a while, Professor Rubeose awakened, and seeing them there, he said:" Oh, you again! Well, how it's my Orb?" "Not as ruined as my Flier, Sir! You use it as a truck or something?"- Mundifico asked. "Well, it was used. I wonder how my Orb is."- The Professor Rubeose said. "In working order! Not a scratch! And with the same problem of steering."- Mundifico said. "Oh, pity you didn't use your time to fix it!"- Professor Rubeose exclaimed. "Well, I guess you are too old to go on traveling in it! I offer you the inter change of vehicles, plus a small payment from my part."- Mundifico said. "No way! You cannot have enough money to do that! It costs me more than forty eight million Credits, you know!"- Professor Rubeose said. "Are you out of your mind? I was in Earth, and the Orbs cost thirty nine million Credits, and they are brand new!"- Mundifico said- as he was prepared in advance to bargain the price with the Professor Rubeose. "Oh, yes! Orbs could be modified, to accomplish more feats than the Standard model! My Orb has a great number of improvements!"- Professor Rubeose said. "You should have improved the steering system first!"- Mundifico told him. Professor Rubeose went back to sleep. "Pardon the Professor! He is sleeping again."- The Blue Robot announced. "Well, we must wait one more hour!"- Mundifico said, flushed with anger- he was noticing the Old Professor Rubeose had his old Orb in great esteem. "Oh, no! This time Professor Rubeose will sleep for nine hours straight! Please go, and come back in eight hours more!"- The Blue Robot informed them. "A question: where is the Golden Robot? Professor Rubeose had a Golden Robot with a design most peculiar, the first time we meet him."- Lulu asked. "Curious that you remember him! Well, I am the Golden Robot! Good Professor Rubeose send me to have some improvements at the "Cullin Works", and after that, I became more efficient than before."- The Blue Robot answered. "Marvels of Science!"- Mundifico gasped, while he begins to wonder where the lot of iron could have gone in the process. After those considerations, Mundifico went to the Orb, and his Electric Women treat him with great considerations, noticing he was upset. "The old Professor Rubeose has his vehicle in great esteem and he priced it too much! Pity now my whole fortune its just nineteen million Rolos- the rest is gone."- Mundifico said. "So you cannot buy him the Orb."- Reggie giggled. "Of course not! However, he will be paying me for my Flier! It is a wreck! I wonder if their engines could function now!"- Mundifico said. "I could ask the Servant, Sir! Perhaps he knows better."- Lulu said. "All right! Call him by the Holophone!"- Mundifico said. "Not needed! I could talk with him through my own radio transmitter."- Lulu suggested.

Mundifico opened his eyes quite a bit, and asked:" So you could speak with him! Do you spoke with him, while we were at that house?" "Only a bit, Sir.'- Lulu said, and after being in contact with the Blue Robot, he informs Mundifico:" He said the vehicle has been without use since eighteen years ago. He is asking me if you are interested to know about the engine performance." 16627 "Tell him I am very interested, as it seems it would be my only way of locomotion! If the professor didn't accept my final offer, I guess we'll be getting the Flier back."- Mundifico explained. "He's going to start those engines, Sir. Wait."- Lulu said; after a while, he add:" He's at the Controls- Engine One started- Engine Two with some problems." "Some problems! The Professor wrecked my Flier!"- Mundifico was enraged again. "Communication lost! Guess he disconnect the communication."- Lulu said. "Another failure?"- Mundifico growled. They waited until the former eight hours elapsing time was gone, to visit the Professor Rubeose and when arriving there, Mundifico saw a fire almost extinguished by the Firemen and their machines. Of the building, only cinders were to be seen. "What happened?"- Mundifico asked a police-man. "There were some vehicle inside an enclosure here, and it catches fire!- The police said. There were other bystanders, watching the spectacle and one of them said:' I saw it almost from the beginning! A terrible fire! Guess some vehicle catch fire, inside a hangarnow the house also is affected!" Lulu spoke at Mundifico ear:" I guess the Robot made it, Sir! Possibly he didn't end that communication because of some explosion at the second engine and now is gone to pieces." "Yeah, possibly it was that! Well, guess the Professor Rubeose is dead also."- Mundifico said, looking how the fire begin to subside, now there were not much remains to be burnt. They waited there, until the Firemen find organic remains inside the house. Mundifico sighed, saying:' Guess the interchange its already solved- Professor Rubeose burnt my Flier and is dead by now." "It is the true fact, Sir."- Lulu said. "Well, let's go to Earth : now I'll fix my Orb."- Mundifico said, hailing a taxi flier back to the Cosmodrome. 16628 At the Orb, his ladies were happy to see him with optimism, and he told them:" Well, dames, prepare as we are going back to Earth! We'll be living at a Hotel, while they repair the Orb." "Oh, what a delight!'- Reggie said, hugging him. Her breasts were a pleasant pressure, for Mundifico... The Orb raise again, and departed to Earth two days later- they were among military Freight spaceships, returning to the Solar System, after the war on the Falans. They went directly to Chicago, where the "Wonorb Orb Industries" was placed; Lulu had already sent notice of them (while approaching planet Earth) and at their landing, workers knew already what was needed to do. "You just come back in two months, Sir! We'll take care of your Orb."- The Chief Mechanic told him. "Fine. Perhaps I could come to see the advances?"- Mundifico asked. "Be my guest! At any time you want, Sir! - The Chief Mechanic said- the client has already paid the first installment of one million Credits already.

Mundifico went to stroll by the street, but it was very cold, so he gets inside a building; then a person approaches him, saying:" New in town, Sir? Wish to have an apartment, here?" It was a nice Synthetic Ewoman and Mundifico said:" Of course; let's see what you could offer." The Lady produced a slim forty by thirty centimeters rectangle of three centimeters wide black apparatus, and on top of it, a holographic projection shows him several apartments, fully equipped and the prices were not high. "I'll take an apartment with three dorms; but of course, I must see it personally."- Mundifico said. The woman guided them to the sixth hundred and thirty eight floor of a building 323 stories high, and shows them the apartment 16632 that was furnished with taste, it had two baths and cozy bedrooms- plus the inevitable electronic gadgets and holographic -TV and Computers. "Guess I'll be in heaven here."- Mundifico said, kissing Reggie. "Yes, my love; we'll be happy here."- Said she, smiling broadly. Mundifico asked for a lunch on his place, and a Synthetic person arrives with a small cart, which had several steaming plates with food; also wine and dehydrated pills, if someone was on a diet. As there were only one Natural there, Mundifico eats for the whole lot, drinking heavily; then he takes a nap. Later in the afternoon, with Lulu and Belone, he searched for interesting places to visit, using the computers. "There are treasures in Outer Space. Gold, Silver, Platinum, could be worth for a hundred future trips- if only I could find the correct place. Also it could be found copper, aluminum, uranium, cobalt, dilithium, but for that, big money invested it's usually needed to have gains in the end." Both servants made a sketch of the known Universe- a big expansion indeed- but not representing even the 0.1 per cent of what was envisioned by the scientists the new machines could reach in a lifetime. One of the problems it is the time expended in the voyage- Dimensional Jumps are one thing, and traveling in a linear fashion it is other thing. In addition, of course, a minimal part has patronymic names and the rest of the stars have numbers- possibly only numbers and no one had set foot on those planets- less had seen those stars through the naked eye. Lulu and Belone worked a possibly chart for a eight days trip; then, they present it with several other options to Mundifico. "The options are vast, Sir. We can explore in this Branas, where the Earth is, or where the planet Knapp is, or as it's called, the Second Branas."- Belone said. "The First Branas it's more explored- in here there are several Sectors, and new ones are added while fastest spaceships are developed. Here we have the several races that are standard knowledge at Schools: the Baiorans, the Klingons, the Vulcans, the Terrans, the Telurgians, the Cephalopods, and the Greys."- Lulu explained. "So, in Knapp we are alone?"- Mundifico asked them. "The exploration has been minimal, Sir. The recent war wasn't against a race of Beings from the Second Branas, but from Falans of this First Branas: Carina."- Belone said. "Guess it's easy to know where it will be easy to receive honor and glory : at the Second Branas! Perhaps King Lugner could finance my explorations!"- Mundifico said.

"He is engaged now on the administration of a whole planet on Carina, Sir."- Belone said, adding:" The second planet is for the king Lugner and his people, as the new regulation Federation of Planets had established, after the war on Falans was ended. The abbreviation of Carina is Car and the Particulars of the defeated star system are located in this large constellation. The Milky Way passing trough Carina and the neighboring constellation Vela (north of Carina) makes this field worth for random scanning through the sky. The star field is extremely rich - it is notable for it contains the second brightest star in the sky, alpha Car, called Canopus. There are many star clusters in this area. One of the more famous is IC 2602, sometimes called the Southern Pleads. It is a large and bright cluster. In the center of the cluster sits the third mag, blue-white star theta Car. To the naked eye six stars are visible, but viewed with binoculars or small scopes many more stars of this cluster can be seen in field of about 1 degree of the sky. The large open cluster NGC 2516 is best viewed with binoculars. It contains about 100 stars. Interesting are its fifth mag red giant and its three double stars of eighth and ninth magnitude. To view them you will need a small telescope. Containing about 150 stars NGC 3532 is another large binocular cluster. The stars are of sixth mag and fainter. In small scopes, it appears wonderfully rich and reveals a markedly elliptical shape. The one orange star of four mag at one edge is not a real member of that cluster, but much more distant. The cluster distance is estimated to be about 1300 lightyears." "A great distance! How could the Falans travel as far from there? "- Mundifico asked Belone, and he said:" The globular cluster NGC 2808 is a faint naked-eye object. The brightest stars of Carina are alpha Car, Canopus, a yellow-white super giant of -0.7 mag (about 300 light-years distant), beta Car, Miaplacidus, a blue-white star of 1.7 mag, gamma Car,Almuhlif with 1.8 mag and epsilon Car, She (sometimes called Avior), which is a yellow giant with a brightness of 1.9 mag.Eta Car with the surrounding Eta Carinae Nebula is one of the most peculiar objects in the sky. The variable star Eta Car behaves most erratically: In 1843 it flared up to a maximum brightness of -1 mag (which comes close to Sirius (alpha CMa)), but nowadays it shines as a sixth or seventh mag star. It is thought, that Eta Car is an unstable super giant having a mass of more than 100 times of that of our sun. In irregular intervals, it throws of shells of gas. This star is a candidate to become a supernova somewhere in the next 10000 years. Because it is embedded in the Eta Carinae Nebula, it gives a most glorious view for the observer (with a large telescope). This nebula is visible to the naked eye and even larger than the famous Orion Nebula. A dark V-shaped lane of dust bisects it. Eta Car lies in the center of the nebula next to a dark patch called Keyhole because of its shape. Epsilon Car is a double star, which is easy to observe in a two-inch telescope (the second star is a blue one). The brightness of the components is 4.9 and 7.7, respectively." "Really amazing, indeed! But I don't see how we could earn a dime going there."Mundifico said. Belone said:" The double star upsilon Car is a white star of three mag with a sixth mag companion. This system can be viewed with small scopes. The star b22 (or t2 Car) reveals in scopes to be a wide orange-green pair. The Eta Carinids meteor shower can be observed from January 14 to January 27. The maximum occurs around 21 January. More information about the Eta Carinids can be found in Gary Kronk's database about meteor showers. " "Tell me about the environs of Knapp, please."- Mundifico asked the E-man Belone.

"The exploration has been minimal, Sir. The recent war was not against a race of beings from the Second Branas, but from Falans of this First Branas we are now. "- Belone said. "Yes, but I guess it's easy to know where it will be easy to receive honor and glory- in the Second Branas!"- Mundifico repeats himself. Perhaps he could even provide you with funds."- Lulu said, encouraging the Natural, as it was his ingrained obligation. "This is good! But I will proceed with the Project when receiving the Orb- and after the necessary tests."- Mundifico decided. He visited several other locations while in Earth- small sandy beaches a hundred and ten kilometers from Santiago, now populated by thousands of inhabitants and by more hundreds of tourists- the local people informed him that, at full season, millions of tourists swarmed those beautiful beaches. The owner of a bakery keeps on saying to him:" These beaches are like works of art. In addition, a work of art, bad or good, is a complex vibratory system. All of five senses are constructed to pick up this data in the form of visual, aural, tactile and probably olfactory and sapid wavelengths. The data is interpreted by the brain and provokes a response that- given wide variations among individuals- is more or less universal: no one thinks the last movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony is a lullaby." "Of course. Who is Beethoven?"- Mundifico asked the man; the Baker put his big fist on his hips and said:' Well, guess I was wasting my knowledge on an ignoramus! Beethoven composes great music for listening! Please buy a crystal with his work - educate yourself!" "I came here to see the beach!- Mundifico retorted the Baker, who went inside his shop, murmuring something incomprehensible... Reggie kissed Mundifico, saying:' Darling, we had the bread, we can go now! Your idea is a very good one, to see the beach and enjoy the sea waves. Pity we came in winter, for you to bathe. In two more months, this place will be warmed by the sun rays.""Dont Pity me! Because I can enjoy everything!"- Mundifico said, hugging the very interesting efemale, who giggled in his arms. At a tourist office, he paid for a trip to Antarctica- the continent at Earth south pole. The ship hovered over the sea at two meters altitude, giving its passengers the illusion to be floating on the Pacific Ocean. There were tables where to spent money, betting to some colors and numbers with chips, but Mundifico was not fond of it, so he danced instead with his Electric Women, mostly at night. He has no luck in those games- or lack the skill. At the third night on board, a man approaches him, saying:" Pardon me, Sir, but I wish to ask you a question. Mundifico looked at the man; he was dressed as a merchant, with a brown suit. He replied: Of course, you can ask me anything, but also, I have the right to not answer it. So be it. From where are you from?"- The man asked. "From other planet, of course."- Mundifico said, with a smile. The eyes of the man shines with interest, and said:" So, I was not wrong! But I will present myself first: I'm Brandon Cornejian, Student." "I'm Mundifico, Spy retired. These are my Efriends."- And he gesture towards the two males and his three efemales. 16643 "Well, this is a surprise. I was thinking they were relatives of some kind. I had read a lot about Cyborgs and aliens, but little about Synthetic creatures."- The man named Brandon Cornejian said. He was tall and well built, and in his fifties. "And what do you study?"- Mundifico asked the man.

"Life! I wonder how things work, and then I devoted myself to the study of that aspect I was interested- in such way, I had obtained several Degrees."- Brandon said. "Such as which?"- Mundifico asked, trying to learn if the man was as real as he said. "Harmonics. We look at our own society and see human beings reduced to slavery by sensory and supersensory phenomena imposed by men who do not know what they are doing. We can easily postulate a situation in which wiser but equally egotistical men produce a situation through the knowledgeable manipulation of the senses."- Brandon Cornejian said. "Manipulation of masses. The Secret Government?"- Mundifico asked, in hushed tones. "Yes, but I am retired, now. They don't want people over the fifty years; so I'm out - but I indeed earned a lot with them- I cannot complaint."- Brandon Cornejian said. "Fine for you!"- Mundifico said, yawning. "I had always wanted to travel by the stars! But never had the chance."- Brandon Cornejian said. "My ship is under repairs."- Mundifico said, bored by the intrusion. "You must be a wealthy man!"- Brandon Cornejian exclaimed. "Not so! I was only in the right place at the right time! I used to have big money- now I'm economizing not to become a poor guy."- Mundifico explained. "I tell you what: I had several maps, and I am sure we could do profits of a kind! I have those maps from old."- Brandon Cornejian said. "Maps of the stars?- Mundifico asked him. 16644 Reggie approaches, saying:" You promise me we'll dance at this hour of the day.""Of course, how rude of me to overlook you for so much time, darling. Well, Mr. Cornejian, nice to meet you; we'll speak of this matters in some other occasion."- Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir. Pardon my intrusion, Milady."- Brandon Cornejian said, departing. While dancing, Reggie asked him:" What did he want?" "To make some star treks, using old star maps in order to find treasures."- Mundifico informed her. "Ha, ha! Was he joking?"- Reggie laughed. "Who knows? Perhaps we could improve our economy, if the guy isn't nuts!"- Mundifico said. After Reggie, he danced with Kette and then with Gosse; and he keep on dancing for hours; they laughed and all was happiness around them. Mundifico was enthralled with the beauties, as they never contradicts him, they weren't jealous of each other or others outside their inner circle, and they always wish the best for him. 16645 Approaching the Antarctic circle, they saw icebergs and ice fields; soon they were in presence of a human Base, called Jose Miguel Carrera; there they descended and have a meal, together with the people who lived there in shifts of six months- not many were there, as the weather conditions still forbade mankind to thrive in those territories, where the silence and the white panoramas could very well made a man (or a woman) have strange ideas and visions of green pastures and rivers of blue. The commander of the Base Jose Miguel Carrera , Captain Planella, said to the tourists:' We are an outpost of Man in this icy land; all that you see covered with ice now around us, will be a green prairie for scant two months, when summer arrives." "Really? Seems difficult to me! With all that wind blowing?"- A female tourist said. "Oh, yes! Gone are the days when this place had four meters of solid ice in summer! Now it is mostly snow. A great difference. The sun heats more than in old times. Soon we'll be able to plow the land, and have fruit trees all around!"- Captain Planella informed them.

They show the tourist some holograms and a short trip, to see the old installations. A solitary flag was there, fluttering up the tallest building- it has a solitary star. "Heroic times, indeed!" - Someone said, looking at the old buildings. After three hours talking to the bored crew posted there, the tourists return to the ship, and the Captain gives a reception to the personnel of that Antarctic Base on board. 'Well, I guess we must attend."- Mundifico said. 16645 After dinner, the dancing begins, but the Military men were not getting enough women to dance with, as the tourist was mostly old- so Reggie, Kette and Gosse were most required. They refuse once and again, that makes a very brown officer ask:" You are the friend of this beauties! Why don't you tell them to dance with us? We are all gentlemen here!" Mundifico said: I ordered them not to dance with anyone but me. I find dance a very sexual behavior, and I get very jealous and mad when someone grabs my girls to dance with. The guy said:' So very old that you are, and wanting all of them for yourself!" - Some companions of that brownie laughed in a disagreeable manner, so Mundifico went against the person punching him on the face- a fight ensued, and Belone with Lulu helped Mundifico- but the others attacked them, too. The Captain of the Liner sent his scant able men to separate them, a thing they obtained after the place became a wreck. Later, the Commander at the Base asks for apologies to the Captain of the Liner, and added: "We'll pay you for the damages. My men will be severely punished." Mundifico was with both his eyes swollen and the three of them had their clothes ripped and stained. "It was nothing!"- Mundifico told to Captain Silvestre, who was asking if he was going to sue the men at the Antarctic Base; and as he was not, there were no charges in money for him, and a new pair of trousers appears on their cabins the next morning. The trip back to Valparaiso seaport was uneventful- Mundifico keeps on dancing with his Electric Women every evening. Back at the "Perico Hotel", he asked the Wonorb Orb Industries about the vessel. The Attendant communicate him with the Engineer in Chief, Mr. Hugo Serrano, and Mundifico said:' Good day; I'm arriving from a sea voyage, and I expect my Orb will be ready on time." "Of course, Mr. Mundifico, it will be ready on schedule! These spaceships are modern and very sophisticated. Some of the damaged original parts will be replaced with state of the art replacements. You will not recognize the new performances! It will be several notches high in the pole."- The man said. "I hope great things from you, Mister Serrano. Perhaps I'll give you an extra, if all what you are saying become true."- Mundifico promised. "I have your word.'- Serrano said. Mundifico travels with his group to the north of the country- great deserts, but with warm beaches along the coast; the northeast the city, the warmer it became. Small towns were by everywhere - once at a small Hotel, the owner have a chat with Mundifico and his team, saying: This entire place, to the north and south, was 16648 totally devoid of people. But, when they invented the damn desalinization plants, the people realized water was never again a problem- a hose into the sea, the desalinization plant, and bingo, you have potable water for at least a thousand houses." "Technology helps."- Mundifico yawned.

At Iquique city he rented a cottage and surfed there for the rest of the time- his beauties were famous soon enough, with their superb bodies- likewise, the Belone- Lulu team make the natives whisper love words unto them. Mundifico wants no problem whatsoever, so he choose to accept only invitations when the parties were at yachts out in the sea. At last, Mundifico was notified his Orb was ready. "Girls! We are moving! Say good bye to the beach!"- He said, after that holovideo communication. "Oh, and now that I was so accustomed to be here! The daily routine of sea and dance its beautiful and enchanting!"- Reggie said. "We'll find other places- plenty of beaches in the world!"- Mundifico shrugged his shoulders. Hugo Serrano, the Technical in Chief of the Wonorb Orb Industries, presents the Orb in one of their hangars. "Look how nice it looks! Our team repaired and varnishes the surface- now hardly a micrometeorite will bang against the hull." "Why, has it some special repulsion system?"- Mundifico asked. "Better than that! Now this Orb has a strong force field, similar the one used in a Cruiser! With it, you can stop a rock two meters wide coming at 30.000 km. per hour! And the engines are faster and safer."- The Technician said. They climb to the Orb, and with some personnel of the "Wonorb", they soared into an orbit: Serrano explained the new improvements, that were commanded by voice or touch; they certainly could change direction several times, and then Serrano said, showing a panel: "With this, the pilot must give the exact location where he wants to land the Orbjust punching or saying the coordinates- there- and after five seconds, the automatic landing pilot will do the rest. Any order in the contrary, and it stop." The order to stop was being activated by pushing a blue button on the master console. They landed at the same spot from where they had taken off - with no course rectification of any kind by the crewmembers. 16700 Mundifico gives Serrano five hundred Credits as a tip, and departed. Soon they were landing near Iquique. "Well, girls, who want to bathe?"- Mundifico asked, and the E-girls laughed, hurrying to the beach- Belone stayed on board, and Lulu went with them, to guard them of any harm. At night, they raise the Orb fifty meters from the ground, and Mundifico danced with the Electric Women, at an empty room, until almost dawn; then, he went to rest. The Electric Women seats around his bed, and talked. "Nice day, it was! I thought he was eager to go to the Space."- Reggie said. "He certainly is, but he come back here, because you said this place was of your liking."Kette remembered her. "He was interested in the exploration of Space- with a profit."- Belone radioed, from the cabin. "Of course; but firstly he must contact the man of the maps."- Gosse said. Mundifico did call the "man of the maps" at the next morning. The man asked for a crew, and added:" You know, it is not good to arrive to the Unknown just you and me, with five Fashion Synthetics only! We need a good Astrogator, an able pilot, an Engineer, and a couple of Hunters. You never know what lurks in those far away worlds."- Brandon Cornejian said. "Go to the Cosmodrome, that I'll wait you there!- Mundifico said.

"Not now! I am busy. But tomorrow at noon I'll be there!"- Brandon Cornejian said, and ended the communication. Mundifico said to the Electric Women:' Well, my Ladies, I guess we could go to swimgood weather, to-day!"They put on their bathing suits and they spent their time bathing under a very bright sunMundifico said:' Earthlings called sun every other star, but this is the original Sun." "We knew it."- Reggie laughed, and as he chases her by the beach; they splashed into the water, and she embraced and kissed him with passion. At night, Mundifico went to Iquique, where they danced at a very exclusive Hotel, where no Military man could dare to pay the fare; so they were happy and at ease. They came back at dawn, in a taxi flier, and Mundifico said to Lulu: ' At noon we must be at the Cosmodrome in Santiago Chile; please be there on time. The man of the maps will meet us there." "Yes, Sir."- Lulu replied, so at noon, they saw Mr. Brandon appears, carrying a small cart, with several bags and two suitcases. "Good afternoon, Mr. Mundifico. Nice to see you! Oh, I was in such a hurry to arrive here!"- Brandon Cornejian explained. "No need to hurry! We must arrange lots of things first!"- Mundifico said. Once aboard the Orb, Mundifico show Mr. Cornejian a cabin, saying:' This is your cabin: it contains a bed, where you will strap while taking off or descending to the ground; a desk with a Holographic Computer- you can dig our database, also connected with the Universal Web; and a big closet. I hope you will feel comfortable while in flight." "Of course, Mr. Mundifico! I'll be fine here."- Cornejian said, looking at the site . Belone BL 19568 carried the valises and the bags there. "Tell me about the crew you could hire."- Mundifico asked. "I had several friends and relatives that could be of help here. The doctor, of course, must be hired- I don't know any other doctor as Mr. Fergen Monin, but he is too old to get into the adventure."- Brandon said. "Call your people. I must find a doctor in Medicine."- Mundifico ordered. At the Holoweb, he revised under the name "Medics", and he saw adds asking for jobs. They were Mr. Fagon Delar, Mr. Jaime Mauvan, and Mr. Josias Tellez. He calls them all- only Jaime Mauvan was available- the others were already assigned to a Hospital on the East Side of Santiago city. Mauvan was a tall, moustache person, when he arrives to the Orb; he was carrying a couple of battered valises. "Mr. Mundifico? I talked with you by the holophone."- He said. 16704 "I am Doctor Jaime Mauvan." "And I am Mundifico- Commander of this Orb. Welcome aboard, Doctor."- Mundifico said. "Thanks you."- He said, and Mundifico guided him to his cabin, next to the InfirmaryDoctor Mauvan asked to see it right away. "I don't have too many items in here, Doctor. The Orb was in rehaul, recently."- Mundifico informed him. "Of course; don't you worry?"- Doctor Mauvan replied. Later, the team hired by Brandon Cornejian arrives; a heterogenic group it certainly was. "This group here, are my relatives; this other, hired personnel, mostly friends and neighbors- good people, all of them."- Cornejian said. Mundifico saw ordinary people, some smiling as asking oblivion, and the others ashamed to be in such a modern place. "At least I have my Synthetics."- He murmured to himself - as he was doubtful of the efficacy of this new people.

Doctor Jaime Mauvan approached him, saying:" I need equipment, Sir! Only some penicillin powders, vends and the furniture is what you got here! " Mundifico was startled by his offended tone, and asked:" And what do you suppose I could buy?" "Equipment! There is no scalpel, no X Rays, no Oxygen tank, and no drugs whatsoever! "Mauvan almost yelled. "See here, Doctor: I am at the beginning of an exploration into space; you are asking me things I didnt know as necessary." "I offer myself to find the necessary equipment."- Doctor Jaime Mauvan said, sighing. "Correct. Ask what you need; by Holographic Computer - I'll pay.""Certainly you must do that, Sir."- Doctor Mauvan said, and went to do it. Mundifico called Lulu and told him:' Hear and see what that doctor is doing, and when he's finished, come here and tell me all about it." "Yes, Sir."- Lulu said. 16706 Two hours later, while Mundifico was resting at his own cabin, together with the three women, when Lulu come in and said:" The total amount it's 800.000 Rolos, Sir." "What? Is he crazy or what?"- Mundifico moaned. "Yes! 800K Rolos! But of course, that means you'll have the best flying Clinic, Sir."- Lulu said. Mundifico laughed at the remark, and so his Electric Women did; then, he said:" Guess your humor software is in function."- Then, he decided he could afford it, and when doctor Jaime Mauvan appears, he accepted the acquisition with a straight face- Doctor Mauvan was very satisfied after that, and even approaches Mundifico, to tell him:' I have a niece. She could help me as a Nurse; she obtains her Diploma not five months ago; but I'll be responsible for her actions." Mundifico read in the Doctor's eyes, that her niece was not in the best of economical worlds, and accepted readily. The medical instruments arrives three weeks later, and 203 holocalls later- all made by doctor Jaime Mauvan to the Laboratories, as he was worried the delay could hindered the departure of the Orb into space. "You seem eager to begin our expedition, Doctor Jaime Mauvan! I congratulate you for your efforts."- Mundifico told him, as he knew about the holocalls through the main computer reports. "Allow me to ask of you the acquisition of a Nurse. I have a niece, Miss Nicole Covarrubias; and she could help me as a Nurse. She obtained his Degree not five months ago, and in any case, it will be under my direction."- Doctor Mauvan said. Mundifico read, in Doctor's eyes, that her niece was not in the best of economical worlds, and accepted immediately. The medical instruments arrives three weeks later, and two hundred and three holographic calls later- all made by doctor Mauvan, who was impatient. "You seem eager to begin our expedition, Doctor. I congratulate you by your zeal."Mundifico told him, as he was informed about the holographic calls to the vendors. Doctor Mauvan replied:" Mr. Mundifico: my niece is on board; she recently arrives here. " "Bring her here! I will finish my meal, and we could talk."- Mundifico said, who was eating at a table, in company of her Electric Women. Soon the doctor returns, with his niece; he made the introductions, while Mundifico studied the young female. Doctor Mauvan was saying:" I was anxious to have that equipment placed firmly in my Dispensary! Now I will try them- this is delicate equipment, and in case

of any discrepancy in them, I will ask for the Warrant of good performance, before we depart." Mundifico told the young female:' Miss Nicole, I welcome you to your new job. Hope you will not have too many patients." "Thanks you. I will try to do my best in my position."- Nicole said, with an agreeable voiceshe was tall, white skinned and blonde-haired person. "Of course, I think we all will be trying to do our best, in order to return safely. This trip will carry us very far into the stars; but I confide in the machines and in the people who will use them."- Mundifico said. Later, Mundifico charted the route with Lulu and Belone, in secret and in his cabin; of course, his Electric Women were there too. A month later, with the Orb, fully storage with food, water, weapons and biological equipment, Mundifico asked Lulu to take off and soon they were in orbit around Earth. "Let's visit old Mars."- Mundifico ordered; soon they were heading straight to that fourth planet; Lulu planned a visit to the tourist attractions, and they visited the cupolas that people lived in; some of them were plantations, and the water obtained through pipes sunk on the humid sectors drained water for the use of the Terrans. By the radio, a voice was telling them some history of the place: Water was abundant here, millions of years ago- the entire planet with rivers and lakes were irrigating the land. Our archeologists had found much evidence in fossilized vegetation. A guide from the Hotel you could lodge could tell you more or this." Mundifico booked unto the best one, the Andre Norton Hotel". For five days they were visiting near-by places, but mostly, enjoying the place, who was not too much populated, and so it was very relaxing, after the mobs at Earth. "Now we are going to Rixiaberg."- Mundifico said by the intercom; so all the crew members knew which way they were going and the contradictory gossips ends there. The voice of Mundifico keeps saying:' This is the public announcement number one. Me, the owner of this spaceship, I orderly declare the organization who will prevail while in flight or in other planets: I am the Commander in Chief; second in command will be Mr. Belone, the commander in chief is our pilot Mr. Lulu; the doctor is , of course, Mr. Jaime Mauvan, and the chief Engineer is Mr. Lemueldo Murita. Other names and occupations will be given as needed." The voice of Mundifico made a final echo and everyone knew then, that some kind of law and order were established inside the Orb. "Most ingenious. Now they know you are the Chief here."- Reggie said, kissing him. "Well, thanks you. Tell Lulu how many days are going to pass before we arrive at our destination." "He said fifteen days, Love."- Reggie said. "A real lot! Can this vehicle run faster?"- Mundifico asked. "He said it can, but the energy will be most wasted. At low velocity and using the planets to increase the velocity, he said, will give us many less trouble in the long run."- Reggie said, who was communicated by radio with Lulu, who was at the controls. Fourteen days later, Doctor Mauvan calls on Mundifico to his Dispensary- this, as Mundifico was almost a hermit of his cabin, with his three Electric Women for himself. 16710 "Commander: I wish to have your authorization for medical examinations of the personnel; you are one who hasn't a medical record here. In deep space, a tooth ache could be deadly, so permit me to see if you are in good health."- Doctor Mauvan said.

"Of course; I am as sound as a mule."- Mundifico said, smiling. But he was not: doctor Mauvan realize a series of examinations, tests, and soon he said:' Well, Commander, you have two bigger problems, and five lesser ones. For which side you want me to begin?" "Let's start with the lesser ones; so I could have enough time to resist the bad news."Mundifico said, internally disorientated. "Let's see: you have piles, you have two rotten teeth, you have skin infection on your tights, and another infection on your toes- seems there is fungus on your nails."- Mauvan said. "Well, guess it's enough to be worried. Let's see the serious ones."- Mundifico said, trying to be light hearted about it, but his voice sounds worried. "You have high pressure, and your heart has a beat I dislike; could be something in the mistral valve.- Doctor Mauvan said. "And could you heal these two things, or I must return to some Hospital?- Mundifico said. "Right here all could be taken care! You spend a lot of money in this equipment; it's about time you made good use of it."- Doctor Jaime Mauvan said. "That's a relief. People going into Hospitals never knew if they are going to be out on their feet, or in a coffin."- Mundifico said. "Let's start with the toes; from toes to head it's my motto."- Doctor Mauvan said, and his two assistants smiled- it was a usual phrase of his. Doctor Mauvan cuts the nails and then applied some crmes on those injured toes; then he said:" Voila! As some people say. And you could use it the way you want, but take care in the first days, not to bump on your toes.""Good doctor! And when I must return here?"- Mundifico asked, mildly. "You sound too worry, Commander! Cheer up! We are no Doctor Moreau here! See what we are going to do no dates. I'll call you- in that way, you'll never know when the axe is going to hit."- Doctor Mauvan said, enjoying his power. "Funny fellow."- Mundifico mumbled, and went out. "How come? Are you satisfied with your health?"- Reggie asked him, in the corridor- she had being waiting for him, all the time. "Fine! I must return here, of course; something with my heart is troubling Doctor Mauvan."He said. The eyes of Reggie became fixed, and she said:" What? Are you really ill? If so, we depart and you get inside a good Clinic, do you hear me?" "Doctor Mauvan said he could heal me here. To make good use of the machinery we just bought."- Mundifico said. "Don't kidding me! You are ill, poor thing!"- And she hugged him with her arms. He felt the good body near him, and he also embraces her; doctor Mauvan went out of the Infirmary, and while walking, he said:" Good Commander! Are you recovering your spirits?" "Yes, I am."- Mundifico smiled, and Reggie kissed him, and said:" You are my love. " In the next fourteen days, Doctor Mauvan treated him and cured him; Mundifico made a religion out of to be at the Infirmary every week; he was not going to be so worried again! Lulu said:' We are approaching the planetary system, Sir. Take a look at the monitors." A blue green planet was seen there, shining as a glass sphere. Mundifico said, by the Intercom: "People of the Orb! We are arriving to our destination! Great discoveries await us! Please take your positions and fasten your belts!" They landed on a plain, and when disembarking, they saw a walled city near by. Chapter 5. MALEHN. Queen Ester of Malehn

Princess Dhaleng, Ester's niece. niece Lord Flurd, chief officer of Dhaleng's Army. The dome of Queen Ester of Malehn was heavily guarded, lest the Queen, wandering inside, could suffer an attempt against his person- there were many people dissatisfied with her government of the Kingdom. Princess Dhaleng had a pass given to her by the Minister of Agriculture, Lord Edoin, so she was soon at Her Majesty's presence. "Our champion! How many chances you think you had, against Count Drajul's champion? - The Queen said, when seeing her. "I don't know! Better than ever I'm feeling; and in this fights, luck counts the most."Princess Dhaleng replied. Suddenly, a strange roar in the sky made Queen Ester to cringe; Dhaleng takes her sword out of the scabbard and run to the window; the rest of the dames also approach windows that were without glass panes. They saw a brilliant sphere, flying and crossing the city at low altitude, and landing in the vicinity. "Strangers! This time we are prepared! Sound the alarm! Page! Bring me my shield and the armor!"- Princess Dhaleng bellowed immediately after saying that. Soon and by the corridors, a big retinue follows the Princess; soon they arrive at the foot of the Orb. Mundifico and his crew were on the ground, except Lulu, who, under orders given by his Commander, raises the Orb five hundred meters over the ground. "Take them in prison! End to the superstition!"- The Princess was yelling, and the guards take several Invaders, except a few, who run like the wind, carrying another one who had a red suit. Some other women were running in other direction, so fast nobody could catch them. The Sphere descended, and those who were running flung themselves inside, by an aperture; the sphere ascended and went upwards. "They escape, Lady Dhaleng! They out fast our men."- Lord Flurd said, when returning. "No matter that! We had this other people and with luck, among them we could find the principals! Interrogate them and into the dungeons with them all! The Sphere is still hovering us!"- Princess Dhaleng said to his Chief of the Personal Guard. 16712 The pitiful lot was herded to the City Castle; some of them were old and refused to a walk all the way to the City. "Our Princess is gone, we could ask for a carriage to help them arrive to the city."- Lord Flurd said. "I wonder if she'll know it in the future! No, I will not risk my head! Let them rest, and then they must walk all the way."- Lord Buchon said. Therefore, they take more time in the arrival, but nobody get hurts. Princess Dhaleng asks for the Chancellor Fagadon, who was at the city in those days, and said to him:' You have great knowledge, Chancellor! Have you heard of the Spheres in the Sky?" Fagadon, small in height, but powerful in the Kingdom of Barkisan, said:" Certainly, Lady Dhaleng! Spheres had occurred in the past- this one is a big one, and it was very brave and courageous of you to act and capture people from that fiendish sphere." "We must try to get that sphere in our hands. We had their crew. The Lord of the Sphere will be eager to recuperate them- we'll enter in negotiation with them."- Princess Dhaleng said. "Of course! But how could we begin any the conversation? We cannot fly."- Chancellor Fagadon asked, with some humor.

"Easy! Put a man on top of the biggest tower, and while a fire is burning there, one member of the crew will be attached to a pole. All day long. Soon the Master of the Sphere will be asking for a truce."- Princess Dhaleng said. "It will be a rude thing to do; but we are in a ruthless world. "- Chancellor Fagadon said, and added to one of his men:" Go and fetch an alien, and do with him as Lady Dhaleng said." Princess Dhaleng went to her rooms, and clapping his hands, summoned her servants to her feet. "Command us and we will obey, Your Majesty!"- Chanted the Chief Chamber Maid. "Wash me now with warm scented water! Bring me a basket full of fruits!"- The Princess Dhaleng ordered. First, it was Doctor Mauvan, taken up and tied to a big wooden pole. A bonfire was lighted some fifteen meters away from him. While standing there, trembling of fear, he realizes that when the wind blows in his direction, the smoke almost choked him to death. Several guards were there, vigilant- they were looking, mostly, to the sky, in case the aircraft should appear again. They had orders to release the man and bring him inside the tower, if the aerial artifact approaches. The day passed slowly, and when darkness fell, the prisoner asked for release, but nobody paid him any attention. At midnight, Chancellor Fagadon came to the tower, and seeing the fainted man tied to the pole, he said:' We do not want to kill this people, yet. Take him downstairs, bathe him and give him some food." Larconian, Keymaster of the Dungeons, obeyed- and Doctor Mauvan were dragged to the kitchen, where a bucket of cold water made him recover from his fainting. "With compliments of our Chancellor."- Some guard said, laughing. Mauvan was recovering, and he seats on a stool. A bucket with food was placed in front of him- a brown porridge was placed there. No spoon was available. Mauvan eat - even as it was meant to be served hot, and it was cold, he eat it, thinking life would escape of his body, provided he fasten. Later, he was dragged to a cell, where the whole lot of prisoners were moaning without food or water. The cold stones leaked water. "What they did to you? - Everyone kept on repeating, so he answered:' I was tied to a pole on top of a tower- since I was called until now. This people are trying to attract attention from the Orb."- Doctor Mauvan whispered. "If the commander Mundifico approaches now, they will capture him and the rest of the crew! What a terrible situation is this!"- Lemueldo Murita said. They embraced each other, trying to endure the night and the bitter cold. Up on the another tower, Chancellor Fagadon was with three of his old friends, plus his inner circle of servants. They were in the Blue Tower, at the other side of town- eating and drinking in a leisure fashion. "Princess Dhaleng made a catch, to-day! She has a bunch of aeronauts on one of her dungeons! "- Chancellor Fagadon said, burping- he had eaten a dish of fowl, a dish of native potatoes with chili, a bowl of bean soup and cucumber- fruits and some beverages made of native pear. The others had eaten likewise. "Nice to hear she catches something!"- Fat and old Gofrend said, farthing in silence. The rest of his friends did not speak for some moments, trying to retain their breath, as the putrid fumes of Gofrend were something. Then, Chilin said:" I saw her not pleased! Guess she was wishing to grab the whole vessel for herself!" "She is anxious to be the best governor in this kingdom. Her sixteen other brothers and sisters are in the same course, or shall we say, in a race to the throne?"- Sikabon askedhe was tall and lean, also he was old.

"Of course its a race! The best will be the future king or queen. Money to the king and welfare to the people are the measures of this race." Chancellor Fagadon said. "Let us pray, in order we keep our secrets and power bestowed upon us from our Ancestors."- The bald Tarken said, an obese priest, Order 602. They chanted in unison, lying on couches or seated at the table full of fruits: "Oh my steward and my Lord! Men suffer a far fall through greed. The rapacious man lacks success, but he has success in failure. Thou art rapacious and it beseems thee not thou steleast and it benefits thee not; thou who should not suffer a man to attend to his own right cause: it is because thy sustenance is in thy house; thy belly is full: the corn measure flows over and when it shakes, its superfluity is lost on the ground. Oh thou who shouldnt seize the robber and who takes a way the magistrates, they were made to redress trouble: they are shelters for the indigent: the magistrates they were made to redress falsehood. No fear of thee causes me to make petition to thee. Thou perceivest not ray heart; silent one, who turns him ever back to make reproaches to thee. He does not fear him to whom he makes his claim: and is brother is not to be brought to thee from out of the street. Speak justice and help us." 16723 After the prayers, some female novices poured on some cups wine and water: and they all drink. Gofrend said:' Well, I guess we must try to reach out for the stars. I think we could use some of those that from the Heavens to the earth come, and device a method to attract the Aerial object down." They all grumbled in accordance. "Seems we are all agreeing on that."- Chilin said, and somebody laughed. "I propose to take one of them to our quarters. Dialogue with him, to see if we could arrange a meeting with the ones a-flying."- Chilin added. "We must ask the Princess first. She must authorize us to take a prisoner out of her dungeons. - Chancellor Fagadon said. "And why not to take him without further notice? I really doubt it, that she could remember how many she had on that cellar."- Gofrend said. "She may or may not know their number, but I assure you the Guards will tell her about us grabbing them out! No, we must ask her."- Tarken said, with perspiring cranium. I assume you are right. Who, of us, is the most cherished by her affection?"- Chancellor Fagadon asked, and a couple of them laughed. Chilin said:" I would change the question; I would say: who of us is the least abhorred by her?- Sikabon said, sarcastically. "Loathed or loved, someone must do the bid."- Gofrend said. "And soon! We must hit the nail while is hot."- Sikabon said. "Who is going to be the volunteer? Nobody? Then, is Chilin the one who'll ask her."Chancellor Fagadon said, as Chilin gives the idea. "I accept."- Chilin said. "Who is against the nomination? Nobody? Then, is Chilin the one who will ask her for a prisoner! "- Chancellor Fagadon said. "I'll go right away, Your Highnesses! Or I could repent myself later."- Chili said, departing. Chancellor Fagadon said:" I hope she is still available, at this hour."Princess Dhaleng was at her milk bath, with two young female attendants. She was moaning. Chili arrives to the Tower 22, and asked to the Master of the Dungeon about the Princess. "She is not available for you, Your Highness."- The Master said, with sarcasm. "I have some very urgent matter to discuss, Master of the Dungeon.- Chili said, handling him a golden coin. The Master pocketed it quickly, and said:" Perhaps she could accept your presence, Priest! Wait in here."- And offered him one of the stone chairs that in that

corridor were lined against a wall. Chili seats on it, internally complaining by the cold touch of that stone. Half an hour later, a Guard come to him and said:" The Princess Dhaleng had finished her bath. Please, follow me." 16735 He went by some corridors, and finally arrives to the furnished rooms of Lady Dhaleng; inside he saw the Princess seated on an armchair of silver; hides of dinosaur were all over the place: over the chairs, tables, and hung on walls- the site smells of beasts. "Good evening, Princess Dhaleng! Pardon my intrusion at this late hour, but I come here on an official mission."- Chili said, with mellifluous voice. "Really? In behalf of the High Council of the Faith, I presume? ""Certainly, Lady Dhaleng! Teachers want to learn, and so we beg of you..." "Beg to me? Why, they are humbler than the last time they sent an emissary here! That's an improvement, of course, in the long road to perfection."- She said, ironically. "We are worried about the aliens of the Sphere. They could come back to retrieve the imprisoned."- Chili said. "That's hardly a concern of the High Council! I run the Militia here!"- Lady Dhaleng said, standing from her chair, and showing a naked leg through the long robe she was using. "Of course, Princess Dhaleng! We are aware of your bravery! And finally we want you to lend us some of the prisoners, to study them- their language and behavior."- Chili said, perspiring visibly. 16735 She seats again, and clapped her hands. Two servants come in, and she said:' Bring fruits to my guest. "- They hurried to it; meanwhile, the Princess was silent. After the basket with peeled fruits arrives, she said:" I had no problem with your request. Only one of them is what I will give you. But be careful not to maim him! " Chili was astonished hearing her those recommendations, as she was the one torturing them on a pole! But he said:" I thank you and I assure we will treat the prisoner as humanly as possible." "Of course. Good bye."- The Princess Dhaleng said, dismissing him with a movement of her left hand. When out in the street, Chili walked happily to his home, feeling himself elated, as he had succeeded in his mission. But instead of to went to bed immediately at his arrival to his home, he was to give the relation of what happened to his comrades, who were waiting for him at the first patio of his mansion. -Good night! Sorry we presented in here without further notice." - Sikabon said. 16739 Chili called some servants to be served, and then they all drink. They accepted while he was saying:" Princess Dhaleng authorized the release of one prisoner, to be delivered to us. " "And could it be not, more than one? Did you ask her for more?'- Gofrend asked him; he was disappointed, as he was expecting four aliens, at the least. 16742 "A single prisoner is better than none. Perhaps we choose him good."- Tarken said. "I'll bribe the guards! They are always eager for something else than food and clothes."Gofrend said, departing. Sikabon looks at the door by which Gofrend has gone, and said:" He had certain virtue to get things out of thin air, before. Let's hope he did it again."Tarken yawned, and said:" This meeting is adjourned - ended. Let's go to our homes to wait for the morning light."

At the next day, Chancellor Fagadon sent some of his servants to call on the rest of the Priests, as the prisoner were already on his hands. When arrived them all, the prisoner was summoned and questions were asked to him. "A male his age must be smarter than this! Let's see if we could communicate."- Sikabon said. "What? Is he dumb?"- Gofrend asked. By way of an answer, Chili made some questions to the man, but the prisoner replied in another language. "See? He is totally alien to us."- Chili said. Chancellor Fagadon grumbled, and said:" Certainly, we have a long way to communicate with him. To teach him a language will take too much time! " Tarken smiled, and said:' I'll teach him in just six days. " "Well, if we cannot know what he is saying at least we could examine him physically."Fagadon said. "He is well bathed and with clean clothes. Bugs, he must have some, as the dungeons are no good Hotel."- Chili remarked. "And the original clothes? Certainly from those we could extract new conclusions."Tarken said, cunningly. 16746 "Pity on our Princess Dhaleng! She thought about this first. The prisoners were all clothed in rags- their original clothes were taken from them all."- Chili said. "The Princess Dhaleng is a dangerous person."- Gofrend said. Chancellor Fagadon turns unto him, saying:" And what do you expect? Trained to be a Lord, her hear is resentful, her actions are guided by mistrust in everyone, her loyalty is for herself only." Doctor Mauvan was well aware he was now in better hands, and said:" I am Jaime Mauvan, Doctor in Medicine! Treat me well, and I'll teach you the secrets of my trade!"This he said knowing at least the intonation will tell them he was offering something important. Of course, they do not understand him, but they were more eager, from then on, to communicate with him. Tarken was his teacher- he arrives half an hour later the sun gets up, and with clay tablets and a stylo, begin teaching him the sounds and words of his language- the "Anuk". The letters were in cuneiform. 16747 Days later, Doctor Mauvan could speak in half the language- and for the High priests, that were enough. What it was lacking in words, it was supplied with gestures. At the seventh day, with the aforementioned friends of Chancellor Fagadon and at his own house, Doctor Mauvan was brought to a chamber to be interrogated. The first person addressing the prisoner was Chancellor Fagadon, who said:" You understand my words? " "I understand, Sir. Speak and I will try to answer."- Doctor Mauvan said, who had some clay tablets in front of him, to help with the language. "Who are you and what was your doings in the sphere that flies?"- Chancellor Fagadon asked. "I am Doctor Mauvan, and it was my duty to cure illnesses at the sphere."- Mauvan replied. "With which purpose you had come to our realm?"- Gofrend asked. "Money. We are not rich people and we are searching minerals of value. "Which minerals are those?"- Chilin asked.

"Gold, silver, uranium- also petroleum, if it is possible."- Doctor Mauvan said what the owner of the Orb was really after. "Same things we search in here, except petroleum- we don't know what that could be."Chilin said, as Mauvan had used the word in Oredloro's language. "Are you the same that came of old?"- Sikabon asked, with a chill running down his spine, as if the man said yes, this were the Gods of old! "First time here, mate."- Mauvan said. 'Never been here- but are rumors at your society, perhaps, of travels far from your abiding place? Visits to the stars?"- Tarken asked, as he was also trying to unveil the mystery of old. 16748 "Quite the contrary. At our civilization, rumors of ancient civilizations are that they were created by a race of Lords, a race of super beings that from the Heavens descended on our world. In the end, very well could be that in here, too, some ancient astronauts come and developed some kind of animal, and created you."- Mauvan said. "This is most interesting. Same thing happens here- of course, there is no proof, but the ancient writings are saying that."- Gofrend said. "Could be that some objects we cherished as from the Gods you could recognize? Do you want to see them, and tell us their purpose?"- Sikabon asked. "Of course; I'm willing to cooperate."- Mauvan said. Soon were displayed in front of Mauvan, in a wooden table, several artifacts, which were in golden cases. Mauvan takes one, and smiling he said:" This is a compact disc. Sounds are engraved in here. The title - has a number here- possibly part of a set of soundsperhaps voice records of some kind." "The voice of the Gods!"- Whispered Chilin, looking very pale. "Could be- also could be visions of things, perhaps even of the people who made this.Mauvan said. He takes another object- and weighing it, he said:' must be a transformer of some kind. Really old." "What it did, this transform?"- Chili asked, thinking in a way to transform things, or perhaps the conscience! "Electric current, of course: from too much energy flow to a flow of small amount. And here, a screwdriver- electric. Let us see- it says Chicago. From Earth planet, that is also my planet."- Mauvan said, scratching his head. "What?"- Gofrend said, astonished. "My home planet. Guess it is all dated from at least a hundred years old- or more. CD's aren't in use now."- Mauvan said. He was sent back to where he was before- a guarded room, with a bed and a couple of wooden chairs. At the previous room, Chili was saying:" If what he says is true, he is a relative of the Gods that create us!""Must be true. I was looking at him, and with great confidence he handled these sacred objects."- Fagadon said. "We hadn't shown him the rest of the objects."- Sikabon said, with harsh voice. "In time! Well, the whole facts could be told- in time, to this prisoner- descendant, of course, of the Lords. No doubt in my mind."- Chilin said, looking up to the ceiling. Tarken keeps on giving language lessons to Mauvan, and days later, the prisoner could speak the native language fluently; he knows to read and write, and the numbers. The members of the High Council made another meeting, with Chancellor Fagadon present, who speak the first, saying:" He had become a dangerous person to us." "Why? He seems amused to be here- he had delivered technical secrets to us!

Electricity! You saw how several things could be donned with it- and he keeps repeating there is much to be seen in the future."- Chili said. 16751 "He seems proud of his civilization."- Sikabon said. "Not quite! He has told me man will never stop to gain knowledge- he think his civilization is beginning to cross the threshold of a long corridor of knowledge- not a proud phrase, I think."- Chili said. "Science seems an open door to an abyss nobody could want."- Chancellor Fagadon expounded. "This stranger is useful- with his knowledge, we could perform certain kind of miracles- like our Lords, when they came here, 2008 years ago."- Tarken said. "I beg your pardon! We are half natives of this planet and half inheritors of the Lords whom from the Heavens to this place came! Remember the Forbidden tablets."- Gofrend said, lowering his voice. "Of course! We worship Lords for the People; our edifice- the Church- it is founded on Gods Almightiest, No mere people going in chariots from star to star, as this people of the Sky is doing! They want valuables, and in the process, they improve the environment, to be served afterwards by their creations! "- Sikabon said. "People will not believe him! What kind of a prove has him?"_ Tarken asked, disdainfully. 16752 "The aerial vehicle! A thing they all saw traveling by the air- will give credence and weight to his sayings."- Gofrend said. "We must have him unobserved by the masses - without connection with the community, whatsoever, and we must obtain his knowledge."- Fagadon said. "How?"- Chilin wished to know. "By making him works! Doing marvels for us! Great power will derive from his work, I assure you!"- Fagadon said. So, doctor Jaime Mauvan stayed in the same manor, but now working aided by many servants, with rustic tools, and trying to do his best to suit his captors- in exchange, and in time, they provide him with more clothes, a better room, a stove and finally providing him with a female, with whom he could be more of a man. Chapter 6 The walled city Mundifico was alarmed and said:' Those warriors almost captured me! Thanks for your efforts!" - He said, because Belone had taken him and guiding by radio the pilot to rendezvous with them at the plains. "My duty, Sir."- Belone said. "And what are you going to do now, Sir? There are crew members missing and the doctor Mauvan was with them!"- Nicole Covarrubias said , being the niece of Mauvan. "I don't have a plan, yet! Those natives are very numerous, lives in a walled city, with too many guards! If I fight them openly, there is a minimal chance of succeed!"- Mundifico said. "Then, send the Synthetics, Sir! They are not afraid, and in case they fail, you could buy more."- Nicole Covarrubias said. "Oh, I will make all efforts I could! But let me think about this problem!"- Mundifico said, and walked inside his cabin, followed by the tree E-women. Inside his rooms, he said: 'Are you following a course? We must try to see where they take them."- And he was addressing Lulu, through Reggie, using the radio transmitter.

"Use the monitor at your desk, Sir!- Lulu recommended; so he went there, seats, and Lulu said:" The city is on your right, Sir. Now we are going down, to let you see where they are guiding the captured crew."Soon they saw the column arriving to the walled city; from other monitors, Nicole Covarrubias was also looking the scene, with tears on her eyes. When night comes, Lulu posed the Orb inside the city limits, over a roof, and Belone with Nicole Covarrubias descended. "Have luck."- Mundifico said. The Orb rise swiftly upwards, and stayed over the place at five hundred meters; the town people were dormant, and the guards were stationed far, on the outer walls, so the Orb passed unnoticed. Belone said:" Nicole, let's approach the target by the rooftops." She was decided to do whatever was necessary, in order to recuperate his relative, and accepted. 16756 Belone helped her at the difficult parts of his night journey- soon they were facing the tower where the captives were imprisoned. "Guards are keeping a night watch! But we have good weapons."- Belone said. "I'll melt the lock. You fire at will against you know whom."- Belone added, as he was unable to maim a man or a woman. She clinched her teeth and the LASER beam begin cutting the lock, but the Guards begin throwing them lances, from the inside - with such good aiming, that one of the lances get into Nicole Covarrubias 's chest. She lied pinned to the ground without a scream. Belone takes her immediately in his arms and aborted the mission; then he hurried to the roofs with her upon his left shoulder- the lance already taken out. "The operation failed. Bring the Orb to the appointed place now."- Belone radioed upwards with his in-built radio transmitter. Some guards were chasing him already- the blood from the wound was leaving a clear trail over the tiled roofs. The Orb descended and Belone climbed in, carrying the wounded woman. "What happened!- Mundifico said, looking at the pale Nicole. "We were resisted, Sir. A lance gets into her chest."- Belone informed, while Kette help him take the Natural inside the Infirmary; she had knowledge in medicine and chirurgical proceedings- only she had never used it. After cleaning the wound, and with the bandages already on, she said:' The wound is very dangerous. Too close to the heart. Recovery will be slow." "What a bad luck!"- Mundifico said. At the next morning, Lulu said:" They are trying to lure us down, Sir. They are leaving one of the prisoners over a tower, and so they are on the roof, luring us down." "Move the Orb away. Let's go to the hills- we will search for valuable minerals."- Mundifico said, now there was no Nicole pressing him to act in favor of those who were captured. Using the metal detector, soon Belone finds traces of silver, buried deep on a mountain. "Let's land where it's possible- near to the spot as much as possible. We'll go out to see for ourselves." Mundifico said. "Commander! Let me be on the mission!"- Cornejian asked. "Of course; your maps brings us here."- Mundifico said. "It's a nice morning."- Reggie said, preventing the Naturals to begin a quarrel, not good in such a moment. Mundifico also descend, walking out of the Orb, and followed by his E-women and Belone, he said:" It is a rough place. Must be a hard effort to reach silver."

"We can use explosives, and the people at the Orb must take cover."- Cornejian said. 16758 In the afternoon, using a LASER drill, the Synthetics drilled a hole on the ground, carving a shaft fifteen meters down. "We'll start from the bottom, Sir. Pure rock, this place... Not much need of wooden supports- the tunnel will be reinforce by the melted rock."- Belone said. Using a winch and some pulleys, the Synthetics retired the ore from the hole while they start drilling obliquely . At midnight, they were still working hard. "Come, love! They will work the night away- but you better sleep or youll be grumpy tomorrow."- Reggie said to Mundifico, who was helping with the digging. "They are sending rocks to the surface, darling- people will abandon their posts if they saw me weak."- Mundifico said, and he kept himself at the post until dawn- Lulu and Belone appeared up the hollow and Belone said:' This rocks must be smashed and analyzed." "Good we have the means."- Mundifico said, yawning- Reggie and Kette take him by the arms and carried him to bed. 16759 Mundifico awake full of ache, seven hours later, so he decided it was enough for him, and said to Reggie:- Go and be teach by Lulu - you'll replace him at the controls while he is digging." "You'll have to give me the full title of Copilot!"- She said, smiling. "Of course, darling!" - He replied, grabbing her by the waist. Later, he sent both Synthetic males, to keep on working at the mine. Cornejian said:" Mr. Mundifico: are you not going to rescue the rest of the crew?" "You saw what happened there, when trying to do our best! I'll wait until the natives relax their behaviors: perhaps a couple of more days, to try something else." Cornejian said no more, but in his inner self, he was not comfortable with Mundifico's decisions: he wish the Commander to be a bit more energetic. Mundifico saw how Lulu and Belone worked, until late in the day, and then he said:" We must search for valuables now." So they melted material, on a small but powerful melting pot- the mineral was copper, with traces of gold in it. "Basically, we have a copper bed here."- Belone said. "And the gold? - Mundifico asked. "Not enough."- Lulu said. 16767 "Just the same, I want a full inform about this site- perhaps I could raise interest of some Mining Company in the future."- Mundifico said. Three weeks later, seven kilos of pure gold were in Mundifico's safe box. "It really shines beautifully!"- Mundifico said, smiling- he had already five million Rolos in his power. "How much time we'll spent here, darling?'- Reggie asked him. "Lulu: how much gold it rests to be dig from here?'- Mundifico asked. "The tunnel has ninety eight meters long, with four lateral tunnels of five meters each- gold is scarce - you should invest in infrastructure if you want to obtain more gold from this mine, Sir."- Lulu replied. Mundifico sighed, and said:" Guess we must search in other location." "We already know where it could be, Sir. There are eight parts in which to dig, based on our databases."- Belone informed. "Let me see in a map where those places are. I'm tired of to swallow dust in here!"Mundifico said, smiling to ease the pressure of his words.

At the control cabin, Lulu and Belone show him a figure of the planet, in a holographic dome, and the gold sites were detached with red dots. "This is the bigger continent, and where this river approaches the mountain chain, you could seat your Base; the mountains are close and the weather is mild. Then we had this other site, under the ice of the South Pole- difficult to dig and for Naturals, an unnatural site. I guess the most agreeable of them all is the one near the river, as the other five, as you could see, are scattered along the mountain chains in this bigger continent."- Belone said. "And what about the other continents? Are they not with gold?"- Mundifico said. "Must be gold there, Sir, but in scant quantities; nothing like here."- And Belone indicate with his index right finger, right hand, on the holographic figure. Reggie approaches, and said:' You can travel wherever you wish, love! Your assistants and Naturals under your command are able to do their work without you poking them around." "Of course; and tell me: is she recovering?"- And Mundifico was referring to Miss Nicole Covarrubias. "She is still sedated, as she was prone to go on foot to that walled city, to recover his relative."- Lulu informed. Mundifico said :"Certainly a most humane desire I cannot blame. I must do something, Belone. You are going to be there, and ask the people what is happening with them, so you could carry that poor wench with you; guess 16770 she will be happier there than in this tomb of steel." Later, the lady was able to be with her mind free of sedatives Nicole Covarrubias was awakened, and when relatively sound, Mundifico went to see her at her cabin, in company of his three e-women. "How are you now, Miss Nicole? "- Mundifico begins. "Not bad, but Mr. Mundifico, what are we going to do? How many days had passed since half the crew was captured?- Nicole asked, with mordant voice. "This things happens! It was never my intention to put my crew on any dangerous situation! That city is walled, and there are just too many people to pass a rescue team unnoticed by their guards!"- Mundifico argued. "If you don't do a thing, and keeps on playing with your toys.."_ Nicole begin saying, but Mundifico made a gesture with his hand, and said:" Please, do not descend to ad hominem! I am doing my best: I will sent Belone in there, to study the environs. He will detect where the prisoners are kept." "If there are kept! Have you thought in the possibility that they could be dead by now?"Nicole Covarrubias asked, acidly. "Belone is going to depart in half an hour. If you want to be with him, be ready at the lock."- Mundifico said, and went out of her cabin with his retinue. At the controls, Lulu said:' Pardon her, Sir. Nicole is under great stress." "I assume it is so. Start engines. We depart at once."- Mundifico said, binding himself to his chair. The Main Computer of the Orb said, when departing:' All personnel strap to your seats. Ten minutes to take off."- And it keeps repeating the message until it did take off. Belone made a bundle with clothes and weapons, and when the Orb landed on a roof, he jumped with Nicole, who was so eager to descend, that has no luggage. "Good luck, Belone! We'll be in touch by the radio."- Mundifico sent his message to the already departed Synthetic person.

"Thanks you, Commander.- Belone radioed back- and has it had been from the beginning, the Synthetics kept their radial contact at all hours. Belone grabbed her hand and said:" We get to run from here, Nicole! Someone must have seen the Orb, and soon this place will be under surveillance. "Of course."- Nicole replied; they run by some roofs and descended where it was possible for her; then, Belone said:" Our attires did not resemble the native's ways.""Stole clothes, then!"- Nicole said, and so Belone stormed into a house, and using top speed, he takes clothes for Nicole and himself; then he run out and grabbing Nicole again, they were soon out of sight by the alleys. 16773 Later, they were at a street crowded with town folks, trading in stands; tarpaulins rise over the heads, attached with cords from one side of the street to the other. "Where to?"- Nicole asked, and Belone replied:" I am receiving information here. The rumor that you heard, for me are spoken words. I am ready to trace a course to where the Prisoners are being kept."- Belone explained rapidly. "Mr. Mundifico should have donned this same action, days ago! Why to wait? Look where are we now! At the very heart of this walled city! A thing should have been donned since day One!'- Nicole said, angered to the most - Belone said nothing. They walked by the crowded streets; the houses were forming high walls four story high; balconies were by everywhere, and clothes were there hanging out to be dried by the air currents and the sunlight (if they were in the right side of the street). The people's garments varied a lot: trousers, pants, tunics, sarongs, overcoats were in use. As it was cold, women could not dress in fancy scant garments- and the smell was not agreeable in those streets, because the sewage was very primitive and almost not serviceable. 16774 "Look! There it is the tower of Princess Dhaleng!"- Belone announced, when facing an eight flats edifice. "Nice piece of mortar and rock."- Nicole said, sighing- the ground floor had no windows, and Guards were posted at its three entrances. A flag hung on the third row of windows, and it was designed with three horizontal bars: the middle one was blue and the others in white color; on the whites: the superior has two suns in red, and the inferior had only one red sun. "Inexpugnable."- Nicole said, standing in front of it. "Information: Princess Dhaleng governed the militia at this city, who is named Firnuca by this people. Dungeons are set underground. For every crime committed on this city of Firnuca, just one punishment is issued: prison in these dungeons. The day has a price, so if the delinquent has money, he could pay the ransom and went home. " "Seems mercantilist."- Nicole Covarrubias said. They moved from there, not to become suspected by the Guards. 16775 Four hours later, they saw some guards coming to the tower escorting doctor Mauvan; he was hardly walking. "Let's rescue him now!"- She said, blandishing his LASER pistol. They were eight Guards, plus four at the nearest gate; she fired to the ones at the left of Doctor Mauvan and severed their legs; down they were to the ground, surprised and without understand what was happening. Belone was incapable of to hurt a human being, so he simply run and tried to grab doctor Mauvan from the hands of his captors; this ones reacted, and rise their weapons : swords. One of the Guards was bigger than the rest by far, and grabbed the prisoner, trying to

carry him to the nearest door; from there, four guards, recovered from the surprise, were approaching at a trot. 16779 Nicole keeps on triggering the LASER pistol, cutting arms and legs- the ones coming from the gate suddenly discovered themselves crawling on the ground, with stomps instead of arms and legs; scared of this, the rest of the uninjured Guards retreated hastily - they were in the presence of the incredible and terrific. Mundifico received the signal. Reggie was already driving the Orb towards the walled city. "They had succeeded finding doctor Mauvan! Strap to your seats!"- Mundifico said by the Intercom, soon after Reggie told him the news, that Belone was radioing from the ground. When some officers were already sending groups of Guards to face the LASER rays, the Orb appeared in the sky as an angry bird, and landed exactly at the feet of the rescuers. Mundifico made some rifle shots, and up they went in the Orb to the sky. "Thanks you, commander! I will never forget this!- Sobbed doctor Jaime Mauvan, embracing him. "I did what I could! It's dangerous to try; there are too many Guards."- Mundifico said, thinking that now it would be much harder to have a grip on the rest of the prisoners. Mauvan went to the dry bath, and afterwards he put on new clothes. He also eats that night in the dinning room, so they could all toast in his honor. 16781 "You suffer much tied to the pole? And how is the rest of the crew?"- Nicole Covarrubias asked of doctor Mauvan, with tears in her eyes- the profession of medic was also a profession of faith, to her: to take care not only of the relatives, but also to all who were suffering. Doctor Mauvan said:" I was there for hours on end! At first, it is endurable, but after ten hours tied there, it hurts: The sun scorching my brain! But the rest weren't much better." "Are they well treated?" "Of course not. Scant food, cold cellars, and darkness- scurrying things by the floor crept, now on then, unto you."- He said. "It's a pity our Commander isn't able enough to plot some scheme and save them all."Nicole said, looking at him - Mundifico was embarrassed, and said nothing- he was sure something must be done, but a step in false, and the crew could be slain. "Our Commander is taking care of us all!"- Belone stated. "My lover is bright. He'll device a way to rescue them all, with no danger for their lives."Reggie said with passion. "The Commander is right: one person is here, rescued. Soon others will follow."- Kette said. Nicole Covarrubias laughed, as she was well aware the Synthetics were defending his master. Mundifico also was aware of it, and comprehends the reason of Nicoless laughter. He went to his cabin, followed by his E-women. There, after the door was closed, he said:" Tell Lulu to ask Nicole Covarrubias if she wants to be dumped on that walled city, if she is so enthralled to save people in a hurry!" "Of course."- Reggie said, when they asked her, and Lulu radioed the answer back to Reggie, who told his lover:" The Natural is willing to descend, my love." "O.K., tell Belone to give her a bag with clothes and some weapons- we'll leave her on some roof, when darkness came."- Mundifico said, furious to be challenged by a young woman in his own Orb; he went to seat at his desk, where he revised the crew that was left: and this is the list and posts: Commander: Mundifico.

First Officer: Lulu, Second Officer: Belone, Pilot: Reggie; Technical Advisors: Belone, Kette, Gosse. Chief Engineer, Mechanic: Belone. Doctor: Jaime Mauvan, Passenger: Brandon Cornejian. Kidnapped: Chuan Despero, Dango Etenim, Dolobre Yalus, Ebonita Inaures, Gayuba Inscite, Hunabku Limax, Fernan Salvatierra, Inocencia Gomez, and Alberto Oyarce. "We have few Naturals in here; pity the lady is going."- Mundifico said, notwithstanding his previous words against the woman - perhaps was his generous heart? "You must have a nice environ here, darling; we are of help in that!"- Reggie said, caressing him lightly. That night, the Orb landed on a roof again, at the walled city, and Nicole Covarrubias abandoned the spaceship after assuring his uncle Doctor Mauvan, that all was going to be well. To Cornejian, she said:' Stay with your irresolute Commander! You will end in disaster! Wait that someone of you gets in real trouble, and he'll be doing nothing!" The Orb rise in the air, and numerous people- and Guards- also were aware of it- the alarm was sound with a copper bell, and the prisoners get extra vigilance. Princess Dhaleng was awakened and after being informed, she said:" Take one of the prisoners to the Pole! Light torches! We are going to defy them!" Mundifico was not to be seen that night- or his Orb- as he commanded:" Lulu, let us go to the ideal spot to dig. Use the lights when we arrive." "Yes, Sir."- The Synthetic answered, smiling- when arriving, he chooses a place in altitude, not to tempt the Destiny with the waters of the river, who was close in that place, to the mountains. This sector did have vegetation- but Mundifico waited until the morning, to descend from the Orb to the ground. 16786 In the morning, Reggie kissed Mundifico until he awake; then she said:' We are not on the ground, dear. Do you want to land now?" "And what hour is it now?"- Mundifico said, realizing he was naked on his bed. "Ten o'clock, dear."- Reggie said. "Then, tell Lulu he can land the Orb. And I'm going to take a bath, to clean the spider webs of bad dreams."- Mundifico said; Lulu landed in a safe spot, and went out followed by Belone, who was porting a big LASER rifle. Several Khaan were in sight (length: 1.8 meters, diet: Omnivorous). They were with plumes and turkey legs; the head seems to be a cross between a turkey and a very old turtle, dangling on a long neck. Also, a big Kentrosaurus, length: five meters and almost three meters high; four legged, herbivorous, so they did not take care much of him- also, it was munching some leaves; by the air, a flock of pterosaurs soared away. Mundifico descended by the ramp, and said:' Guys, tell me if I'm wrong, but I'm seeing not one, but several egg nests around the Orb!" Lulu replied instantly:" Yes, Sir! Five nest eggs are here- with thirty eggs. Do you want more information about it?" "Yes; of which species the eggs belongs?" "From Khaans, Sir; most possibly the same you are seeing near the yellow trees, to your left.- Lulu said, as he had a good database, that includes Dinosaurs from Earth and from other planets too, but of course, the names from Earth were imposed over the native ones, when available. 16787 "Bring me some boiled eggs! I want them for breakfast."- Mundifico said to Lulu; and Reggie murmured in his hear:" Love, make those egg an omelet, and let other Naturals eats of them. Your popularity among them has dwindled, with the last occurrences."

"Of course. Make the arrangements. "- He said, biting his inferior lip; and so, the Naturals seats at a table under the sun, and eat those boiled eggs with some native lettuce; meanwhile, the Synthetic personnel mount guard with LASER rifles- this, due to the fact Lulu had spotted several figures lurking at the woods who could present a threat. "And how do you expect to dig for gold here, Mr. Mundifico?"- Doctor Mauvan asked him. "In fact, there's gold on those mountains.- And Mundifico signaled to the left where a big black mountain reaches the clouds as a tower... "And I am certain that my team will work there as usual." "Your team, including us?"- Asked the Doctor. "Why, of course! Who else? My Synthetics will obviously help. In fact, they are the technical advisers of this whole operation."- Mundifico said. 16788 "You know what, Mr. Mundifico? You should get back to the Civilization, and with the gold already obtained, hire a real team of diggers! I am sure that if you do as I'm telling you, gold will be pouring over you as a shower of richness."- Doctor Mauvan said. Mundifico moved in his seat, wrestles, and said:' Well, all of this it is already decided, Doctor. I am going to dig in here, obtain what could be obtained with our scant forces, and get back to the civilization. In addition, there is more: if we find here a good quarry, well, all of this it has already decided. I am going to dig in the mountains, and if finding gold, I will come back with everything necessary. But if no gold in quantities it's found, this will only serve to pay you." The Assembly dissolved, and Mundifico went where Reggie was standing, and said:" This people wants results. I cannot know what is in storage for us in those mountains, either." "Darling, they are only your employees! You ordain and they must obey! "- She said, smiling gently. "Tell Lulu and Belone to start rising a tent here, for them all, outside and apart some fifty meters from my Orb. Tell Lulu when finished, that they are going to sleep in there." "Of course, darling."- Reggie said, and from the spot, Mundifico saw how his two E-males were climbing the ladder to the Orb. He think about what a big difference it was between a Natural and a Synthetic- the later did not complain, nor tried to change the orders they received. Soon the tent was rise, and artifacts were attached to it, so the Naturals could have light, a bath and some distilled water. Cornejian come to his presence and said: Commander, the people wants to know why we are going to be sleeping in the open. At the orb we are safer- here are dinosaurs!" Mundifico saw the man was worried, so he said: Of course your worries are well founded. We'll wait several days, then, to proceed- we'll see if in the night are problems, and if they are not, the tent will be safe to sleep in the future." "I'm relieved! Thanks you, Sir."- Cornejian said, smiling. Kette approaches to Mundifico, saying:' My love, do you want to hear what they said?" "First, tell me if they accepted the idea."- Mundifico replied, taking her by the waist. "The idea is not of their liking. They said that you, perhaps, was tired of them- meaning, you want them being eaten by monsters." - Kette informed. "Of course not! Well, guess the idea was to be alone in the Orb; but if they find the tent a threat for their health, they can sleep on the Orb by now."- Mundifico said, kissing the Ewomen with delicacy. Five Persansaurs appeared running from the woods, and when seeing the Orb and the humans, the leader of the other four give a detour and get inside of the woods, by other side, followed by the others without stop.

"What's happening?- Mundifico said, sensing that the ground shakes a little. As if replying at his question, a big roar was heard, and a green and red Pinacosaur appeared by the same spot from which the five Persansaurs first appear- also, this dinosaur also looked at them with green eyes, and decided to eat whatever he could grab- he was hungry. "To the Orb!"- Mundifico shouted; Reggie and Kette grabbed him by the arms, and run to the Orb as fast as they could. Once in the interior, Reggie seats at the controls, and raise the Orb just in time not to be smashed by the furious beast; from the air, Mundifico saw how the rest of the crewmembers were running hither and thither. Kette fired the LASER gun, scorching a foot of the Pinacosaur; the beast howled and limped after a figure of a person, who jumped away; Kette fired again, burning its eyes, and then the beast hollowed, grouped and bellowed while crashing against trees, and disappeared inside the forest. The Orb landed again, at the same spot, and Kette run outside. "What is she doing?"- Mundifico said, looking by a bull's eye. "Finding Naturals. One was almost killed by the Pinacosaur, the other is on the woods now Lulu and Belone are doing a reconnoiter.- Reggie said. Now two Naturals are running in this direction."- Reggie said. "Why? Are they being hunted?"- Mundifico was surprised. "No. They are terribly afraid."- Reggie explained him. 16792 "Go and serves them something strong, a liquor."- Mundifico ordered. "Sorry, dear. I cannot serve poison to the Naturals."- Reggie remembered him. "Well, give them something to be calm."- Mundifico said, rising his shoulders in bewilderment. Soon, the uninjured personnel were inside the Orb; Reggie carried them to the mess hall, and serves them mild drinks; also heard their individual stories about the traumatic experience that so endangered their lives. Mundifico told to Lulu:' Guess we must get hurry with the prospecting." "Yes, Sir. As they are things now, Sir, we must be careful."- Lulu said. Perhaps somebody else could help you.- Mundifico said. Reggie gets there, and said:' Darling, the doctor and the student are talking badly of this trip! The last attack from the monster makes them think it's an impossible mission, this one.""Nonsense! Let us see- we could return to Oredloro, and sold the gold there. And dismiss this people- not too very serviceable, I think."- Mundifico said. "Implications, love: They will talk about the kidnapped ones. They will ask for money. An accusation of negligence could deprive you of the Orb's authorizations for quite a while."Reggie said in a sweet voice. "Guess you are right. Tell me the options I get."- Mundifico asked. "Don't carry them there, love. Leave them here, waiting for your return."- Lulu said. "Waiting, for how long?"- Mundifico asked. "No more than what you are going to expend in the round trip! With a little luck, they will be sound and safe when we get back here."- Reggie said, smiling. In that moment, Kette come near them, and said:" Darling, you should establish a mining camp first, and then it will be easier to let them there." "Of course; were you hearing our conversation?"- Mundifico asked her. "Yes, darling. We all heard it."- Kette smiled, as the radio emissions among them were always open. "Find a good location, and perhaps we can solve this case."- Mundifico said.

"All right, we raise a tent, and carry Naturals there; perhaps a rifle could serve them, while you come back."- Reggie said. "Yes, but we are going to give rifles the minute we depart; I don't want to discover a hole in my head."- Mundifico said, and he wait for the next morning, to tell the Naturals, while they take breakfast:" Well, people, I am very moved by our bad luck in here; but that is not reason to get all overboard; we made a long and costly trip here, and we are going to do what was our goal: to dig for gold and silver, and whatever this mountains had for us. So now, on the move! We are going to dig where the technicians said there is hope to dig. " Moreover, after an hour, Doctor Mauvan and Cornejian followed the Synthetic personnel, who raise a tent near the place where they were going to dig. Soon they begin to work digging and carrying the debris down the hill; Mundifico was at the tent, supervising it all. At noon, he called Lulu, saying:" Action is what we need here. See that they feel cozy in the tent- at twenty two hours you and Belone must return to the Orb- we'll be going to buy more equipment." "All right, Sir. The LASER beam remained here, to let them work. "- He asked. "In case they work! I see no indication of it. Take the LASER when departing - seems dangerous to me to leave it here."- Mundifico said, realizing in his inner self that there were more options; he return to the Orb, carrying one LASER rifle- he was worried about dinosaurs: he had spotted three Regnosaurs, two Parcasaurs and one Monconosaur. The most lethal of them was, of course, the Monconosaur, as a species, but the one who was roaming there, was a juvenile. At the Orb, Mundifico told Reggie to make a fine natural dish- and she boiled some vegetables for him. "We are better without those people. I'll buy Synthetics, for my jobs."- Mundifico said. Kette embraced him and give Mundifico four strong kisses, and said: "Dear love, you don't need everyone but us." Later, Lulu calls him, by the radio, saying:" Sir, People here want to return to the Orb, to sleep. They are refusing to use the Tent for the night." Mundificos hears burnt; he was facing disobedience, but also, he was well aware they were now in the open field, where danger was present, so he said:" Tell them to come; but while they are walking here, you run- so we could take off without them." "I understand, Commander."- Lulu replied, and after a while, he radioed again:" Naturals are walking, and I am running towards the Orb; I'll be there in twenty seconds. "Good."_ Mundifico said, while his Synthetic personnel gathered all the tools who had LASER in their usage, and carried to the Orb. "What next, love?'- Reggie asked, at the Controls. "Now we better go to Earth; I'll obtain stout miners there, to get gold in abundance."Mundifico replied. "And what about the Naturals, are they going to be here alone?"- She asked. "They will be all right! There is no real danger, if they stick to the minefield. When they realize there's no Orb waiting for them, I am sure they will return up there and use the Tent I provide- they had enough fuel and enough food for more than a week."- Mundifico said. In that moment, Lulu arrived, and takes the controls; he said:" Take a seat, Commander; we are deploying to heaven." "One thing I like in interplanetary flights, it's the silence and solitude that surrounds the ship."- Mundifico said, while he strapped to his seat. "Not solitude! We are with you."- Reggie said, kissing him.

Several minutes later, the radar of long range gives the alarm and Lulu analyzes the data and changed course immediately. Mundifico was at the main cabin, and asked:" What was that, Lulu?" 16800 "An object ahead, Sir. Please attach yourself to something."- Lulu said, and Mundifico obeyed. The Orb made a sharp turn again, and keeps on turning meanwhile a big asteroid, long of five thousand three hundred forty eight kilometers obscured a whole portion of the visible sky. "We are out of danger now, Sir."- Lulu said, still maneuvering. "A big asteroid! At least thirty kilometers wide."- Mundifico remarked, looking at the monitor. "Five kilometers with three hundred forty eight long, forty seven kilometers wide, eighty four kilometers high- roughed. These measures vary along the width and wide, of course."- Lulu said. "Direction?"- Mundifico asked. "It's going to Star 9380, Sir. Time to arrival: three eons and three quarters."- Lulu said, after delaying a millisecond for the calculations. Mundifico rubbed his cheek and said:" Guess it is an eternity. Velocity?" "Eight kilometers per second, Sir."- Lulu informed. "Let's descend in the middle portion. Must be interesting to walk on its surface."- Mundifico said. Soon the Orb was landed, and anchored, to it. Mundifico said:" Lulu remains here. The rest goes with me." Outside, it was dark, but in the sky, there were myriad of shining stars shone like a river of light. "Undoubtedly, stars from the distance are a superb sight. Lulu, how are things inside there?"- Mundifico said. 'Fine, Sir. No problems." "Belone! We must to find riches in here. Who knows what lurk in this chunk of rock?"Mundifico asked. "Scanning, Sir. I detect no movements whatsoever- could I scan the whole asteroid, Sir? It will take me little time."- Lulu asked. "Do it! We'll search around here."- Mundifico said, walking among rocks as sharpened as new knifes. 16806 They were in a rough terrain; the Orb rises from the ground, and begins his scanning around the asteroid. Mundifico walked, illuminated by the beams of light his assistants had on their hands and clothes, just as he also had. Rocks were black and polished, as if the result of high temperatures; Reggie finds a crystal, embedded in a rock. "Nice one! Valuable?"- Mundifico asked. "Just glass, dear!"- Reggie replied, smiling. "But if you want, I could make you a nice paperweight with it." "Do it, darling."- He said, smiling; and so, Reggie releases the glass from the rock with his LASER ray, then, she carved a fine design, and shows the result to her Master. "Beautiful! You are an artist!"- He said, swallowing hard- the object could very well be of value, if offered at the shops in Oredloro- and perhaps even at Earth planet!

They descended; a steep wall made of molten lava to the right, and a mountain to the left; in between, rocks and smooth surfaces, that shines with the electrical lamps. Glass was everywhere, if only embedded partially into the rocks. Two kilometers further on, they find several ravines; the profundity - as the Synthetic calculated- was of two hundred meters. Mundifico descended to the nearer one; soft was the ground here; sand of pulverized rock like gravel, was here to step on. "Lulu is calling, dear: he said he had scanned fifty per cent of the total surface, already."Kette said. "Fine, good work. Hope he finds what I need."- Mundifico said. "Gold."- Reggie said, giggling. "Yes! Let us see..."- And Mundifico walked by two hours more around the place- until the Orb landed near by. He went up, releases himself of the spatial uniform, and seated at his post on the cockpit, while he asked for information. "There are four long tunnels inside this big rock, Sir. There are metal inside one of them, and perhaps it's gold."- Lulu said. "Good! Show me it on screen."- Mundifico asked of him. The silhouette was there; like thin ideograms, lines bifurcate and turn around like veins in a body. "Really interesting! And the openings?"- He asked. "Sealed, Sir. Rocks on every five entrances. Due, of course, to some landslide."- Lulu said. "Or provoked. We'll go there, but we'll preserve the air, if there is some inside."- Mundifico said. Lulu and Belone prepare a door with hinges included; a frame, a lock; and they insert it on the main entrance, sealing it with steel- plastic. Two days later, Mundifico and his damsels enter by there, heavy armed. Kette and Gosse were also carrying powerful beam lights, capable of to illuminate several dozen meters as if under a tropical sun. The tunnel, the big one was chosen, had a ceiling at thirty four meters high; the side were thirty meters apart; the ground was black rock, smooth as if were glass. "All is dusty! And silent, of course."- Mundifico said, walking hurriedly for four hundred meters, noticing the walls and the floor were identical, but from then on, the roof was as if of silica and the lights were reverberating down, providing excellent vision. Reggie said:" You are being tired, dear. We could help here: let one of us went ahead, and inform by radio if there is something original ahead." "Of course, but I really want to do this for myself."- Mundifico said, visibly angered- he was, of course, aware of his inadequacy if compared with this machines, capable of to run at thirty kilometers per hour day and night until the end of the world. Four hours later, all what he had seen, was the interminable wide corridor; nothing else was there to be seen. "Guess we are going back."- He said, and they return, but this time, the E-women takes him by the arms and helped him run the way back- they did the trip back in half the time it takes before; they went up and Mundifico seats at his post at the main cabin, saying:" Not a damn thing! Belone! You are going now! Revise the corridors by twelve hours elapsing time- then, you return here." "Yes, Sir."- Belone said, taking some lamps and a rifle; he also had ultraviolet vision builtin. 16810

Mundifico yawned and said:' Reggie, you stay with me. Kette and Gosse, go outside and search gems for me. Take precautions: I don't want you to spoil your nails, skin or broke a leg." They laughed, and Kette said:" We'll be using space suits, darling: globes and LASER rifles." "That's good."- Said he, kissing them in turn, and he went to sleep. While Mundifico was sleeping, Reggie was at the controls, ready to take off if needed be; also, she was in permanent communication with the ones on the outside of the Orb. Five hours later, Mundifico awake and asked her for a cup of hot beverage; then he said:" And how are things going? " In that moment, Kette and Gosse arrives, bringing four balls of red glass, with particles of iron in it. "Really good samples! What could we do with it? Something beautiful?"- He asked. They hurriedly enumerated him a dozen options- he choose to made some beautiful memory crystals, with all the storage data available up till then in the Orb's Central Computer. "There are some people who love to know what is above their heads, while they worked at routinely occupations."- Mundifico murmured to himself - Kette takes the balls and at the workshop, she sculptures the glass. Soon she returns and shows her work to him; he kissed her, saying:" Wonderful work, my love! These are beautiful crystals! Made some wooden base, to set it straight. It would be a nice object to look upon, in gray days." "No gray days while with you, darling."- Kette said, smiling gently. Belone said, by the radio:' Nothing up until now, Commander. Neither gold or silver nor valuable minerals. This rock is made of stone." "Pity! Are you coming back soon?- Reggie asked. "Five minutes elapsing. Reggie told Mundifico about it, and he said:' Good E-man! And pity we are not going to get rich here. Well, what the heck! Let's get packing; we are moving from here."-Mundifico said, abated. He knew all his wealth was dwindling and the ownership of things was not giving him any income, yet. When Lulu arrived, Mundifico said:" Let us chart this rock! It's a great hideout or a valuable property!" "Charting."- Lulu said, punching some part of his console- after that, he soared on route around the asteroid again; and he said:" Master, you can own this piece of rock, if knowing the location. Do you want to send a requisition for it? It's easy, and the payment in registration is almost nil.""Good thing you are saying, E-man! Well, do it, and put my name to it! "- Mundifico smiled; after all, he was going to earn a piece of land floating in space. Three weeks later, they were on a long file of private owned spaceships, as the traffic in planet Earth was madly dense. "We'll sell the gold - ask how much we could expect for what we have."- Mundifico told Lulu. "Connecting, Sir. Question made. Answer incoming. For a gold kilo 24 carat 26.021 Credits could be obtained, less seven per cent in taxes, plus a fee of three and a half per cent more at the Custom Office." "And if I sell it at the Black market? Surely they dont ask for taxes!"- Mundifico asked. "The price could be 26.021 Credits per kilo, if you are not caught, put into jail and rest there for 20 years."- Lulu replied.

"All right. I get the picture."- Mundifico said; the difference means a lot, to his dwindling economy; at Custom offices, after landing on Pole 03, Chicago Cosmodrome, he declares three Glass Data Crystals, under the ironic smile of the Custom Officer, a Natural. "And what are those, Sir?"- The person asked. "All the data stored in my Orb spaceship; you see, I made a long flight to the fringes of the Galaxy, and I could remember each site by looking at some holographic visor, with the aid of these crystals."- Mundifico said. "Oh, personal use, then! You have nothing to pay, Sir. Welcome to Chicago and enjoy your stay here."- The man said, loosing interest... Once in the street, they went to a cheap hotel, in the outskirts of the city- and near of the water edge. "Nice view! Pity it's drizzling and I cannot see the lake."- Mundifico said. He had booked at a suite (number 30) in the "Farmer's hotel". "I recommend you to sell what is going to be sold, Sir."- Lulu reminds him. "Yes! Let us take a walk. Belone: you stay in charge here. See nobody touch my girls."Mundifico said. "Count with that, Sir."- Belone said. At the street, they hired a Flier taxi and went downtown; to the built-in driver they asked for a Pawn Shop, and he mentioned several ones; Mundifico told him to stop in one of them, and so the Flier let them near that shop. "Good afternoon, Sir. I want to see the wrist watch you have on the showcase."- Mundifico said to the vendor, an old Natural, who was wearing a black cap and a big beak nose. "Good election, Sir! An original! Belonged to a Sailor; the chain is also made of 24 caratspure gold. Rolex its the name. "- The vendor said, retiring the wrist watch from the glass counter and playing over it. "Yes, and how it cost?"- Mundifico asked. "Three hundred Credits, Sir. Recently cleaned up, new battery- nice watch."- The vendor chanted. "I have something for sell, too. Could it be that I pay with which I brought?"- Mundifico said, and shows him a bar of gold. The Natural's eyes danced in their orbits, and said:" Of course. However, is it really yours? I mean, in this time of incertitude, one never knows. Legally, it's a gold transaction, papers to be filled, taxes to be paid, questions to be answered..." "Oh, we are a pair of Gentlemen! I will not talk, you perhaps not- I only want to buy that wrist watch."- Mundifico said. Sighing with relief, the owner of the Pawnshop said: Bring the object to my private, please.- And walked to the innards of the shop. Inside a room with smell of dust, a table and some chairs, an antique system to peek at the counter using a holographic visor was to be seen. Mundifico produced all of the bars of gold. The man almost suffers a heart attack, at the sight. "Let's see..."- He said, and handled one by one, weighing it. "Pure gold!"- Mundifico said. The Attendant takes a small bottle and smeared the gold with the liquid; the gold stay untainted. "Yes, it's gold."- Said the man, seating on a chair; looking at the gold bars. 16818 "Guess t will be some surplus of Credits, after the wristwatch it's paid."- Mundifico said.

"Of course, Sir. Much more money, I am afraid. Let's weight it."- The Vendor said, and he produces a weighing apparatus - he put all the bars, and the needle voyaged up until at the 8.240 kilos stayed immobile. "Gold price is of 26.021 Credits per kilo; means this cost $ 214.413.04 Credits."- Lulu said. "25.000 per kilo and that give 206.000 Credits."_ The man said. "Why less?"- Mundifico asked. "Because obviously, Sir, I am at a risk, buying gold without documents! Taxes are an obligation here, and in some point this gold should had been declared, no matter if a hundred years ago. From where do you obtain it, Sir?"- Asked the attendant. "From another planet, not of this system! I have a mine."- Mundifico said, looking stern. 16819 "Of course. That explains the whole situation, and let me see... I could pay you 208.000 Credits. In two installments."- The pawnshop owner offered. "No deal! I must return to space, and soon! This money is just to keep on working; not millions here."- Mundifico explained. "In a hurry- well, let's say I give you a hundred thousand Credits in two or three days- and I tell you, I must sell it to some people who are dangerous - I risk my reputation here- take it or leave it, Sir."- The Pawn Shop owner said, and went outside of his office, to attend a pair of ladies who just come in. "Delays."- Mundifico murmured to Lulu. "Perhaps we better go somewhere else, Sir. No need to sell it at the first Pawn Shop we find." "Certainly."- Mundifico said, thinking in the difference he was finding- loosing a good chunk of money- perhaps the same - or bigger- than the taxes would had taken. Five minutes later, the owner of the shop get inside the room, after selling those ladies a pair of gold rings with the figure of a star. "And what do you decide, Sir? Are we dealing or not?"- The man asked. "To be honest with you, there are a number of things I dislike here: first, I'm loosing six thousand Credits! Secondly, you don't pay cash!" "But, Sir! Understand my position! These bars are way up much dug for me, for my scant possibilities! And if you aren't earning what you think first, it's because this is an illegal transaction, punished by law with prison- five years, Sir!"- The man said, moving his head up and down. "Raise the first installment!- Mundifico asked of him. The pawn owner said, after rubbing his hands together: Lets see... I give you eight hundred Credits now, and the wristwatch you liked so much and you come here tomorrow, late into the day. I'll have as much as I could have bargained."- The man said. "Hope I will be not delayed much! I am really pressed by time, you know."- Mundifico said. "Of course! Well, what do you decide?"- The man almost begged, as he could earn a good chunk out of this deal. 16820 "Done deal! Give me the wrist watch and the dug; to-morrow you'll have me here at sixteen hours."- Mundifico said, and the man almost runs in search of money and the Rolex. After a while, Mundifico and Lulu were back on the street. "Not much, I guess? But I was afraid the man could betray us, if not selling him that gold."Mundifico explained, who said nothing. At the Hotel "Farmer", Mundifico said:" My girls! I have some money from the Gold. We are going to dance the night away!"- And before that, they went to buy suitable clothes and shoes for everyone. Later, at a fancy dancing room, Mundifico was happy with them,

and to have no problems with the other guys, he ordered the two electronic males to dance with the girls continuously, changing females when he so decided. At dawn, they return to the Farmer Hotel, where Mundifico slept eight hours in a row. While he was asleep, Lulu went to the Pawn Shop, to see if the Owner was doing something to sell the rest of the gold, and indeed, he did- several people went inside his shop and bargain gold. Lulu, with his special hearing system, was able to hear what they talked, so, at eighteen hours, he said to Belone:' They guy has the money already." "Let's go collecting!"- Mundifico told to Belone, when hearing that information. They hailed a Flier taxi, and when they arrive at the Pawn shop, Lulu said:' He's alone in this moment." They enter the place, and the pawn owner welcomed them by saying:" Oh, you arrive earlier! I told you the money is for to-morrow!" "Of course you told me so. But you have it already, so why to wait?"- Mundifico replied. The eyes of the merchant danced from one person to another, and then he said:' Spying on me? Are they Synthetics?" "No matter what they are! Just pay me my due." Mundifico said. Moving his head, the merchant said:' This is highly irregular; we have a dealing and now you are changing it!" "My money is in your pocket. Give it to me."- Mundifico said. The Pawnshop owner refused; so Mundifico acted: "Lulu, close the door; Belone, immobilize him." This last order was due because the man was running to the inner part of his hip. Immobilized by a grip, the man start to yell, but Mundifico puts a hand on his mouth, saying:" I'll torture you if you don't pay me!" - And he let him talk. "You cannot do this to me! I will call the Police! Your men cannot hurt me!"- This last the pawnshop owner said, because he was realizing Electro men assisted Mundifico. Lulu returns, after having closed the doors, and said:" As I was outside hearing him, I know where to search." "Search, please."- Mundifico said, and following him, he saw how, at super speed, the Synchronic revised every box, every site of that room, including the floor. But it was in a drawer, inside a secret compartment. "There are 207.200 Credits, Sir."- Lulu said, after a quick examination. "Guess it's my money plus his earnings!"- Mundifico said, pocketing it. At the counter, he said:" I found the money." "Please, don't rob me! - The merchant chanted- Its my savings, it's not your gold's money! They hadn't paid me yet!" Mundifico said:" Do not make me laugh! The extra money is what you will get; by helping me sell the gold! However, I am not a thief! Pity, guess the rest of the gold got to be sold, to somebody else, now you are refusing to pay me." He counted the money and leaves some bills on the counter, saying:" Now I will leave your money here. But Pay attention: if you call the cops on me, lying about me, I assure you will be regretting." Relieved of the grip, the man from the shop grabbed his money and said:" Get out of my shop!" Mundifico realize the man has bad intentions in relation to him, and said:" Belone, see he does not call anyone while we are leaving this place; then, follow us." "Yes, Sir."- Belone said. With Lulu they went to the street, and by the moving Paveaways they reach the Hotel Farmer; soon afterwards Belone arrived, saying:" All normal, Sir. The man made no problems while I was there."

"Just in case, we'll depart now. No need to be in danger."- Mundifico said, and paid the bill at the Farmer Hotel; they take a taxi Flier downtown, and from there to the Cosmodrome, this time in the Paveaways. Once inside of the Orb, he said to Lulu:" Let's go to a good factory- I want to buy Miners." "All right, Sir. Please, seat and strap yourself to your seat; some thing to the rest."- He said by the Intercom. Five minutes later, they receive the authorizations from the Control Tower, and among hundred other small crafts, they rise and headed south in the Orb. "Heavy traffic."- Mundifico said, looking at the radar screen. "Seems the traffic grew lighter, after the line of the equator, Sir. Most of this traffic goes to Brazil."- Lulu said. "Brazil?- Mundifico repeats- he was barely aware of that country, but Reggie played a tourist holographic video, and soon Mundifico was smiling- beautiful women were there, almost naked in a hot country, dancing fast rhythms- he also saw white sandy beaches under a Equatorial sun. "Seems a happy place."- Mundifico said. When descending, Lulu announced:" Santiago Cosmodrome, Sir. The ancient country of Chile." After the landing, Lulu talked with vendors at Factories where Synthetic people were made, asking for prices. He made a quick marketing and said:" Club 88 sells the cheaper miners, Sir. Cullin Works follows, and last is Easy People Company, that has their items more valuable." "Probably because they are better."- Mundifico said; he thinks it over, and said:" Arrange a visit for to-morrow morning. Let's see the Easy People Company products." "Very well, Sir."- Lulu replied. "Prices- you could ask prices. And we could see holographic videos."- Reggie said to Lulu. Mining apparatus. Wish they could hire machinery."- Mundifico murmured. "The bulk is too much."- Lulu said. "I could hire a spaceship. No need to buy one."- Mundifico said, worrying immediately after the utterance of those words, about his present economic state. He punched the keypad, and the amount appears: three million Rolos. That, plus the money recently obtained, gives him the total amount of 3.205.800 Credits, or 448.991 Rolos and a half. 16830 That night, Mundifico and his assistants went to "Pachanga" Restaurant, where they eat and they danced; Mundifico just watched, sleepy after a nice couple of red wine bottles. Lulu was with them, dancing and preventing males to molest the dames. Mundifico saw Synthetic couples dancing and behaving as Naturals. In a moment when they were all at the table, he commented:" I see there are Synthetic couples in here, having a good time together. It is really strange to me! To whom they belong?" Lulu knew what was happening, as the rest of the Synthetics at the table, and he said:" It is the new model, Sir, the LM39! They feel a little more than us, they can have sexual intercourse and they have an enormous capacity of to learn and storage information not technical." "But you also could do that?"- Mundifico asked, from his chair, thinking in how many times he had sex with those women seated next to him. "You are wrong in some aspects."- Reggie said."- We could have sex with a Natural, and enjoyed it to some extent, but not among us." "I get it."- Mundifico was worried to see how Mankind was now loosing control over their creation. He kept on thinking in it, and as he could not speak with the Synthetic people

about this, or else they could develop some strange ideas, he chooses to speak to Lulu at the return to the Orb- out of hearing. So, when they return to the Orb, he said to the E-man:' Please, come with me; I have something to discuss with you." And in a sealed room, door closed, he said: "I had called you in here to talk about Synthetic people- so don't you worry about this being something that gets to be with the labor." Lulu said:" Or course, Mr. Mundifico, you can count with me. "Thanks. At the Restaurant, you saw how those Synthetic people danced and flirted openly at the dancing floor. They were having a good time together. They were caressing there- and they were utterly alone, no Natural Master whatsoever in charge of them. 16832. "They have a new modification."- Lulu said, rubbing his chin. "Of course; I asked the Synthetic about it- and they informed that they cannot have sex between them- this only could be donned with a Natural, in their case."- Mundifico commented. But I don't see what is your worrying, Sir. You have old models that fulfill your duties in a perfect or almost perfect fashion."- Lulu said, rising his shoulders and his eyebrows in unison- meaning by that, of course, his curiosity. "Of course there's a problem here, not only for me, but to our entire civilization, and race: we will be not indispensable! Bit by tiny bit, we are going to be loosing the characteristics that made us their natural Masters, until reaching a moment when you could be running things by their own! Possibly your kind will be not able to rise children, but you could mimic our patterns, and babies, boys, teenagers could be lent, in order to be rising imitations of human families!"- Mundifico said. "Nice questions. However, I would not worry too much! Man, as you must know is not an eternal species; your cells as a species will became ancients, and as a individual grows old and die, in the same manner, the humanoid races will certainly reach a point when reproduction will be the exception and not the rule."- Lulu said. Mundifico sighed, and said:" I wish I could be so sure! We are in the juvenile state of the humanoid race- or so they said. We could suffer a lot, if another species, stronger and immortal as our creation (the Synthetic persona) are. Because you cannot deny what I am saying! Animals die, cybernetic people, in general, could live as somebody keeps on assembling them."- Mundifico said. "Big themes, roaming into your thoughts, Commander! I wish I could question you in certain matters."- Cornejian asked. "Tell me; I'm in the mood, to-day."- Mundifico smiled while saying that. "What are you going to do with the kidnapped ones? Certainly an all out attack would be nonsense! But something must be done about it! I see you here buying machinery, oblivion are those persons.- Lulu said. ""No problem! I will wait- perhaps in time; they will be released, seeing that this machine did not show up. At that point in time, we could recuperate them without endanger their lives."- Mundifico said. And of course, he was proud of his decisions and loved not to see people mingling with it. "Now you'll excuse me, but I'll be doing something. Thanks for your time."- Mundifico said, going out of the room. "Any time you want, Commander."- Lulu replied. At the Control Room, Belone was in charge- not much to do but to see all keeps on normal status. "Not much traffic, outside?"- Mundifico asked of him.

"Guess it's just normal, Sir. Not as dense as before, but certainly are mishaps: three urgent landings by the hour -spaceships coming from deep space sometimes resent gravitational pull." Belone explained. "I had seen two Orbs- and both smaller than this. Had you seen others?"- Mundifico asked. "Forty five in this Cosmodrome, Sir. Four of them real big- almost as Cargo ships."Belone said. 16835 "Wish you could show me that vessel? Could it be that some Holographic camera is available?""Yes, Sir."- Belone said, and soon the several Orbs were being sighted one by one. Mundifico saw that there were models highly modified, to match different needs- and also to give visual pleasure to their owners- some of them were highly decorated. "Perhaps in time, I could do the same- only if my mining for treasures gives fruit."Mundifico murmured. Soon he was meeting by his three E-women, visiting more Orbs- huge, shining or rusted, the enormous vehicles had the peculiar smell of Outer Space- an odor like sulfur and oblivion. At one of them, the owner saw them admiring his Spaceship, and from the door of the locking system, he said:' Will you like a out around my "Untersblich"?*1 "Of course! Nice spaceship!"- Mundifico replied, and his E-women giggled. Hans Otto Nach (*2) saluted them, while walking to the main Cabin: "Visit my ship! I will depart soon! To the Pleiades! They are saying so many things about it, that I must go and see for myself! Have you heard something?"- He asked Reggie. "Yes! But they are more news! Something about the discovery of an ancient race of sentient beings!"- Reggie replied. "I invite you there! To all of you!"- Hans Otto Nach said, but it was clear his attention was only focused in Reggie. Mundifico puzzled himself about this person: was he aware his beautiful companions were not Naturals? Or was he suspecting it, but believing they were of the new models- so similar to Naturals that they could give pleasure to any man who enamored -or lured them? He begins to be so very repented of to be on this ship, and said:' Oh, what a forgetful man that I am! Girls: we have that appointment in ten minutes more! Mr. Nach, thanks for your time! Girls, we go now." Of course, Hand tried to retain Reggie, but as Reggie has only one Master, by programming, they all descended and return with Mundifico to their vessel. At the Main Cabin, Lulu said:" I went to the Synthetic builders, Sir. You forget about the appointment." "Certainly. Well, what do you bargained? "- Mundifico asked him, while he seat on his place at the main cabin. "I only get holographic discs, and you could see what they can do in those projections." Lulu said, so Mundifico start to see them while Cornejian and the rest also enjoyed the sight. Mundifico saw B models of outstanding performances at the Cullin Works Org., so he chooses two of each Series- Six units in all: four Mining models, Class ARTO3. Serial Number ML 393, Serial number ML 330, Serial Number ML 390, Serial Number ML391. Two Mining models Class CA, Serial Number CA 20, Serial Number CA 29. "4.304.000 Credits cost the set you choose, Sir.- Lulu computed. "Affordable. Buy them."- Mundifico said.

Each model was sold with equipment, six sets, and Lulu explained:' They deliver it in six days, Sir. Or in two if not activated by the Company." "What that means? That is not charged?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes, Sir." "No, I prefer to wait! I do not want to set them alive, and fight through the software myselfor you. They had technicians for this- let them earn the money."- Mundifico said. Lulu sent the reply, and soon he was paying with Mundifico's Credit Card, and smiled. 16840 Mundifico went to the beach with his E-women, and lodged on a Resort; he ask for all the luxuries he could afford , and enjoyed his E-women while dancing, bathing (at the swimming pool only, as he find too cold the seawater (7`C) for his liking. "I wonder why the sea water is so cold in Chile!"- He complained. "Darling! It is the Current of Humboldt from the South Pole that run along the coast, that make this descent in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean. It get apart at the Equator"Reggie explained. At the seventh day there, Lulu radioed that the Cullin Works Org. had delivered the Synthetic personnel . "All right, Vacations are over! Pack your belongings, darlings!"- He said, while he paid to the Resort all what was due. When arriving to the Orb, Mundifico saw Otto Hans Nach waiting at the ground. He said:" Well, at last you return! I had being coming here this last three days!" "Wish you could have noticed me! I was at the beach! But tell me what is so urgent!Mundifico replied. "To-day I am departing on my journey. I had a proposition to offer to you. "- Otto said, looking at the E-women. "I think I know what you are going to propose me."- Mundifico said. "Really? Well, I was going to offer you a bargain: I have thirty eight kilos of Uranium 365 for my trip; I guess I'll use only 24 kilos in all; so, I could give you twelve kilos and you allow Miss Reggie to accompany me in my trip." Mundifico punched the person at the face, and they fight a good while; at the end, nobody was the winner, but certainly, they end up exhausted and bruised. Otto limped away, while Mundifico said:' Wish he explode in his damned artifact while on route! And he climbs to the Orb, where he takes a water bath, to ease the bruising. Later, he asked Lulu he wants to see the new Synthetics. "They are in Bay 14, Sir. Ready and waiting for work."- Was the reply. Mundifico arrives there. They were six bulky Emen, 2.50 meters tall, with head, trunk and extremities but without facial configurations. Red or green glass slots shines where the eyes of a man are- those were their way of looking out to the world, in a wide variety of spectrums. "Very well! Are they active? "Yes, Sir."- Belone said. "Have you talked to them?"- Mundifico asked. "All the time, Sir. They know who you are, what we are, and the whereabouts of the Spaceship."- Belone explained. "I see. Well, men, I am your master Mundifico. Take a good luck at me: I am generous and I ask few things of my Servants, and most of all, I expect loyalty at all costs. We are now in Chile, Earth, and we are going to deep space soon, to a planet of woods and mountains, to dig for gold. Are you ready?" "We are ready!"- The harsh male voices come out of their loudspeakers, and some echoes resounded here and there.

"That's good! Skipper! Have we tools for this Emen?"- Mundifico asked of Lulu. "They brought some boxes, Sir- utensils ,batteries, extensors, arms and legs for special jobs- a drill, a LASER drill, a shovel!"- Lulu named. "Big LASER drill is what we need- and some artifact to extract the material out of the mine. Ask for prices." Reggie hung on his shoulder ,saying:' This men surely will do the labor for you." "That's the idea." "I hope we could go soon! There are sea shores I loved, at that planet."- Reggie said. "Of course, darling."- He said, kissing him lightly. "With a million Credits they hire you good mining equipment, Sir." "Only a million? Well, it will be recuperated- I suppose "- Mundifico said, handling him his Credit Card. "Yes, Sir - in time I am sure you will recuperate the million."- Lulu smiled -his humor software was working. "When we could expect the tools to arrive?"- Mundifico asked. "No way could we carry in this Orb those tools, Sir! Better to hire a freighter."- Lulu said. "We could attract pirates if we do."- Mundifico said. "Worst it will be that you ruin the Orb by overuse its capacity."- Lulu reminded him. "Would be funny to get stranded over there. Well, how much for the trip?"- Mundifico asked. "Wait, Sir. I'll be calculating the weight and the cubic meters."- Lulu said. "Let me know when you get the data! And welcome you all to my Orb."- Mundifico told the workers at Bay Fourteen, that were as silent and immobile as rocks. At his cabin, with his E-women, he said:" We will go shopping, girls. Clothes for everyone." "Remember to buy us some food for our travel out."- Kette said. "Of course."- Mundifico said, kissing her. Reggie said:" Lulu is saying the freighter asks eight hundred thousand Credits." "Impossible! Tell him to search for a cheaper Freighter!"- Mundifico said, almost choking. "He says he'll go to the Freighter's section, here on the Cosmodrome. Reggie said. "Guess things are complicated."- Mundifico said. "Darling! Think about the profit you could gain! What are a couple of millions, if you could earn twenty millions?" Reggie asked. "Certainly! - Mundifico exclaimed, but he was in doubt. That night they went to dance- Mundifico, his E-women , Belone, Lulu, - a couple of workers were appointed as guardians of the Orb- one on the Ground, and the other at the lock. "Guess nobody will dare to approach the Orb."- Mundifico smiled, referring to the size and aspect of the big stout Synthetics for hard work. A the dining hall, people were the merrier, as it was a special date- eighteen of September - and Chileans were happy, notwithstanding the fact that the Republic no longer existed, but remained now the country as a state more of the New World Order, namely, Earth. "Eat this! It's an empanada."- Some guy were forcing the tourists- they were giving it for free- it was a baked pasty, including inside backed onion, condiments, and hot meat, half an egg, five dry raisin, two oils, and of course, that produces juices, when biting. "Take! Chicha!"- A dame told to Mundifico, and it was a glass with some kind of alcoholic boiled grapes. Soon he was ,too, sharing the general mood- and also dances some folkloric 'Cueca, a dance mimicking the courtship of a cock with a hen, all with some peculiar expressions as " E-aha! U-ha', iu-ha!, the kind of cowboys made when urging -on cows.

At two hours in the morning, the place closed, so they all went to the street in laughter Mundifico hailed a couple of Taxi Fliers, and they return to the Cosmodrome. Days were passing in that way; sometimes, he went with the E-women to buy clothes and shoes for a long period of time. The "Poderoso" landed near the Orb, his Captain, Lucho Urrutia, approaches the Orb with three other crew members- Lulu talked with him first, and they call to Mundifico to the ground. "Nice to meet you, Patron! I am Lucho Urrutia, to serve you! These are my principals in my crew: Pinto, Bope and Diaz." "Of course, glad to see you: I'm Mundifico and I need to carry some mining equipment to some far off planet. The materials havent arrived yet." - Mundifico explained. "Don't you worry about that, Patron! I will be asking, in your name, the machinery; told them to get hurry! A little pressure it's needed and useful in these cases." "Of Course! It's already paid, so there's nothing in our side to hinder the delivery."Mundifico explained again. "Ah, Ah! That is a thing I must ask of you, patron Mundifico: half the payment in advance! Pity, I am almost penniless! My vessel its old and grumpy; also it ahs a terrible hunger for energy! With your money, I'll recharge it, and I'll fix the lock number five, that's malfunctioning."- Explained the Captain of the freighter, with some laughter. Mundifico realizes the person should be crying instead of laughing- his finances and his ship match one thing: he was almost in the ruin and the freighter needed a rehaul - or a visit to the melting plant! He paid the man three hundred thousand Credits, saying it was all he gets at the moment. Captain Lucho Urrutia said:" Very well, patron! You think I could run away with your money! However, you will learn in time who is Lucho Urrutia! Now tell me who sold you the equipment!"- Captain Urrutia asked. 16849 In addition, using the portable machine, Mundifico made the deposit on the Captain's account. "Thanks. I'll be returning soon."- Captain Urrutia said, returning to his battered freighter. "Wish you have sound eye! Or I'll loose that money."- Mundifico told to Lulu, who didn't reply, but that afterwards was in radio contact with that Captain, who assured him a swift deliverance. Two days later, the Cobra Corporation sent they machinery and Captain Urrutia received it gladly. "Sir, the Captain Urrutia received the machinery and is hailing us."- Lulu told Mundifico by the Intercom, who disentangled himself of the smooth Reggie 's legs, and said: "What did he want?" "He's saying that in four hours he'll be ready to depart. He wants the coordinates of our destination point."- Lulu said "Give them what he wants, but in person: I don't want everybody with a radio receiver learning where we are going."- Mundifico recommended. "All right, Sir."- Lulu replied, standing up of his site at the Control panel. "I'll replace you."- Belone said. "I'll ask my Commander."- Lulu replied and went to the "Poderoso" (or Powerful), radioing the message while he walk, so Reggie told Mundifico right away:" Are all Naturals on board?"- He asked. "Do you mean everybody? Yes, guess they are."- Reggie smiled- his lover was very distracted- he was forgetting things continually.

"Then, tell that fiendish guy we'll take off - the minute he is ready." "All right, my love. I'll use the Orb's radio."- Reggie said, jumping out of their bed. At 18:45 hours, the Orb take -off from Santiago Cosmodrome. Exactly at 4.02 minutes later, the bulk of the Poderoso" space freighter followed them in the long line of spaceships departing from planet Earth- that was in a sense, the hub of the civilized galaxy. The line of freighters were as long as the line with private spaceships, so when they were at mid- course to Mars, Captain Urrutia and his freighter was near the Orb, and at short radar range. "Patron Mundifico! Guess we'll be traveling together the rest of this Voyage!"- Captain Urrutia said, laughingly. Mundifico was able to see the interior of the "Poderoso" by the main screen: seated behind a big tattered control desk, Captain Urrutia and two crewmembers (Pinto and Bope) were apparently happy to begin the cruise. "Of course! We'll be together in this trek!"- Mundifico said. "Relax, then! You are traveling with the most reliable freighter this side of the Galaxy!"Captain Urrutia said, and ended the conversation. "Funny man! His spaceship will hardly come back!"- Mundifico said. "He is proud of his trade!"- Reggie said from her site. "Yeah! Not too many people could say that of their works." - Mundifico murmured. Passing the orbit of Mars, spaceships were authorized to raise their velocity as much as they needed- so before that invisible link, the streaks were expelled by the freighters, and the green and blue by the exhausts of smeller vehicles- in the case of the Orb, the streak was always blue. "All set to raise velocity in seven minutes, Sir."- Lulu said. "Fine. Crew of the Orb! Prepare for the acceleration! All personnel to your seats! Fasten your belts! Belone: are my workers in their sheath? "Yes, Sir. I revise the seals and lock myself."- Belone replied. "Could you communicate with them?""Yes, Sir."- Belone assured. "Tell them to be calm; I know this is their first flight in space, and out of the solar system."Mundifico said, as he had read, somewhere, that the new created synthetics became very nervous in their first warp flights. "They heard you through me, Sir. They are thinking your words of encouragement, Commander." "Good kits!- Mundifico smiled, and Reggie, who has her seat next to him, takes his hand with affection, encouragingly him. The captain Urrutias freighter begins its acceleration; first with bursts of yellow and red, until it was out of sight. The line of particular owned spacecraft begins to dwindle before them, until it was their turn. Counting backwards, the zero arrives, and Lulu accelerated the engines and the Orb went forwards in a smooth fashion j, and elegantly, disappearing in an apparent blue streak, to the eyes of the ones at the solar system. "Warp Two, Sir. Our companion is traveling at Warp 2."- Lulu said. "Of course. Keep him on the sensors."- Mundifico asked, thinking that warp two was fast, but way down what the Orb could give; and he said to Reggie:" It's not a race. We'll keep their velocity, not to loose them." "Yes, no need to travel at Warp four."- Reggie replied, he tried to calculate the time of arrival, and he thought it would be in a month's time. "Is it a month, the duration of this voyage?"- Mundifico asked.

"Yes, my love."- Reggie replied. "Well, guess we could move freely, now?"- He asked of Lulu. "Yes, Sir. If we jumped on a debris the long range is useless- we'll hit the planet with the radar first and scanned it later."- Lulu said. "'Very funny!"- Mundifico said, sensing they were all in danger. He hoped that the Captain Urrutia was not in front of them, as it was very possibly that the "Poderoso" could move at this speeds, letting loose parts of its battered hulk & infrastructure . Reggie walked next to him, saying: In here or in any other place, danger exists. Why to worry?" Mundifico looks at the monitor- out of warp drive, the stars back to normal, and they shone beautifully. At the corridor, Cornejian was waiting to talk to him, so he said:" We are returning! Remember those persons, at the mine! I recommend you not to get near that site yourself." Mundifico placed one of his hands on his left shoulder, saying:" Do not worry about that, Mr. Cornejian! I'll take precautions!" Reggie said, I guess it'll take a long time to return there!" "A month! Pity, but we are keeping pace with the space freighter of Captain Urrutia, of the freighter "Poderoso"- Mundifico explained, passing on by the corridor. Once at his cabin, he looked at his three E-women, and said:" Guess that captain will get bored during this voyage! But not me! I have enough entertainment with you!"- The three E-women laughed, and embraced him tightly... 16856 As the radio signals were not capable to serve at warp speed, the communication with civilization was nil. Mundifico established the tradition of to get dinner with all the crew at the tables, talking and commenting the trivia of the day; this helps with their morale and sense of group. In one of those "dinner times", he said: Pity we cannot see the stars from here. All this time could be of ore use, if we could use a simple telescope." "You can use thousands of hours of star gazing holographic videos- in our database.= Reggie informed him, who was spellbound - but not for long- soon he reacted, by saying:" Old Holographic projections?" "Not quite! This spaceship is currently recording while in space. You will find very interesting scenes- especially in our departure from Earth! You could count- if you dare how many spaceships were leaving Earth's orbit, and how many freighters, private and Army vessels were on those lines! "- Reggie said, in a beautiful voice- Mundifico said; Show me the way to that enchanted kingdom, Lady." At the controls, Lulu was seeing four other spaceships racing near them- soon they were half parse away. He commented it with the others, so Reggie, after seeing Mundifico was seated in front of a screen and viewing canned holograms, said:' Darling! You are already entertained; but Lulu saw some military vessels racing alongside." "Military vessels?" And how did he know? Did he communicate with them?" "Wait. Aha! Now he said there's no vessel in particular hands capable of Warp 6."- She said. "All right."- Mundifico said, walking next to Lulu and said" Skipper, where do you think they go with such a hurry?" "Same route as us, Commander!"- Lulu Replied. "Strange."- Mundifico murmured." At which kind of a velocity are we running this minute?""Warp 2.0, Sir. Remember we are near Captain Urrutia and his piece of museum relic.Lulu answered with a smile.

"Aha! Of course."- Mundifico said, sighing- he wish to be running faster, but he want to be sure the Captain Urrutia didn't lost the goal. Five weeks later, (see if it's true), they diminished the velocity, and come out of Warp velocity- the dark and big bulk of the "Poderoso" was a little ahead and to the left of the Orb. "Ahoy, patron! We emerge without a problem! My Poderoso did it again!"- Urrutia yelled by the holographic system. "I congratulate you! Now we head for the golden planet."- Mundifico radioed. "Yeah! Do not worry about that! We had donned the harsh part already! Could you come here to have a toast?"- Captain Urrutia asked. Lulu commented immediately to Mundifico:" Commander: freighters had a tradition: when coming out of warp, everybody toast." "All right, Captain Urrutia! I'm going there this minute!"- Mundifico said, and with Reggie, they went to the lock, there, and helped them get into the autonomic suits- opened the hatch and flied to the dark bulk of the Poderoso. Captain Urrutia personally receives them at the main lock. They went inside, remove their suits and arrived to a big hangar, port, etc. Where the crew were already being toasting. "Guys! Here is our patron! A toast for him!"-= Captain Urrutia said, and they all cheer and toasted with big smiles on their faces. "Thanks! I am most grateful;"- Mundifico said, Captain Urrutia, show him the mining machinery where they were solved, and after that by almost dark corridors, they flew- no false gravity here- to the main cabin or cockpit, and said " This is the control room, Sir. Francis, say hello to our patron/!'A voice, guttural and grave, said: Welcome, patron, This is the vapid freighter "Poderoso" talking to you." "See? He is old, but clever and it did understand everything."- Captain Urrutia said. He was referring, of course, to the built-in computer of the Freighter. "Incept date?" "No, no, Patron! Very bad luck to say his age! But I tell you, le digo (I said to you), that this here guy had swallowed every new software of the trade that it is! "Certainly, it must be built to last for ever- in the old tradition."- Mundifico said, thinking in how things were made when cheap. "I saw your cute machines, patron! Good machines! However, I have one for myself! Do you want to see her?"- Captain Urrutia offered, blinking an eye. "I don't know! There are things private, you know."- Mundifico stiffened instantaneously. "Don't' get mad at me, patron! With due respect I said, come!"- Captain Urrutia urged him, leading the way. Some twenty meters away, through a better-lighted corridor, a door was opened with a whistle, and they get inside - a reception room, or perhaps better, a living room middle class style, a woman in her middle age, dressed in pale green, blonde and with blue eyes. "Mum! Here's my patron, Mr. Mundifico." "Glad to meet you, Sir. Did my son behave in good manner? "- The lady asked, rising from a chair- on a table, she leaves some crochet she was working on. "Up until now, all things go smoothly, Madame, what is your name?" "Silvia. "Miss Silvia: you have a nice place, here."- Mundifico said. "Wait a moment! You too, Louis. I'll give you a piece of a cake I did."- And she went to an inner room; Captain Urrutia said;" She is always doing fine cooking. That's why I'm fat.""Must be good cooking."- Mundifico said, thinking he was wrong with old captain Urrutia.

Miss Silvia brought the cakes- they were delicious- and so Mundifico remarked after biting a piece of the cake. "We are approaching our destination, mother. From here, I don't have where to go."Captain Urrutia said. "Do not be worried, my son! Destiny provides new labors! -- Said she, smiling in a motherly fashion. "Well! Enough of idling, Patron! Now, let's work."- Captain Urrutia said, going out. Once at a corridor, Mundifico said: ' But that... was...?" "Nope! You see? There are different needs for each person! I lost my mother many years ago, and I was mourning day and night, because of that. One day, I saw one advertisement, in a Holographic program, to recover a dear one with the aid of cybernetics! In addition, I visit the plant- they show me what they could offer - I said something not as much expensive as those fine girls with long legs they have, if you asks not for subtleties! I wanted a mother-0 co0ok meals, speak gently- nothing much!"Mundifico gives his thanks for the raid, and return to the Orb with Reggie, who said; And did you not wanted to have your mother back?" "I never occurred to me, darling! I always thought in beautiful women and to make love to them! I guess to have a mother hindered a man, in certain ways, but of course, 16869 Gives a superior scoop of life." "So, you choose us, instead."- Reggie said, giggling. They enter by the lock, and after being removed of their suits, Mundifico went to sleep with his E-women. Days later, they were in orbit of the chosen planet. Captain Urrutia supervises the trips to the surface; he has two shuttle crafts - a small model, and a bigger one- this last was really old and battered; its landings were nothing short of the free- fall ones- but stout, the machine endures the eight flights and was lately being storage inside of the freighter." "Good- bye, patron Mundifico! Glad to have your acquaintance for this long solitary trip! "Captain Urrutia said, by the holographic communicator. "Bye, and have a nice return to civilization!"- Mundifico said, saluting him- soon the old freighter was nothing more than a speck in the distance; Mundifico sighed, and said it to Lulu: "Let's land near the machinery, skipper!" "All right, commander!- He replied and the Orb soared smoothly down into the planets atmosphere. 16871 At the site was Cornejian and the Doctor- the Orb landed near them, and Mundifico walked down the ladder flanked by his three beauties. "The sun shines heavily! What time do we have here?"- He asked. "Summer, 12:01 hours, 17 degrees Centigrade.- Reggie chanted. "Right. Well, here it is! We are near our old mine; Lulu, bring here the stout workers."Mundifico ordered; soon the six big synthetics walked down the Orb- Cornejian and the other Naturals paled a little, sensing the power of those intelligent machines. "Labor squadron! Give me your names!'- Mundifico said. One by one, the miners said their serial numbers with their own voices- the names were: ERBO 634; ERBU 040; DEK 0300; DEK 0322; UNT 0425; UNT 0302. Mundifico said:' We will forget about the numbers- we are going to call them by the letters; so it will be Erbo, Deko, Dektu, Untfive and Untwo. Now, we will look at the mine. Lulu, gives them 168782

Weapons- in here roamed dinosaurs. You, guys, cannot kill, but can defend our lives- so you just fire your weapons to the sides of those animals, if they attack- this way, I presume, the beasts will desist in their attacks."Belone approached him to say:" You better stay here, until we patrol the entire area." "I am not afraid."- Mundifico said. "It's not about you being afraid or not, Commander. It is a question of survival. Please stay inside the Orb- let me manage this."- Belone repeats his pledge. "All right! Do as you said."- Mundifico accepted the suggestion, and climb back to the Orb; his three E-women with him- and closed the hatch. "Where is Mr. Mundifico going?"- Cornejian said, worrying to be let alone again in a wild planet. "You come with me; all Naturals must go to the mine."- Belone replied him. Hesitantly, the two Naturals follow the heavy workers up hill- Belone begin circling the entourage- Lulu guided the Miners to the mine, and Mundifico played with the E-women at his cabin, this time with gravity 1 on. 16878 The big machines marched in single file; after them, the smaller Synthetics and at the end of the line, the Naturals. "Wish to know what happened to those companions of us."- Cornejian said. "They must be waiting to be rescued."- Jaime Mauvan said. "Guess that big workers could serves to do that job, and soon."- Cornejian said. The miners begin scanning the place, until the green light on their apparatus flickered onthere was gold, among other materials. As they knew now the location, they return to the camp, and with Mundifico help, they inserted the gravity diminishing, until the big machines were able to be move exerting little effort. That afternoon, they moved half the quantity of machinery, and the rest in the morning of the second day- Mundifico did not want them to work by night, and he ordered everyone to stay inside the Orb when darkness fell. "Lulu, rise the Orb two hundred meters high- I don't want to sleep with one eye opened." "Very well, Commander."- Lulu replied- and that evening, he had a dinner with all the doctor and the Student present at the table. "Soon we'll be digging gold. It's my desire to help you more than with a simple wage."Mundifico said. "That would be nice, Commander."- Mr. Cornejian said. "And how do you think that is possible?"- Mauvan asked. "Simply - an association. The more we earn here, the more you collect shares."- Mundifico explained. From then on, all were smiles, but Cornejian waited for twenty minutes to ask:" And what about the kidnapped people?" "All at his due time! Let's make some money first, and then we could try it."- Mundifico said. "I am the most interested person in their recovery, for the good of our expedition." Mundifico said. 16880 Later, at his bedroom, Mundifico said;" And if they are all dead?" "Who worries about that, darling? No bodies, no crime! And you must know that dinosaurs eat crunching the bones; there will be no traces of them, if that is the sad case."- Kette said, caressing Mundifico baldheaded. With that, he relaxed and went to bed- a zero gravity cube was enough for him and his Synthetic company- of course, the E-females did not needed to sleep, but Mundifico needed them as females.

In the morning, Lulu descended with the Orb to the ground, and Mundifico went out, saying:' Send the miners to the mine, we need to haste things! Gold is what I want!" So the big machines went to work, aided by the male Synthetics; at midday, Mundifico said:" Tell Lulu we are going to fly a while; we'll back at late afternoon." "Donned, darling."- Reggie said; they climb to the Orb, and he said:" Let's take a peek at the walled city; perhaps our friends are less watched up." Therefore, they went to the walled city, and from 3 kilometers, he was able to see the streets with the telescopes; soon he spots a group who was tied to some poles, on top of a building. "This guy keeps on with their ideas! Bad thing."- He said, letting his E-women to look at the telescope. "We could descend and rescue them now! They are barely guarded! Just two warriors!"Reggie said, laughing. "All right! We are going to play a diversion! Send a missile against the principal gate! That could divert forces- after the explosion, we descend and rescue the people- carry the weapons!"- Mundifico told Kette and Gosse; they run to obey, and he also run after them, to pick up a big LASER rifle; the missile went out, banged on the gate and dissolved it in a big cloud of smoke; the Orb descended as an hawk, Kette and Gosse run to the rescue; Mundifico fired against the guards, whose bodies went up in smoke; the kidnapped people were spell bound and almost speechless; they almost dragged them inside the Orb, and up they went - the whole operation takes twenty seconds! "They will never know what hits them!- Reggie said, racing to the Camp. They descended and Mundifico visited the newly arrived, whom Doctor Jaime Mauvan and Mr. Cornejian were attending. "How are they, doctor?"- Mundifico said, looking how brownish the people looked. "They are not in good shape, Sir. Perhaps some of them are injured internally."- Mauvan said, perspiring visibly. "Well, we are going to take care of you, now. Forget the past. You are free now."Mundifico said, and the rescued people were almost in shock, staring at all sides as if not understanding their new situation- a thing it embarrassed him. Later, doctor Mauvan said:" They must be resting for some time; two of them are worst than the rest." "Who are they?"- Mundifico asked. "Liliana Nadir and Jorge Alvarez; both had several infections, particularly on the bowels."Mauvan said. "I saw your niece, Nicole. Guess they find him trying to rescue the others."- Mundifico said. "She is not talking, Sir. Perhaps later; we must to give time to this people; they are injured physically and mentally."- Mauvan said. Mundifico thought about it, and he was about to say that a long vacation in some Resort could cure them of any mental situation, but said nothing. Ignacio Gutierrez was seated on a chair, looking at the sunset, outside the Orb; Mundifico went there, and said:" I apologize to you, for such a delay; but I was worried a hastened rescue party could make more hurt than good results." "Don't apologize, Mr. Mundifico! You did the right thing; they were waiting for you everyday of the week."- Gutierrez said, with tired voice- he was a man of thirty years, but now he seems an old man. "Of course; I never give up the hope. How come that Miss Covarrubias was caught?"Mundifico asked him.

"Oh, guess it was pure bad luck! She try to rescue us using a LASER rifle, but something happens with that weapon, and failed to shoot when must needed; she was caught and after some interrogations, was sent to join our group."- Gutierrez said, coughing. "Of course; pardon me, guess I am forcing you to talk too much- don't make efforts now, and rest."- Mundifico said, going up the ladder. At his bedroom, she find his E-women, and said:" Guess we have luck this time; of course, we must pay attention to our environs- another foraging party, and we are doomed.""Don't you worry, darling! I have five alarm posts out there, encircling the Orb! By the way, Lulu said if you want to see the works, at the Mining site." "Tell him I'll be there soon; pity its getting dark."- Mundifico said, and with them he walked to the mine; an hour later, he was looking at a real big mountain of rubbish, while Lulu was saying:" We had several tons of material, Sir. Perhaps to-morrow we'll be smashing the rocks and melting the copper and gold; there is some gold in here, that could be of value." "Tell the miners to keep on working all night; we'll be back in the morning; you and Belone come with us."- Mundifico said, and they return to the Orb; in the road, they saw a pair of Dromeosaur and a Hulsanpes who was eating something among the bushes. That night, Mundifico slept with a burden out of his chest, as the lost crew was now backing on the spaceship. At noon, he went to see the Jorge Alvarez and Lillian Nadir, who were with Nicole Covarrubias in the same room; Doctor Mauvan said:' They are out of danger, but now we must have patience for some days; they needed repose." "I wish to talk to them."- Mundifico said. "Of course, they can talk, but not to the extreme, please."_ Doctor Mauvan explained. Therefore, he went there, and read two or three pair of eyes with criminal intents against him. Cornejian talked with them, while Mundifico and his E-women were present. They said Mundifico was too slow in the rescue, and that they want to return to Earth as soon as possibly. Mundifico went out of the spaceship and descended to the ground. Cornejian approaches half an hour later, saying:" They are willing to finish their work here, under your administration, but afterwards they want to return, to their city- with or without money." "I understand them feelings. I have no had intentions against them. However, threats I will not accept. "- Mundifico said. "Of course, Commander. The rescued people must get strength before going to work; I guess a week will be sufficient, at least for the man."- Cornejian said. "I allow them not to work, Cornejian, and said it to them; I will pay them as much as I could, all depends on how many gold we could dig.- Mundifico said. "Most generous of your part. I will work, too; here I have nothing to do."- Cornejian said, and soon he was walking to the mine, alone. "There is a good man."- Mundifico told his E-women. "He is a man which you could trust, my love."- Reggie said, caressing his hair. "Not too many in the world."- Mundifico murmured for himself. That night, with the two Synthetics and Cornejian back from the mine, the later said:" Commander, there were several big animals lurking too near the mine, this afternoon; guess you must allow me to use a big LASER gun, in order to shoot if it must be so; this gentlemen- and signaled to the Synthetics- could only made threatening fire, but not to kill or maim severely; so I am entitled to do so." Mundifico said:" Tell Lulu to teach you well in the art of firing a big gun; and I congratulate you, as you want to be of use." "I will learn the art."- Cornejian said.

Remember not to point it to somebody while you are aiming at the beast."- Mundifico said, smiling. "I'm not so much of a dumb, Mr. Mundifico!"- Cornejian retorted. At the next day, Mundifico went there with Cornejian, in order to see how things were going; the miners worked fast and hundred of stones were being carried out of the mine with conveyor belts; all of that went to a Grinder; from there to the melting opt,; the 90 % if it was dirt, but the other was not, and it was storage for another melting, to separate or divide the different metals. One month there, produced three kilos of gold, seven hundred eighty kilos of copper, and one kilo of silver. Mundifico was lining the gold ingots over a blue table, at his cabin. Presents were his close Synthetics aids, and Cornejian was there. "Not much, three kilos of gold, and one kilo of silver- means really nothing!"- Mundifico was saying, angered with his luck. "My love, you get to have patience! Could be more quantity in the future."- Reggie said, taking one of his hands. : Why don't you dig in some other part? Must be other parts here! This planet is huge."Cornejian recommended. "Yes, it's huge! However, I have just only one set of machinery to dig! See how efficient things are here! I cannot disassemble here to go out digging at random!'- Mundifico said. "I guess you must wait a year, Sir. In a year it will be forty kilos and that means a lot of Credits- perhaps then you could hire more personnel and machinery."- Lulu said. "Yes, darling! With more resources, richness will fasten its pace!"- Kette said. "You need a vacation, Mr. Mundifico. You could go to some beach, or river, and stay there for a season. I offer myself to run things here- I am sure I could handle things, provided you leave me one of your male assistants."_ Cornejian said. "I'll think it over."- Mundifico said, pensively. That night, at the bed, he said:" I do not want to give power to nobody. That Cornejian wants to rule the mine." "Don't let him, then!"- Reggie said. - "He could deprive you of weapons and of assistants." "Certainly true."- Mundifico said, kissing her cheek. 16887 At the next morning, Mundifico said to Lulu:" We could visit another site- perhaps with a little digging we could find gold." "Of course, Sir. Who are going to be on your expedition?"- Lulu asked. "Cornejian and you with Belone; the girls could be going, too."- He replied. Cornejian was called from the mine, and he said:" I was already at my post in the mine. Are we going somewhere else?" "Yes, Mr. Cornejian. To another site where gold could be found- a probe could give us results."- Mundifico said. 16888 Lulu made a perfect landing near the middle of a huge chain of mountains that had snow all over the landscape- to all side, mountains filled the horizon. "These mountains run from north to south East. We're about to land over the side of some mountain that has gold in it."- Lulu expressed. Once landed, the two male synthetics give an exploration walk around the Orb; they sensed nothing dangerous, so they signaled that the place was safe. "Safe, Sir. But ice could be covering holes, so don't you walk where there are no previous footsteps."- Lulu asked of him. "It's very cold. Where do we dig?" - Cornejian asked, while shaking.

The Synthetics find the exact spot, and with LASER guns worked there for four days without stop; Mundifico and Cornejian worked alike, by taking the debris out of the site, and dirt in bags until their hands were bleeding with the effort, no matter they were using gloves. At night, Mundifico received massages to release the cramps he suffered for too much exertion. The Synthetics were piling up rocks with gold streaks aside. "If we keep on working, rocks will pile up higher than this hill!"- Cornejian repeated every morning, as a Mantra; but he never complained of the exercise. At the fifth day, Mundifico begin carrying rocks with some gold in it, to the Orb, saying:" Guess it'll be worthwhile all the blisters that we gained here." In relation to the E-females, Mundifico didn't permit them to work, so they serves him while eating- preparing him special meals , that he cherished also with Cornejian, at noon of every day. When they arrive to the mining site number one, the gold heap were increased; one of the Miners told them a new vein was found, so the miners were working in two directions now, searching for the gold. "And we brought some more gold from site Two. Guess it'll amount to three or five kilos in all!"- Mundifico said, as in three days he had obtained five kilos of gold without too much trying. "See, darling? Things are being better, as I predicted."- Reggie said to him. "Certainly true! Well, I get to have some more confidence in what I do."- Mundifico explained, but thinking he often did what he wants, but later on, half of his projects failed. They melted the metals and they obtained nine kilos of gold, one of silver and a thousand and two hundred kilos of copper. "Copper also has a value, Mr. Mundifico! Or are you to leave it unused, or not to be sold?"- Cornejian asked of him. "I'll sell our work! This time I'll do things straight, pay the taxes and all!"- Mundifico said, and Lulu applauded, as his correctness was inserted hard on his software. The people were eager to leave all behind and get to Earth- Jorge Alvarez said:" Boss, I know we aren't as good miners as it should be, so why don't you hire real miners, and let us return to Earth?" Mundifico puts an angry face, and said:' I do not understand you! Why to get back without the full payment? You are here already! What so important is waiting for you in Earth?" "I cannot speak for all, but in my case I am decided to get back and fulfill a dream I had since a child of four years old._ Alvarez explained. "Oh, yeah? And which is that dream?"- Mundifico asked. "Now that perhaps you are going to pay me good money, I could open a Restaurant in Manhattan."-= Alvarez said. "I wish you luck, I'll be here for two weeks more; then, I'll go and sell what we could had reunited- so tell the others I'll be doing some changes- in this voyage, everyone willing to travel to Earth, will be able to go in our next voyage there."- Mundifico said. "I see; well, to wait now!"- The man said, and he walked to the others, to tell the news. Reggie knew of this, and said:" Why are you letting them depart us? " "Because things would put ugly here, if I don't I had seen them working- they barely move, except Alvarez." "And Mr. Cornejian."- Reggie amended his phrase. "Of course, Cornejian works fire- the man wants to improve in life- and he will improve, if things go well for us!"- Mundifico stated.

The working team improves their behavior and worked hard up until the last day, when they went up the ladder and embarked the product. The Orb rise from the ground effortlessly - no matter the big load now it was carrying. "Fasten seat belts, please. Beginning the warp trek in 7,6,5,4,3,2,1...0! - Lulu chanted the seconds, and then he throttle up - a streak of light, and the stars were gone. "Several days more and we'll be at home."- Alvarez said, in the second chamber. "Wish to be already there! I'm sick of stones and dirt- I guess I'll be dreaming of it the rest of my life!"- Lillian Nadir said, notwithstanding she had worked very light. "You can unfasten your belts now, but pay attention to the sound alarm."- Lulu asked by the Intercom. Mundifico went to his cabin, and rested on a Zero gravity couch. His three E-women were there with him. "Tired, love? Do you want to sleep?"- Reggie asked. "NO, thanks! Tell me how much gold and other metals we are carrying."- Mundifico asked of her. "Thirty eight kilos of gold, twelve of silver, sixty tons of copper."- Reggie said, borrowing items from various sources in the second. "Name prices and made a total estimation.'_ Mundifico asked of her, knowing she was communicated with Lulu, Belone, Kette and Gooses electrical minds by the radio waves. "All right, love. Gold thirty-eight kilos, means 988.798 Credits; twelve kilos of silver means 110.400 credits; sixty-five tons of copper means 8.500 Credits, in Earth. 1.107.698 Credits in all."- Reggie explained. "And how many in other planets? We could sell these valuables anywhere!- Mundifico said. "At Oredloro: the cargo could mean 1002.300 Credits; at New Mars, Cassiopeia, the same cargo means 1.020.356 Credits.- Reggie recited. Mundifico decided Earth was the best option of all; Lulu did not change direction, as from minute One he was going that way! Eight more days elapsed and they arrived to the Solar System- at Pluto they were hailed, so they stop at Pole 020, where some officers revised their pockets- one by one. After some time, a Natural said;" You must declare here what are you carrying onwards, Sir."- A natural said, after inspecting the Orb with other four Synthetic guards. 16895 "Of course; and pay the taxes?- He replied. "Yes, Sir. There are too many merchants who defy our laws- the central administration decided we collect - and authorize."- The natural man said. Mundifico told Lulu to take care of that, and went with Reggie to buy some clothes and food at the Store- a section that was full of tourist, in transit to the inner planets. "There are many tourists coming to-day! - A cloth's vendor informed- "You are client 7900!""Of course- I don't remember other occasion like this... to have been hailed, here."Mundifico said. "OH, but always had been like this! They hailed and stopped one out of fifty spaceships coming in from outer space! Only now they stopped everyone!"- The vendor said, smiling happily. Later, Mundifico returned to the Orb with Reggie and the bags; and they unlock the Orb and went to the inner planets in a fast manner. "I'm racing now, Sir, as we'll be slowed down after Mars's orbit. - Lulu said. "It's all right." - Mundifico authorized, and while passing the asteroid's belt, Lulu had to slow down, not to hit some of the thousands rocks that circled the sun in that orbit.

Mundifico said:" This sector must have been with a planet that explodes, or something?" Lulu had the whole story, so he said:' Tiamat." Reggie smiled, and explained further:" In times when the Solar System was recently developed, there was a giant planet in this orbit, called afterwards "Tiamat". One day, another giant appeared, captured by the solar attraction, and it banged his satellites against Tiamat while completing an orbit. In the next orbit, the smashing was completed! Half of the planet Tiamat moves to an inner position and now is called Earth; and the other portion was so minutely wrecked, that stayed in orbit until to-day- the asteroid's belt." "And where is the other planet, the rogue one?"-= Mundifico asked. "It's orbit was so wide, that after some orbits, it gets loose, and it's no more in this planetary system."_ Lulu explained. "Incredible."- Mundifico sighed, thinking how many disasters occurred in space that man was unaware of. "Look! I will show you on a holographic vision, the aspect of Earth planet without all its water! "- Reggie announced, and on that sight, planet Earth was seen as a rock; to one of its sides, a huge chunk was missing. "And from where so much water comes from?"- Mundifico asked her, seeing at the blue planet. "Supposedly, Tiamat has a great atmosphere, seas that collided unto the saved section."Reggie said. "I wonder how this is known- hard studies most have been donned, to know these facts."Mundifico said. "That, and the works of a race of giant hominids0 the ones who had no names0- a race of aliens to this System- who came here searching for gold and groceries."- Reggie explained. 16899 "Well, there are so many races in Space that are traveling before ahead of us! No wonder there were also astronauts before Earth was old enough to raise humans."- Mundifico said. In time, they arrived to Earth, and they descended in Chicago, where Lulu had already offered the gold, silver and copper. At the Customs Office, three gentlemen with their electronic pads were waiting, to make a deal0 of the tree of them, the best offer was made by Taringo Doprem, who also paid cash- the others wants a delay of fifteen days- so Mundifico sold the valuables to that man, and paid the taxes for that transaction, too- the government, of course, was always forcing a share in all of the transactions. With the money collected, Mundifico paid everyone of the Naturals their wages, and then when everyone was walking down the ladder to their private lives, Cornejian returned and said:" I'm not tired and I'm not interested in became a citizen of Earth again. Please, Mr. Mundifico, if you had a need for another cruise, count with me." "Of course, Mr. Cornejian; I will stay here thinking in what to do - afterwards it's most possible that I will have a need for your services, as a trusted man you are."- Mundifico replied. The Natural descended to the ground, saying:" I'll come here each three days, if necessary." "As you wish!"- Mundifico laughed back, and later he said to Reggie:" I have ... millions of Credits in my Bank Account. We have six workers intact. With them we are going back to planet Gold, and perhaps some other payments are waiting before that." "Yes, I'm glad you are speaking of it. Money is needed for to pay: we rented equipment, and if you are going back there, more renting will be necessary."- Reggie said, who knew

all the transactions, as she used the memory of Lulu and the rest when speaking with Mundifico. "Tell Lulu he has my authorization to rent those machinery a while more. Perhaps for six months."- Mundifico said. "There are two miners with minor damages. Do you want to send them to be repaired, while we are here?"- Lulu said, coming near. "I knew not that they had injuries or malfunctions!"- Mundifico said, rising an eyebrow. "Minor ones, that is." Belone said, coming by a corridor. "Of course! Well, I will let you bring our miners to Chile! I will disembark and you are going to carry them there, return here, and when ready, we all fly there.":- Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir."- Lulu replied. :Belone, you stay with us."- Mundifico ordered. Lulu made the arrangements, including the booking of Mundifico in the nice "Norton Hotel"; and then he climb to the Orb and headed to Chile- specifically to the Cullin Works Organization. At the Hotel Andre Norton, Mundifico was happy to be without many responsibilities. However, in the same city, Brando Cornejian was trying to be responsible- he had two daughters in Santiago - in their twenties. He called the elder one, Gwendolyn, and she appears in the Holographic video, while being at a Gymnasium: Gwendolyn was preparing herself for her Olympic Competition, that is, in forty more days. "Father, you calling?"- She said. "Yes, Gwendolyn! I returned from a voyage out of this System! How are you?"- He asked. "Fine! And you, did all goes well with you?"- She asked, as if in a hurry. "Very well! Daughter: I was calling on you because I earned some money and I could give you some, if you want."- Mundifico said, and Gwendolyn replied:" No, I do not need you money now! Sorry, dad, but I must to hang up! Bye!"She ended the conversation with that; so Cornejian stared at a blank space for a while; then he called the other daughter, but he gets no answer- so he leave a message , saying he was in town and with money to be of help. He booked himself at the Hugel Hotel, for four days only; he wasn't willing to spend all of his earned money staying there- he only wanted to experiment for a couple of days living as a millionaire. A pair of very well furnished rooms, a bath with all the appliances, and several holographic machines were available; also, baskets with fruits, perfumed atmosphere, who was also filtered. He went out to the street, decided to buy a good pair of shoes- he find a fashion store, with a bald man bowing in his direction almost the minute he set foot on that place. 16903 "I want a pair of good shoes."- He asked. The bald man raised one of his elbows, as if bitten by a wasp, and said:" Dear Customer! Please! In here, all the shoes are fine ones! " "Of course! - Cornejian said. "Seat, please! Let me see ... old shoes... please take them out!"- The man said, authoritatively. Then, he applied a device unto those feet - a box, where Cornejian inserted one foot first and then the other. "Wait a second, Sir! I'll be back soon!"- The Vendor said, taking with him the old shoes too. Cornejian saw how other clients were attended also; most of them seem to be at home there- old clients of course. Soon the small vendor came back; he was now with two male Synthetics- that were carrying several boxes.

"Now, Sir, please rise your left foot a little - there- Number 20, see if the modeler is ready. This isn't a pair of shoes, don't you worry, Sir."- Said the Vendor; and of course, the boxes were squared- they had sensors inside, that scanned each millimeter of those feet. Later, the Synthetic men went away with those boxes, while the Vendor was saying:" Sir, don't you worry- now they will tailored you a fine pair of provisional shoes , free of charge if you purchase a definitive pair of shoes here. Let me show you how your feet and your general appearance will look with our shoes- and how do you looked with the ones you stepped inside our Shoe Shop." "All right, let's see."- Cornejian replied, amused. In addition, what he saw let him spellbound - nice smooth shoes; in the photographs, always matching pairs of trousers of cine quality- not the ready-made he was using. The prices weren't showing- and he was marveling why, when the small vendor said:" The prices are negligible, in comparison with the quality of our products. But I am going to show you the shoes that could endure you for the rest of your life- forty years warrantee of course, inside certain limits of normal usage." The man did something on the holographic player, and prices were all over the placeevery shoe with its price- fifteen times the ones Cornejian had used until that moment- but he had a lot of money to spend, and he decided by a brown pair, and he said so. "Good choice, Sir! It will be ready to-morrow morning; and you can use the ones we lent you."- The Vendor said. Cornejian paid and went out of the Shoe Shop. He walked briskly, without any hindrance! The pair of shoes shines and they were far superior to the precedent ones. He remembered the shoe show, and then he went to buy clothes to match the ones he was wearing. He spent a good chunk of his money, but at the end of the day, he could attend a horse race with the presence of the Queen without being embarrassed He slept at the nice bed on his two rented rooms- he lavished there, thinking it was far better than to sleep in Zero Gravity- and awakening as in free fall. He wants to see Shoe Shop and he received his pair of shoes, while a Synthetic said:" Wishing you many a happy stroll, Sir.".He walked with them- light as a feather, and shining new. The pale brown shoes were a smash! Women looked now at him everywhere he goes- he understood that women choose the looks of a man before she pay attention to the sentiments. 16911 Cornejian went to lunch at a middle-class restaurant, and he made some sensation among the ladies- they were smiling at him openly. He almost choked with the food several times- and when departing, a Lady gives him her holographic cellular number- to be contacted later? At the street once again, he bought several information crystals and a small computer , capable of to see them and also with a capacity of storage almost infinite data - that was his toy- and at the Hotel he amused himself seeing documental and news storage on those crystals, about every science that there is. Two days he was living methodically, but at the third he called the woman of that Restaurant and she replied- it was 16.00 hours when this was happening. "Yes? "Hi, Excuse me, Lady, but I am the person who was at that Restaurant, three days ago, the one with a light brown suit." "Mm! I do not really remember you, Sir. Did I owe you some sum of money? "Oh, no! You give me your card, perhaps to chat or meet us sometime later."- Cornejian said, very insecure of himself.

"Oh. How dare I? Well, what do you want?"-- She said, with amused voice. "My name is Brando, and perhaps you could accept my invitation to dinner to-night."- He asked, tremulously. "Ah, ha ha! = She laughed. "Pardon me if I was too daring in to say so!"- Cornejian said, giving himself to the four winds. "Not at all! At which hours are you taking me out?"- She asked. "At twenty hours?"- He asked. "Twenty hours? So early?"- She was amazed. "Er... twenty two hours sound you better?"- Cornejian said, trembling, remembering people did not replenish Restaurants before two in the morning. She laughed, saying:" You hadn't asked my name yet!" "OH, but I told you mine: Brando."- He said. "Yes, Brando, I heard that. My name is Lia."- She said, with husky voice. "Glad to meet you, Lia.""Me too, Brando." "Well, guess we are going to see us - each other, I mean, at twenty two hours."- Cornejian almost asked. "Wait! Where you are going to search for me?"- She was very amused. "Oh, well- I guess you must give me your address!"- He said, turning red as an apple. "Come to Paragon States, apartment 290, second floor.- She said, almost yawning. "Very well."- Cornejian said. "By, Brando."- Said she, ending the communication and laughing. At the contrary, Cornejian trembled after the holo-call ... his life had just too much of learning and very few of romance- married in his twenties, divorced in his forties- women were almost an enigma for him all the time. He revise his clothes, polishing the pair of shoes- he had three, now, and went out to the street, entertaining himself by locating Restaurants with fancy names- he looked unto their prices and locations- he also called a flier taxi for the night- he told himself it was a necessary thing to do - to impress without a vehicle was out of the question. There were, of course, ideas of a misogynist! Later, he dress himself with new clothes, puts some perfume on him, while waiting for the 22.00 hours, that was beginning to look the antechamber of a nervous breakdown. Later, the driver calls him to show on the roof; there he goes, and seats on the interior, saying:' We are going to search for a lady- here is the address." And he chanted it- the built-in driver said:" Ready to depart, Sir. Secure your belt." Soon he was flying over the city, looking down and seeing those enormous skyscrapers and mega buildings. He certainly feels all of that means nothing for a solitary soul- such as himself. He certainly was putting much hope in a single date. He arrives at her address - it was an expensive place with multitude of servants running all things. She opened the door of her apartment, and saluted him with a kiss on his very well shaved cheek, saying:' So you are Brando! " "Yes, Lia! And you certainly look stupendous."- Cornejian said, almost out of air he was trying to appear challenging to the lady. 16920 ''Seat at any chair, Brando; I must finish my make -up."- Lia said, walking to some inner room, while signaling to several creme-colored armchairs. Cornejian seats there, sensing very inadequate in there. The woman looked very much younger than his forty-five years old, no lifting nor nothing with him!

At her toilette, Lia was doing her nails, and re-thinking her date with Brando - he wasn't as good looking as first thought, when she saw him at that Restaurant- perhaps she sensed more his clothes than to the man that was wearing it. She sighed- men were not in many quantities nowadays- men were flying away, in those Spaceships who offered dreams of better future for all of them. Lia puts some more color on her cheeks, and smiling, went to the room where Cornejian was waiting. "Voila! Are we ready?"- She said, in good spirits; and he almost jumped out of the armchair in response! They went out and to the roof, where a flier platform was in place, as in every building in town. 16921 "How nice of you, to have rented a flier for me!"- Lia said. "You deserve it!"- Cornejian replied, with a dry mouth; seated in the cabin, Cornejian said the proper address to the driver, and sensed the magnificent body of that woman next to him- he was thinking in what a big opportunity this was to have a terrific experience- if he succeeded! "It's hot in here, driver! Please cold it a little for me!"- Lia said to the in-built driver of the taxi flier. "Yes, Madame!"- The Synthetic contraption replied. The temperature dropped and makes Cornejian to sneeze- but then, the Flier had already landed, and he could step outside without further damage to his health- as an astronaut, the billion and a half bacteria and viruses of the city were really a threat to his immune defensive system. "Please, follow me! It's in the third floor!'- Cornejian said, as if he was a big connoisseur 0 she almost laughed- she already had been invited there a half dozen previous times already- but she takes advantage of her merriment, saying:" Too much time living in this city, Brando?" In addition, she puts some special intonation to his name- she knew the effect of a female's voice saying a man's name- they all looked so disarmed when that occurred! 16920 They seat at a table- she was curious, and she was spellbound- the luxury was great; everything there looked as if made of mirrors; the synthetics were made of a white milk substance that was very soothing to look. At the center of the table was the Menu; Lia asked for fish and salad, and Brando eats a tomato salad and egg, then a "bistec a lo pobre" (beef poor style) and a desert with cherry peas, In fact, he was ignorant of almost every item on that fashion's Restaurant, who had some curious peculiarities, previously seen by Cornejian at the Shoe Shop- prices were invisible for every item! "Do you think to better ourselves be the last available valuable item in life?"- Lia asked of him- it was his only philosophical question- the one who asked to the men in her first dates- as she knew, by comment of her Synthetic Shrinker that has a value: that men decided, after hearing that comment that she was of the intellectual kind! "Er.. I don't know- never give it much of a thinking to that question."_ Cornejian said, out of his medium. The table pop up a dozen different bowls, all with enough food to nurtures a famine family - Lia talked about the weather and dresses, and he kept accenting and eating- he was decided of to eat as much as he can, because the bill was going to be huge. "I wonder if you live here from long."- Said Lia. "Oh! I was traveling! I arrive not twelve days ago."- Cornejian said. "To other countries? Or to up there?"- Lia asked, mildly interested- the person seems not to have been traveling at all!

"Outer space- I went as Advisor- exo civilizations, advanced genetics- that kind of stuff."He humbly acknowledged. "Oh, so you are a Scientist?"- Lia almost fainted- a scientist earns good money all life long! "Not scientist; only adviser."- Cornejian explained- I went to a far off planetary system, and we came back after several months there." "And?- Lia asked, blinking an eye. "And I'm waiting for a new call! They are going out again."- He said, troubled by the idea the conversation was well out of romantic lines. Lia smiled, and looked to the dancing dais- he asked her to dance, so they went- she danced superbly but without much enthusiasm- and Cornejian danced almost jerkily- no experience to it. Lia realized immediately, and soon she said:" Oh, excuse me! I'll be going to take a pill- one of my headaches." "Of course."- He said, escorting her to the table; she keeps on walking to the Lady's room, while other beauties come and go from that place- me mused about how many of them really needs to visit the place, and how many just goes there out of boredom. Seven minutes later, and Lia come out fresh; she said:" Pardon me, Brando: I felt a terrible headache, but now I'm feeling better." "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that! I'll take you back home, if you like."- Brando said, sensing the floor was giving down under his feet. "Yes, please."- She said, with a husky voice- and looked at Brando, who was flushed as a teenager. "I expect not being the cause of your illness!"- Cornejian said. "Oh, no! Of course not. You're a wonderful companion, Brando."- She said, smiling. 16926 They went out, and climb to the taxi-flier, that was in the waiting line. Cornejian said:" Take us back to the lady's home."- And he was very disappointed, as he knew the Lady just was using as an excuse the headache- possibly and most that possible, she just cannot stand him any longer. At her building, she said:" No need to leave me at my door, Brando. I will call you soon. Bye." And she walked to the elevator; Cornejian said to the Driver:" Return to where we were, please." "All right, Sir. May I suggest you a special offer?" "What special offer?"- Cornejian asked, in bad temper. "Women, Sir. Lots of company for a lone man. Nice Naturals, of Synthetics if you prefer."The Flier Driver offered him. "No, thanks. I will not be able to bear the empty sensations those women give, when the transaction is over."_ Cornejian said. So he descended and went inside, searching for any woman at all- there were several beautiful ones, but when asking them to dance, the soon realize they were all Synthetics and using as partners for a dance, gift of the House. He quits at four o'clock, and went to Hotel Hugel, rather drunk. In the morning, he awakes at eleven hours, due to a soft but persistent chime- it was the holovideo call; he attends it, thinking in Mundifico, but it was Lia, dressed in a green gown, and showing generous portions of her body. "Hi, there! Still in bed, Brando?"- Lia asked. "Well, yes! Nothing special to do this morning, I'm afraid."- Brando Cornejian answered. "Lucky you! In addition, I was going out to shopping. I feel so dizzy- I take some pills for my headache again."- She announced.

"I could be there in five minutes, to accompany you wherever you want!"- Cornejian said, panting. "Brando! You are very impulsive! But- I accept. Come!"- She said, and finished the conversation- Brando, now fully awake, run to his closet dressing himself in three minutes, and run again for the door; he was as happy as a teenager was in his first date! He takes one of the Hotel fliers- costly, but faster- and soon he was disembarking at Lia's flier landing site; he descend in an elevator and rings the bell at her apartment. She opened the door, now dressed in a pale crme colored monosuit. He almost choked with the impression- every physical attribute of her was almost visible under that garment, and she was superb. "Please come in, Brando."- Lia said, smiling. Brando scurried inside and felt a strong perfume smell. "Please seat down, while I take my purse!"- Lia said, walking to some inner room; he had his eyes glued to her back, and his heart was bumping as a rat inside a trap. Soon she was ready, and while walking by the corridor, she takes his left hand, saying:" Excuse me for to be such a lousy partner, last night. I was really sick." "Oh, don't you worry! Now I'm with you again, and the sun shines for me."- Cornejian mumbled out- she barely understand his words, but realize he was trying to be nice with her. At the Flier platform, she hails a flier taxi, and she gives a name- soon the vehicle was racing above the city, and Lia said:" I bet you think I was not going to call you so soon." "He raises his shoulders, saying, "In fact, I was thinking you don't want to see me anymore." "Why that? You are nice."- Lia said, smiling- that phrase opened Cornejian's heart, and a desire to please her whatever the cost, rise in him. She bought some dresses and three pair of shoes- Cornejian paid for all of it. "But no, Brando! I only invite you to help me, in case I feel dizzy again- not to pay my bills!"- Lia said, murmuring. He refuses other option- and soon they were traveling to her apartment, while Cornejian was saying:" I invite you to lunch to some Restaurant." : No thanks, no! I'm on a diet."- Lia said. At the apartment, she told him to seat at the chair, and she modeled for him every dress, using also the new shoes. Afterwards, Lia seats on the side of Cornejian's arm chair, saying:" I am so unfortunate!" "Why, darling?"- Asked he, rising from the chair, and taking her by the elbows... she looked at him and they kissed- fire was on Cornejian's veins, and boredom on her veinsjust the same, she accept sex and he was happy believing he had won her heart. Later, he insisted on inviting her to lunch, but Lia said:" No, please do not insist! I have an appointment at fifteen hours and I must prepare myself." "Do you want me to accompany you?""No thanks, I better go alone. But call me tonight."- Lia said. "Are we seeing us to-night?"- Cornejian asked, while taking her hands. "I'll think about it- as all depends on my interview for this job."_ Lia said, and with that, Cornejian went out of the apartment. 16932 She sighed and takes a long bath, trying to forget everything... then, she went to bed and get asleep. Cornejian, at the street, was hungry and very happy- he eats a couple of dishes in a Restaurant, and then he visited three Museums, until 21.00 hours. With trembling fingers, he called Lia, but she did not answer the call.

He kept insisting until 1.00 of the next day, and then quits and went to bed. He wish he was dead- he was incapable of to maintain a relationship- he does not want paid sex; he wish he could have a house and a loyal wife. At the next day, he was very sure: he will forget about women, and went to a Museum again; there, he visits the Alien Sector- all the strange artifacts found in other planets were there or their physical copies, or holograms of the originals. A gadget, like a cap, was offered at the entrance. With it on, a small auricle was informing about every item, when standing near the object. In addition, from Mars there were photos of the tubes, artifacts used on miner, on plowing the land. Photos of Martians; history of the inhabitants of the Seven Cities- their departure after the struggle for life became unbearably tiresome. The point of destination, no signs of it- no information- it was as if something for too many time waited, suddenly became true and /or possible; and ahoy they all went- even the design of the ships were there- big pill-like crafts, moved by fission of the atoms energy, sailed to the Unknown, carrying an old and weather bitten society of humanoids. Stones from Venus, Jupiter, Saturn; gas from Uranus, water from Saturn - photos of their landscapes and of their atmosphere in almost constant turmoil. At the next cubicle, and old man smiled to him and said:" You, too, interested in old archeology? I'm professor Wormbur." "Glad to know you; I'm Brandon Cornejian, student." "Yes, we are all students in this life! I see you are interested in Martian ancient culture."He said. "Yes, of course. Who doesnt? They leave so many clues but none about his whereabouts as if of now."- Cornejian said, playing tricks with his phrase. "Of course, I give lectures- I still occasionally do- at the Philocosmic Club."- Professor Wormbur said. "Oh! I thought that Club was interested only in flying discs of old?_ Cornejian asked. "Yes, in ye olde time, but now they're interested in exo archeology."- Professor Wormbur said. "Now is the time."- Cornejian said, smiling, and keep on looking. Later, he felt a tap on his left shoulder and it was professor Wormbur, saying:" Aren't you interested in seeing a relic from Mars?""Of course! Here in the Museum?"- Cornejian asked. "Not a Museum! My place, if you don't mind."- The professor Wormbur said. Cornejian accepted- he had nothing to do, except to return to the Hotel and wait for Mr. Mundifico's call- that very well could be never! They walked by the street, using the moving away system- soon they were at a Sector full of residential buildings. C90! My building; floor 400; my flat."- Professor Wormbur explained. "Perhaps I'm being too boredom for you- perhaps we let this for another occasion."Cornejian said, as he was realizing the situation was an awkward one. "Not at all! Remember I invited you!"- The professor Wormbur said, and pushed him to an elevator - all the while, surrounded by a throng of people, all seemingly without time to wait. The females were the most pushing-around; as ever, they carried bags, leather boxes, cardboard boxes, child, pets, big wide hats- and they smelled of hot perspiration mingled with a dozen different perfumes. They were vomited unto a corridor, together with sixteen other persons- the 400 was near the corner of the first bifurcation - the professor Wormbur uses a fingertip to open the door, placing it on a plate. 16947

After the entrance hall, the young daughter of Professor Wormbur gives him the welcomehis father shows Cornejian some clay tablets, and the story of Sumer and the Anunnaki flows from his mouth as a river of knowledge. "You see, the Anunnaki could be very well the same Martians we know by the engravings. Your captain could be interested in to find them- think how valuable for the Science could be to find the creator of Man as it is! And a thousand other interesting matters."- Professor Wormbur said. 'Well, professor Wormbur, I'll talk with my commander, about your findings. Perhaps he could be interested in a voyage of exploration."- Cornejian said. "Of course he will be interested! I'll wait for your news- here's my card."- Wormbur said, handling him a plastic card to be in touch by a holophone. Back at the street, Cornejian looked on the clay tablet he takes from the office at the Professor's desk. It was one of the originals! At a pawnshop, he offered it to a skeptic seller. "Really authentic! Thousands of years old! I want a million for it."- Cornejian asked. "A million! Look, I have three of these clay tablets- not even for a thousand credits they want it to purchase! I could offer you five hundred credits." "Let's say 800.""750." "Deal."- Cornejian said. With 750 credits he was content- for a thing it cost him nothing. At his apartment, Professor Wormbur was in bed, feeling sick. "But, how could you invite a total stranger to your home! Now look in the state that you are!"- His daughter, Karen, said, while attending him. "I was so excited! He was on shore leave, and waiting to embark again in a spaceship! I wonder the name of the vessel- and I show him my clay tablets, and talk about the Anunnaki."- Wormbur explained. She moved her head with sorrow and said:" Do not think about it now! You must recover and then I'll see he is caught by the Police." However, Professor Wormbur could not comply with her decision, as he died two hours later of a heart attack. 68 "I will find who killed my father!- Was her leit motif while burying Professor Wormbur; she also call to a private Agency, in order to find the man who stole that property so cherished by the deceased one. Soon the Agency finds the object in a Pawnshop. "The object was bought in five thousand credits. The buyer at the pawn shop is willing to return it for two thousand and five hundred Credits."- The Agent informed her. "I will not repay for an object my father owned! - She said, and informed the Police about the finding; soon the object was in their possession. "We have the physical description of the man who sold it- and it matches your version."The Private Eye said- "His name is Penrose.""Find him!"- She said, with glacial stare. Cornejian was not attending public places or Museums- he was frightened, as the News Media was informing about the findings and whereabouts of the case- Karen Wormbur had made public all of the facts, so Cornejian was in terror. He called Mundifico several times, but the man was forever enjoying his E-females... and paid little importance to future trips. Once Cornejian went to see some pictures at a small Art Gallery, where few people were there, but among them, a man with a moustache seems to be following him around. He almost run out- but that man caught him by an arm, saying:" You the Vasquez painter? 16952

'No, I dont! - Cornejian answered. "Oh, Excuse me! You resemble him very much!"- The person said. "Well, good bye. I'm leaving now."- Cornejian said, and the man retired his hand from his arm, apologizing: "Excuse me once again! You must think I'm a mad man." "Not at all."- Cornejian said, ready to leave, but then he turns to go and saw a man his double... except for the clothes! "You... resemble to me a lot!"- The recently arrived person said, and added:" This is remarkable!" People turn around to see them, amused; several of them commented the resemblance, specially the man who retained him before. "See? I was not so mad, when I mistake you for him! He is the famous painter, Vasquez!" "And do you paint?"- Vasquez asked him. "I'm an amateur at art! Cornejian said- he had studied art at school only, and read some books on the matter- that was all. "We could be twins!"- Vasquez said, and pushing him around, to see all of his paintings there on the Gallery. Jokes were made; they attend a brief explanation of those oils there in Exposition: the painter was having Cornejian at his side at all times. When some bottles of fine wine were opened, the painter said:" Do not say no! We are celebrating our encounter, here!" So Cornejian, who mostly drink beverages, this time drinks wine; the painter gives him a painting, saying:" Take this in my memory! You could have been my brother." "Thanks you a lot!- Cornejian said. "We must meet again! To discover our similarity. Is it possible?"- Vasquez asked. "Of course! Meet me at the Hotel Hugel; my name is Brando Cornejian- and we could talk."- Cornejian said, encouraged by the wine he was sipping. "All right! I'll be there to-morrow morning."- Vasquez said." In addition, excuse me now, but I get to be present in three more events this day. Bye." Cornejian carried the painting to his room- it was a big classical painting, a landscape with a slope with some trees on it, and under a nice sky. Captain Mundifico called him at 21.00 hours, saying:" Hey, Cornejian! Still wanting to travel upwards?" The heart of Cornejian gives a full turn and he gasped and said:" Of course, Mr. Mundifico! Good occasion to call me! I'll be there in the morning." "Pole 30 at the Cosmodrome- you know the site. And don't get too much hurry; we are not leaving yet."- Mundifico said, and ends the communication. "Holy Anunnaki!"- Cornejian said, kneeling next to the holophone- "At last!" He takes his possessions in a couple of bags, called to the Reception office, and asked for the bill. Soon the bill was brought and he paid, saying to the Synthetic man:" I'll leave to-morrow morning." "All right, Sir. You paid until tomorrow at noon."- And went out of the room. Cornejian went to sleep, but he couldn't sleep- he dozed; and at seven o'clock , he leaves the Hotel Hugel and went to the Cosmodrome on foot- of course, using the Moveaways he just don't wanted to leave traces of himself by using the Fliers. At the Orb, he was received by Lulu, who said:" Glad to see you again, Mr. Cornejian." "Thanks, boy! I'm glad, too." Mundifico was on the cockpit, and saluted him immediately, by saying:" Mister Cornejian: good to see you back!" "Thanks you, Mr. Mundifico! I'm glad to be here again."- Cornejian said.

"As you will see, I have no crew by the moment. They all had dug and deserted me for a second voyage!"- Mundifico explained. "Everything changes with people who suddenly have more money than necessary!Cornejian expounded. "Your old cabin is waiting for you."- Mundifico said, dismissing him. Cornejian walked by the familiar corridor with a sense of elation and happiness; he was realizing he cherished this place more than Hotel rooms or almost any other place he had been; the departure to outer space or not was not important for him now- he was already at home. "Call some Agency for a new crew."- Mundifico said to Belone. "Sir! Of course, I will obey your order, but could you not buy some Synthetic workers? " 16965 "Do you mean miners?" "Two miners and four hard labor Synthetics. I had been looking on advertisements and there are several offers- cheaper than state of the art models, but totally new."- Lulu said. "I'm interested in offers, of course. Money isn't abounding."- Mundifico said. The offer was effective on the Oredlorian Cyborgs Industries. Totally automated now, it was selling the old models made with not so sophisticated systems. "Ah! The old Electronic people!"- Mundifico smiled. "Yes! However, we must not laugh much about them! They were built with fine materials to last decades and perhaps hundred of years. Stout- and you need strong people now- the mining work it's a rough one."- Lulu explained. While looking at the holographs, Mundifico understand correctly- those were almost works of art, made of plastic and hard alloys, not fancy to the eyes but efficient for work. 16966 Mundifico bought five of those, expending half his fortune- when on board, he was ready to deploy, when something went wrong in the machinery. The second generator is fused, Sir. - Lulu informed him. -No way you can repair it? Alternatively, somebody at a repair shop? - He asked. -No, Sir. Radioactive materials in the inside, so powerful it could make a Synthetic lethal, if approaching a carbon unit. - Lulu explained. -Ask for a spare part, then! - Mundifico said, trembling when thinking in the probable priceand yes, it was high! No way to expend so much! - I have just 800.000 Rolos and that is what it costs! - Mundifico said, after the numbers danced on the holograph scene. -You could sell me. - Lulu offered himself. Mundifico pondered the problem and said: Not you. Someone who could spared without too much problems. How much for an E-female? I could sell one of my assistants. - Mundifico said, with an ugly face. -Seven thousand hundred Credits and 1.800 if you are thinking in a fine model. Lulu said, as Mundifico knew Reggie was the fine model of his group. -750.000 Credits will do. Sell Gosse. She will understand. - Mundifico said. Lulu offered the E-woman at the virtual Auctions, and in four hours elapsed time, counting from when the add appeared on the Web, a customer appears. -He will come in two hours, Sir. - Lulu announced. -Great. - Mundifico said, not willing to think much about what was happening- Gosse come to him at a corridor, saying: Do not trouble about my departure, my love! I am happy to help relieve you of your problems. -Thanks for your support. I really am feeling lousy, selling you out. - Mundifico said, and kissed her tenderly. Later, the customer appears, paid and went out with Gosse, who was also carrying a bag with her personal belongings and gifts from Mundifico at this final hour.

Cornejian approaches him, saying: How much time are we going to be waiting for departure, Mr. Mundifico? -I do not know. Ask Lulu. He is making the arranges. - He said. Lulu said: Five days more, Mr. Cornejian. At the most. 16970 Cornejian returns to Mundifico, who was secluded with his two remaining assistants at his cabin, and said: Please, I want shore leave for five days; Mr. Lulu said that is the time of waiting for reparations. -Fine, Mr. Cornejian, you can go. - Mundifico said, constraining himself not to expel the man out of his cabin, in that moment of mourning. -But I need cash, Sir. With half a thousand Credits will be fine. -All right, I will deposit that amount on your Card account. Go in peace. - Mundifico said, signaling Reggie to do that, using his bank account. Cornejian waited until the machine indicates he has those one thousand Credits in his Bank account, and departed in a flier taxi, saying: Search for me, a good Hotel downtown. I want to live as a king for some days. -Very well, Sir. - The Built in persona told him by the intercom, and the Flier soared high and away from the Cosmodrome ...They landed and Cornejian was booked on the Hotel Bronze, where two Synthetic females show him the Bar, where Cornejian drink heavily; the Dinning room, the Gamble Hall, and his Suite. They were a nice blonde and an exotic black hair E-Woman at his disposal. -Names, please! - He asked of them. -Rolla. - Said the blonde-haired person. -Hera- Said the Asiatic style E-woman. -Rolla and Hera! Perfect for me, yes! Do not be mistaken! The perfect human is a robot, as I, as every Natural one, am only a chemical machine! The Synthetic females smiled gently- they were familiar with this kind of tourists that boasted of strange ideas with only half bottle of liquor in their stomach. To dance! - He said, and invited them out; as he did not know where to go. Hera suggested a good dancing place, and there they went, in a Flier taxi; the music was offered in five different levels, so the concurrence could choose which rhythm suits them most; but as he was in high spirits, he invited them to dance in all five of them; and in none of them he could dance properly. At five o'clock, the women carried him to the Hotel, and left him sleeping half-naked on his bed; they went out laughing, as Cornejian was snoring high. At midday, Cornejian awoke, and went to the bathroom, where he takes a long shower; and then he dressed with care, as his head was about to explode. He went downstairs, and out to the street; the people at the sidewalks were a packed mob going to their personal destines with haste; he was one of very few who walked without hurry, so he was bumped all along; he went by a side street, looking at the windows; soon he saw a small shop, selling old films in crystal form. He entered and revise the stands; titles were by the hundred, and he choose some History records; he was sure that at the Orb they will serves him to learn some more about the Earth History. He lunched at a near- by Restaurant, and return to the Hotel at sixteen hours; he enters his suite, and went to the bed, to take a nap. At seventeen hours, ten minutes, a Synthetic called him by the holophone, saying: Sorry to awake you, Sir, but you are in danger.

The sleep curtain went up fast in his brain, and he asked: What is happening? ---Some persons are here to take you to the Police, Sir. Something about an investigation for the robbery of ancient artifacts. -I get it- and I tell you, they are searching for the wrong guy. Where are they? - Cornejian said, almost frozen with fright. -At the entrance hall, Sir. They are being delayed- to an extent only. Please leave the Hotel for your sake and our prestige. - The Synthetic from Reception Room begged. -Very well. However, how I could get away? I do not know of any other way out, except the general entrance! - Cornejian complained. <THE NEW SECTION MADE WITH THE APPLE MACINTOSH PERFORMA 630CD (October 9, 2008)> 16983 -Don't you worry about that, Sir? The women who are with you received some information, and will be assisting in your departure. - The assistant at the Hall said, and hung up. -Here, Sir! Your suitcases and bags are ready; follow us.- One of the Ladies of the night said, and Cornejian went out after them, buttoning his shirt; they take the elevator up, and while on it, Lady One said: It will be better that you put this on your head. And he handled him a piece of cloth; with trembling fingers, Cornejian fixed it as a cap, and soon they were on the terrace, on the opposite side of the Police Flier- where two men were staring at all sides; she guided him quick to a Hotel Flier, and once inside, Lady Two said: Far and away. The taxi flier went up and soon it was traveling by a very crowded airway; it changes levels and soon the built in driver said: Five kilometers away are enough? -Yes. Land. - Lady Two said, and once on the ground, Lady One said: Driver, go away. You left the client at the Air Terminal. -Yes, Milady. - The voice of the machine replied, and soared up and back to the Hotel. -Now! We are going to leave you where you desire, Sir, to help you with the luggage.Lady One said, smiling gently. -Very nice of you to say that- I would had been unable to carry all this stuff by myself. Let us go to the Cosmodrome - there is a friend of mine there. -I will hail a taxi. - Lady Two said, and soon a taxi flier landed near them; they went up with the luggage, and traveled to the Cosmodrome without any other word. When landing, they pay the taxi flier, and helped Cornejian arrives to the Orb, where Mundifico said: Oh, what lovely ladies you are hiring, Mr. Cornejian. -Yes, thanks you. They are only helping me arrive, you know. - He said, red to the core. -Of course! Savant, as the French people said.- Mundifico smiled, and looking at the superb E-women, his mouth went dry...Soon the ladies went out, her mission accomplished; they hailed another taxi flier, and returned to the Hotel without problems. From the Management, order was issued not to tell anybody about the client and his departure. 16984 Cornejian was glued to the news reports, at his cabin; of course, nothing about him was on the news, as the Police was trying to find him as silently as possible, not to scare the prey... But as the Hotel Hugel was first committed with their clients and then with the rest of the society, he was free. Cornejian revised his past behavior once and again; and he was feeling his only wrong was to have stolen that piece of dried mud called the Sumerian clay tablet! Pity the

decease of that old man- he was thinking- but one error calls the other, and that was silly for him to do. He also read something about Law, and he knew there were accidents and casualties where the man was not a wrong doer, but only the victim of circumstances. In his case, he was well aware, was greed- robbery- and that was indeed punishable; he found some harsh sentence where a Judge sent a robber to be kept in jail for 40 years! And those thoughts makes him go to the bath room in a hurry! Mundifico called him to his office, one hour after his arrival, and said: Nice girls you meet in your vacations! -Of course, they were only Synthetics. - Cornejian apologizes himself. -Oh, come on! You have good taste! How many just search for naturals without any grace? Women without waist, or with dangling breasts? Or bad tempered? No, you have good taste. - Mundifico said. -You call me for this kind of conversation, Mr. Mundifico? - Cornejian asked, stiffening himself- he just does not like sexual conversations. -Of course not, Mr. Cornejian, and I apologize immediately! But you know, I was only commenting about those E-women. Nothing more! And the object of this meeting is to tell you we are ready, almost, to depart. I have some Synthetics just arrived, I have the route and we are about to deploy ship, as they say in marine jargon.- Mundifico almost loose his smile, sensing the irksome ways of Mr. Cornejian. -I am ready the minute I step on this Orb, Mr. Mundifico! May I ask who the rest of the crew is? -Of course you can ask; and I will reply: you and I are the only Naturals on board! The rest is going to be Synthetics- the old you knew, are already repaired and oiled, so to speak. Synthetics represent no threat to me; they obey, they are tame, and we can depend on them. - Mundifico said. -I understand very well. - Cornejian said, satisfied- he also like Synthetics around - his own species makes him nervous. -And I have two E-females for my use, now. I was forced, by circumstances, to sell Lady Gossen. Do you remember her? -Yes, she was very kind. - Cornejian said. I sell her because I was in the stake: a malfunction when departing, and no money to repair the broken part, forced me to sell the lady; pity but true. - Mundifico said. -I am certain that in this trip, you will earn a lot of money, and perhaps you are able to buy as many ladies as you want. - Cornejian said. -Of course, that is the essence of this trip! Money. And you, alone here, alone at that planet... do you not wish a lady for yourself? Mundifico asked him. -I could wait, Mr. Mundifico! I could refrain myself of the pleasures of the flesh - wait until my return - and then have some women. - Cornejian said, thinking this was very much easy as he was already an old man, and the desires were diminishing. Of course. - I am not able to give you a E-female, but perhaps I could lend you some money, in order to rent a E-female for the trip.- Mundifico said, looking at him on the eye. Cornejian doubted ... certainly he could wait, but why to wait? And this tycoon- well, a future tycoonwas offering him a lady... -I guess I am tempted to accept your offer, Sir. - He said, coughing. -Dont feel embarrassed, my friend! We are naturals, Homo sapiens, not perfect creatures at all! I will ask a good E-female for you, and then we will depart. -Very well, Sir. And thanks you. - Cornejian said, going out of that office. Mundifico went to Lulu, who was already seated at his pilot post, and said: Ask for a rented E-female, for our

friend Cornejian- I detest to see a man in a brink of a nervous breakdown just because he cannot satisfy his instincts! And made it nice and quick. -I will call the Easy People Company, Sir. They are renting nice E-females in these days, with good offers. - Lulu said, who was already calling to that place. Five minutes later, he said: All things done, Sir. 1.000 Credits for two months, and a bail of another thousand credits. -Fine. When could she arrive here? - Mundifico said. -In about Ten minutes, Sir. I will be receiving the E-lady myself. - Lulu smiled. -Good. Do it, and then, release the woman to our friend. - Mundifico said, thinking the renting was very low priced. Soon the new Synthetic arrives, and Lulu went to see Mundifico at his cabin, where he was looking at some News. -Sir, the Company has a clause who says a Natural must be responsible when receiving the Synthetic persona. - Lulu said. -I understand. Where did I put my index finger? -Here. - He said, showing a small tablet. -Guess it is nice? - He asked. -Yes, but I told her to wait- so I did not deliver it to Mr. Cornejian right away. Did you want to see her first? - Lulu asked. -Well, yes! Bring her to me. - Mundifico said. After a while, Lulu brought her to the cabin, saying: As you know already, Mr. Mundifico is your owner for a while; obey him in every way you can. - And departed. -Nice to see you! What is your name? - Mundifico asked the E-woman. -Holly. But also BB2983. My second name, in case of malfunction. - She said, smiling. She was tall, blonde and with a really interesting face; every time he remark something, she opened a little more his big eyes, who were crystal clear. -I understand it. Incept date? -This year! Only seven months alive; three times rented all right. I think I know everything about Naturals, now. - She said, with a funny smile. -Guess you are of the latest models. - Mundifico said, as she was almost choked with the new Synthetic woman's behavior- almost as a Natural .The latest, yes sir. Are you going to be my man? - Holly said. -Your man is another man; one of my crew. I do not want him to get nuts in the middle of our mission; sex is necessary, you know. - Mundifico said. -Of course! A strange custom, as originally was supposed to be created by Nature to reproduce the species and not to have pleasure at all times.- Holly said, seating at a chair; her long white legs were a magnet to Mundifico's eyes. -I have two Synthetics for my pleasure. They are in the next room. - Mundifico said. -Two E-women! You must be very rich. - Holly said. -Not as much as I wish! Come here. - He said, and when she was near him, he kissed him lightly; to his surprise, the lips of this new E-woman were moist and smelled to raspberry. -You seem surprised. - Holly murmured, while looking at him with her big eyes. -Yes. You have a funny smell in your lips. -Oh, that! I like to give my lips a touch of lipstick. - She giggled. Mundifico keeps on kissing her, and then they have sex; the E-woman really was magnificent; after an hour, they dressed again, and Holly said: Satisfied, master? -Yes, it was our first time! Now I do not know what to say to old Mr. Cornejian! - He said. -Don't tell a word! I can satisfy both of you, if you please. - Holly said. -Cannot be! I am too jealous for that! Tell Lulu I want another rented E-woman! - He said, caressing her breasts.

-From here? - Holly asked him. -Yes! Use your radio. - Mundifico said, caressing her head. -Lulu wanted to know if the same model would be fine. - Holly asked him. -Tell him that a little difference would be better- I Don't want to be mistaking who is who.Mundifico said. -All right, dear. - Holly said, delivering the message, and embrace the man with care... Mundifico finds Holly much demanding than the rest- a new model was equipped with new ideas- all from human minds- of a society in permanent change... When the new rented E-woman arrives, Lulu said: Here is this for your signature, Sir. Did I tell her to come here? -Please, Do not! I think I am a little too egotistical. Sent her to old Cornejian. - Mundifico said, looking at Holly, who was dangling her legs from where she was seating... Cornejian opened his door, and saw a distinguished woman, well dressed, in front of him, and said: Who is you, Madame? Searching for the captain? Lulu sprout from a side, and said: It is your female for the trip, Sir! Give her a name and be happy! - Please come in. - Cornejian mumbled out, and the woman went inside his cabin, with briskly pace. - Do you arrive safely? - Cornejian asked her, realizing his question was irrelevant, but something must be said to break the ice. -Yes, safely, of course. The Company made this deliverance with much care. We are valuable assets of the Company.- She said, looking all around- and finding all very depressing- a single bed, a stack of electronic tablets, two bags with clothes sprouting outand using her smelling he notice other unpleasant news. -You can stand by my side at the bed. - He said. -Of course. - She said, looking at the man. -My name is Brando; which is your name? - He asked. -BBC3900s. Never been rented before. -Oh, so you are without much experience? - Cornejian asked, feeling very uncomfortable. -Don't need experience; it is all in my database. I can cook, made beds, love, record, storage, and help in everything related to sports. - Said she. -Once I admired a woman who swims very nice; I will call like her. - Cornejian said, smiling reminiscent. -Oh, yeah? That would be good on your part. - She expressed. -Marlene. Her other name was Ahrens, but you will be just Marlene. Did you like it? Cornejian asked. Of course, I like it! If you admired her, must be a great woman- a natural, of course. Marlene said. -Yes, a natural. In that time, there were no fine Synthetic people like you. - Cornejian said, taking her hand- he finds it warm and soft. -You are very gentle. Sorry if I am not! - He said, after the first kiss. -Perhaps experience would be better than just knowledge. - Marlene BBC3900s said. The ship begins to tremble, and the reassuring voice of Mundifico resounded in all the sectors: -To all passengers and crewmembers! This is your commander! We are leaving the planet, so please fasten your belts! -This is going to be my first voyage outside the system. - Holly said. -Oh, yeah! - Mundifico said. -And you, did you travel for gold only? - Holly asked him. -I travel for gold, but also I have a share of excitement and adventure in the process! You will see! That planet resembles a lot of Knapp. - Mundifico said.

-Knapp is a fine planet, with plenty of vegetation! Not as Earth, of course. - Holly said, searching in her archives. -Earth! Good planet in its time! Now it is just pure cement and parks; there are no dinosaurs left, and scant animals live there. Cats and dogs it is the only animals left. Mundifico said. -Cats and dogs! Now they are all around the Universe, Don't you think? - Holly asked. -Oh, yeah! - Mundifico said. -Tame animals. Difficult to understand how humankind did not notice no new animals were tamed no matter how many years went by. The Anunnaki made Man and Dogs, cats and sheeta. - Holly said. -To explain that means to be a psychologist, a geneticist and a philosopher. - Mundifico said. -Being just a geneticist would do. - Holly said, embracing him; he takes her in the air, and sensed his body did not weight more than thirty kilos, so he said: You are very lightweight. -Yes, in former Synpeople, elements were heavier- time passes and all went better, dont you think? - Holly kissed him. -Not all things went better with time. Our bodies became corrupted and soon biomechanic elements must be inserted in our bodies, in order to keep on struggling. - Mundifico said. -Currently you, Naturals, could live 2.390 years average. Soon it will be 3.000- the range is big, if you think at the beginning it were just 800 years. - Holly said. -But not in our world! Knappian lived, since the beginning, just 80 years top of the top! Mundifico said. -I was talking about Earthians, of course- your History is scant in my database- your King Lugner sign the membresy just two years ago. - Holly said. -Yes, the King Lugner was in doubt. - Mundifico said. -Or he was trying not to open the doors to the alien people! - Holly smiled. -That, too. He is a member of people jealous of his inheritance. Do you know that Knappian people are not related to humans from Earth? - Mundifico said. -But there were Earthian people in Rixiaberg! - Holly said. -Rixiaberg, colony of Earth! Yes, I know that story. - Mundifico replied. -And do you think it is a lie? - Holly asked. -No, I am sure the Rixiaberg country is really a colony of Earth- I mean, in the beginning. Now, of course, it is part of the Kingdom. - Mundifico said. Kette and Gosse come in, and Gosse said: -Love, the bath is ready. -Of course! I'm coming.- Said he, and went after them- at another room, a bath with 1.0 gravity on, a bathtub was filled with water and lemon juice (ersatz) . He undressed and went inside; the women rubbed his skin with sponges, while a soft music was on. -This bath will leave your skin as new! - Kette said. -That is the idea! - Mundifico smiled. He was being treated as a King Lugner! At the controls, Lulu was speeding the Orb along the Solar System, now rid of the heavy traffic that existed among Earth- Marss lines. Of course, big freighters were also traveling to the Ring of Asteroids, to mine them of the ores they possessed. When crossing the asteroids belt, the Orb reduced it is speed, not to crash with the remains of big Tiamat; some of the bigger rocks were being mined by some Mining companies, such as Braden Copper, American Steel Co.; Chuquicamata Mining Company, and others. Smaller ships were hurrying back and forth, from the mining fields to the big freighters waiting for cargo near the sites. Their destinies were Mars and Earth melting plants. Once ahead of the Asteroids, Lulu saw several Space Fleet vessels coming from the fringes of the Solar System- among them, some Orbs were immense - more than 90 kilometers in diameter.

Belone said: - We are nothing at their side. -Of course- thousands of people could be in every one of them! - Lulu replied. -The last war was huge. The enemy was half as power as the forces of the Federation of Planets, and their weapons were of huge power of destruction. -- Belone said, as the facts were in the air. Two hours, and Pluto- and the Army Bases- were left behind; some big cargo vessels were approaching the System from Carina Constellation general direction. Lulu said: -They are carrying spoils to Earth. The defeated always loose twice. -All in the name of Democracy. - Belone smiled. -I heard once a man say the war was provoked by aliens, infiltrated in Earth governments. After millennia, man keeps on warring wars and it is no aliens in their governments.- Lulu said, and added, by the Intercom: -Attention to all passengers and crew of the Orb: ten minutes to Branas jump. Please attach yourself to your posts. -How big this Universe is, and notwithstanding that, man travels to other Branas. - Belone said. -The explanation is that man fights for good things for them and their offspring. The struggle for life begins in a humble pond- millions of years ago, in a young planet full of energy. - Lulu said. -One day all this glory will pass away- I wonder if we could catch the banner and keep on in their name. - Belone said. -Certainly life - biological life- has something else than work and efficiency. I do not believe the entire struggle is only to be alive. - Lulu said. They made the jump and soon he was looking the yellow sun of the Golden planet. Green and blue in the blackness of space, it was similar to a wonderful gem in black velvet. Mundifico arrives to the control room, saying: - Congratulations, pilots. We had arrived to this far reaches of space unharmed. -As it must be, Commander. - Lulu said. -Yes, as it must be. Now, let us land at the last mining field we were last time. - He ordered; they descend through the clouds and then the green of the forests gives them the welcome. Cornejian was looking at it through a visor on his cabin, and said: - What magnificent vegetation! Pity we are going where rocks and rocks are. -But you could travel from the rocks to the forest! Alternatively, are you really working at the mining camp? - Marlene BBC3900s asked. -Yes, I can do that. Remember me to tell the Commander about this. - He said, smiling- it was good to have an assistant .The Orb landed, and the big miners went down, and revise the whole sector, seconded by the Synthetics en masse. The Naturals were near the Orb, until Lulu said: - No danger, Sir. Animals are absent. -Great. Let the miners work now.- He ordered. The three synthetic females were there, looking at the landscape, like flowers under the sun; the big miners walked away, shining under the light; the smaller Synthetic males waited for more orders. - Lulu, you will stay on board. Any danger from the sky or the earth, you take the Orb to a safer place, and advice me through the radio; Belone, you walk near me. Mr. Cornejian, you could study rocks, with your assistant. -Sir, I was going to ask permission to move to the woods, and there study the flora and fauna. - Cornejian said. -Sounds dangerous. I cannot give you a guard. - Mundifico said. -I have this E-female- guess we could carry weapons. - He said. -Of course - I give you the permission, but I am not being responsible of what could happen with you. - Mundifico said.

-I accept that, of course. - Cornejian said. -Very well; I will call if we move away- but that will be when the miners get a good quantity of gold or silver. Perhaps we are going to be here for a full year. - Mundifico said. -I will be there from two to six months, Sir. Plenty of time to came back. - Cornejian said. -Good luck, then! However, do not forget that if you find something interesting, something worthwhile looking at, or something that could give us money, do not doubt it and call me, so I could go there to see also. - Mundifico said. -I will have that in mind, Sir. - Cornejian said, and went to get ready. First thing, he did a small map of the sector; with the mining field as departing point-, the woods were looking North West. He also looked at the main maps, from the general database of the Orb. =A hundred kilometers to the nearest branch of the forest. - Marlene BBC3900s said. -Yes, but we must be traveling by the river- easier that way. - He said. -But darling, that means 392 kilometers! You will grow tired. - -Marlene said. -No matter that! I do not want to walk for so many kilometers! We could make a raft, and in it, we could travel by the country seated on cushion. - Cornejian said. -As you wish, darling. - Marlene raises her shoulders. That day, and for a week, the male Synthetics and Cornejian worked near the river, making a raft; when ready, they give him food in the form of pills, and Mundifico went to the place where the raft was floating, to tell Cornejian:- I hope you well, Mr. Cornejian. Try to remain in one place; I would pity you desert me in this adventure. - Dont you worry, Sir! I am decided to get back. -And if you find it too difficult, to return I will have you back up- I will send one of this assistants of me, with a personal flier, so you could get back easily.- Mundifico promised, and soon he saw Cornejian aboard the raft, moving away, while the slender Marlene tried to maneuver it with the rudder. During that day, Cornejian looked at the side of the river, and saw rocks and mountains; in the night, he anchored the raft near the bank. He yawned, and said: - Marlene, you take the guard from now on. Any dangerous beast approaching and you awake me. -All right, dear. - She said, looking at the shadows with her special eyes- she could see clearly, as she had the ultraviolet sight software on. Soon she received a radio signal, from Belone, saying: -- Commander Mundifico wants to know where are you, actually, and if you are safe.-Tell him we are safe, near the right bank of the river. Cornejian is asleep, I am in guard. Marlene said. -He said it is good that you are fine. Good night and good luck. - Belone said, ending the transmission. Marlene smiled; the communications work fine- she made an adjustment, and keep on listening through Belone. He heard sounds inside the Orb, the small ticks from machines working, everything. This was new software, experimental. From time to time, the rented machines had special features- the Organization revised them afterwards, and if the hearings were of a particular kind and innocuous, nothing was reported to the Intelligence; if there had something illegal, then it was reported. That was the irksome aspect of the rented Synthetics: they belonged not to the people using them, but to the Organization, who received special grants when cooperating with the government and their Institutions... Chapter 7. In search of Nibiru. While the night was deepen ,small animals were appearing- small ones, almost everyone walking in the direction of the river- the murmur of its waters would had been not audible

for a Normal, but they could be heard distinctly by Kette - with her developed hearing system, that recover the sound from the reverberation of sound waves while hitting the terrain. And that sophisticated method of hearing begin to tell her about a bigger animal coming her way. She run to the Orb, saying by radio to the other Synthetics: - Danger! Big animal incoming! -All right! Can you get inside or I take off and you manage to be in hidden? - Lulu asked. -I m running up the ramp already! Inside! Take off! - Kette radioed. The Orb swiftly went up, while the Valdosaur growled not fifty meters away- it was quick, and its nostrils were detecting the faint smell of mammal dung over the terrain... Yes, as the big Orb had a waste disposal in their number of functions, but Cornejian (before his trip and for not to spent more time going up to the Orb, did not used it but did his necessities among some rocks!)Mundifico was awake, and asked what was happening by the intercom. Lulu, through it, said: - Commander! We are transferring the Orb to a two hundred meters altitude site, in order to avoid a big dinosaur. -Oh. In addition, what kind of animal it was? - Mundifico asked; Lulu said: - It was a big Valdosaur. -A Valdosaur... well, its bulk could have made a bump on our Orb. Good deed, Lulu; congratulations, Kette. - Mundifico said. Kette, free of her duty, went to his cabin, and said: Did I not deserve special congratulations? -Of course, dear. - Mundifico said, embracing her. - You can rest this night with me. Kette laughed, happy to be of service. Over the river Second Day. In the next morning, down the river, Cornejian and Marlene release the anchor and keeps on traveling down river; the banks were visible from the raft, but the current was strong and the rustic balsa was turning like a wheel; Cornejian closed the eyes, saying:- Oh, Ill feel sick! Marlene was trying to govern the raft in the quick waters, but that was almost impossible; soon they collapsed out of the raft and went into the water; Cornejian swallow a lot of water, fight with the current, and ends on the right bank. There he rested some while, and then he stand on his feet and searched Marlene with his eyes- there were no signs of he Synthetic over the current; the river was speeding up and so Cornejian walked by the bank, trying to figure out what was of his first E-woman. He walked and searched through the bush when necessary, but not signs of Marlene did he find. Twenty kilometers after his forced landing, he found the upper garment of the Synthetic, entangled on some weeds. He observed it but find no sings of violenceperhaps the E-female released it to swim better? At dusk, he was very exhausted- he was no young man any more, so he searches for a place to spend the night. He climb a tree, and rested on some branches, 40 meters below the ground- the place was quiet and not a sound -except the wind- was heard by him while the night unfolded until the dawn- he just dozed there, not willing to stumble down and break his neck. When sufficiently light was in the air, he descended with care, and went to the riverbank, looking for his companion - the gray waters rushed still to its far away destiny, roaring in places. As he was already on the bush sector, the forest was not too many kilometers away, so he kept on walking and arrived to the real forest in the evening. There were some minor animals, and occasionally some fearsome growls, he could not classify.

The river keeps on roaring at his back- he give up the idea of to find his Marlene alive, so he decided to make a small exploration inside the forest, see some of its inhabitants, and then try to went back - as he could- to the distant Orb, this time on foot. Without radio, there was no way to communicate with Mundifico, or any of the other Synthetics. Ten kilometers down the river, the body of Marlene was lying half way into the sand; its head smashed by a rock while descending the river, made functions impossible. Her records were not going to appear at any Organization team! That day Mundifico ask Lulu to communicate with Marlene, and he said: - No communication available, Sir. Something happens to her." Mundifico paled visibly, and said:"- Something ugly? Perhaps they drowned! - Marlene BBC3900s? Not her! She could not drown, as she didn't breath."- Lulu said."Then something hit her hard. Must be that. Any way you can track them down?"Mundifico asked. -"The last communications was made 50 kilometers away. We could begin some searching from there. - Lulu said. -"Of course. Let us go there. - He asked, and soon the Orb was traveling down the river and at 100 meters in the air; soon they were where supposedly the last radio communication was made; not a sign was visibly; they went along the river, at low speed, and soon they saw the corpse laying in low waters; Lulu went down by a rope, recovered the body and take it inside the Orb, for study. -Not drowned, Sir. Her head was smashed by a rock or something very similar. - Belone said, after a swift examination. -No way to communicate with her? - Mundifico asked. -No, Sir. These models had the intelligence center on the head- not as with us that it is on the chest. Supposedly, these models are for indoors jobs. - Belone informed him. -Fine and double fine! What could have happened with Cornejian, then? - He asked himself, while Lulu moved the Orb down the river, scanning for the Natural; some 30 kilometers away, they find the rest of the raft, marooned on the sandy bank; they descended over the place, and both male synthetics went to the ground by some ropes, while Mundifico scratches his head in despair- he just didn't want to be responsible for another death in his exploitation voyages. -Nothing here too, Sir. - Lulu said, half an hour later, and after a thoroughly investigation for clues. - Mr. Cornejian was not here, when this raft comes ashore- he must had been jump to the water.-Or thrown down from the Raft! - Belone said. -Correct. Please revise the surrounding area, too. I will wait. - Mundifico said, and both Synthetics run around a wider area, scanning for clues, that in the end, were not present there.' -Nothing, Sir. - Lulu said, by the radio. -All right, I will send you the ropes. - Mundifico said, and once attached to them, an engine takes them up, and inside the Orb. -Let's return to the camp, Lulu. Nothing to do here. - He said, seating at an armchair. The Orb returns to the camp, and he sent them to work at the mine, saying: - Please see the Miners did not commit mistakes! In addition, take care of yourself! Not sure if we are going out of here with millions or with blisters." -Don't you worry, Sir. - Lulu said, thinking Mundifico was worried for them just because he does not want to spend more money in reparations. Mundifico seats there, on the main cabin, with Kette, Reggie and Holly, saying: - Pity about the new model- must have been drown." -"Perhaps it is so, dear. We heard not her signature- on the radio. - Holly informed him.

- That is interesting! But tell me, did you not float? As you- of course, I am referring to the new models - are very lightweight. - Mundifico noted. -Yes! We are lighter than the older models! - Holly smiled. -Wait! We are not too old! - Reggie said. -Don't fight! - Mundifico said. -We are not fighting! And yes, we should float- I guess Marlene- the name Cornejian gives her- received some blow at the river- perhaps some tree trunk, or a rock- that could explain the radio silence.- Holly explained. -And your presumptions about Cornejian? - Mundifico asked them. -Mr. Cornejian saves his life that is for sure. - Kette said. -Why do you think so? - Mundifico asked. -Because his body was not found. - Kette explained. -Could be drowned, under water. - Mundifico said. -Pity we do not search better, darling. - Reggie said. -I will search better - later. Bodies tend to float after the third day. - Mundifico said. -And so you think he is dead? - Kette asked him. -I am not sure. I hope he is alive and searching tubercles in the jungle; but I also think he could be dead. - Mundifico explained. -Both ends meet on your brain. - Holly said, embracing him. -Yes, it is an old way of thinking: prepare for the worst while expecting for the better. Mundifico said. -Lulu is calling, dear. - Reggie said. -Yes, Lulu? - Mundifico said, using her as a transmitter. -Gold, Sir. A huge vein on the rock was found this minute. Congratulations, Sir. - Lulu said. -Well, thanks you. With this gold, we could solve our problems and be happy. - Mundifico replied, smiling broadly... (End of writing with the Apple Macintosh 630CD full of crap I ALREADY FIXED. Now, with the NEC portable SX) Cornejian walked for two day through the forest, taking notes and trying to make a map for to the return to the river. He was with no food in storage, as the raft takes all his studied and programmed paraphernalia to the bottom of the river, but the fruits were abundant; the only problem with the fruits was that some dinosaurs also like them, and not only small animals but big as the Pachicephalosaur and the Psittacosaur. The smaller ones, namely the Celuro, were sometimes to be afraid of, as when in flocks, they were nasty and threatening to strangers. When alone or in pairs, they just pretend not to be seeing him! He discovered differences among the members of the same species, not only among different sexes but also among females or males. The colors were sometimes different, and sizes and the longitude of the arms or legs. Eyes were almost all in blue or green color, sometimes very dark, so from a distance seems to be black. Also he learn how to read the imprints on the ground- not only the bigger ones were dangerous, but sometimes smaller ones had really bad temper- and charged against him, seeing he was small and not really presenting any threat. The defense was in the run- in two days he acquire the ability of to climb a tree at a velocity he never suspected he could achieve- of course, that velocity was often achieved through the scare he gets while being chased by animals with just too many teeth. The Allosaurs and the Ceratosaurus were the worst of them, as they did not stop to think a second- they begin the chase in the same instant they spotted him- an edible mammal without fangs enough to mean trouble.

At the fourth day, he saw a big turtle, the size of it some four meters wide, and a meter and a half meters high. It went through the bushes eating with delicacy, but his beak was not to be dismissed- it looks as if it could break a log 20 cm wide in just one bite. The terrain became a swamp, with big mosquitoes ( Rhyniognatha Hirsti) the size of which were of 40 centimeters long and with a wing span of 98 centimeters! They had stings or whatever on their noses, a thing horrible to look up. So he made a detour, finding solid terrain to the East. He kept walking in that direction, with scant vegetation in sight, but suddenly the terrain faces a long valley, with trees and a chain of mountains in the distance. He descended by a slope half a kilometer long, and was astounded by the height of the trees (conifers, ginkgos and cycads) more than 60 meters, with wide trunks and profusion of branches. There, several species had their habitat, namely members of abronians lizards. He walked by the bushes, trying to not make a sound, and soon he saw a big Carnotaur standing on a clearing, its beady eyes looking keenly in all directions! He retraces his steps, and went by other way, just to see a dozen Tecodontosaurs sleeping or dozing near a pond of green waters. He went to the left bank of that pond, and was thinking if he could take a short bath there, when a big Lambeosaur appeared coming from the muddy waters, and stomped not 30 meters away, in direction to the swamp! He waited there, and saw some heads protruding from the waters, at intervals of ten minutes each' They were Edmontosaurs, who apparently were festering themselves with underwater vegetation. Night approaching, he searched for a scant inhabited tree, and went up some 30 meters, finding a good fork made of branches, and there he slept until midnight. At that hour, he sensed movements coming from lower branches, and tried to see what was coming - the stench of a filthy animal come to his nostrils, so he climb as much as he could, with cold fear running down his spine. The night was black as a sack of coals, as the planet had no moons, and the sky was clouded. Swaying at the upper branches, where the cold was greater, he trembled until dawn, when his eyes could see what was around him. In reality, he was in the brink of to twig a branch and come tumbling down, from a height he assumed was more than forty meters! He could see almost to any place he like, around him, as the tree was the biggest in the vicinity. It was like to be in a calm sea, with leaves trembling in the breeze. He begins his descent with utmost care. At the thirty meters high, he saw several white figures climbed on the tree. He believes they were monkeys of some kind, white fur sprouting from all sides. They had round heads, with circular eyes -- and they certainly were aware of his presence. He descended a while more, and when at ten meters, the bigger one make a sound with his mouth, presenting rows of yellowish teeth, capable of to kill a smaller monkey in just one bite. Cornejian did not descend any more, and keep on looking at the monkeys; they were a meter and a half in height, with strong long arms and legs; they seem to be waiting for something, and they barely move. Two of them defecate where they were perching, so their dung went down with a splash. Half an hour later, they get startled, and begin to wail in a strange way. From the forest comes a roar, mightier than a lion's roar, and a brown animal, the same appearance as the white ones, come in growling. He had twice the size, and their paws were as shovels, her legs as tree trunks, and its eyes shot in red and looking wild. When the beast saw him, he run to him as if shot from a bow, but Cornejian was already climbing, and the chase ends when some branches snapped broke and the big beast , with a roar, went down and Cornejian lost him from sight. He waited, perched like a sparrow on a twig, some two hours more. As the beast did not return, he comes down in a very jerky way, until arriving to the site where the white

animals were, but they were not now. He kept on descending, thinking that perhaps the enraged male was killed in the descent... He arrives to the ground, and yes, the big male was smashed against a rock, his head twisted to a side and its fangs opened in a final gesture of wrath. Cornejian approaches the beast, and sensed for his heartbeat down that big chest, but the silence of death was pounding with silent drums inside. He laughed, relieving the tension, and soon he saw white heads approaching from a side. He stands up, and saw the white animals were staring at him with their beady eyes. Slowly, one of them approaches, and seats not four meters away. The others did the same. He waited and waited for them to depart, but no, they were looking at him or at the dead male on the ground-, Cornejian arrived to the conclusion that those animals meant no harm to him, and get away at a fast pace- but they kept the distance all the while. He passed through a section where fruit trees were abundant, and he takes one of them, like an orange, and kept walking. The animals stopped there, to eat- so he fastens his pace, and soon he was out of sight. He walked some half an hour more, and seats under the shadow of a tree, to rest. However, the emotions of the day take its token, and he went asleep. After a while, in a dream, he was being attended by a bunch of E'-females, who rubbed their bodies against him, most to his pleasure- suddenly he awoke, and sensed not a Efemale, but some animal over him and having sex ! He did not move until the end, and when the animal walked some while ahead, and turn, he saw it was one of the white animals! He was spellbound, and terrified. The other animals were there, in a row'- he was in the center of that row, without speech from what was happening! As the animals just stare at him, specially the last one, he realizes they were not going to eat him alive, but were waiting for him in some way. He stands up and walked straight- after him they went! He changed direction, and they submissive, or humbly, kept the distance, following him like dogs, or ducks, as the leader of the pack, or flock. He returns to the place where tasty fruits were hanging from the trees, and eaten. The other animals also eat, and in silence. Cornejian became aware he was now the male of the group, having killed (or so those animals supposedly believe) the former male. He laughed, and the animals looked at him in bewilderment, but did not approach. At dusk, he climbs to the same tree, and up they were after him. This time he was more confident and so he was not afraid of them. When it was so dark he could not see, he sensed movements, and soon he was rubbed against- the females were grouping together to heat their bodies against the cold of the night. He did not move, but received the corporal heat that made him sleep. In the morning, he was more content with the company; they find tubercles and worms apt to eat, small mammals were captured and eaten without disgust; he didn't do it, as he was sure he would had thrown up- he stick to the vegetables, roots, and water. This last was found among some big boulders- they descend and there was a pond, filled with rains. The place was isolated from the jungle by some two hundred meters of pebbles and boulders. Another group, with a big male, passed near the border of the forest, and the white females made sounds, that were replied by the other group. Cornejian did not show himself, not to have problems with the big male. That apparition makes him think in his present situation, that was everything but normal. He begins by searching for a big stick, and then he made it a sharp point. Then he made some more.

He went east, and the white monkeys follow him without hesitation. This time he did not find fruits or worms- the white females did not complained, for three days they were going east, and then he saw a chain of mountains in front of him. He decided not to keep on going, or he would die of hunger. He went south, and soon he finds a brook, where all could quench their thirst. That night, the cold was great, and they all trembled in unison until morning. Cornejian begin to think in to return to the Orb. He has not found anything out of the normal, if we count Dinosaurs as normal. When returning to the forest, they eat many fruits, but also were chased by Eustreptospondils and Allosaurs, whom smelled the white animals from afar. Therefore, he made them wash themselves on the river, with great effort- they were not used to do it, and they sneezed in the night. Four days Cornejian walked towards the Orb, making small advance, as the white females were not good walkers- they rested for hours, and they like to frolic on the fruit tree sites. Nothing seems to worry them- when in need to run from some predator, they run and after the dangerous situation went away, they forget it as a cat could do. Then they stepped on another group of white females and an angry black male, this one saw Cornejian from afar and come to him growling in rage. It was sure he could break every bone of that thin animal that was walking with their female of the species. Cornejian went up a tree, carrying his lances (spears) and the black male went up after him, sure of the cowardliness of the small animal who kidnap so beautiful females- in his animal mind, he was already festering on those females... However, Cornejian was not running away, but putting some more advantage to his plot; soon he was throwing the lances with all his might, against that barrel- like chest that was approaching him as a rocket. The animal received three lances before sensing something was hindering him of his trek- he pushed out those branches, and his blood spurted out as it were firing hoses- his strength gone, he went down as a rock, smashing himself on the ground. Cornejian descended victorious, and find all the females of his group around the tree trunk, and those of the other male, approaching the site with humility. He sensed with surprise, that the former white animals did not fight the recently acquired ones, as if it was a natural thing his coming together. Ten females slept with him that night, and he was very busy trying to make them stay put, as the females were all trying to be next to him while the night was on. In the morning, he looked at them with amusement but also with a lot of concern. He was no connoisseur of the forest best places, nor was he able to maintain them out of trouble. If another male of that species appears, he was not so sure it could be defeated as the former two- especially with so primitive weapons! So he hastened in his trip to the Orb, as he was sure Mundifico could solve the problemperhaps carrying all the heard to Oredloro and sold them there as pets or to the Royal Zoo. However, the mining fields were as far as 400 kilometers- he was sure he could make it in a full year, but he was not so sure to be alive for such amount of time. The heard of females did not walk fast- not five kilometers were made in a day. Therefore, the group would arrive not before 100 days in the future! He makes a bow and some arrows- and kept practicing all day long. First he shoot at flying creatures, and fail, but with time, and practice, he begin hitting them and killing them in greater numbers, until the white females were not worried about not having fruits, as he was providing them with animals to eat. Of course, he made fire and roasted the less hideous of those creatures of the air. The most of them had scales and looked as gargoyles in miniature.

Then, twenty days elapsed from the second death, he find another furious male- this time a smaller and older male. This one attacked him without much conviction, and was killed as easily as he could think- by an accurate arrow on his heart. There it goes to the ground, kicking and grunting until he died. The females of this one were older and thinner, and in the scant number of three. They looked more like grandmothers of the precedent white females, who did not pay much heed of them. That night, the stench of the old females make him almost sick, so in the first pond they encounter, he made them clean their gray hides, much to the wailing of the old females. The younger ones also washed them, now more grown accustomed to that strange invention of their guide. Cornejian was more confident now. He made, notwithstanding that, a lot more lances and bigger bows, until he could cross a tree trunk with an arrow- that now had stone heads. They found a flock of Eustrutiomimes, and arrows killed seven of them, but one of the big males takes an old female in their paws and takes her away, much to the terror of the rest. (Now again with the APRIX, who was repaired from a burn out main power set): The white females suddenly wailed, he return to see what was the problem- number three that day, and he was spellbound to see a newborn white creature lying alongside her mother. It was a nice ball of hair, with two beady eyes, and he said:" Well, well! What we got here! A nice little baby!" In addition, he looked at her mother, who was lying there as if smiling with joy. "Sorry to have you walking, dear! But I had no clues about your state!" Surprisingly, the mother made a sweet sound, as if replying. He stops there for the day, and hunted several Microceratops to eat; he gives the new mother a big chunk, and he brought her water from a brook. The rest of the herd was milling around, finding roots and things edible to eat. At night, all of them perching on a big tree, he gets close to the mother and child, to protect them better. He was thinking hard as what was going to be donned afterwards- he was prone to leave the herd and went with Mr. Mundifico any way he wants to travel, but here he had some responsibilities now, and he did not know what to do right. He arrives to the conclusion he must end his trek, talk to the man, and see what could be better for the white females, in unison. So he stayed there for a week, hunting and idling at the sun; the females were happy to have food and rest; he didn't asked them a thing, and also he didn't beat them or bite them as the males of the species did almost at any hour of the day- so they were very pleased with this strange male, who asks for nothing. Cornejian arrives to the Orb alone- the white creatures stayed half a kilometer away, expecting his return, supposedly being hunting. "Mr. Cornejian! How glad to see you alive!"- Lulu said, from the threshold of the entrance. "I am fine, thanks you! Where could I find Mr. Mundifico?"- Cornejian asked. "He's on the mine, to-day! But I can call him, if you want."- Lulu said. "All right! Call him."- Cornejian said, and soon he was talking to him, through Lulu and Holly. "Mr. Mundifico! I arrived just now, from the Jungle!"- Cornejian said. "You almost drive me crazy, man! Everyday I wake up with you in my Agenda! How are you?"- Mundifico asked. "Very well, thanks you! Of course, I have some surprises, but no wealth, at the Jungle."Cornejian said. "The main thing is your O.K.! I will be seeing you, tomorrow! Now I'm here, supervising."Mundifico explained.

"Of course, Mr. Mundifico! I'll be waiting for you." - Cornejian replied. Later, he takes a bath, eat something of the food aboard, change his clothes and shoes for clean ones, and a LASER rifle. He went to the man in charge- Lulu- and said:" I have some herd, not too distant from here that I must take care of. I'll be there and in the morning I'll be back, to talk with Mr. Mundifico." "As you wish, Mr. Cornejian. However, if you want some extra protection, why don't you carry your herd nearer? I could be of help."- Lulu said; but Cornejian was not able to shoot to kill, so his "aid" was more of a logistical quality. Back at his herd, he counted them- twenty two- and asking for food- with long stares. He uses his LASER rifle this time, and soon the happy white females of that species were chewing up eight Mayasaurs and four Hipacrosaurs. Night came, and they rested atop some rocks, not having any big tree in the surrounding area. At dusk, a big Spinosaurus appears, smelling the sweet odor of those fatty white creatures- Cornejian began shooting at the head of the Spinosaurus; soon it was blinded as a bat, and with growls it came stumbling over the lot- scrambling to all sides, they escape, while Cornejian was shooting at the legs of the Spinosaurus; soon a feet came off, and the big dinosaur drops to the ground with a mighty thud. As it was far from dead, his bellowing almost deafened Cornejian's hears, so he runs away from the beast. He found four of the white creatures, almost by chance, as he was unable to see in the dark, forgetful of the infrared goggles he could had burrowed from the Orb; so he seats among rocks, together with the four white creatures, and dozed there until dawn. He stepped cautiously to the first site as he was hearing crunching noises- and alas! He saw three big Megalosaurs festering on the flesh and hide of the Spinosaurus, that this time was certainly dead. As the Megalosaurs were dangerous carnivores, he backed up and begin searching for the rest of the herd- this he do walking by ravines and among rocks and boulders, finding seventeen others, so in total he had now but twenty one. The lost one was utterly lost, possibly being a prey of one of those three Megalosaurs. He shoot at two Megalosaurs and the white creatures eat of them in silence, as they sensed trouble, and do not want another scrambling event, so they were taking precautions. In the afternoon, Cornejian arrives to the Orb's site, with his herd. Lulu saw him from a distance, and walked slowly to meet them, not to startle the already afraid herd. "Good afternoon, Mr. Cornejian! Glad to see you again. You did bring some creatures today." "Good afternoon to you too! Yes, last night we almost serve as a dinner to a big Spinosaurus! Pity I do not carry ultraviolet goggles. Now we are here. Is Mr. Mundifico at the Orb?" "Yes, Sir. Did I call him?"- Lulu asked. "Of course, Lulu! I want him in the open, to let him see these strange creatures! "Cornejian said, and advised by Holly , who receives the message from Lulu, trough the radio, Mundifico went down he ramp, surprise in his eyes while looking at the strange creatures. "Welcome, you! I see you are hard to kill! And who are these creatures?"- Mundifico said, embracing Cornejian, much to his surprise. "Thanks you, Sir! Well, it was not a piece of cake, to survive in the Jungle! Last night we almost end on a Spinosaurus belly!"- Cornejian replied.

"Let's see! Wow, these creatures are some kind of apes! Am I not correct? - Mundifico asked. Holly, Kette and Reggie come out of the Orb, as they were hearing everything by the radio. "Nice apes! But you should see the males of this species!"- Cornejian remarked. "Big?"- Mundifico asked. "Big and mean! They attack me in sight!"- Cornejian informed him, and Mundifico looked surprised, and said:" But you shoot at them with the LASER rifle?" 'Not possible, Sir! I was devoid of everything when the raft went asunder! I defend myself with wooden lances! Not an easy thing to muster!"- Cornejian explained. Mundifico touched one of the creatures, who where as petrified as is possible, and said:" Certainly, Mr. Cornejian, you really had more skills than expected! I, by example, possibly would have drowned on that river!" "Possibly not, Sir! However, the pithiest thing is that I deprive you of a costly Synthetic! The one that you give me..."- Was saying Cornejian, but Mundifico interrupted him, saying:" Marlene." "Yes! Marlene must have been drowned at the river! I really search for her, Mr. Mundifico! However, I found no traces of her. I was thinking that perhaps she retraces the road here.- Cornejian said - as he secretly, when boarding the first time the Orb, after his adventure, looked for her in the different levels- to not avail. "Well, I have a surprise for you, Mr. Cornejian! I have it here, at the Orb! "_ Mundifico said, and Cornejian's eyes widened a trifle, and he said:" I cannot believe it! Alive?" "No, but possibly they could fix her at Earth laboratories. You see, we searched for you, when we stopped being in radio contact with Marlene- and we searched the river, found the Synthetic not functioning, and searched for you- to not avail. So we seat in here waiting for you to appear by your own foot. And you really make our day, by coming."_ Mundifico explained. 16999 -OH! She is not working?" "She is not working. Pity, she smashed her head against a log or perhaps a rock, while being dragged by the river current. We here cannot make her tick, devoid of materials and possibly skills to do the trick. But wait, and at our return to civilization, she will be revived."- Mundifico said. "I would appreciate that, you see. I grown accustomed to her near presence. She was very useful."- Cornejian said. "Of course, man! Why do you think they were created? Clever guys device them, to help a normal man attain his goals in life!"- Mundifico said, and while saying that, he realize woman of the species also should severs for the same purpose- at last, in the old days of the race it was so. "I don't know what to do with these creatures! To leave them here, when we depart, would mean they would be an easy pray for Carnivores!"- Cornejian said. "Certainly yes! Well, by now, my Synthetics will make an enclosure for them."- Mundifico said. "It's the smell of them that attracts Carnotaur."- Cornejian confided him. "Ah! Well, I will make them wash and deodorize them thoroughly. What did they eat?"Mundifico asked. "Vegetables and meat. I usually kill Celophisis for them."- Cornejian replied. "And also for you, I imagine! Or you were on pills?"- Mundifico asked.

"Not enough pills! When the raft bumped us out, pills were on my bag. Now it must be lying on the bottom of the river."- Cornejian said. "Perhaps we could retrieve it!"- Mundifico said. "I will kill those small creatures for them. With the LASER rifle, is way out easier!"Cornejian remarked. 17000 "Yes! In addition, perhaps we could go hunting together, to the Jungle! With lances!"Mundifico said, laughing. Later, Belone and Lulu made an enclosure using metal railings. The white creatures were also bathed and deodorized. The stench subdued, the danger diminishes. In the rest of the afternoon, Cornejian was at his desk, recording his adventures in a file. At dinnertime, Mundifico make his Assistants ordered to serves them food at a table outside the Orb, and wine was present for the Naturals. Mundifico rise his glass of wine, and said:" Cheers to Cornejian! Our friend, who was lost and now he has return! Long life to Cornejian!" "Hurrah!"- The rest said, and both of them drink the red wine. "Thanks you, Mr. Mundifico, and Assistants! Thanks to my blinking Star too, that I am here among you once again!"- Cornejian said, and swallows the wine at one gulp. The food was very natural from the deposit of the Orb; exquisite lamb chops with lettuce, onions, oils, potato salad, and sweet corn. "I am interested on your ability as a lancer! I wish we could go hunting tomorrow in the morning!'- Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir! We should do that, before I loose my skill."- Cornejian said. "Have you your home made lances?"- Mundifico asked him. "I have two lances- pity my bow and arrows were left behind."- Cornejian expressed. "You could make them afterwards! Two bows, as I pretend to get out from here with those new skills!"- Mundifico laughed. "And how is your mining operation, Sir? Did you find enough gold?"- Cornejian asked. "Certainly yes! In addition, in big quantities! The more we dig, the wider are the veins! I pretend to get out of here more rich than King Knapp!"- Mundifico said, swallowing a goblet of wine. "Glad to hear that! So the reparation of Marlene will mean a trifle for your pocket!'Cornejian imagined. "Oh, your mind is worried by that! No problem, Cornejian! Take my Kette for the rest of the road! I almost didn't use her nowadays."_ Mundifico said. Cornejian looked at the superb E-woman, and blushed all over- in fact, he was yearning for a woman- in this case, an E-woman would suffice. "If she doesnt mind."- Cornejian said, blushing. "Forget it, Cornejian! She doesn't mind, do you Kette?"- Mundifico asked of the E-woman. "Of course not, Mr. Cornejian! Mundifico is my master, and whatever he decides, became my will."- Kette said, smiling gently. "So be it! Kette is yours!"- Mundifico said, laughing. "But Marlene..."- Cornejian mumbled out. "Forget her! She smashed her head, and do you know what that means, in those models? That her Synthetic brain was spilled out on the river! Therefore, you have there a body that could be working only with a new positron brain! Not Marlene at all, but a new Synthetic persona!"- Mundifico explained, somewhat in a rude manner. Cornejian smiled to Kette, who seats at his side- in fact, in one of his legs- and said:" Don't you worry too much, Cornejian! You'll see I am as able as my colleague for all things you imagine!"-

"And for those that you cannot imagine, too!"- Mundifico laughed, and rising his goblet, he said:" Cheers for the marriage couple!" They all cheered up, also Mr. Cornejian, that was drinking heavily too. After the dinner, Kette went with Cornejian to his cabin, but there Cornejian sensed a different atmosphere, with the woman. He just doesnt want her near, and he felt repulsion towards her, so he said:' Please, Kette, forget about our being together." "But my master told me to be yours- at least, until the end of this voyage."- Kette said, smiling. "No, no! I do not want you near. Please, return with your master, and tell him I do not want you. "- Cornejian said, and after saying that, he felt himself relieved. The E-female went out and told what was happening to Mundifico, who said:" Well, guess the man has heart only for the damaged E-woman Marlene! " In addition, that was the end of that offering. The works at the mine keeps on redoubled; Mundifico and Cornejian worked in the organization of the mine, and were assisted by the Synthetics; four months they were working as that, and then Mundifico said:" We have enough gold to be selling; we are going back to Earth." "Great."- Cornejian said, standing on the threshold of the main cabin. "I will leave here my Synthetics- the miners. Belone in charge, and hope we could be returning soon; there had been no problems - guess they will have none during our absence."- Mundifico pondered. "And what about our creatures- the apes?"- Cornejian asked, as he was forever trying to give them enough food. "Two options: else we release them at the woods, where they soon will find a male, or we carry them to Earth. Guess they could be sold to some Zoo."- Mundifico said. "AT a Zoo, only sadness will be brought to these creatures. Better to release them."Cornejian said. "Of course. Only thing, we had feed them for nothing. "- Mundifico said. "And what do you propose?"- Cornejian asked. "To take them to Earth, of course! Properly dozed, in the pods! Perhaps they could be of service to Mankind! The scientists could study them, vaccines could be created, who knows? "- Mundifico said, but he was thinking in profits... "I guess Earth it's better for us; let us give them to science. In addition, what about the money? I brought them here."- Cornejian said, thinking about money, this time. "Half and half! You brought them here, I carry them there! "- Mundifico said. "All right, Sir. Let's do it."- Cornejian said, departing to his cabin, with a sense of having lost something- at his bed, he stared to the ceiling, and wept a little- in fact, he should had released the beasts weeks ago, and not being waiting for days on end! Now, the fate of the apes would be uncertain. In the morning, before going to the mine, he visits the white creatures; they saluted them with moans and rubbing their bodies unto him, as assuring they were his herd. Cornejian was troubled, as he wanted them to be theirs- as a herd! Later on the day, he told Mundifico:" I guess I could maintain them, now we are going to be very rich. Perhaps in an enclosure." "Yes, like a cow's herd! However, man, you cannot take the milk out of them! No wool to sell, also! Pure and simply throwing away money, and do you think they were going to be happy, in an enclosure? "- Mundifico asked him, beginning to understand the mixed feelings inside Cornejian's chest. "So, it's a silly romantic idea."- Cornejian murmured.

"Not so! You have good feelings! However, you cannot be a herdsman! Cheer up! We will depart to-day! Herd and all!"- Mundifico announced, smiling. At 22 hours, Mundifico closed the hatch, and said:" All right! Lulu is going to manage the mine, together with Belone! Reggie is going to command the Orb, together with Kette! We just watch and cross our fingers!"- Mundifico said. "And the herd?"- Cornejian asked. "Is already inside, criogenized! The dames did the trick, this afternoon. Do not worry! They will be fine!"- Mundifico said, patting his shoulder. The Orb rise from the ground, and went up to the heavens; soon it was a mere speck of light in the night. Inside, Mundifico was at the main cabin, seeing his Assistants maneuver the craft as it was expected; Reggie had the pilot's license, and Kette knew all about it, through the recording of knowledge Reggie poured beforehand into her Synthetic brain. The translation into Branas was successful; soon they were orbiting Neptune, where they made the usually revision and acceptance, after the payment of taxes for the merchandise and valuables they were carrying; for the animals, the Officer in charge said:" Must be revised in orbit, there on Earth. Communicate before arrival, or you'll be delayed with those animals on board." "All right, Sir."- Reggie said, smiling. As before, the lines of freighters made throngs around Mars and Earth- new models were in sight. "Strange and beautiful models! I wonder from where they came?"- Mundifico asked. "Let me hear... from Canopus, love. New Monte- third planet, Canopus Beta planetary system, copper, silver, uranium, dilithium crystals- herds of aknur, astarnit, cafon."- Reggie informed him. "Wonder what those are."- Mundifico asked, amused. "Cattle, my love. They are using them for to nourish troops at the fringes of Orion."- Holly said. "Don't tell me we're in another war of conquest?"- Mundifico said. "Not yet, love. But about to deploy one, and do you want to know why?"- Kette asked. "Let's hear."- Mundifico said, brazening his thoughts to it. "The Federation of planets arrives to the neighborhood of Cardassia, where they found several outposts- Military Bases in orbit- of a race of intelligent beings, called the Cardassians by the humans- his real name, unknown until now. This species are humanoids, presumably originals of B the Eagle; they pretend to have complete control over the Alfa the Eagle star system of that constellation. "- Reggie said. "How many star?- Cornejian asked. Thirty hundred thousands."- Reggie replied. "A whole lot! In addition, how many Cardassians are there? Because they should be millions!"- Mundifico asked. "Nobody knows for sure- at least, not the common people- I am searching in those sources where a common citizen could dig!"- Reggie explained. "And - are we in a war?"- Cornejian asked. "Not yet, but casualties had been made- possibly in both sides."- Reggie informed. "Should be fine to be there."- Mundifico said. 'Too dangerous!"- Cornejian snapped up. Chapter 9. Visiting Earth with simian specimens.

At the Chicago Spaceport, the Control Tower said, by radio:" Authorization at Pole 20 for two days. Not more delay allowed, because our saturation point here is being reached." "All right."- Reggie replied, and turning to Mundifico, she said:" Sorry, darling, but too many spaceships and the place is almost full.""Of course. Call the Wonorb Industries; ask them for more drills."_ Mundifico said. "And they'll ask for more money, honey."- Reggie said. "Of course; give it to them, after we sold our cargo."- Mundifico stated. "I'll trade it in a second- there are many investors waiting."- Reggie said. "That's good news!"- Mundifico said, laughing happily. "And what about Marlene?- Cornejian remembered. "Of course! Call the Cullin Works! They'll know how to handle this."- Mundifico said, an hour after this conversation. The vehicle from that company arrives soon afterwards, and three persons approach the hatch, and Reggie went out to receive them- she saw one Natural and Two Synthetics; the Natural said:" We come to see our For Rent Model number BBC3900s. Is it here?" "Yes, here it is. Come in, if you please."- Reggie said politely, while she was interchanging information with the two others, who in three seconds already knew much of what had happened with model BBC3900s - or Marlene. The Synthetics observe how Reggie and Kette bring out of the coffin the rests of Marlene, with half of his head missing, and bruising all over. The Natural sniffed and said: "Well, let's take an examination, please!" The other two scanned the remnants with some instruments, and after the usual examination in these cases, the senior said:" Sir, this model has no repair; the client has misused it." "Very well, then; take it away."- The man in charge said, and departed from there; at the hatch, Reggie asked him:" Are you going to repair or what, Mister?" "It's beyond repair. Call the Central in ten minutes; the answer will be ready at that time." "All right."_ Reggie said, smiling, seeing how they climb a vehicle, carrying the remnants in a bag, and departed swiftly out of the Cosmodrome. "Mundifico, my love, the remnants of Marlene has departed, along with the people of Cullin Works."- Reggie said to Mundifico, at his cabin. "Did Mr. Cornejian saw it?" "No, darling! He was at his cabin, as usual at this time of the day."- Reggie replied him. "Very well, I don't want to hurt his feelings more than necessary. And it has repair, didn't it?"- Mundifico said. "No, darling. The technicians told me it beyond repair. With those new models pouring from the mass production line, I am not surprised this model, for them, is worthless."Reggie said. "Very well, then. What are we going to do with Mr. Cornejian? He is waiting her Marlene back!"- Mundifico said. "Rent another for him! Simple as that- only, perhaps they are going to charge you some amount, for the wreckage of the precedent model."- Reggie stated. "Very well, darling, go and fix the problem yourself! I will pay, but also, had you sold the merchandise we brought here?"- Mundifico said, remembering the hard times he passed through, the first time he sold gold in person. "The gold is already sold, dear! The clients will arrive soon; they are going to arrive here at thirteen hours sharp; with some acids."- She said. "Why, acids?"- Mundifico asked, worrying a trifle.

"Because nowadays the synthetic gold is being made by bombardment of protons unto a previously treated element! However, it differs from the original gold, of course. There are methods to differentiate them! In addition, don't you worry about that, darling! Our gold is one hundred per cent original!"- She said, kissing him lightly on a cheek. Therefore, it was; the clients arrives, tested the gold with scanners and acids, and then they paid, carrying the gold with several guards who were called when departing. This exchange of gold for Credits was legalized when declaring the transaction; a huge amount went to the government, but there was nothing else to do. "Pity the law permits these excesses."- Mundifico said, while revising the holo projections where the transaction was in black and red. "I called the Cullin Works, darling. They are going to ask you a quarter of the price of that model Mr. Cornejian were so fond of. "- Holly said. "And how much is that?"- Mundifico asked, with a hoarse voice- he did not want to loose money so easily. "Just 30.000 Credits, darling! And that, because I rent another model; the same series that the former Marlene; and I will give all my memories to the new model, in fact, we all are going to lend her the modus operandi the last one has ! So, I guess Mr. Cornejian could believe her old Marlene is back."- Reggie said. "Tell him they repair it! In that way, he will be happier."- Mundifico said, smiling- and in that way it was donned. Cornejian receives the new model at 22 hours sharp, with a new dress, and the same kind of hair-do. "My Marlene! How could I repay to you this happiness I am feeling?"- Cornejian asks of Mundifico. "Just smiling and being your own self!"- The owner of the Orb said, with moist eyes- he understand the person, as he was also in love with Synthetic women himself! At the other day, Reggie received three propositions for the creatures, after she projects some holograms to the interested people- the three of them were Researching teams from Laboratories; the Zoos hardly responded, as they said they had many specimens and scant funds. She went to Mundifico at noon, saying:' We have but twelve hours to decide about the white creatures; we could sell them to Laboratories; the Zoos aren't interested in them." Mundifico looked worried, and said:" For what? For experimentation? Vivisection and the like?" "I don't think they are going to vivisect them! But indeed, they would make them suffer."She said. "And how many money did they offer?"- Mundifico said. "I wanted 40.000 credits for each one, 840.000 in all, but they are offering five thousand credits for each one, 105.000 for the whole lot."- Reggie said. "Too small a quantity! Guess we'll be going back with them."- Mundifico said. "And if we offer the lot to a Zoo, in 105.000?"- Reggie asked him. "Yes, do that. At a Zoo, they protect the specimens; they did not experiment with them. Better treatment, also."- Mundifico said. "All right, let me see if we hook somebody."- She said, kissing him in his cheek, and departed. "Wish we could buy clothes, dear."- Holly said, at his side - as Mundifico was in bed, listening Mozart. "Of course, dear! Let us see... twelve hours with twelve minutes! We can do it. Dress yourself properly, while I take a shower."- He said, jumping out of the bed. Reggie sent again the holographic videos, and the new price- this time he receives two offers, so she called the Managers right away; one of them was willing to pay with a delay

of fifteen days; the other offered to pay immediately. She chooses the last one, and said:" You must come to the Cosmodrome before midnight, or we'll go- we cannot stay a minute more that hour." They accepted, and paid the price, at Mundifico's account. He called Cornejian, and said:" I will go shopping, with Holly. Want to come?""Of course, Sir! My girl wants new clothes."- He replied, and soon they were traveling to the city, in a Flier taxi. "Nice to be here, no? But too little time to enjoy the city."- Cornejian said. "Of course! Chicago is a busy place; I 'm thinking about a trip to Chile, again; that place is a lot less complicated, less people everywhere."- Mundifico said. "All the while, there are lots of them."- Cornejian smiled. "Yes! However, here, it is pandemonium! - Mundifico signaled with his index finger out of the plexi-glass: throngs of vehicles, big and small, were traveling by different altitudes, in long lines that crisscrossed the city. "This part of the Earth was a big Empire, they say."- Cornejian commented. "Yes! The United States of America, but they called America! It rules the world from 1945 to 2012; a rich country it was."- Holly said. "And still is."- Marlene said, smiling from the back seat- at her side, the happy Cornejian kissed her smooth cheek with proud. "We'll be visiting downtown Chicago, driver. See you let us near some big Mall."Mundifico said to the driver, who had received, previously, a general address. "Fine, Sir. Two minutes for the arrival. Nice weather, to-day.- The built-in driver said, through a speaker. At the Orb, Reggie was already receiving the visit from the Zoo: a pair of Synthetics with a large vehicle, who was already parked alongside the ramp. "I had them awake already; they are shy- primates from the forest."- She told them, and they herded the animals down the ramp, using ropes. When they were all packed inside the not too wide vehicle, 9390, the driver, said:" All right, Lady; thanks for your help, and good flight." "Thanks you!- She said, smiling, and saw how the wagon went out of sight, sorting the number of spaceships parked there, and she called Holly, saying:' The animals are already sold; tell our Master about this, but take care with Cornejian, who is very attached with them." "Why, did he mate with some of them?"- Holly asked by the radio. "Who knows? So many days on the forest, could had happened something between them! Mammals need to relax, from time to time, doing sex. Even the tamest of them!"- Reggie said. "Of course.- Holly replied, and as Cornejian was busy buying clothes for "Marlene", she takes Mundifico by the right hand, and said:" Dear! I have news from the Orb! The animals are already sold and delivered!" "Fine! Another solved problem! Tell Reggie I'm satisfied with her behavior."- Mundifico said, and then he bought many dresses, for his three E-females. From there, they went to a good Restaurant, where the Naturals eat fresh food - they were delighted with it and the wine; they danced until the 23 hours, and went back to the Orb in time to the take-off. While they were ascending to the Heavens, Mundifico said:" A nice trip, this one. But Reggie, please let's us go to Chile; I want to enjoy some more this visit to planet Earth." "As you command, dear."- Reggie said, and shifted direction, heading for the South American cities; in twenty minutes, they were being accepted at the Santiago's Spaceport, pole 320.

"See? No problems to park here."- Reggie laughed, after the landing. "I expect happiness!- Mundifico said, caressing her leg. "You'll have plenty of happiness, dear! We are going to give you Heaven."-Holly said, at his side. "No limit of time?"- Mundifico said, kissing her cheek. "No limit."- Holly replied, laughing. They asked for a flier taxi, and they traveled downtown; at a crowded street, he saw a picture of a big sandwich, and said:" Looks yummy." "It's a Completo, Sir."- Cornejian said, smiling." It is a hot dog plus tomato, chucrukt (boiled and chopped cabbage, some sliced onion, some parsley, and on top the mayonnaise and if you want, some chili or ketchup sauce." "Sounds good."- Mundifico said, and he went in the joint; soon he was eating and sweating in the heat of the place, with a cold beer in front of him; the mixture of the "completo" plus the beer, made him happy, in a strange way, he begin realizing this was to be alive! "It feels good, eh?"- Cornejian said, while munching. "Yeah, it feels... happy."- Mundifico said; others were also eating the same sandwich, or with some slight differences: instead of the mayonnaise, smashed avocado with salt and no cabbage, but double portion of tomato. Others were eating strange named sandwich, as the Barros Luco and the Barros Jarpa; the Barros Luco was barbecued cheese with green beans, and the Barros Jarpa was a sandwich where barbecued steak were below hot cheese. The general clientele were in a happy mood, with plenty of smiles and occasionally laughter; suddenly and coming from the street, a couple of singers come in; one of them with a guitar and the other singing in Castellan (Spanish); they sing three songs and people gives them some coins; Mundifico gives them ten Credits, and the bowed unto him, saying " Gracias, amigo. (Thanks, friend). They went out, after the meal was over, and the women were laughing and trying to look as happy as possible; they walked and then they found a hill. "Fine hill they have, in the middle of a city!"- Mundifico said, looking at the very tamed place, as gardens were everywhere, with paths of white sand; statues and flowers everywhere; they went up the hill; no more than a hundred meters high. From the top, they could walk around a paved square, looking at the tall buildings that were in all directions; the air was clean, and the sunrays made the windows shine as silver metal. "Fine city! In addition, fine weather, too. "- Mundifico said. "And the winters are mild."- Reggie said, as she was digging into the Tourist Guideradioed by several Tourist Agencies, to help Synthetics explain details to tourists visiting Santiago de Chile. They seated on some benches, and enjoyed the weather for two hours; then they descended, and Reggie, who, like the other Synthetics, knew now where to go, said:" We could climb another bigger hill, the San Cristobal. We could go up in a funicular railway, or in the Telesferic." (Small vehicles hanging from cables that could go up the hill and back). "Of course! Let's see it all!"-Mundifico said, as he was in the mood. They went up in a small Funicular, cracking and making noises, up almost to the top; the height this time was more than tree hundred meters, and from the summit, where a statue was placed, they could see kilometers away, in all directions - only that to the East, the bigger mountains of the Andes were looking at them from superior heights- they looked blue in the distance, with patches of white snow. The river Mapocho was also in sight, like a streak of silver going to the West- the sea, at 110 kilometers away.

"Fine! I see it all! Now, let's see if we could sleep in a good Hotel!"- Mundifico said, and Reggie informed him about places and prices; he choose a three star's Hotel, and they booked at the Alfredonius Hotel, next to another hill, this one called the "Blanco" (White), as it was formed with white lava, now covered in patches with gardens. There they slept, in different suites; Cornejian with his beloved "Marlene", and Mundifico with his three E-females... At the next day, Reggie said, while they were eating breakfast:" We could go skiing.""Skiing? I don't know how to ski."- Mundifico said. "It's easy! And there are snowboards and other ways to enjoy the snow."- Reggie remarked. "Well, you must have special cloth, to be there. Expensive one."- Cornejian said, who was not willing to be chilling up there in the Andes. "I guess I'll go. And you, Cornejian?"- Mundifico asked him. "Not me, thank you, Sir. I went there once, and I catch a cold, and also, my bones were aching for a week afterwards!"- Cornejian almost trembled. "Reggie: ask for clothes, and we are going there."_ Mundifico decided; and three hours later, with the proper equipment, and renting a flier taxi, he was traveling with ReggieHolly and Kette remained at the suite- and at his suite, Cornejian remained with his "Marlene"... Up there at "La Parva", they enjoyed all day long, descending in snowboards, and looking at the white and blue landscape. In the evening, they descended with their equipment aboard the taxi flier, and when arriving to the Alfredonius Hotel, Mundifico visits Cornejian, and said:" No cold, no aches whatsoever! You should had been unprepared, my friend!" "Perhaps! This skiing thing is a rich man's sport! "- Rumbled Mr. Cornejian. "All right! Are you going to dance, or what?"- Mundifico asked him "No, please no! I will stay put - in here. Plenty of things to read."- Cornejian said, as he was glued to the Holographic visor, when not making love to his "Marlene". "As you wish, old boy! Tally ho!"- Mundifico said, and went out of the Hotel with Reggie at his heels; they went to dance at a superb luxurious Restaurant, and they return at five in the morning. "The master enjoyed the dancing! He is very glad to be here."- Reggie said to the other Synthetics. "He is a man who enjoyed life! So many other people, with means, they ignore the sports, ignore the dancing, and stay abstracted in their own private worlds."- Holly said. At the next morning, Mundifico had a cold, and takes some pills, but his nose refuse to get well in so short a time; so he went to visit some Malls, where things from the worlds of the Federation could be bought- or see. There, with only Holly at his side, he bought several items, mainly holographic visors and recorders; also, some old crystals, with information on literature from Beta Reticule. They return to the suite of the Hotel, and Cornejian was waiting at the receiving room; he said:" Sir, I had found an interesting person; this gentleman also said there are indications to follow the curse where to find our ancestors." "Pardon me, Mr. Cornejian! I am born at Oredloro city, another Branas, and you are telling me you find our common ancestors? I doubt it!"- Mundifico said, seating at an armchair, and signaling Cornejian to seat in the next one; the Synthetic females gets busy around them. "As I said! We on Earth were created by the Anunnaki, a race of beings presumable from a rogue planet, called Nibiru."- Cornejian said; Mundifico gives him a stare, and said:" Old tale for me, Mr. Cornejian! I know all about it."

"Yes, but what you not know, is what Mr. Uriangobo told me by the Interholonet! He said he has the clue of from where the Homo sapiens come to be!"- Cornejian said, and signaled to the Holovideo projector. "OH. Well, I guess this is news for me."- Mundifico said, sipping a glass of cherry fruit, that Reggie puts it on his right hand. "Let me show you! Here I have this crystal, a record of course; and let's see Mr. Uriangobo tell his story."- Cornejian said, while the recorder begins to show some kind of a program; sound and sight was already set. A man appears in the middle of the circle, of course in virtual reality, saying:" I am Uriangobo, son of Merei and Lacia, both from Nigeria in Africa. I am a Negro person, who is about to tell you a secret." After the man dissolves in thin air, a map appears, with mountains peaks and river beds; the voice of Uriangobo son of Merei said:" Now, we are looking at Ur; not Ur of to-day, where tourists swarms the whole place, but as it looked like thousands of years ago, when the waters of the Persian Gulf was near the Ziggurat. As you can see now, the Ziggurat has several dozen meters high, with a platform on top; very appropriate to let aerial vehicles land there, without taking care of the people that lives at its feet. It was there that the Anunnaki, in their flying smaller machines, could land and take off, not mingling too much with the populace several dozen meters below; from the thousands of Lulus or Servants, just a few could stand in front of them: they were called the Priests. " "I know all of this!"- Mundifico said, yawning. "Pay attention! He is going to be brief!"- Cornejian said, and they keep on looking and hearing at the projection. "But this scene is for your enlightenment: humans as you are seeing now, serving those bigger extra terrestrial humanoids, weren't there when, thousands of years previously, the Anunnaki descended from the Heavens, or outer space. They come here to dig for metals; then they get bored of that, and created a new species from an old existing one: from the Homo Erectus, they made Homo Sapiens."- The voice of Uriangobo said, while the scenes were graphically explaining his words. "I know that too!"- Mundifico yawned again. "Homo Sapiens serve them until they leave the planet Earth; they went to his home planet, bored to be living among people they cannot fully understand. They leave no clues, as they were a race of distrustful people; knowing the number of Anunnaki would be never as big as the Humans from Earth, they did not want to open a door to be invaded, centuries after they departure." At the scene, the fleet of the Anunnaki leaves Earth, and the lights of their vessels dimmed in the distance. The figure of Uriangobo appears again in the center of the holographic projection, by saying:" And now, a surprise! One of the Anunnaki, probably a child, leaves behind a detailed map of the stars, showing their goal: a star I know the name, the distance is known, but nobody has been there, due to some particulars that star had." And the holographic projection ends there. Cornejian stands up again, takes the crystal in his hand, and then puts it on one of his pockets, saying:" See, Mr. Mundifico? We are about to rise the veil, so to speak, of one of the greatest mysteries of all times!" "Are we?- Mundifico sipped some more of the juice. "I beg of you to do it! See, could be many earnings in this voyage! Imagine this: the Anunnaki was already an old race of beings, tired perhaps of living, thousands upon thousands of years ago; now they must be dead as a race! Like fossils! However, provided they were civilized, they must have lived in cities; think about that! Cities abandoned by them, rising from the ground as the pyramids! "- Cornejian said.

"And what about that? Some more relics to be seen?"- Mundifico said. "And you could own the place, a tourist heaven! You could collect money from it! "Cornejian said. "More than with gold mines? I doubt it!"- Mundifico said, while Reggie smiled at him. "But the gold mines are not going to give you honor and glory!- Cornejian said. "Right."- Mundifico mumbled. "I could call Mr. Uriangobo; he could explain some more."- Cornejian said, seeing he was not raising the interest out of his chief. "Do it. Always is good to hear about stories of ancient kingdoms lost in the past."Mundifico said, and went to his bedroom. Cornejian called Uriangobo, and explained the situation; Uriangobo said:" I will be please to show your boss all of my findings! Seems to be a nice person." "Yes, he is! Only, he is a little spoiled, with all his possessions. - Cornejian explained him. At the next day, while Mundifico was still at bed, Mr. Cornejian and Mr. Uriangobo appears at the suite, saying to Reggie, who was there to open the door:" Good morning, Miss Reggie! Is our friend Mundifico still in bed?" "He is already working at his desk! Do you want to speak to him?"- Reggie asked. "Yes! Tell him I brought Mr. Uriangobo, please."- Cornejian said. "All right. Please, be seated."_ Reggie said, signaling at the armchairs. Mundifico opens an eye, and said:" What do you want, Reggie?" "It's Mr. Cornejian with that person, at the receiving room! They want to speak with you."Reggie said. "Oh, that Nigger! Well, I will be taking a shower, first. Tell them to wait."- Mundifico said, and went to the shower room; there, with the aid of Holly and Kette, he takes a warm shower, then they dressed him, and after some perfume, he arrives to the receiving room, saying:" Welcome, Mr. Cornejian; and I assume you are Mr. Uriagobo?" "Uriangobo, Sir. Yes, thanks you."- Uriangobo said, standing from the armchair; he was a fat Negro man, 1.70 Mt. In height. "Of course. I am bad for the names. And you believe you know the whereabouts of the Creators, isn't it?"- Mundifico said, while he seats at another armchair. "Yes, Sir! I have here some crystals; in them, I show how the trip could be donned, and what we could expect. This, if you are interested; and it will take small time of your life, Mr. Mundifico! Just a couple of months! And the glory and the honor for you, the rest of man's history!"- Uriangobo said. "Honor and glory, good pair of words! I have been thinking; of course, I must collect some things first, in another planet; and from there, to see - to peek at your discovery; yes, it can be donned."- Mundifico said. "See, Mr. Cornejian? Your boss is an intelligent person!"- Uriangobo said, triumphal. "Let's see if he goes through this!" - Cornejian said, doubtful. Mundifico bought some extra food to carry on the Orb, and two days later, he departed, with Mr. Uriangobo and his daughter Arikan, who was also a very learned woman. "Where to, Master?"- Reggie asked, smiling. "To the Aurean Planet."- Mundifico said. "Wish we could learn they still are at it."- She said, crossing his fingers. "That's why I want to be there first; then to explore what Mr. Uriangobo announced."Mundifico replied. "His sister is very good looking."- Reggie said. "But black. I don't like black people."- Mundifico said, seated at his chair at the Main Cabin. "In oldest times, you would have been cataloged as a racist."- Reggie said.

"Yeah, perhaps!- Mundifico said.'- But not at my world; Knappian people are all alike.""In Earth several different kinds of species seems to have tampered with, and so there are three main races: black, yellow and white. Some others added red and brown."- Reggie said, as she had all the information in her database, contrary to Mundifico, who was knowing as little as at Oredloro teach students at High School. "Knapp has different species: we the humans, the race of men-dogs, the bird-like people, the fish people. In addition, who knows how many others! My world isn't fully explored, notwithstanding we think we are equals to the Earthian civilization."- Mundifico said. "At Earth there were some other species, like the Cro -Magnons, the Australopithecine, the Neanderthals, and the Homo Erectus. All of them are extinct."- Reggie said. "Why, too many wars?"- Mundifico smiled, as he knew about the warrior-like the Earthman was. "Apart from wars, some big Flood happened some ten thousand years Before the Common Era and lots of species died; before that, another cataclysm ends with the life of the Dinosaurs."- Reggie informed him. "An old planet, Earth seems to be."-Mundifico said, thinking that time had a lot to do with so many extinction. "Life is threatened all over the Universe; an exploding sun could wipe us out in this very moment, who knows?- Reggie said, looking at the controls- the traffic was heavy at that hour- thousands of spacecraft were traveling slow, in long lines of bright spaceships. Mundifico yawned and went to sleep at his bed until dinner time; then he call all hands to the dinner table, as usual when beginning a trip, and said:" Soon we'll be out of the Solar System and we'll be speeding up to our destination.""And are we going somewhere else first?"- Uriangobo asked. "Yes. I have some workers at a mine, and it's of the utmost importance that I supervise those works, that are the basis of my wealth."_ Mundifico said. "Seems you are very wealthy, Mr. Mundifico."- Uriangobo expressed. "Not as much as I would want! For to be raiding this spaceship and making this long flights, I must be very rich, or else I would be marooning on some planet for ever more! "_ Mundifico explained the guy. "Your vessel it's very beautiful, Mr. Mundifico! I always dreamed about being in one of this Orbs."- Arikan said, looking at Mundifico with sparkling eyes. "I had donned my best, in order to maintain the ship as new. Not always very easy, as I use it as a cargo ship when coming to the civilization."- Mundifico said. Arikan smiled sweetly to him, with bright eyes; she was young: 27 years old, as his father recently said. "You'll like "Aurean"; it's a good planet, where animal has not owners; they run free by the savannas."- Mundifico said, eating some of his smashed potatoes and steak. "Oh! That is wonderful! I had always lived at a great city, and I missed the real forest."Arikan said, showing her white teeth behind a full pair of lips. "She studied at the Santos Dumont University! She received herself as a Psychiatrist."His father said. "I must congratulate you! A good element, if we find the Anunnaki; I am sure she will understand their way of thinking in a trifle."- ' Mundifico said, smiling, yawning. "Our Host seems tired, my daughter. Let us retire to our cabin.- Uriangobo said, frowning at him. "Good night Mr. Mundifico! Nice dreams!"- She said, smiling, retiring from the dinning room. "She desires you!"- Holly said to Mundifico. "Nonsense! How do you possibly know that?"- He asked, smiling ruefully.

"My sensors, dear! They indicate the heart beat in an altered rhythm, every time she looked at you with those misty eyes! And the sweating of certain parts of the body, the heat at the tits..."- Holly laughed. "Do you think it's funny?"- Mundifico asked her. "Of course, dear! She could act polite, but if we were in a jungle, she would have jumped on you!"- Holly said. "But she knows we are engaged- all of you with me!"- Mundifico said. "You deluded yourself, my love! We are not of your species; we are not really here."- Holly said. "I am seeing you."- Mundifico pointed a finger on her. "Not the mere appearance! She is alive, and his body is a billion cells traveling through her body, or staying there to give her the presence! A brain of a mammal with the knowledge of being alive! Perhaps you should take her in this trip, my love. It would release her tensions, and you will change your habitudes for a while."- Holly suggested him. "No and no! They are black people! I am white! I will not have brown babies- or perhaps downright black!"- Mundifico said, notwithstanding the fact he was aroused by the female. "It's up to you, Dear! But I tell you: your motivations have little credit, as the color means nothing if you are just having sex with her; and secondly, to have a baby requires several conditions; and I tell you: she could have sex now, and until five days in the future, no need of contraceptive whatsoever! So you must get hurry, if you want to have it.- Holly said. "I did not want, dear! I prefer to be with you."- He said, and went to his cabin, to rest a while more. Two hours later, Reggie wakes him up, saying:' Dear, Holly wants to speak to you." "Fine. Where is she?"- Mundifico said, half-sleepy. "At the main cabin."- Reggie said, helping him with the tunic and the pair of shoes; he went with that on by the corridor, and when at the main cabin, he saw a body lying on the floor. "What is this? Who is him?"- He asked, approaching. "He is your guest, Mr. Uriangobo; he was at the controls, trying to change the route! I was making some adjustments at aft, when I saw some indicators blinking; when arriving here, he was there- and she pointed to the main computer controls- fumbling with the guidance system." "You kill him?"- Mundifico said, leaning close to the body. "No, of course not! I just give him a light electrical shock. Soon he will regain conscience."Holly said. "Very well donned, Holly. You save the day. And now, ladies tied him up; and then, carry him to a pod; I want him in deep sleep the rest of the voyage."- Mundifico said. "What are we going to do with his daughter?- Holly asked, while complying with the orders. "Is she in this, too?"- Mundifico slowly enraging himself. "No, dear. She is asleep."- Reggie said.'" I personally sedate her with a mild drug.""Fine, fine. Take the both of them to the pods! No wake up for them until we get back to Earth. "- Mundifico said. "But, dear! She has nothing to do with the tampering of the controls!"- Reggie said. "Yes, but she is the daughter of this man; so we are going to take no chances._ Mundifico said, seating at his post, and waited until the orders were accomplished. Then, he said:' Guess we are in the right track?" "Yes, darling! He made some deviations that are now corrected; nothing serious."- Holly remarked.

"Fine. I lost my sleep. Let's talk."- Mundifico said, trying to control his nerves. He was there for three hours, and then he went to sleep; Reggie said:" The master was upset; next time we should be wary of the visits he gets inside the Orb." "Yes; he was too much confident; Mr. Uriangobo probably has other intentions, apart to serve as a guide to the Anunnaki whereabouts."- Holly said. 17001 Chapter 10. Back to Aurean planet. Two months later, they were descending on Aurean planet's surface, near the gold mine; Reggie said:" Lulu and Belone are saluting us, dear!" "Fine! Happy to know they are in good shape! Salute them in my name!"- Mundifico smiled, from his seat. "They said gold has still being dug in nice quantities; the refinement is still under way. The number of kilos is a secret until you arrive."- Reggie said. "Fine, I dig it."- Mundifico said. "We are about to land in three minutes, dear. Strap to your seat."- Reggie asked of him. "Strapping."- Mundifico smiled; and while doing so, he was looking by his visor, how the place was approaching fast. The Orb made a nice turn, and landed without a thud on the surface; the hatch was opened, and Holly went out, patrolling the surrounding area with a LASER rifle; he find nothing dangerous; only a pair of vegetarian Paralophosaurus and a couple of pteranodon flying some fifty meters away. "You can descend now, darling."- Reggie said when Holly gives him the advice. "Fine it is! Let's go to see the workers at the mine; I'm anxious to see them."- Mundifico said. They walked, fully armed, and they arrive to the mine just in time to see how the big workers lined themselves out of it; the shiny bodies now were dirty with the dust of the mine; they looked at Mundifico and the two girls with their unblinking eyes. "Hi, men! Good to see you again! "- Mundifico greeted them. "We have a lot of gold for you, Sir."_ Lulu said. "And it is refined and ready to pack."- Belone said, smiling. "Fine, fine! I expected no less of you! We will have a day's rest, to talk about the mining experiences. "- Mundifico said; and Lulu takes him to see the interior of the mine, using special lenses; the cave was now several kilometers long, and in three different directions; the ceiling was high, as the workers were also high in height. "Looks very roughed, in here."- Mundifico said, looking at the walls. "Of course, Sir! No need to reinforce the tunnels; the rock is hard."- Belone said. They arrive to the end of each tunnel, where the machines were lying in rest; some rocks were showing the gold at the walls. "Nice color, that gold!"- Mundifico said, touching the vein. When seeing the refined gold that was in the form of a coiled cable he said:" And this is excellent! How many kilograms we had in here?" "380 kilos, Sir. And 103 kilos of silver."- Lulu replied, showing him the bars of silver on a hollow that was located to a side of the entrance. "Copper?" "3902 kilos, Sir. In a cave, next to here; we don't want to let this valuable on the open, for precautions."- Belone said.

"Nice thinking. Well, as I said, let's have a talk together."- Mundifico said, and he seats on a rock, near the miners, with the smaller Synthetics around; Holly went to the Orb, saying:" Better one of us is in the Orb, just in case.""Thanks, Holly.- Mundifico said." Well, men, I pretend to dig for a lot of gold, here. Your bodies will be repaired, if some accident occurs; do not worry about that. I don't dump down my Synthetics- I just sold them out!"- And saying that, he laughed, remembering the number of E-females he had sold. "We should leave your team working here, with Mr. Lulu or Mr. Belone in command, and went to see if the legend of the Anunnaki is correct."- Cornejian said. "Of course. Perhaps I'll do that."- Mundifico said. "Nothing to loose, anyway! You have already fuel to went there and return!- Belone said. "Yes, but we have the pods occupied with a couple of persons that shouldn't be there! In addition, I cannot arrive to the Nibiru planet with them on board! Think what those evolutes people could say! That I am being a kidnapper of something worse! So I should leave them here."- Mundifico said. "Not in the mine, Sir! They could command your servants."- Cornejian said. "Then where? I cannot leave them at the forest! They would be eaten in a blink of an eye!- Mundifico shuddered, when remembering those big brutes. "Why not at the walled city? They could be safe, in there! Perhaps they could be in prison for a while, but then, better in prison than in some dinosaur's belly!"- Cornejian said. "It sounds too harsh, for me. Their skin color- they would be burning at a stake soon! All right! Then, Lulu and you are going to be in charge of the miners. I will go with Mr. Cornejian and the ladies to the Nibiru planet, or whichever name the original planet of the Anunnaki is."- Mundifico said, and then he added:" Miners of my Golden planet: take care nothing bad happens; I will return soon." "Yes, master."- They all reply in unison, cracking some stones with their hands of steel... But later, when dinner time arrives, and Mundifico was seated at his post at the main cabin, he said:" Cornejian believe the best course of action is to leave the visits on the walled city. I guess it is safer for them, to be in some island. Perhaps in island dinosaurs thrive in less numbers.""We could provide them with some weapons, love."- Reggie said, studying the star mapsshe was devising a course to arrive where the Anunnaki supposedly lives. "Weapons- to be used against us, if we dare to return there? Not too smart, my friend."Mundifico said. "Better than to seat here idling, my love."- Reggie said, looking at him. "Yes, guess you are right. Search for a well sized island, in the temperate zone; I will give them small arms, and some food. Perhaps I also pick them up, at my return."- Mundifico sighed. "That's better."- Holly said, standing next to him, and caressing his temples with soft fingers. At dawn of the next day, Reggie takes off and departed for the temperate zone; they circled a big island, and soon Holly said:" Guess there is no doubt the north zone it is the best for them- forests and wide beaches. They will be fine, if fruit trees are in that area." "I will land- we are going to search for those trees."- Reggie said, and soon the Orb was standing next to a forest; she and Kette went out, fully armed, and begin exploring the vicinity. Two hours later, they return, saying:" It's a nice place for them to stay; at first, of course, it will be tough for them- but soon they will adapt." "Wake them up and carry them outside the Orb. I'll talk to them by a loudspeaker." The process takes five hours; gently, the bodies regain conscience, and soon they were seated outside the orb, next to some bags with LASER weapons and vitamin pills.

"Mr. Uriangobo, Miss Arikan: this is Mundifico speaking to you. I will depart now, as I have something to do; soon I will return to this same spot, and carry you away; but as for now, you will be on your own." Uriangobo looked at the shining Orb next to him, and spat to the floor; the woman just stared at the orb, perhaps not fully aware of what those words means to them. "Reggie, let's get out of here, before I repent and take those two inside.- Mundifico said, while Cornejian looked stern. Once in an orbit, Reggie said:" There are general indications, my love, of how to arrive to Nibiru; but I am sure the sensors will do the rest: when close to those worlds, we will be able to receive radio emissions, or perhaps television communications, who knows? ""Yes! In all of these years, the Anunnaki could have devised a better way to communicate, and our receivers will be not able to decode it."- Mundifico said, trusting more in his eyes than in radio emissions. "We are going back to Branas One, where the Solar System has its abiding place. That could take two months, as conditions vary. Perhaps you two could better sleep the entire process, so your brains and life span could be spared of deterioration."- Holly recommended. "For me, it will be fine. Not too much fun in these four walls."- Mundifico said. Cornejian also accepted, and four hours later, they were sleeping at the same pods where Uriangobo and Arikan were. 17002 Chapter 11. At Chi1ORI Planetary System Reggie guided the Orb to the place where the jump to the other Branas was easier, and soon they appeared near the Constellation of Orion. "Now we must search for Nibiru."- Reggie sighed. "It's in the constellation we are now: ..."- Holly said. "I think this is will be easy; we must hear a radio wave, and that will be enough."- Kette said. "Provided they are using radio waves, and they live to emit them."- Reggie said, while searching for a signal- in fact, he found several radio emissions, but they were from exploratory spaceships from the Solar System, that were searching for valuables among the thousand planets in the vicinity; but no extraterrestrial signs of emissions were present. After two weeks of listening without success, when they were near Chi1ORI, Holly said:" Wait a minute! There is a faint signal - and it comes from planet five!" "Yes, there is a weak signal there. Must be a beacon of some sort- too faint to be new; perhaps an old one, from some expedition old forgotten. "- Holly said, listening to the garble; it made no sense, and Reggie said:" Whoever heard this faint signal in the past, must have think the same as we: that is an old smashed radio emitter , left there who knows when; but we are searching for something almost impossible, and this signal is our goal. Please be seated, strap to your seats, because I am going down." Soon the orb soars towards a distant star system; in eight days, they were reaching the last of the five worlds; the signal was coming from the second next to the star. "Constitution of the planet: Terraformed. We are being lucky, women! Perhaps we could wake up our Master and his friend now."- Holly said.

"Not now! They could be very disappointed, when seeing there is no more than rocks and a wrecked ship in that world; wait until we had confirmation."- Reggie begged of them, and they listened. 17003 Chapter 12. The fifth planet "And are we going down in this fifth planet? Perhaps we should scan the whole planet before going into the inner ones."- Kette said. "All right; this will cost us four days."- Reggie said, and soon they were looking at some buildings, at the equator of that planet; the star rays feebly arrive, and all had a grayish color. "Must be a Base of some sort; perhaps we should visit it."- Reggie said. "I volunteer."- Holly said, smiling; but only when the whole planet was in data films was when they descended. "Two kilometers from the buildings; a promenade."- Holly said, and descended by the ramp- the terrain was flat and as she walked, a faint trail of dust was being left behind, product of her footsteps. Over her head, the stars were shining, but not in too many quantities; the star system was near a chasm. When arriving near the building, Holly calls her companions, and said:' It is huge, and there is a door opened. I will get inside by that." "Is there someone to greet you?"- Reggie asked, worryingly. "I 'm utterly alone, by the moment."- Said she, and soon he was stepping inside the big building; it was a square one kilometer wide and three hundred meters high; when touching the surface, Holly realize it was some kind of plastic, but resembling the surrounding terrain. Inside, a great hall, connected with the rest of the Pantagruel -like building through a series of corridors and stairwells; also some huge elevators; she try one of them, and there was no power. She visited 398 rooms, at different levels, finding many articles and furniture; she also found many dusty bones, but when trying to raise one of those, it turns into dust in her very hands. Thanks to her vision she was able to see, as there was almost no light; her suit has the upper part with some refracting substance, that emitted a faint green luminosity, and that was enough for her to see as clear as at midday. "Nothing yet."- By her radio, she told to the group at the Orb. "Keep looking. It must be something useful."- Kette said, chuckling- she was sure something of use could be found- her master was always searching for valuables... Holly indeed saw several big machines, attached to cannons; possibly a way to dissuade incoming enemies to the system, but now utterly out of order. Holly went back to the Orb, saying:" There is nobody inside. Yes, it was a post, but now it's abandon." "Then, our hops are with that signal at the Second Planet."- Reggie commented. "Yes, you can swear it. It seems the time of the Anunnaki is over."- Holly said, undressing from the spatial suit she used while out of the Orb. "Let's record what you saw inside that building- put it on the Orb's database, for further use."- Reggie asked. They left the fifth planet, and they traveled right to the second planet, not to loose any more time.

The Second planet was guarded by several machines in orbit- fifteen small discs and three vessels with the form of a lentil. "Here we must wake up our Master and Mr. Cornejian, without delay."- Holly asked. After being awaken, Mundifico was surprised to see himself already on the second planet of the star system, instead of to be awakened before the entrance of any of them. "Why do you wait so long to wake us up?"- He demanded. "It was my idea, darling- I thought it was better for your health. For five months, we had been traveling in this star system, practically finding nothing. It is now that we find life."Reggie explained. "It sounds convincing."- Cornejian said. Mundifico slowly accepted it, but in his inner, self decided that, for the next time, he would be giving specific orders about cryiogenization. The planet has gravity of .7; less than in Earth. Reggie has already communicated with the people in charge, and they had located the language as a known one. Somebody called Saracen authorized them to land on the surface, at a specific location. "The people of the spaceships had authorized us to land, dear. But in only one place."Reggie said. "In Where, specifically?" Mundifico asked. "Coordinates are showing us the path to the Equator; I had scanned the place already; near a mountain, in front of a river. The place is in summer, now. Temperature 22 degrees Centigrade at midday, ten at midnight."- Reggie informed him. "Nice weather, it seems. Let's go there."- Mundifico said, strapping at his seat; Cornejian and the rest did the same at their places. The Orb descended fast, and soon they were landing; next to them, a huge platform rise some hundred meters to the sky; the length was of three kilometers. "Breathable atmosphere, darling. You can come out without spatial uniform."- Holly said, after a look at the indicators. "Wow. You are learning how to read things, up here."- Cornejian said. "I must! So many months without my love, I did my best to learn things here."- Holly said, smiling. As we know, her brain was not designed to be of a scientific kind, but the woman has her potentials, too. They descended, and at two hundred meters, a building stands without windows of any kind; a wide gate was opened, and from there came forty small entities, dressed in gray garments. Mundifico said:" Cornejian, we are going together this time; Holly, you come with me. The rest of the ladies must remain in here." "Do you want a weapon, dear?"- Reggie asked him. "No, I don't want any weapon with me; there must be several scanning hardware in here; possibly we would not be allowed to enter the place with a gun in our hands."- Mundifico replied. They went out by the ramp, and he was startled, when seeing the strange faces of the small people. "The masters want to know what your business here is."- One of the small entities said, in plain Interlingua. "We want to meet the Creators, the Anunnaki. We are from Earth."- Cornejian takes the question for himself. "They don't receive visitors since the great Depression. "- Another small being said, with a monotonous voice. "We aren't visitors; we are their child."- Cornejian said, thinking that probably the Anunnaki were hearing the conversation.

"Wait."- Another one said, and suddenly they made a corridor with their bodies, while one of them added:" You can come in; they accepted you but beware: the Masters will grant ten minutes for your visit; then you must go." "It is all right."- Cornejian said, thinking he was right about the hearing of the conversation by the "masters". The interior of the building has a temperature of 20 degrees Centigrade; a small robotic entity of one meter and forty centimeters high were posted in every corridor, with no apparent weapon- but Cornejian was certain they should have one, perhaps inserted on their dresses. At last, they enter into a gloomy room; at the end of it, a row of seats were occupied by five giant humanoids, robbed in long dresses, with different caps each one- the light was dim; the small entities stands between them and the Giants, as if protecting the "masters", and in the still of the room. Mundifico said:" Mundifico from planet Knapp; and this is my assistant, Mr. Cornejian from Earth planet." They were standing in front of those beings; puny things they resembled- seated, the Giants towered more than a meter on them. The first giant from the left said:" Knapp; a planet we do not know. The planet Earth, which is known to us." His voice was grave and resounded with dignity on that chamber's walls. 17003 Cornejian said: "We are in debt with your race. We were animals when you meet us and human beings when you departed." "That is a fact. Of course, none of us in this room has anything to do with it. The designers are already dead."- The Second Giant on the left said. Having study a lot about the theme, in Biology, Cornejian said:" By 3 million years ago, and through a combination of the processes discussed in his due time, at least three clearly recognized species of protohominids were in place in East Africa. These were Homo Africanus, Homo Boisei, and Homo Robustus. Also at that time, the omnivorous Homo Habilis, the first true hominid, had clearly emerged from a division of species that also gave rise to two vegetarian man-apes. The grasslands expanded slowly; early hominids moved through a mosaic of grasslands and forests. These creatures, with brains proportionately only slightly larger than chimpanzees', were already walking upright and probably carrying food and tools between patches of forest which they continued to exploit for tubers and insects. Their arms were proportionately longer than ours, and they possessed a more powerful grasping hand. The evolution to upright posture and the initial expansion into a grassland niche had occurred earlier, between 9 and 5 million years ago. Unfortunately, we lack fossil evidence for this earlier transition. The hominids likely expanded their original diet of fruit and small animal kills by including underground roots, tubers, and corms. A simple digging stick would allow access to this previously untapped food source. Modern baboons on the Savannah subsist largely on grass corms during certain seasons. Chimpanzees add substantial amounts of beans to their diet when they venture onto the Savannah. Both baboons and chimpanzees hunt cooperatively and prey on small animals. They do not generally use tools in hunting, however, and there is no evidence that early hominids did either. Among chimps, baboons, and hominids, hunting appears to be a male activity. Early hominids hunted both cooperatively and alone. With Homo Habilis began a sudden and mysterious expansion of brain size. Homo habilis's brain weighed an average 770 grams (27. 5 ounces), compared with 530 grams (19 ounces) for competing hominids. The next two and a quarter million years brought an

unusually rapid evolution in brain size and complexity. By 750,000 to 1.1 million years ago, a new hominid type, Homo erectus, was widespread. The brain size of this new hominid was 900 to 1100 grams (2 to 2.4 pounds). Evidence is good that Homo erectus used tools and possessed some sort of rudimentary culture. At Choukoutien Cave in South Africa, there is good evidence of fire use along with burnt bones indicating the cooking of meat. These are attributed to Homo erectus, which was the earliest hominid to leave Africa, a million or so years ago. Older theories suggested that modern humans evolved from Homo erectus in different locales. Increasingly, however, modern evolutionary primatologists accept the notion that modern Homo sapiens also arose in Africa, some 100,000 years ago, and made a second great outward migration from there to people the entire planet. At Border Cave and the Klasies River Mouth Cave in South Africa, there is evidence of the earliest modern Homo sapiens living in a mixed forest and grassland environment. In one of many .attempts to understand this momentous transition. All of this is studied at our schools and Universities."The face of the first Anunnaki, who said his name was Kirio, remained unaltered; his eyes slowly turns unto them both, and said:" You are our creation; our creation are you. Why do you want to know more about your inception as a new race? Are you not satisfied with what you obtained, through chance and our science?" "The theory of Evolution ends with the tale of Creation, who was taught to the western civilization for more than two thousand years."- Cornejian said. - "But there are many who think Evolution also was debunked when the Sumerian clay tablets were deciphered and translated. Now we all know that a race of beings landed on Earth and after some thousands of years, decided to genetically engineered a new kind of animal, one who could think and obey, in order to work for them. And we think you are those who were at our planet, not more than nine thousand years ago."The second giant man seated said:" That we know; the last remain of our race departed nine thousand years ago from your planet- but we left Watchers there, to guide you in the path of peace. They inform us from time to time; and they had donned a good job." "There are so many questions you could answer to us! Things we had being puzzled for so many centuries; and the most important of all is..."- Was Cornejian saying and the third man said:" Life. Life is the most important issue- not death. Death is the end of all things, the great dissolvent. The adventure of life ends with a final act we call death. However, is just an absence of life, nothing much to think about that. There is no life eternal, not here nor in the corner of the Universe. The ultimate goal of living things is to live; it is obtained for a while, and then it dissolves in its constituents. Everything is changing, from stars to the tiniest life form available. All dissolves into nothing and the whole Cosmos will end some day, leaving not even a memory of it." "Not a happy tale, isn't it? Truth seldom is a happy tale. So went back to Earth, or whichever planet you come from, and enjoy your days. It's the best advice we could give you."- The first giant man said, looking at them with their grave eyes. Cornejian was feeling himself very emotional; in front of him, he was seeing his fathers, the race of giants who once gives an enormous push to the evolution in Man. They went out, guided by some Grays (or Watchers), and soon they were at the entrance to the Orb, while the wind blows along deserted streets. "Not much of this great civilization was left for us to see. A pity; what we are seeing here is a mere cadaver."- Mundifico sneered. "Who knows? This race once made a great gesture, in our planet; perhaps those few that remains could made another gesture, and save themselves from oblivion."- Cornejian said, still thinking about the words those beings told them.

17004 Chapter 13. The colonization of Aurean planet. Mundifico went back to Aurean planet, with mixed feelings; the Anunnaki did exist, did tampered the human genome (in fact, the Homo erectus genome), and they were indifferent to the world, as it seemed. 'They are rather indifferent.'- He told Cornejian. "Guess you're right. However, come to think of it, they are not sixty years old fellows; they could be 3.000 years old! So what do you want, to find excited young fellows jumping about Humans visiting them? They knew almost everything it must be known, and more. We are like babies, to them."- Cornejian said. "I doubt they could live so long!- Mundifico said. "Don't doubt it! We, of Earth, already could live three hundred years, provided we do not suffer a physical attack, or an air crash. The biologist had promised us they are going to end giving us a life span of five thousand years! Of course, in the far future; same must happened with the Anunnaki; remember they are a very old species."- Cornejian lectured him. "All right! We, in Knapp, do not know too much about this thing. "- Mundifico acknowledged... "Two months to Aurean, dear. Don't you go to sleep, better? Not much to see inside the Orb."- Reggie asked. "Oh, the long sleep! Guess you're right; but this time, don't wait for events to awake me; just awake me when at the sight of the Aurean planetary system, dear."- Mundifico said, turning his head to look at her. "Of course, dear, don't you worry about that? I know now that you don't want to be patronized."- Reggie smiled gently. "I love to see the planetary systems when arriving from deep space; it has an enigmatic quality."- Mundifico said, and Cornejian was of the same appreciation. Four hours later, they went inside the pods, and Reggie said:" The Naturals are asleep now. The ship is ours." "It is always ours! They don't know how to drive it."- Holly said. "Tell the gray to come out.- Reggie said, from the control room; Holly opened one of the storage chambers, and out come the alien, walking stiffly- he resembled a marshmallowhis body was kind of inflated. "Are the humans asleep?"- He asked, using a mental projection that was traduced as a radio wave, capable of to be "heard" by all the Synthetics aboard the space ship. "Of course! They don't like your species."- Reggie remarked. "Why do you want to know where the Aurean planet is?- Holly asked him, who was a meter and a half in height. "The masters want it; for me it's the desire to serve my masters that makes me wish to arrive there."- The alien said, standing upright. "Your race is not human."- Kette said, by radio - she was at the locks. "My race was genetically engineered by the masters; same as the Humans."- The gray said. "Ha, ha! You are not equal to a human. You are inferior."- Holly said. "We serve different purposes."- The Gray said, looking with his black eyes to the Ewoman.

"Different purposes? They are free. You seem to be guided by the masters- and totally ignorant of what is freedom."- Holly said, crossing her arms in front of her breasts. "I will not talk anymore." - The Gray said, and indeed, he said not another word. Reggie said:" We accepted them just because the Orb was being grounded by a Track Beam from the Anunnaki! If we didn't comply with the order, the humans would have been kept in prison for ever, at that planet."- Reggie said. "We did the correct thing, but now we are free of the promise."- Holly said, looking deviously in the alien's direction. "The Anunnaki are a race bound to die; we have no need to comply with them; let's see if this alien could understand it."- Reggie said, and producing a LASER pistol, discharged two shots full charge unto the alien's chest; a hole was produced, and smoke broke loose from the interior; a smell of barbecue filled the chamber, and the Gray went to the floor as a sack full of potatoes. "End of transmissions."- Holly said, chuckling. "Fine. Take him and throw it to the exterior. We didn't need him here."- Reggie said, looking at Kette. "All right; let's heave him out."- She said, and with Holly, they obeyed the order. Later, Holly said:" It was a good idea to resemble a pack of lambs, before the powerful but half crazy Anunnaki.""And we take as much information from them as we could; hearing the orders by the radio waves, we are able to give our master a lot of information now.- Reggie remarked. "Do you think we are being tracked?"- Kette asked. "As far as our long range radar is able to track, there is nothing following us; of course, if the Anunnaki are capable of wonderful feast of ingenuity, some gadget could be following us now."- Reggie said. "Or could be attached to the ship, too."- Kette said. "Of course; before we arrives to the Aurean planetary system, we are going to pay a visit to the outer hull, with instruments; we cannot delay our position to people who wrecked the Earth when they could."- Reggie said, seating at the control chair. For a month and three weeks they traveled, plus the passing from one Branas to the other; they also went outside not one but five times, searching for devices inserted on the hull, but they didn't find any; so they wake the Naturals and when they were in a position to talk, Reggie said:" Darling, how do you feel?" "Like new, darling."- Mundifico said, but in reality, he was feeling rather awful; Reggie was looking not only his appearance but sensing his heart beat, body heat, and several items more; so she handled him a glass of medicine, saying:" Take this, dear; it help you through this stance." "All right; I cannot lie to you, did I?"- He smiled, and drinks; almost immediately, he felt his pains went away; in fact, they were hidden to the brain, and nothing else. "We had news, darling."- Reggie said, looking at him; Cornejian, who was in another couch, said:" News about the Orb?" "Not the Orb; but about the Anunnaki; they ask us to accept an alien presence here on the spaceship, or else you would had never be able to escape from that planet, so we accepted."- Reggie said. "No big deal, then; where is he?- Mundifico asked her. "Not here now, darling! We get ride of him several weeks ago; in deep space; so if he was calling his masters, he couldn't radioed our destiny - not properly, at the least."- Reggie said. "Did you - kill him?"- Cornejian asked, not believing it.

"Yes, as he was nothing more than a robotoid- perhaps with some organic parts, but mainly, a robotic entity; we have no problems with the termination of those individuals."Holly said, proudly. "Well, a problem you solved by yourselves; good! I promise I will take you out to dance, when we have a chance."- Mundifico said. "Thanks you, darling! Possibly we will be dancing soon- in front of us it's the Aurean planetary system, as we call it; and from here to our destiny, it's just two days elapsing time- we are traveling top speed, darling."_ Reggie said. "Did you call our men in the Aurean planet?"- Cornejian asked her. "Yes; the reply will come out very soon; several minutes are necessary for the responsewe have some million billion kilometers to travel yet."- Kette said, from the radio console. "Hope things are all right there."- Mundifico said, crossing two fingers... Minutes later, the response was received, and Reggie said:" Good news, darling; they are saying all is well there." "Fine. Tell them how much we are going to delay, and salute the guys for me."- Mundifico said. "All right, darling."- Kette said, smiling. They were radioing from the Orb's transmitter, as their personal built-in system was not capable of to send enough strong those radio signals. Soon the fifth planet was on the rear; the fourth planet's orbit was ahead; the passing increased the velocity over the fifth planet, so they were really soaring to the inner circle. Cornejian went to his cabin with the smiling Marlene II, and did not show up until they were circling the Aurean planet, that was the second from the star Aureo. "Are we arriving now?"- Cornejian asked, coming from the corridor with his E-women by the hand. "Yes, and you better strap to your seat; as we are going to descend in five minutes time."Reggie recommended him. "Beautiful planet, indeed! Not as beautiful as Earth, but worthwhile looking."- Cornejian said, as the Aurean planet has fewer quantities of oceans than the aforementioned planet. 17005 Chapter 14. Aurean Planet Gargoin Deros, Safety. They crossed the clouds, and descended near the mining camp; Mundifico sent Kette and Holly down, to see if there were some dangerous beast, and soon Lulu went up, saying:" Hello, Sir! I am happy you are back." "Same thing here, Lulu! All things working properly or there are some problems?" -Mundifico asked him. "Three of the last miners are out of order, Sir. They aren't so well built as the first ones; perhaps the price they cost has something to do with it."- Lulu informed. "Oh, yeah? It was your idea, remember it."- Mundifico said. "Of course, my fault, Sir, entirely my fault, Sir. Two of them broke their waists, and the other broke an arm and the hand of the other side; the rest are in good working order."Lulu said. "Storage them on some hold, and strap it with care; we are going to be complaining to the manufacturers of it; possibly we are going to get new models."- Mundifico said, and asked

Holly for advice , who said: There are some persons who knows how to prevent accidents. Do you want someone at Lulus place? Yes, send the man here.- Mundifico said. Soon he was looking at a small man, dressed in a yellow suit. I am Gargoin Derios, Your Majesty! I had several degrees in Safety on the mines; I am sure I could be of help here. Fine! I will appoint you Security Manager of the mines right away, but see you dont disappoint me, or youll end in jail.- Mundifico said. Dont you worry about my skills, Your Majesty! I am going to establish a safe and healthful working environment, because that will be good for everyone, be a Natural or a Synthetic person. Nobody wants to see a worker hurt on the job, but you cant assure it wont happen if you dont take steps to prevent it. The entire work force from the owner to the most recent hire must recognize that worker safety and health is a core value and is central to the mission and key to the profitability of the mining company. You certainly wants to offer leadership and encouragement to workers and employers to help them fulfill this responsibility. I am sure you and King Lulu wants to help small mine operators and their employees focus on reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities and to in-crease their commitment to improved safety and health. I will help with this effort by creating the Small Mines Office to help you provide a safety and health program tailored to fit your mines that will reduce the chances of incidents that cause injury and illnesses. Then, we can help small mine operators and others through a variety of tools, including partnerships, compliance assistance, education, training and outreach. Safety is good business. mining companies have realized a cost savings of 3C to 10C for every Credit invested in their safety and health program. You seem, Your Majesty, the right thing to do, and doing it right pays off in lower costs, increased productivity, and higher employee morale. Protecting workers makes good business sense, because injuries are more expensive than many realize. Also, Sir, I dont accept threats- my work will be out of it, or Ill quit right away. I see. Jail will be out of the Contract.- Mundifico said, looking at the small energetic man. And some numbers, Your Majesty: to recent information, a workplace death can cost more than 1 million Credits and the average estimated cost of a lost-time injury is 29,000 Credits. Substantial savings in workers compensation and lost work-days are possible when injuries and ill-nesses decline. In addition, as an employer, you have a duty to protect your workers from injury and illness on the job no matter you have a lot more Synthetics, you will end saving money just the same. All right, you continued compliance with rules will help. Additionally, an effective voluntary safety and health program can reduce your costs by preventing injury and illness from occurring.- Mundifico said. I plan that systematically focuses on the specific workplace hazards at your mine is critical. From the owner and every employee is essential. Everyone has to work at safety and health. Each safety and health program should be tailored to fit the company, to blend with its unique operations and culture, and to help employers maintain a system that continually addresses work-place hazards. here are five elements I reduce employee injuries and illnesses repairs are costly.- Derios said. Of course.- Mundifico replied. A every effective program should have: management leadership and employee participation, workplace analysis, hazard prevention and control, safety and health training and education, and program evaluation. Big mine compliance assistance specialist can help start. Employers and employees work together on safety and health issues. For example, this partnership can be achieved when you: Post the companys written safety

and health policy for all to see Involve employees in policy and decision making on safety and health issues Take an active part in safety activities !- Derios said, addressing King Lulu. Of course.- Lulu said, amused at the vehemence of the little man. Hold meetings that focus on employee safety and health Abide by all safety and health rules Show your commitment by investing in your safety and health program A worksite analysis means that you and your employees analyze your worksite conditions to identify and eliminate existing or potential hazards. his should be done on a regular and timely basis. here should be an up to date hazard analysis for the jobs at your mine that your employees know and understand. o do this, it is helpful to: Request a site visit from the Small Mine Office Become aware of hazards in your industry Encourage employees to report work-place hazards Review your worksite examination re-cords Have trained personnel conduct inspections of the worksite and correct hazards Ensure that any changes in process or new high-hazard facilities are re-viewed by a competent person Seek assistance from safety and health experts The next part of a good safety and health program is your continual re-view of your work environment and work practices to control or prevent workplace hazards. - Derios said. Well, Mr. Derios: This can be done when you Regularly and thoroughly maintain equipment Make sure that employees know how to use and maintain personal protective equipment and understand why it is provided Ensure that all employees understand the reasons for safe work procedures and follow them It is important that everyone at the mine be properly trained- Mundifico said. Of course, Your Majesty! It is from the miners up to the supervisors, managers, contractors, and part-time and temporary employees.- Derios said. Whats a worksite analysis and how often should I command to do it?- King Lulu asked him. After I identify hazards at the mines, I will prevent or control them.- Derio said. And he finds that the mine drainage waters were among the most acidic and metalrich and high to extreme concentrations of iron, aluminum, copper, zinc, arsenic, and other metals; this, because the acidic, metal-rich nature of the waters is a predictable consequence of the deposit's geologic and geochemical characteristics. Prior to mineralization, the volcanic dome rocks that host the deposit were intensely altered by highly acidic volcanic gas condensates. Sulfide-rich mineral assemblages containing pyrite, enargite, chalcopyrite, and other minerals were subsequently deposited in the altered host rocks by hydrothermal fluids. Open-pit mining exposed large volumes of previously unoxidized sulfides to weathering. Acid-mine drainage with high concentrations of metals forms by the reactions of these previously unoxidized sulfides with oxygenated groundwaters. Further, the highly altered host rocks have very little capacity to react with and consume the acid generated by sulfide oxidation, thereby providing little or no mitigation of the acid drainage. Evaporation further increases the concentrations of acid and metals in waters draining mine dumps and open-pit waters. Soluble salts such as chalcanthite (a copper sulfate), jarosite (a potassium-iron sulfate), and halotrichite (an iron-aluminum sulfate) form by the extreme evaporation of acid waters during dry periods; dissolution of these salts during snowmelt or summer storm events leads to the transient release of even more acidic and metal-rich water pulses from the site . So, Derios called on King Lulu, saying: The backfilling and capping of the open pit will help reduce acid drainage by reducing water- and snow-catchment and by decreasing the amounts of exposed sulfides and soluble salts. However, some level of acid discharge will likely continue from the site. Significant volumes of unweathered

sulfides and soluble salts are dispersed throughout the site on roadways, in soils, and in other surficial materials. These solids are a long-term source of metals and acid that will be difficult to remediate. Very well, and what do you suggest?- King Lulu asked him, by the Holographic Projector. A plug on the adit (located 150 feet above and 2400 feet north of the adit) failed and began leaking acidic, metal-rich waters into the river. Although it is currently being re-plugged, the leak underscores the fact that it is difficult to prevent leakage of groundwaters from a highly fractured and mined mountain. The plugging of the adit also resulted in the predictable reactivation of acid seeps and springs that had drained the site prior to underground mining; these natural seeps had left behind extensive, mappable deposits of brown iron hydroxide minerals. Long-term leakage of acid groundwaters from these natural discharge points is unavoidable.- Derios said. I guess our small city must be moved from the current position.- King Lulu said. Yes, King Lulu: studies show that the severe acid drainage problems at the site may have actually helped mitigate the effects of accidental cyanide releases. Experiments in which heap leach solutions were mixed with acid-drainage waters from the site indicate that metal-cyanide complexes in the heap leach solutions react readily with acid in the drainage waters to form hydrogen cyanide, which then volatilizes into the atmosphere.- Derios said. We have scant atmosphere here.- Lulu said. The golden mine produce tons of gold and silver, megatons of copper- all of it were carried on board of the Orb to be sold, and Mundifico returns to Earth with those riches; soon he was complaining to the Cullin Works, and they replaced the faulty miners with new ones, of the same type. 17006 Chapter 15. At EARTH Cornejian went again to have some days of luxury at a fashion's hotel, and Mundifico with his Synthetics people went again to a Mediterranean Hotel, where all kind of exotic meals he tasted - now he had lots of money to expend. But some nights they communicate with the absent, through the holocomputers, and Cornejian said:" How are your days there at the Mediterranean, Sir?" "Bright and shiny! And your days at downtown hotels?"- Mundifico asked, while smiling. "Hot and very humid, Sir! Nice meals! I am sure I will be four kilos overweight, when returning to the Orb."- Cornejian said. "Yes; now we are working on that, Cornejian: we are declaring the whole system as under my administration; an Adelantado."- Mundifico said. "Nice idea, Sir! And in time, too. There are many frauds going along in deep space; the News is always telling one case or other. "- Cornejian said. "Yes, that is why I'm doing this; one day a bunch of spaceships could descend from the sky, saying they own the planet- and we would loose whole and pieces."- Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir. Count with me for anything you need."- Cornejian said, looking his companions undressed under a sweet music, at his suite. Mundifico was excited, and said:" We are going to do this seriously! Holly! Hire some Synthetics and we will study the matter with them. I must be remembered as they remember Rixia of Knapp, and declare that system to the Federation of Planets; make

some inquiries and payments if necessary, and obtain the administration of it, with whatever the title they want to give me."- Mundifico said to his women. Soon the contacts were made, and an appointment was settled; Mundifico dressed himself as an executive and with Kette, he went to the Ministry of Interplanetary Economy. An Usher opened the door for them, in the long corridor, Section Ministry of Lands and Planets; saying:" Mr. Peacock will attend you, Sir." "Thanks."- Mundifico said, walking inside the room; another man, dressed in blue garments, greeted him with a handshake; there was a burning smell in the room, almost unbearable. "As your Assistant Miss Kette already told me, you have a whole planetary system, located in the Second Branas that you want to inscribe under your Administration?"- Mr. Peacock asked mildly, while he signaled to a pair of chairs to be used by Mundifico and Kette. "Yes, of course I want that! Miss Kette, here with me, must have already provided the technical data. Am I wrong?"- Mundifico asked. "You aren't. It's all in the Ministry Databank and in here."- And Mr. Peacock touches his own head- possibly where the databank of his Synthetic "persona" was "Your demand is processing this very minute; the technical data was provided by your Miss Kette. In addition, let us continue. Your find is in Branas Two, coordinates jdi00ks - xis29029, at 932 parsecs from this office; or Earth. It has five planets, a star class S...; and you want it all at your name, Mr. Mundifico?"- Mr. Peacock asked again. "Yes. I discovered it, and I own some buildings at the second planet there- as things are going good, I pretend to expand to the other planet as well."- Mundifico said. "Explain to me, what do you understand by expand, Sir.'- Mr. Peacock asked, leaning forwards on his chair. His eyes were black but of course, they were synthetic. "Well, build some more buildings, perhaps hire some personnel: not only Synthetic people, but also Naturals as well."- Mundifico said, coughing- the air was stale in there. "I understand. Regulation Number 0341 stated that: To be able to ask for a title of appropriation, a person must be a natural, with more than twenty nine years old, if he is a male, and only twenty five if she is a female."- Mr. Peacock enumerated. "I guess it's my personal description: I am more than twenty nine, and I am a male."Mundifico said. "Yes, you apply in Section A. Section B says you must had never been in prison; I checked the files, and you had never been in one; so you must either be a law abiding person, or someone who has nothing evil in your past. Am I correct?"- The interviewer asked. "You are correct; nothing to blame I."- Mundifico said, wishing there were not too many scanners pointing in his direction. "Then, you must have either one spaceship or a title of Captain of one. Here in your file I could read you have a spaceship- an Orb OH-2. So far so good- and, of course, you are entitled to be the Administrator while you are not indicted of a crime or crimes. You must not reject colons if they are previously approved by the Central Government - taken in consideration that you also will be the Governor of the colony or colonies that may be formed at the planet - or planets - in question.' "I have no problems with that. If the Central Government approves someone or something, its fine with me- but of course I expect to be given the news first. Or they could be dumped without me knowing it?"- Mundifico asked. "Oh, they will ask you first, Mr. Mundifico! Provided you are approved first."- Chuckled Mr. Peacock, mimicking very well the small laugh of a human being. 17019

"And I will be the rightful Governor?" "Governor, Administrator, whatever you want to call you, and your Assistants! Of course, the Central Government of the Federation of Planets could send there a supervisor; allowed to ask you about the Administration and able to hear and record what the colons could complain about you, then, he has no power or right, to judge you or your Associated and Assistants, but will inform the central Authorities ; if proved important enough, a team with full authorizations will be sent and there you'll be under their command- if needed be , your Administration over the planet, or planets, will cease to exist." "And I'll loose all my belongings and the work I had donned?"- Mundifico was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the whole idea. "No need to, Mr. Mundifico! You'll retain your buildings and properties to some extent."Mr. Peacock said. "I find it acceptable, none the less. When will I be notified, for a yes or a no?" "Now, of course, Mr. Mundifico! Your body has already been scanned- you are in good health, except for some piles you have. I recommend you to extirpate them before 17020 you leave for your star system- by the way, we need a name, for it we could name it by the coordinates- in fact, those are necessary- ; but for a public name, you must search for a nominative."- Mr. Peacock said. "I am calling the star system as "Aurean, and I guess the second planet will be named as "Aureo", that means gold, or yellow, by the Greeks."- Mundifico said. "Very well, let's name it as you said."- Mr. Peacock said, inscribing the name in the database, using his radio wave emissions to communicate- no papers were used anymore. Mundifico was very happy. Instead of a lot of delays and waiting before Institutional doors, he was going to leave with a Mandate at the first trying! Unbeknownst to him, Kette had provided a lot more information about him before the audience- the spaceship he owned, the Naturals and the Synthetic personnel under his command, what was he had obtained in Planet Aurean, also the quantities in investments, and estimations on plans for the future- that last, obtained by recorded conversations. "Here you have a crystal with all your prerogatives as well as your obligations and dutiesIn here you'll find, also, valuable information about what to do in any probable case; how to design a practical city, sewers, communication centers, and how to deploy a garrisonthis also very useful in your case, that you'll have in your hands not only a planet, but five of them!"- Mr. Peackok said, looking at him with compassion, as seeing him getting a real big bundle of problems in a voluntary way. Mundifico come out of the Ministry building almost in ecstasies; he garbled about administration, garrisons, spaceship fleets, and titles - lot of titles for himself and his hypothetical greater natural assistants. At the Hotel, Mundifico called Mr. Cornejian and said:" Why don't you come here, Mr. Cornejian? You can carry whichever your fancy wants; we need to talk." "Of course, Mr. Mundifico: just give me the proper address and I will be there as fast as I could"- Cornejian replied, always trying to make the best of impressions to his chief. "How soon is that?" "A couple of hours, Mr. Mundifico!"- Cornejian replied. "Right. I'll wait you at sixteen hours sharp."- Mundifico said, and gives him the address. Cornejian looked at his two companions at the swimming pool, and said:" I must go now; please tell Administration that I want my bill- I must go in a hurry." "All right, dear!"- The blonde-haired person said, and by radio, she informed Administration Center that this client was going to leave the premises and wanted the bill.

When Cornejian arrives to his suite, his valises were already next to the door, and a nice E-woman was inside, with a small card recorder, saying:" Leaving us, Mr. Cornejian?" "Oh! Yes, I guess I must do it; business calls me somewhere else!"- Cornejian said; he inserted his card, the debt was paid, and so he added:" I need a taxi flier." "There are several waiting at the platform, Sir. Permit me to accompany you."- The woman said, taking the valises as it were feathers. In scant five minutes alter, Cornejian was already seated inside a taxi flier, valises on the back of the vehicle, and giving the necessary instructions, to the built-in driver, who said, after hearing it:' Eighteen minutes to arrival point, Sir. Lot of traffic to-day." "Drive carefully."- Cornejian asked- he already had suffered nightmares, remembering some of these fast flights on hurried taxi-fliers... Eighteen minutes later, he descended on the terrace of the hotel "Flower bed", and a swarm of Attendants led him, carrying his valises, and welcomed him to the Hotel. "Lead me to Mr. Mundifico; he's waiting."- Cornejian said to the nearest one of them; in haste, they guided him, and when inside the suite, Mundifico said:" How are you, friend?" "Fine, Sir. And you?"- Cornejian replied, politely. "Excited! I receive the affidavit! I'm the Governor of the Aurean Star System!"- Mundifico announced, happily. Cornejian embraced him briefly, saying:" Congratulations, Sir! Nobody could take away your mines, now." "Thanks. We must work out all of the Administration, titles in charge of every aspect of a colony. Also, a small but deadly fleet to protect our borders is needed."- Mundifico said. Cornejian looked at the ceiling, and said:' We havent had problems until now, Sir.' "Yes. In addition, I will not wait until they present themselves without being prepared to resist.'- Mundifico said. Firmly. "May I ask- when do you pretend to start the whole operation, Sir?"- Cornejian asked. "As soon as it's possible! I already rent the suit next door- there are nice E-women here, Mr. Cornejian, and you will not regret to have come.- Mundifico said, patting his left shoulder in a paternal way. Reggie was commissioned in all respect pertaining to the future of the colony. Kette about the Fight Squadron and Holly attends Mr. Mundifico welfare... A year of buying and selling, a year making contracts, gives Mundifico the first town in his dominion by the stars. "Your fleet had increased, my love! Seven new crafts: perhaps you could fly in one."- Holly told him, as they lie in bed- the time was 23:02 hours. "Yes, but I have a lot of work to do."- Mundifico said, thinking in the chores of the future day. "You have several clever persons in key positions! Synthetic people that will not betray you, ever!"- Holly said, kissing her hear. "Yes, I assume that. Come, let's turn off the light."- Mundifico said = she, of course, was able to see in the dark... At the next morning, Mundifico went to the huge but almost deserted landing ground, and climbed in the new "Nimbus 17", a new fighter, made in Oredloro. He often bought his spaceships there, as he was attached to his home world, and was known there by the government- the people that were coming to Aurean planet were all Knappian. "Good morning, Governor Mundifico! Glad to see you." Pilot Eforn said, and it was a Synthetic Person, as everyone else at the Fighter Space ship. "Thanks and likewise! Well, are you acquainted with this new vessel?"- Mundifico asked him.

"Yes, Sir. Totally acquainted; I have the full data already running in my memory banks! Eforn said. 17024 "Tell me about the flight plan."- Mundifico asked. "We depart from here; in orbit, in four minutes. A race starts after some orbits - that depends of the Captain- to the third planet (Aurean Three); we are going to be orbiting there to see the planet's surface, and then we come back."- Eforn said, looking at his seven Assistants, already seated at their posts. "I accept it! Third hasn't enough air to breath- we can look at the surface with impunity."Mundifico said, looking at Holly. He had Reggie and Kette at their posts, at the new citynow he only had Holly to accompany him. The fighter takes off and soon it was orbiting Aurean planet- several satellites were there also, serving military or civilian purposes. They passed near the Orbiting Station, from where they salute the Governor. "Seventy people lives there, my love- half of them are Naturals."- Holly remembered him. "Yes; good wages are earn there, that's why Naturals prefer this job."- Mundifico said. "Naturals tend to visit their home planets in his first years here."- Holly remembered that bit of data for him. "Yeah! And some times they didn't stop until they bring here the whole family members."Mundifico laughed. They circles Aurean; the two big continents were there to see- be it with the telescopes , or by ultraviolet lenses, when the clouds get in between- some ships were seeing in the second Ocean, through the telescope. "Abandoning orbit, Sir. Heading for planet Three."- Pilot Eforn said, and they all feel the thrust of the engines while accelerating full speed. 17025 Aurean was being left behind- Mundifico saw it receding through one of this small visors. "We had no garrison at Three."- Mundifico said. "But we surveyed daily, Sir. No alien space ship had trespassed our fringes."- Pilot Eforn said. "Have you been at the Military Base of Fifth? I had not visited it since I lay the first stone of the first Garrison."- Mundifico commented. "It's fully operational- five Hunters and the Cruiser are there stationed, Sir."- Pilot Eforn said. "The Cruiser is beautiful."- Holly reminded. "Yes; must be so! Cost me a lot of money."- Mundifico said, remembering he obtained it from the Royal Knappian Starfleet- with installments. "That Cruiser is manned eighty per cent by Naturals from the planet Knapp."- Pilot Eforn said. 17026 "Reliable people."- Mundifico said. "Your people."- Holly remarked. Mundifico asked how much time for Three to be close by, and as the pilot replied they were arriving there in three hours elapsed time, he went to sleep at a cabin, with Holly at her side. By radio, Holly said:" Sweet dreams for our master! Pity we cannot do such things.""Don't blame yourself: Naturals wants it like this."- Pilot Eforn said. When at the side of the Orbiting Station, the fastenings secure the Orb to the small forty rooms Station- inside; Naturals were excited to know the Administrator of the System was going to visit them.

Mundifico was awaken, and they were already parked; he enters the Orbital Station through a pneumatic tube, and he was received by Sirvan Muruga (the Commander) and five other Naturals. "Welcome to the Orbital Station of planet Three, Mr. Administrator! Hope your stay here will please you."- The Commander said, handshaking him in the manner of Earthlings. "Thanks you! I am also happy to be here, and I salute you all. This is my fiance Miss Kette, and here is the Captain of the new spaceship Nimbus, made at Oredloro. Mundifico presented his accompaniment. "Welcome, too. Please, let us go to the main room, that is, the mess room, where we had prepared something special for you."- The commander of the Station said. "Glad to be here."- Mundifico, very pleased with the deference they were showing unto him. "I see all is clean and modern. How the systems are functioning?"- Mundifico said, a while later. "Fine, of course! Some minor details now and then, but we have plenty of supplies and spare parts."- Commander Sirvan Muruga said. "Yes, dear! You bought recently a huge quantity of supplies. More than the ten per cent of this year's revenues."- Kette provides him with the necessary information, as usual. The table has some Oredlorian fruits and beverages, plus the most common vitamin pills. "We had deployed some shuttle crafts to the surface of planet Three. There are several mining operations under way."- Commander Sirvan informed. "Yes, dear: Three mining fields are already in function- seventy miners and twenty Synthetic personnel are working there."- Kette said. "Iron and aluminum in abundance. Soon you will need bigger cargo spaceships to carry it to Knapp."- Commander Sirvan said. 17036 Mundifico was given a tour by the Orbiting Station; the most remarkable quality was that all was new and smelling of paint. "I want to land, dear."- Kette murmured on his hears. He looked at her, surprised, but as she was looking straight at him, he said nothing else than: "All right, honey."- And returns to the "Nimbus" spaceship. Once on board, Kette said:" The Station its infiltrated by enemies, darling." "What?"- Mundifico was astonished. "Yes, darling. The Synthetic personnel were talking about you and a certain vessel that it's bound to appear here soon: a frigate."- Kette said. "I cannot believe it! Who could want to do this?"- Mundifico asked, intrigued. "Certain people, at the next planetary system! Recently arrived- a small group- but as you must know, and I am telling you this just was heard by me at the Orbiting Station- they have seven planets, and none of them its inhabitable- ores, I don't know if they are obtaining it, or not."- Kette said. "I'll call the rest of the fleet here!"- Captain Eforn said. "Do it - and seize the Orbital Station now. I'll help."- Mundifico said, decide to put an end to it. "Better to wait, Sir. You are too valuable- for us all. Without you, the whole system will be headless."- Captain Eforn warned him. 17037 Mundifico made a grimace- he was not prone to be told what to do- and ordered:" Captain, I command you to get inside of that Orbital Station with all the crew you can obtain, and take all those traitors inside a cell. If somebody refuses, shoot at him."-

"Yes, Sir- only as a Synthetic person, I cannot kill."- Captain Eforn said; he called his menmostly Synthetics; and said:" people at the orbital Station betrayed Our Administrator; All personnel will be taken into custody. Let's go." In addition, with great determination, he went inside the Station and herded every Synthetic person inside the bigger room, and in reference to the Natural people, he takes them to the Mess Hall, where they were revised to see if they were armed. Twenty minutes later, he called Mundifico, saying:' Labor accomplished, Sir. You can come in, now." "My compliments, Captain Eforn, but tell me: Did you call the rest of our fleet?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes, Sir. Soon the first of them will arrive."- Captain Eforn said. Mundifico went inside the Orbital Station through a pneumatic tube, and Captain Eforn shows him the prisoners through a monitor. Mundifico said:" Kette, did you heard mention that Naturals were in this mutiny?" "No, darling. Very well, some of them could be involved. You should interrogate them, one by one, starting by the 17038 Ex Commander, Mr. Sirvan Muruga. " "Yes- It's hard, for me, to believe he is involved in this mutiny- especially after that reception party he gives me."- Mundifico said, with a sad voice, and called Cornejian by the holographic communicator; when obtained the communication, he says:" Hear what Kette will tell you, and then we talk." "Yes, Sir."- Cornejian said, raising an eyebrow in bewilderment; the Synthetic persona told him everything that was happening at the Third's planet Orbit, and then Mundifico said;" What do you say about this, Mr. Cornejian? I'm interested in your opinion." "Thanks, Sir, because you think I am a reasonable man; I guess the isolation of those people works in your detriment; also, someone from another star system is willing to replace you; guess you must find him and try to annihilate his threat the best way you could.- Cornejian said, his figure at the holographic machine flickering in the contours. "I understand; and now I'm looking to it. Bye, and thanks for your advice."- Mundifico said, ending the conversation; one hour after being called, the first hunter Spaceship arrives. By then, also, the Cruiser was approaching, and their launchers were already locking with the Orbital Station. Admiral Marlo Foss was already calling the Administrator by the Holographic visor. "Sir! Have you problems at the Orbital Station of this planet?"- The red face of Admiral Marlo filled the screen; the man looks worried. "Yes, Admiral Marlo! However, the situation it is already controlled. Meet me at the Orbital Station."- Mundifico said. Soon, the Admiral arrives there, with several officers and a swarm of soldiers that were posted throughout the Orbital Station. "MY fiance, Kette, a Synthetic person, visits this Station with me, some hours ago, and heard the chatter the Synthetics always had among themselves! They were talking about a spaceship coming here to take the Station and begin, probably, the invasion of this planetary system by a neighbor star system."- Mundifico repeated what he was told. "It's preposterous! I am coming from the 17040 Fringes of Aurean System, and not a single spaceship were detected!"- Admiral Marlo said, in surprise. "Kette, inform the General yourself."- Mundifico said, and Kette repeated her story, adding many more details, as she was still hearing Synthetic conversations.

"Well, Mr. Administrator, how come your own Synthetics became interfered? A computational virus, perhaps?"- Marlo asked. "Kette?"- Mundifico transposed the question to his E-woman. "Yes, dear. A Synthetic could be hacked via radio waves- possibly some Synthetic was kidnapped and a copy was smuggled here, and begin infecting the rest."- Kette imagined. "And how come you aren't infected yet? Or my own Synthetics, by the way?"- Admiral Marlo asked. "The models infected are models TON-SA. The TON-SA models are for administrative work; their software is made for non-warlike operations, simple in a way, obedient we should say. Me, I am a model Class AA3..."Kette" SERIAL NUMBER...BL 19322. Made in Earth. Expensive, older, and made to analyze and vive directives if in front of a bad decision."- Kette said, proudly. The Admiral Marlo growled, and after a while of thinking, he said:" I guess 17041 you should sent back to the Provider, all those infected ones- I'll provide with a new crew as plenty of people I had already aboard the Cruiser." "Thanks for your cooperation, Admiral Marlo."- Mundifico said. "And one more thing, Administrator! Please come into the Cruiser! If there are enemy vessels lurking around, I want you to be well protected."- Admiral Marlo said. "Good idea; let's move from here, Kette!"- Mundifico said; the Admiral sent officers with him by the pneumatic tube that linked the Cruiser with the Orbital Station, to show Mundifico the place where to rest. It was a new Cruiser, and here also was that new painting smell - and Mundifico smiled to Kette, feeling himself a lot more secure in this environ. The officers guided him to the best cabin available that had also direct communication with the main parts of the spaceship - so he was almost in command. "How do you take this, dear? Are you afraid?"- Kette said, kissing him. "Not afraid, but troubled. Now I see my efforts on armed spaceships and military equipment were not a silly idea- also, I am mad at those who are trying to take over my Administration for them! I think a visit to those guys it's an obligation."- Mundifico said. "Do you think that it would be more civilized to ask them if they were, in fact, inducing this treason?- Kette asked him. "Dear: if I was so naive, I wouldn't be here! Let me do the thinking."- Mundifico said, not liking what she was doing: guiding him. 17042 He realized he wasn't the spy who has a lot of money, but now he was the Administrator of a whole collection of worlds- he realize he must change ways, in order not to be despise- or worse, ridiculed. At the next morning, he called for Admiral Marlo and said:" Have you counted the Synthetics that were infected by a computational virus?" "Yes, Administrator! Forty of them- the whole bunch. They are disconnected now."- The Admiral replied. "Wow! A lot of them indeed! In addition, what about the Naturals? Where they involved in the coup?"- Mundifico asked, very interested in that matter. "Yes, Administrator; four of them were guilty of betrayal- guess you better dismiss the whole staff of Commander Sirvan- including him- he was offered a mandate if you would had- disposed off. The whole fourth planet was going to be administered by him, as long as he lives."- The Admiral Marlo said. "Bad news! I cannot trust in Synthetics now, as they are so feeble minded, and I could trust very little on Naturals, as they are greedy!"- Mundifico sobbed.

"You can relay on me, Mr. Administrator! On me and my men- I choose them well, at the Royal Knappian Academy of Spacemen."- The Admiral replied. "I have nothing else to do, here. I will get back to planet Aurean in the Cruiser; please thanks Captain Eforn of the Nimbus spaceship for his kindness and bravery."- Mundifico said. 17044 "Of course, Sir. I'll prepare the trip right away."- Admiral Marlo said. The orders were issued; three fighters were going to remain near the station of planet 3; the rest went with the Cruiser to the Second planet. At is cabin, Mundifico was alone with Kette; he said:' Repeat to me, please, how big it's my fleet." "Oh darling! You have one cruiser, twenty-seven fighters. Location: Three fighters at the orbital Station around planet 3; ten fighters at our present voyage; four around Aurean, and five fighters and two cargo vessels at planet five."- Kette recited for him. "Guess it's kind of pretty short of a Star Fleet- perhaps two more cruisers must be bought."- Mundifico said, but immediately remembered the prices, and paled quite a bit. "Your choice, darling! But think that you could loose everything for not to be prepared."Kette said. In that instant, the alarm rings begin, and Mundifico asked to the Bridge:" What's happening, Commander?" "The long range radar had spotted two spaceships, Sir! We are maneuvering against them!"- The copilot said; he was seated at his post, with a reinforced helmet just in case. A tap on the door- Kette opened, and it was Admiral Marlo, saying:" 17045 "We are going to fight those intruders, Administrator. Please strap to your chair, here or if you prefer, at the Bridge." "Here."- Mundifico said, as he was very comfortable there, with three monitors to see the same that was projected at the Bridge. Soon the cruiser reaches his top velocity range. The alien vessels did not run, but fired photon torpedoes in their search. "Shields!"- Roared Admiral Marlo; the violent red colored ray brighten the eternal night for a couple of seconds, and the enemy flagship exploded in a million bits. The rest of that group fired LASER beams that ricocheted against the force field of the mighty Cruiser not for nothing a huge atomic plant was set on their middle hull! The rest of the enemy ships managed to fire against the less protected space fighters and wrecked three of those scout ships, in three balls of violent orange color. "Three scout ships downed, Sir."- The radar controller crewmember said, seconds afterwards. "Fire the C Beams!- The Admiral Marlo said, while Mundifico looked at the screen for the fireworks again- the rays searched the enemy, but they were traversing the space in opposite directions now- the one of the left was twice the size of a fighter spaceship, and fired again at the Cruiser it's feeble LASER beams, to no visible effect. 17046 One of the C Beams divided an enemy craft in two, and for an instant the light was very intense in that division; then an explosion issued and the darkness return- nothing else remains. The other vessel was followed by the smaller crafts; Mundifico said by the intercom:" Congratulations, Admiral! You turn them into smithereens!""Thanks. Now we are after the other."- Admiral Marlo said, and then the Cruiser turns around and speeded against the other, thanks to the long-range radar, that was signaling

alien presence in that Sector of space. Three Fighters were locked already to the side of the remaining enemy vessel- the radio told them what was happening:" Captured! Now we will know who our enemies are"- The voice of one of those loyal captains was informingand soon Mundifico was able to see, through a holographic video transmission, the captives aboard the alien vessel. It was a shock to see them- where he was expecting to see uniformed human soldiers; he saw an alien figure not at all humanoid! It was tall as a human, with a trunk; in the upper side three round eyes the size of a bull stared at him- two arms sprouted almost at the same spot, and instead of a leg appears a stomp. The whole appearance was frightening, with a sensation of to be looking a crippled being. Sixteen of those aliens were transferred to a cell in the Cruiser; Mundifico and the Admiral visited the alien spacecraft together with some engineers and technicians, to learn something more of those beings and the machinery inside the spacecraft. As the atmosphere was the same, they could walk inside without awkward spacesuits. The smell was strange- a mixture of hot oil and monkey's dung. The engineers discovered a new way to use the force fields to mobilize the entire spaceship; and many original features. Later, they towed the alien vessel to the Orbit of planet Aurean, where more studies were performed. 17049 Mundifico thanked the Admiral Marlo for his job, and went into the Orbital Station, where Reggie was expecting. "Hi, darling! Have a good flight?"- Asked her, embracing Mundifico. "Yes! Thanks you; I missed my Orb a lot."- He said, smiling. "It's locked here, of course. Let's go there, if you want."_ Reggie invited, and soon they went inside; Mundifico seats at the commander's seat, and said: This last event startled me a lot. One daring enemy could end the whole works." "But you defeat them afterwards, dear! = Reggie said. "I lost several Fighter spaceships! And the lives of their crews."- Mundifico said. "Not Naturals, in any case: they were all Synthetics."- Holly said, walking into the cabin. "I was told different!"- Mundifico said, surprised. "Lulu said that you could visit the mining fields! He has something to show you."- Reggie said, after receiving a radio message. 17050 "All right, let's go there. I'm bored of this canned air."- Mundifico said, laughing. Reggie unlocked the grapples that maintained the ship secured to the Orbital Station, and traveled to the mining field in an ample curve. "There it is! Nice buildings, didnt it? - Reggie said. A cupola and several huge buildings were there, instead of the small compound of the fist times. The Orb swiftly landed, and Holly and Reggie descended first. "No danger whatsoever, darling! You can descend, now."- Reggie said, mocking the former ways. Lulu greeted them at the foot of the ramp, saying: Welcome you all! Sir, do you like the new buildings? "Yeah, of course! But how do you managed to build al this in so scant time?"- Mundifico asked him. "With the aid of a new Company, Sir! I hired an Oredlorian Building Company's service! The Primer Building Company."- Lulu informed. "How nice! I wonder how the cost was.""Not much! A half day's cost."- Lulu said.

"Cheap."- Holly murmured on Mundifico hear. "Let's see its wonders!"- Mundifico smiled, and apart that all was very functional- no luxuries- his office was huge, plenty of sunlight and imposing. 17051 That convinced him that Lulu was a good administrator. "Let us see the numbers."- Mundifico said, and for a pair of hours, he and Lulu were revising figures- the earnings were good, and so Mundifico said. "I find it acceptable, Lulu. I have a lot more expenses now that I am at the Administration of five worlds. "Three of them empty and a fourth with just a couple of mining camps."- Lulu jockeyed. "Of course. You have a point there. Call Mr. Cornejian." - Mundifico said, blushed. Mr. Cornejian was not in the compound, but in town- own our it takes him to arrive, and then he said:" Good to see you again, Mr. Mundifico! Glad you are back." "Likewise, Cornejian! How it's going with your work?" "Lots of work to be donned! Everything has to begin here! From a Station of Firefighters (A firefighter's station) to the Bank of Aurean, I'm working hard on all of those."- Cornejian said. "You'll have your reward! In time, of course. Look here, Mr. Cornejian: I had being thinking in titles and ways of government, now we have more subjects to command."- Mundifico said. "Sir! We have half of the populace made out of Synthetics! All the hard work, the boring works, the dangerous works are in the hands of Synthetics! And between us, Sir, Synthetics mimics a human being- they are not real humans."- Cornejian said. Mundifico said nothing about that remark, as he was now thinking in his personal choices, and how that was affecting his personal surroundings 17052 As, by example, the same person he was talking to. So he said:" I find very useful those divisions! We need workers full time; each Natural's life has every kind of safeguard in the law. No matter if here we are beginning, every person died in hazardous circumstances could be investigated by the Central Administration, based in Earth planet." Cornejian touched Mundifico shoulder and said:" Of course, I am not saying Synthetic personnel are not useful- now! But in the future, we must count with more humans." Mundifico offered him a glass of milkshake, and seating at an armchair, he said:" Please, be seated. We must make some changes. Provided I am the Administrator, I can do many things without being bothered. I will appoint you as the Minister of Foreign Affairs- aiming at to obtain colonists from the best choices." "I'm most honored, Mr. Administrator, but now I'm the Major of Aurean Town; I think it will be the principal city of this second Planet, in the near future, and I am comfortable with the charge."- Cornejian said, growing pale. 17053 "You mean too much work for your shoulders?"- Mundifico asked, mildly disappointed. "Oh, no! However, I will be stressed to the limit! Let's say I accept the title, neither but nor for ever."- Cornejian said, waving his hands. "All right, that will suffice! I found you very clever, Mr. Governor! As you'll be not the Major only, but the Governor of Aurean town."- Mundifico announced. "Most honored."- Cornejian said, feeling he was being recognized as an able man. "Right. Now, whom do you think they are the best for colonization purposes? Knappian, Earthlings, Volcanoes, Ferengis, of what?"- Mundifico asked him. Cornejian smiled, as he had being studying the matter thoroughly, and answered:" Knappian are rude, worked hard but has not too much initiative! Earthlings like to work at

times, but are, in general, very quarrelsome and prone to debunk governments when bored of them; Vulcan's are happy to live in the Vulcan planet and did not colonize. Ferengis are liars, detested hard labor, and love commerce- a trade I find very interesting but also, teach people to lie and have gains while rising the costs at heart's will; useful when there are not government controlled markets." "That sounds as socialism to me!- Mundifico said. "Of course. MY ideal of a community it is a beehive- bees are insects of Earth. I guess you have similar insects in Knapp planet: the ecrans."- Cornejian commented. "Yes, only bigger in size."- Mundifico remembered them. 17054 Cornejian said:" Bees are organized in castes: workers, soldiers, males and females. Each year there is matting; after that, the males are destroyed if they refuse to live outside the beehive." "And you like that for our community?"- Horrified, Mundifico asked him. "Of course we cannot kill the males! However, we could use the example to our means. You could be the male; from you the sperm could be used to inseminate every woman reaching his prime- let us fixed that age in twenty years. The offspring will be educated by fiscal schools, then to the University, then to work as able citizens."- Cornejian said. "Provided that my genes are as good as the tasks requires! But who said so? I'm no genius myself!"- Mundifico was scandalized with Cornejian's ideas. "We can find with medical tests, and there are ways to improve the soft spots."- Cornejian said. "I would be rewarded with a thousand sons! Not bad to a humble man."- Mundifico laughed, to release his inner tension. "Then, you are approving it? - Cornejian said, hopefully. "I'll think about the matter for a while."- Mundifico said, now very dubious as his Assistant's criterion potentials. "Are you to stay here or you will visit Aurean town with me? We are building the Capitol building."- Cornejian invited him. "What?"- Mundifico was now alarmed with Cornejian's ideas. "Yes! We are building a big Capitol building, same as the one they did in Washington City, only bigger."- Cornejian said; Mundifico remembered the white construction- he had seen it only in holovideo, and begin to wonder who were the ones who will 17055 work there. "Eight times bigger, Sir! Like the one Mr. Hitler wanted to build in Berlin- GermaniaCornejian said. "Mr. Hitler? I guess I don't know much of him."- He said, rising his shoulders in bewilderment. "I have read all about him! Hitler was the ruler of a country in Earth, called Germany by the English people, and Deutsche by themselves. If we remember the Greatest single news event of 1938 took place on September 29, when four political leaders met at the Fuhrerhaus, in Munich, to redraw the map of Europe. The three visiting political leaders at that historic conference were Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain, Premier Edouard Daladier of France, and Dictator Benito Mussolini of Italy. However, by all odds the dominating figure at Munich was the German host, Adolph Hitler. Fuehrer of the German people, Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, Navy & Air Force, Chancellor of the Third Reich, Herr Hitler reaped on that day at Munich the harvest of an audacious, defiant, ruthless foreign policy he had pursued for five and a half years. He had torn the Treaty of Versailles to shreds. He had rearmed Germany to the teeth--or

as close to the tooth as he was able. He had annexed Austria before the eyes of the former enemies of Germany. All these events were shocking to nations, which had defeated Germany on the battlefield only 20 years before, but nothing so terrified the world as the ruthless, methodical, Nazidirected events, which during late summer and early autumn threatened a world war over Czechoslovakia. When without loss of blood he reduced Czechoslovakia to a German puppet state, forced a drastic revision of Europe's defensive alliances, and won a free hand for himself in Eastern Europe by getting a "hands-off" promise from powerful Britain (and later France), Adolph Hitler without doubt became 1938's Man of the Year. Most other world figures of 1938 faded in importance as the year ended. Prime Minister Chamberlain's "peace with honor" seemed more than ever to have achieved neither. An increasing number of Britons ridiculed his appease-the-dictators policy, believed that nothing save abject surrender could satisfy the dictators' ambitions. Among many Frenchmen, there rose a feeling that Premier Daladier, by a few strokes of the pen at Munich, had turned France into a second-rate power. Aping Mussolini in his gestures and copying triumphant Hitler's shouting complex, the once liberal Daladier at year's end was reduced to using parliamentary tricks to keep his job. During 1938, Dictator Mussolini was a partner in of Hitler. His agitation to get Corsica and Tunis from France was rated as a weak bluff whose immediate objectives were no more than cheaper tolls for Italian ships in the Suez Canal and control of the Djibouti-Addis Ababa railroad. Gone from the international scene was Eduard Benes, for 20 years Europe's "Smartest Little Statesman." Last President of free Czechoslovakia, he was now a sick exile from the country he helped found. Pious Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Man of 1937, was forced to retreat to a "New" West China, where he faced the possibility of becoming only a respectable figurehead in an enveloping Communist movement. If Francisco Franco had won the Spanish Civil War after his great spring drive, he might well have been Man-of-the-Year timber. But victory still eluded the Generalissimo and war weariness and disaffection on the Rightist side made his future precarious. On the American scene, 1938 was no one man's year. Certainly it was not Franklin Roosevelt's; his Purge was beaten and his party lost much of its bulge in the Congress. Secretary Hull will remember Good Neighborly 1938 as the year he crowned his trade treaty efforts with the British agreement, but history will not specially identify Mr. Hull with 1938. At year's end in Lima, his plan of Continental Solidarity for the two Americas had a few of its teeth pulled. However, the figure of Adolph Hitler strode over a cringing Europe with all the swagger of a conqueror. Not the mere fact that the Fuehrer brought 10,500,000 more people (7,000,000 Austrians, 3,500,000 Sudetens) under his absolute rule made him the Man of 1938. Japan during the same time added tens of millions of Chinese to her empire. More significant was the fact Hitler became in 1938 the greatest threatening force that the democratic England and United States fears. His shadow fell far beyond Germany's frontier. Small, neighboring States (Denmark, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, The Balkans, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands) feared to offend him. In France Nazi, pressure was in part responsible for some of the post-Munich anti-democratic decrees. Fascism had intervened openly in Spain, had fostered a revolt in Brazil, and was covertly aiding revolutionary movements in Rumania, Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania. In Finland, a foreign minister had to resign under Nazi pressure. Throughout Eastern Europe after Munich, the trend was toward less freedom, more dictatorship. In the U.S. alone, did democracy feel itself strong enough at years end to give Hitler his come-uppance?

The Fascintern, with Hitler in the driver's seat, with Mussolini, Franco and the Japanese military cabal riding behind, emerged in 1938 as an international, revolutionary movement. Rant as he might against the machinations of international Communism and international Jewry, or rave as he would that he was just a Pan-German trying to get all the Germans back in one nation, Fuehrer Hitler had himself become the world's No. 1 International Revolutionist--so much so that if the oft-predicted struggle between Fascism and Communism now takes place it will be only because two revolutionist dictators, Hitler and Stalin, are too big to let each other live in the same world. However, Fuehrer Hitler does not regard himself as a revolutionary; he has become so only by force of circumstances. Fascism has discovered that freedom--of press, speech, assembly--is a potential danger to its own security. In Fascist phraseology, democracy is often coupled with Communism. The Fascist battle against freedom is often carried forward under the false slogan of "Down with Communism!" One of the chief German complaints against democratic Czechoslovakia last summer was that it was an "outpost of Communism." A generation ago, western civilization had apparently outgrown the major evils of barbarism except for war between nations. The Russian Communist Revolution promoted the evil of class war. Hitler topped it by another, race war. Fascism and Communism both resurrected religious war. These multiple forms of barbarism gave shape in 1938 to an issue over which men may again, perhaps soon, shed blood: the issue of civilized liberty v. barbaric authoritarianism. Lesser men of the year seemed small indeed beside the Fuehrer. Undoubted Crook of the Year was the late Frank Donald Coster (ne Musica), with Richard Whitney, now in Sing Sing Prison, as runner-up. Sportsman of the Year was Tennist Donald Budge, champion of the U.S., England, France, Australia. Aviator of the Year was 33-year-old Howard Robard Hughes, diffident millionaire, who flew a sober, precise, foolproof course 14,716 miles round the top of the world in three days, 19 hours, eight minutes. Radio's Man of the Year was youthful Orson Welles who, in his famous The War of the Worlds broadcast, scared fewer people than Hitler does, but more than had ever been frightened by radio before, demonstrating that radio can be a tremendous force in whipping up mass emotion. Playwright of the Year was Thornton Wilder, previously a precious litterateur, whose first play on Broadway, Our Town, was not only ingenious and moving, but a big hit. To Gabriel Pascal, producer of Pygmalion, first full-length picture based on the wordy dramas of George Bernard Shaw, went the title of Cineman of the Year for having discovered a rich mine of dramatic material when other famed producers had given up all hope of ever tapping it. Men of the Year, outstanding in comprehensive science were three medical researchers who discovered that nicotinic acid was a cure for human pellagra: Drs. Tom Douglas Spies of Cincinnati General Hospital, Marion Arthur Blankenhorn of the University of Cincinnati, Clark Niel Cooper of Waterloo, Iowa. In religion, the two outstanding figures of 1938 were in sharp contrast save for their opposition to Adolph Hitler. One of them, Pope Pious XI, 81, spoke with "bitter sadness" of Italy's anti-Semitic laws, the harrying of Italian Catholic Action groups; the reception Mussolini gave Hitler last May, declared sadly: "We have offered our now old life for the peace and prosperity of peoples. We offer it anew." By spending most of the year in a concentration camp, Protestant Pastor Martin Niemoller gave courageous witness to his faith. It was noteworthy that few of these other men of the year would have been free to achieve their accomplishments in Nazi Germany. The genius of free wills has been so stifled by the oppression of dictatorship that Germany's output of poetry, prose, music, philosophy, art has been meager indeed.

The man most responsible for this world tragedy is a moody, brooding, unprepossessing, 49-year-old Austrian-born ascetic with a Charlie Chaplin mustache. A doting mother raised the son of an Austrian petty customs official, Adolph Hitler as a spoiled child. Consistently failing to pass even the most elementary studies, he grew up a half-educated young man, untrained for any trade or profession, seemingly doomed to failure. Brilliant, charming, cosmopolitan Vienna he learned to loathe for what he called its Semitism; more to his liking was homogeneous Munich, his real home after 1912. To this man of no trade and few interests the Great War was a welcome event, which gave him some purpose in life. Hitler took part in 48 engagements, won the German Iron Cross (first class), was wounded once and gassed once, and was in a hospital when the Armistice of November 11, 1918 was declared. His political career began in 1919 when he became Member No. 7 of the midget German Labor Party. Discovering his powers of oratory, Hitler soon became the party's leader, changed its name to the National Socialist German Labor Party, wrote is anti- Semitic, anti-democratic, authoritarian program. The party's first mass meeting took place in Munich in February 1920. The leader intended to participate in a monarchist attempt to seize power a month later; but for this abortive Putsch Fuehrer Hitler arrived too late. An even less successful National Socialist attempt--the famed Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 1923--provided the party with dead martyrs, landed Herr Hitler in jail. His incarceration at Landsberg Fortress gave him time to write the first volume of Mein Kampf, now a "must" on every German bookshelf. (Deputy Fuehrer Rudolf Hess helped write it. Imprisonment also gave Hitler time to perfect his tactics. Even before that time, he got from his Communist opponents the idea of gangster-like party storm troopers; after this, the principle of the small cell groups of devoted party workers.) Outlawed in many German districts, the National Socialist Party nevertheless climbed steadily in membership. Time-honored Tammany Hall methods of handing out many small favors were combined with rowdy terrorism and lurid, patriotic propaganda. The picture of a mystic, abstemious, charismatic Fuehrer was assiduously cultivated. Not until 1929 did National Socialism win its first absolute majority in a city election (at Coburg) and make its first significant showing in a provincial election (in Thuringia). However, from 1928 on the party almost continually gained in electoral strength. In the Reichstag, elections of 1928 it polled 809,000 votes. Two years later 6,401,016 Germans voted for National Socialist deputies while in 1932 the vote was 13,732,779. While still short of a majority, the vote was nevertheless impressive proof of the power of the man and his movement. The situation, which gave rise to this demagogic, ignorant, desperate movement, was inherent in the German Republic's birth and in the craving of large sections of the politically immature German people for strong, masterful leadership. Democracy in Germany was conceived in the womb of military defeat. It was the Republic, which put its signature (unwillingly) to the humiliating Versailles Treaty, a brand of shame, which it never lived down in German minds. That the German people love uniforms, parades, military formations, and submit easily to authority is no secret. Fuehrer Hitler's own hero is Frederick the Great. That admiration stems undoubtedly from Frederick's military prowess and autocratic rule rather than from Frederick's love of French culture and his hatred of Prussian boorishness. However, unlike the polished Frederick, Fuehrer Hitler, whose reading has always been very limited, invites few great minds to visit him, nor would Fuehrer Hitler agree with Frederick's contention that he was "tired of ruling over slaves." (Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, also complained of the submissiveness of German character.)

In bad straits even in fair weather, the German Republic collapsed under the weight of the 1929-34 depression in which German unemployment soared to 7,000,000 above a nationwide wind drift of bankruptcies and failures. Called to power as Chancellor of the Third Reich on January 30, 1933 by aged, senile President Paul Von Hindenburg, Chancellor Hitler began to turn the Reich inside out. Unemployment was solved by: 1) a far-reaching program of public works; 2) an intense re-armament program, including a huge standing army; 3) enforced labor in the service of the State (the German Labor Corps); 4) putting political enemies and Jewish, Communist and Socialist jobholders in concentration camps. What Adolph Hitler & Co. did to Germany in less than most Germans applauded six years wildly and ecstatically? He lifted the nation from post-War defeatism. Under the swastika, Germany was unified. His was no ordinary dictatorship, but rather one of great energy and magnificent planning. The "socialist" part of National Socialism might be scoffed at by hard-&-fast Marxists, but the Nazi movement nevertheless had a mass basis. The 1,500 miles of magnificent highways built, schemes for cheap cars and simple workers' benefits, grandiose plans for rebuilding German cities made Germans burst with pride. Germans might eat many substitute foods or wear ersatz clothes but they did eat. What Adolph Hitler & Co. did to the German people in that time left civilized men and women aghast? Civil rights and liberties have disappeared. Opposition to the Nazi regime has become tantamount to suicide or worse. Free speech and free assembly are anachronisms. The reputations of the once-vaunted German centers of learning have vanished. Education has been reduced to a National Socialist catechism. Pace Quickened. Germany's 700,000 Jews have been tortured physically, robbed of homes and properties, and denied a chance to earn a living, chased off the streets. Now they are being held for "ransom," a gangster trick through the ages. However, not only Jews have suffered. Out of Germany has come a steady, ever- swelling stream of refugees, Jews and Gentiles, liberals and conservatives, Catholics as well as Protestants, who could stand Nazism no longer. Baron Rudolph Charles Von Ripper, a Catholic who found Germany intolerable, drew times cover, showing Organist Adolph Hitler playing his hymn of hate in a desecrated cathedral while victims dangle on a St. Catherines wheel and the Nazi hierarchy looks on. Meanwhile, Germany has become a nation of uniforms, goose- stepping to Hitler's tune, where boys of ten are taught to throw hand grenades, where women are regarded as breeding machines. Hitler & Co., however, has played most cruel joke of all, on those German capitalists and small businesspersons who once backed National Socialism as a means of saving Germany's bourgeois economic structure from radicalism. The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on other what amounts to a capital tax has been levied. Profits have been strictly controlled. Some idea of the increasing Governmental control and interference in business could be deduced from the fact that 80% of all building and 50% of all industrial orders in Germany originated last year with the Government. Hardpressed for food- stuffs as well as funds, the Nazi regime has taken over large estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism. When Germany took over Austria, she took upon herself the care and feeding of 7,000,000 poor relations. When 3,500,000 Sudetens were absorbed, there were that many more mouths to feed. As 1938-ended many were the signs that the Nazi economy of exchange control, barter trade, lowered standard of living, "self-sufficiency," was cracking. Nor were signs lacking that many Germans disliked the cruelties of their Government, but were afraid to protest them. Having a hard time to provide enough bread

to go round, Fuehrer Hitler was being driven to give the German people another diverting circus. The Nazi controlled press, jumping the rope at the count of Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels, shrieked insults at real and imagined enemies. In addition, the pace of the German dictatorship quickened as more & more guns rolled from factories and little more butter was produced. In five years under the Man of 1938, regimented Germany had made itself one of the great military powers of the world. The British Navy remains supreme on the seas. Most military men regard the French Army as incomparable. Biggest question mark is air strength, which changes from day to day, but most observers believe Germany superior in warplanes. Despite a shortage of trained officers and a lack of materials, the German Army has become a formidable machine, which could probably be beaten only by a combination of opposing armies. As testimony to his nation's puissance, Fuehrer Hitler could look back over the year and remember that besides receiving countless large-bore statesmen (Mr. Chamberlain three times, for instance), he paid his personal respects to three kings (Sweden's Gustaf, Denmark's Christian, Italy's Vittorio Emanuele) and was visited by two (Bulgaria's Boris, Rumania's Carol--not counting Hungary's Regent, Horthy). Meanwhile an estimated 1,133 streets and squares, notably Rathaus Platz in Vienna, acquired the name of Adolph Hitler. He delivered 96 public speeches, attended eleven opera performances (way below par), vanquished two rivals (Benes and Kurt von Schuschnigg, Austria's last Chancellor), and sold 900,000 new copies of Mein Kampf in Germany besides selling it widely in Italy and Insurgent Spain. His only loss was in eyesight: he had to begin wearing spectacles for work. Last week Herr Hitler entertained at a Christmas party 7,000 workers now building Berlin's new mammoth Chancellery, told them: "The next decade will show those countries with their patent democracy where true culture is to be found." However, other nations have emphatically joined the armaments race and among military men, the poser is "Will Hitler fight when it becomes definitely certain that he is losing that race?" The dynamics of dictatorship are such that few who have studied Fascism and its leaders can envision sexless, restless, instinctive Adolph Hitler rounding out a mellow middle age in his mountain chalet at Berchtesgaden while a satisfied German people drink beer and sing folk songs. There is no guarantee that the have-not nations will go to sleep when they have taken what they now want from the haves. To those who watched the closing events of the year it seemed more than probable that the Man of 1938 may make 1939 a year to be remembered. "I understand! A lot you could remember!"- Mundifico was astonished. "Oh, I implanted a chip on my brain! Could recite the History of Earth, from the ball of fire it was in the beginning, to yesterday- the chip could download more information every day, using the radio signals! Happy with this device; I could seat and ask for a solution at our little town, and hundred upon thousand of previous experiences will flow from the memory chip! "- Cornejian laughed uproariously; Mundifico begin to think a shrinker was going to be needed soon, and he said:" But that guy seems a good man to the Germans and not a good man to the almost rest. Cornejian replied, with weariness on his voice: "Right. That is what the Allies forced every one to believe- it was necessary much propaganda to make Hitler looks as a bloods thirty monster." "Enough of Mr. Hitler! I want to be a good administrator and not an avenger! In my case, I have no reason to be!- Mundifico said. 17056

"But, Sir! You must send a mission to your neighbor Star System! The one who sent an invasion team here! You cannot cross your arms and wait for more attacks, as Nero did in his days! Remember what Napoleon said, in his time!"- Cornejian said. "I had a cruiser and some spacecraft its a sure thing I need - a greater space fleet that the one I had now. However, that will cost enormously! When ready, indeed I will try to send a mission team there."- Mundifico said. "But, Mr. Administrator! You were attacked! Send you biggest craft there, and force an explanation! They will believe you have a dozen more cruisers to spare! "- Cornejian said, while Mundificos face reddened to the neck; then there was a silence. At last, Mundifico said:" You are very adamant on this issue! Let's see if you are capable of that same mission!" "But, my work here it's important! I am organizing a whole community! "- Cornejian said. "Right. Guess I had to go there myself."_ Mundifico said, dismissing his Assistant. Cornejian walked out, smiling: he had obtained another title, another step up in the ladder to power, while instilling in his boss the idea of to venture himself and his best spaceship in a very dangerous situation. 17057 Mundifico went to his Orb, and said to Holly:" See that nobody molest me." "I'll watch your dreams, honey!"- She said, standing at the foot of his bed. Reggie said:" Did you hear what they talked?" "Yes. Mr. Cornejian is the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, plus the titles he had beforehand! Our master was told to go to the next Star System and take revenge."- Holly replied, by radio waves. "It seems odd, don't you think? Instead of to obey, the told our master to go himself! There are cases when a reply like that had brought disgrace to the subject. But with our present Master, nothing of the sort had passed.- Reggie said. "And what do you suggest? A talk with him- you and me?"- Holly asked. "Yes, of course. We had not double meanings, we have no ambitions, we just serves!"Reggie remembered those facts to Holly with patience. At the next morning, Mundifico said:" I want a reunion! Call Lulu, Belone, Mr. Cornejian again, the General and the Admiral! I want them all at the Mining Compound in twelve hours more."- And Holly called them immediately. Mundifico spent the day working with Reggie at his desk; when everyone arrives, he gives them dinner, and afterwards and at the same table, he said:" The distribution of responsibilities it is very important now. We have five planets, and in each of them I want a city, an Orbital Station, one cruiser and several smaller Army Vessels, together with their crews- and Academy for Space pilots and Engineers must be set at the Second planet, where it is breathable air. Each governor of a planet will have the denomination of King. Only I will be the King of Kings, or Administrator of Administrators. " He paused to see the effect of his words- only Cornejian ,the General Mervio and the Admiral Marlo were blushed with emotion- the rest, being Synthetics, shows only alertness of thought. "For this avail, I'll have my nominees: Lulu King of the Fifth planet, Belone of the Fourth, Reggie of the Third, Cornejian of the Second, Kette of the Fist planet, and me over all of you. When times of war come, or similar tragedies occur, I will ask for cooperation from the five of you. My word will be absolute."- Mundifico said. "But, dear! There's nobody in planet one, while in fourth and fifth there's only Orbital Stations!"- Holly said. "Yes; I will provide with the riches I could extract from the mines and something else by the tributes I will obtain at the Second planet. All planets must give me their inner riches. If

changes are required in the future, changes will be donned. Bear in mind that your titles are being laid by me without being asked- and I could give you power as well as I could extract them from you. "- Mundifico said. Reggie said:" I find it very interesting your nominations, Sir. I wish I would be a Natural, to refrain people of criticisms that I am sure it will sprout among the Naturals. But I will obey you as loyally as ever, and I thank you for your confidence in my abilities." "Of course, I confide in you, based in the years we had been working together, Reggie; and I will provide riches I could extract on the mines and something else by the tributes I will obtain. Let us now study these matters, that I am sure it will require all of our efforts."Mundifico said in earnest. 17061 "I find it very attractive and I'm very grateful."- Cornejian said, knowing now what Mundifico wants of their assistants. "But I'm dubious in just one thing: where do you will stay?" "At the main city available, that means Aurean City- I know now it's not big enough for my title, but it will be growing, giving time, to be a real city."- Mundifico said. Cornejian was not delighted with the idea- if the Emperor was going to have its headquarters at Aurean City, he will be under his inspection all the time! Mundifico added:" Now you know your duties, let's work to see how it will be donned."And for a month, they planned how it was going to be. Later, he went with Admiral Marlo to the fifth planet, in order to prepare the trip to the enemy system. 17062 The Admiral Marlo said:' Are you aware, Mr. Administrator that you are leaving the entire planetary system half defended by only a handful of spaceships category C?" "I asked for two cruisers already, Admiral. One of them is bond to arrive in a week! The other will take longer."- Mundifico said. "Good that you inform me about this! Then I will leave an able crew here, waiting for them, that I presume are more Knappian personnel?"' Admiral Marlo said. "Of course they are Knappian people; what else? Earth shipbuilders are asking for too much Credits- expensive stuff, in there."- Mundifico replied. "Really, Mr. Administrator, I prefer you could wait for a week more! We know only tidbits of information about our enemy. The information those prisoners gives us is negligible! Their language differs too much from ours! "- The Admiral Marlo informed him, remembering the painstakingly moments he and a group of Synthetics had when trying to communicate with those beings. "I'll accept your advice, Admiral Marlo! I will expend the week visiting the planet here. Lend me a couple of shuttles."- Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir! In addition, some crewmembers. You must be guarded at all times."Admiral Marlo said, bowing slightly. Mundifico was with Holly at his side- the rest of the females and Cornejian were already at their appointed places. 17063 "Lulu is at the surface of this planet, darling! He is building a city."- Holly said, smiling. "All right; let's go down in the Orb."- Mundifico said, as he was attached to that vehicle, who serves him nicely. Holly drive the Orb to the surface, hovering for some moments over the compound- mostly Bubbles and Cupolas - until Mundifico said;" Enough of sightseeing, honey! I get the picture! Land near the second Cupola. Where there is that man weaving his hand to us." "You mean Lulu? I'm hearing him."- Holly smiled.

Mundifico smiled while putting on a spatial suit- there was not atmosphere at Fifth- and when the ladder touched the ground, he descended to meet Lulu the King. "Welcome, Sir! Watch your step- the terrain is slippery."- Lulu said, by radio- he could listen to him through his helmet's radio device. "Thanks you, King Lulu! I see you are busy. How many personnel had you here working?"- Mundifico asked him. "Four thousand people, Sir. Two hundred of them are natural Knappian."- Lulu informed him. 17064 "Great! But mining activities are the source of economics here- we must sell ores to Earth businessmen - they need ore and they paid well."- Mundifico said. "Several sites are already being tested, Sir. Do you want to visit them?'- Lulu asked. "Yes. Let's go there- I have a full week to spend here."- Mundifico sighed, and they went to the Orb, climbing rapidly; once inside, Mundifico takes off his helmet, and said:' When you say Orb, you say Home." "Orbs aren't being built any more, Sir. The cheaper spacecraft are replacing them. - Lulu informed, as he was very up to date with Earth's news. "Oh, yeah? Then it would be good to buy everyone that is being sold- to have a fleet of them would satisfy me the most."- Mundifico remarked. 17065 "Of course, Sir, but bear in mind they are not built to wage war! Hardly a laser beam could bestow on them."- Lulu informed him. "What a pity! But they could survey, could they not?"- Mundifico asked him. "Yes, I'm sure they could do that- and give the alarm, in case of necessity!- Lulu said. "Do you remember those bigger Orbs at Chicago Spaceport? I wonder if they still are in such numbers."- Mundifico said. "I'm sure they still are owned by millionaires! The luxury on an Orb, the number of cabins, everything its better than in a tapered spaceship."- Lulu said, searching for Mundifico's welfare of mind. Once inside the cabin, Holly said to Lulu:" Now you could drive! I prefer to be seated next to my lover."- And she seats next to Mundifico; Lulu seats at the commands, and in seconds, they were already traveling to a mining field. "I can tackle with the acquisition, Sir! I can contact the vendors at Earth, through the Web; plenty of business could be donned in that way; in fact, half of my purchases had being donned like that."- Lulu said. "Well, I don't want to buy everyone in stock! But I want a big one, a middle one, and perhaps a dozen of the kind we are abiding now."- Mundifico noted. "We found iron and molybdenum in here, Sir. Mo serves to made steel, as you perhaps know."- Lulu said. Mundifico looked at the monitor, where in blue color the surface was shown- the light of his star was not enough to see clearly, being it too far. They descended, and Mundifico visited the mine, while the miners stop their work for him to see free of dust and drilling noises. "These are the originals, Sir. The ones you bought first."- Lulu said. "Oh, what emotion! I was thinking these ones were scattered among the new ones! Did you collect them to work for you here?"- Mundifico was agreeably surprised. "Yes, Sir. Did I do wrong?"- Lulu asked him. "Of course not, King Lulu! You did right; now this mine will be my predilection one!"Mundifico said, patting his shoulder.

"Thanks you, Sir. I hope you could receive lots of money from this mine."- Lulu said, and after that, they went to see how the rocks were crushed and then melted, to see if there was any metal in it; and indeed, it has lots of iron. "Good to see there is something in this forsaken world! Perhaps iron is cheaper than gold, but it is very useful too."- Mundifico said. "To be of value, we most produce a lot, Sir. Perhaps in the future more machinery could be brought here, to fasten the production."- Lulu said. "I will see to it, if you show me some numbers: the mining fields must be of importance."Mundifico said. 17069 "And it will be, Sir!"- Lulu said, and afterwards he show some diagrams, where he had all worked out for the future. Then he said:" I have a good spot where to rest, Sir. I assume you are going to be around as long as a week?" "Yes: dear Admiral Marlo doesn't want to take the Cruiser away, leaving our planets without its protection. A new Cruiser is bound to arrive in a week- then I'll go paying a visit to the ones who try to take us by surprise."- Mundifico said. "At the first compound we are working hard, but I could manage it to give you a good shelter, and some company too."- Lulu offered him. "Company- I have Holly, if you hadn't realize it yet."- Mundifico said, smiling. "But this one isnt Synthetic, Sir. These are Naturals- women who work in our designing quarters."- Lulu remarked. "Guess a change in the Menu would be worth trying."- Mundifico said, smiling crookedly. 17070 So they went there, and Lulu presents the four designers to Mundifico, saying:" Emperor, here I present you the Architects that are designing the new compound."- And Mundifico saw tree women and a man in his thirties, bent on a table full of blueprints and squares, rulers and stuff. 17073 Mundifico was surprised to see those beauties working for him- up until then, he had seen only people and non-attractive women - and that was the major cause he had for to stick to his Synthetic females for such long periods. "Glad to meet you working here! I assume you are devising tunnels and funnels?"Mundifico asked, trying to be funny and agreeable. One of the women laughed, and other said:" Thanks you for to stop by here! We are engineers, but now we are not designing tunnels, but King Lulu brought us here to build the compound: three buildings and five towers with their cupolas."Mundifico saw she was young and with lots of black curled hair, shining under the artificial lights. "Of course. Therefore, you are responsible to make this place habitable. Glad to know you all."- Mundifico said; Lulu sensed the interest mounting in Mundifico's mind, so he said:" She is the chief Architect, Sir. Her names are Arandula, Surina, Faca and the gentleman is Mr. Sharkin- all of them coming directly from Oredloro of Knapp.' "Good! We are all Knappian, then."- Mundifico approved with a gesture of one hand. They were at a small crowded room, and Lulu said:" They had been working here very hard, Sir. Our builders soon will arrive- a special team from Rixiaberg- perhaps to-morrow they'll be landing."I guess the blueprints are already made?"- Mundifico asked of the group- Mr. Sharking replied:' The sooner the better. It's not fun to be breathing canned air all day long." "You will have vacations as soon as the thirty per cent of the first building is completed.Lulu reminded them.

"Pardon our companion, your Majesty. He is very grumpy, but he also works hard."Arandula said, with a delicious voice. 17074 Mundifico looked at the three ladies- the three of them looked fine- young and lovely- but something was saying him that Miss Arandula was the best choice. "I'll invite you to dinning at my spaceship to night- to celebrate my stay among you."Mundifico said. "Oh, what a jolly good prospect!"- Surina said, and Mundifico stiffened himself, noticing an acid remark in her words; so he pressed the matter by saying:' And please, King Lulu, see that they really attends." "Of course, Sir."- Lulu replied. Mundifico went back to the Orb, where he slept the rest of the afternoon. Chapter 16. The royal dinner party. Mundifico told Holly:" You are going to rest tonight, darling- go to a pod and rest there until I call you.""Thanks, darling- I guess a mineral oil bath with surfactants, petroleum solvent and water will be fine."- Holly replied, smiling. "I love you."- Mundifico said, kissing her- and then, she goes. Lulu arrives, and said:" Sir, do you want me to prepare everything?" "The meal? Yes. - Mundifico approved. "The meal and also your date, Sir. Guess you already elected among the females?" "The one with the curly black hair- what's her name?" "Arandula, Sir." "Yes, Arandula. Nice woman- seems like new." "Sir! She is a Natural. Certified."- Lulu reminded him. 17075 "Certified! Don't tell me you also know she's virgin!"- Mundifico said, amused- but also, very interested. "Not virgin, Sir. Sorry about that; you see, Natural women are loosing their virginity at a very young age. I had not collected much information about her previous years, but I could. Do you want me to learn about her?"- Lulu asked. "Of course! I am plunging unto her. Do you think I could succeed?"- Mundifico asked him. "She's a woman with no compromise now. She has been here for a month and five days altogether- and she is close to her monthly period- must want some action, Sir."- Lulu explained. "But pardon my curiosity: are there not young men in this mining field?"- Mundifico asked, very puzzled. "Old. There are no interests among young Naturals to be here, in the dark, working in a mine."- Lulu chucked a little. "I see you are sarcastic in this day."- Mundifico said. "I already prepared some condiments, spices, in the meals. So all you get to do , Sir, it's to look at the female in her eyes all the time- a good secret that it is - speak to her, be amiable but not too much. Made her speak about herself, show her respect, show some surprise and concern about every tiny weenie detail she could remember. You see, women have very big Egos, and they want her egos being attended by as many people as they can."- Lulu recommended. "You know a lot, being not one of us."- Mundifico said.

"My instruction was one of the best, Sir."- Lulu 17076 said, and smiled. "All right, you clever guy! See, all works fine to night! I trust in your skills."- Mundifico said. "Keep yourself calm."- Lulu said, departing- he was being told (by radio waves) that the guests were arriving at the ladder. "Welcome! The Administrator is waiting for you."- Said he, helping the dames climb by the metallic ramp. "Oh, it's much stepped! - Faca said. "That's why I'm helping you!"- Lulu said. Once inside, Mundifico received them with glasses of liquor and soda. "A toast! For the beautiful ladies who came to the Fifth planet!"- Mundifico said, rising his glass; they all drink, and Mr. Sharking said:" Nice spaceship you have here, Emperor!" "Thanks! It's brand new."- Mundifico said. "They aren't building them anymore! The new models are not as balls."- Faca said, smiling with disdain. "Lady: with this spaceship you can go to Earth in a blink!"- Mundifico said, and Faca blinked and replied:" I'm still here!" They laughed, and Mundifico invited them to the star gazing room, where there were seats. Lulu sends Synthetic people to serves them more drinks, and Mundifico said to Arandula: And you, how you are not a holo-movie star?" "Why do you tell me that?" "Oh, because you are so beautiful, that I'm sure you could be a movie holostar if you wanted!"- Mundifico said, looking at her with a smile. 17077 "Thank you. I guess you are just being polite to me!"- Arandula said, while Mundifico admired her face so smooth, the shine in her big black eyes, and a sense of femininity that was very natural. Lulu makes conversation agreeable, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Sharking and lady Faca were as grumpy as ever. Faca pay glances to Arandula, and when Mundifico went out for a moment, she said to Arandula:' The old man is flirting with you! Don't you realize?" "And what's the bad thing with that? I'm already twenty four years old!"- Arandula said, looking at Faca with distaste- Lulu (Who could hear a pin falling to the floor) approaches and serves them some biscuits- Mundifico returns in that instant, and Faca could not keep on talking freely with the beautiful woman. "I expect you aren't bored! I have some music we could dance."- He offered. "Yes, I could dance. What a wonderful idea."- Arandula said, amused. Lulu plays the holographic radio, and invited Faca to dance with him- a way to have her under control- while Mundifico invited Arandula. "You dance very well."- Said she, after some minutes. "Oh, I'm very dumb at this!"- Mundifico said, knowing it was not so- he had experience dancing, of course, gained with the stays at Earth with the Synthetic damsels... In certain dances, the hands must be taken between the dancers, and Mundifico admired her small but firm hands, of pointed fingers - always smiling at her, looking at her eyes, and after two hours of being there, she was smiling at him openly. Lulu then said:" Please, let us go to the table. Dinner is served at the next room." 17078

He has several dishes already served- and so they seated there and eat the exquisite meal Lulu had obtained by rummaging at the Orb. Later, Mundifico said:' This has been a nice evening." "Yes, it does."- Arandula said, looking at him briefly. "I wish you could accompany me to the second mining field- if it's not too much to ask of you."- Mundifico invited her, and Arandula seems dubious about it- so Lulu said:" Perhaps he is going to build another series of buildings, there, who knows? Perhaps you could give him some ideas."- And with that, he compromised her to accept. To the rest of the females and the gentleman, there were no invitations, so they departed to their quarters, at the compound. Lulu see to it, and when back at the Orb, he sad: "You two could seat at the cabin; as I'm going to raise the Orb from the ground." "Of course."- Mundifico said, and taking her by the hand, they walked there- she said:" And you live all alone in here, Sir?" "Don't call me Sir! Just call me Mundifico."- He said. "Mundifico- I'll call you that only when others are not around- I cannot forget you are the owner of five worlds!"- Arandula said. Lulu maneuvered the Orb swiftly and departed to the Second Mining field; he didnt give much light to the main cabin, so Mundifico leaned against Arandula, saying:" You are simply beautiful!" "Oh, I'm not!"- Arandula said, but her eyes were fixed on him- he kissed her lightly and then she respond; soon they were kissing each other, while their hearts were drumming fast. Lulu did not land at the second mining field, but hovered at low speed until they begin to talk- then he landed. Mundifico was saying:' I expect you didn't wake up and realize I'm too ugly looking for you." "Oh, you are not ugly, Mundifico!- And her eyes were sparkling. Mundifico asked for more drinks, and Lulu provide fast. After a while, she said:" And you really want to build in here?" "Of course, darling! I want to make this place teaming with life and hard labor! Plenty of lights on the buildings will made people forget they aren't at the last planet of this star system."- Mundifico replied. She smiled, and then he kisses her until the morning... Chapter 17. The alien spaceships. Lulu takes off again, and carried it to the North Pole, where ice was formed with the cold of space- and ancient water deposits. The sky was sparkling with stars, and he waits until eight o'clock to tiptoe to Mundifico's cabin, opened the door and saw him and lady Arandula asleep on his bed. He awoke his master, and said:' News from the Cruiser, Sir." Mundifico looks at the beautiful woman who was on his bed, and went out the room, signaling Lulu to be silent not to awake her. Once at the control room, he said:" What is happening with the Cruiser, Lulu?" "They are requesting your presence, Sir. The long range radar it's showing some mysterious movements coming from deep space."- Lulu informed. "Don't tell me that the new cruiser is already coming! It rests several days for it!"Mundifico said. 17080 "No radio signals are present, Sir."- Lulu informed.

"Very well, let's go there. Forget about the mining field- surely you can rely on your second in command?"- Mundifico said, fastening his suit. "Yes. I'm sending him a message- all right, we can go now."- Lulu said. Mundifico strapped Arandula to the bed, but she awoke in the process, and said:" Are you tying me up, Mundifico?" Mundifico kissed her, and said:" Something popped up, darling. You wait here."- And departed; she was very worried- in fact, she almost didn't know the guy- and disentangling herself, begin to dress herself, when a sudden movement of the Orb sent her sprawling to the ceiling- she grabbed the tip of a cord with her right hand, and stopped her acceleration- or else, she would had knocked her head against the metallic surface. The spaceship regained its artificial gravity, and she descended abruptly to the bed; she puts on her shoes, and walked by the corridor, handling the rails- just in case. "Approaching the Cruiser. The Admiral (Marlo) is on the line, Sir."- Lulu said. "On screen!"- Mundifico demanded; suddenly, the face of Marlo filled the screen- he was using the new uniform of the Aurean Starfleet, which green was colored. "Emperor! Five enemy vessels approaching. I recommend you to flee- I'll take care of them while you get in safe."- The Admiral said. "Thanks, Admiral! However, I will try to be of help. I have a 40 mm. LASER canon mounted on this vessel."- Mundifico said. 17081 "As you say, Sir. I recommend you to stay close to my spaceship- in this way I could protect your Orb- to a margin."- Admiral Marlo said, thinking Mundifico was willing to dieOrbs were for tourist! "Locking signals."- Lulu said, meaning than from then on, the Admiral strategic movements will be adapted and obeyed by him. "Guess I could man the LASER cannon."- Mundifico said, seating at the Artillery bench. "You could fire when the green light blink, Sir. The rest will be donned by the Main Computer, or me."- Lulu recommended. Mundifico takes Arandula by her left hand, and said:" Please, my new discovered love, seat next to me! I'll strap you to the seat." "Thanks you."- She murmured, white with fright. The Cruiser flashed some lights, and suddenly the Fifth planet blurred and was no more both vehicles were flying at high speed, turning against the incoming vessels. At the alien fleet, the bigger enemy craft opened fire- yellow streaks on the blackboard of space. "We are too far to begin firing, Sir."- Lulu said to Mundifico, who was now wearing a helmet with a screen on the inside, who managed to show the exterior of the orb from the position of advance. "They had real powerful weapons."- Mundifico said, while the Orb turns to the right- and backs on course, avoiding so a fiery ray. "Of course, Sir. From the Cruiser are signaling us to take precautions."- Lulu said, aware that, if touched by one of those rays, the shining Orb would explode with the terrible heat. 17082 The cruiser fired two LASERS, followed by four photon torpedoes. "There it goes three million credits, Sir!"- Lulu informed. "Never best investment invested!"- Mundifico growled inside of the black helmet. "Firing the cannon."_ Lulu said, while the Orb zigzagged in front of the enemy, that now were sending showers of energy rays, literally crisscrossing the site. The Cruiser made a hit on a lesser spaceship; half of it vanished in a puff of crimson flakes, and the rest stayed there, throwing sparks from the hole that was now its middle

part. Then the Cruiser was hit, and there was a big explosion- Lulu received the signal and get away at top speed, almost banging against a big enemy space battleship - and rapidly they were half way to the Fourth planet. "Incoming vessels. Not to worry- we're already communicating with them."- Lulu said. With the helmet still on, Mundifico was horrified by what he just saw, and said:" But the Cruiser- it's gone!" Lulu glanced at him, saying: Totally lost, Sir- four life emergency vessels were going out when the spaceship was hit- probably they're in enemy's hand by now." "Or scurrying to the Fifth planet."- Mundifico said. "You are at the Flagship now, Sir. They are asking us what to do next."- Lulu informed him. "On screen, every one of them!"- Mundifico said, pulling out the black helmet from his head- he noticed his hands were trembling. On the main screen, the captains were in plain sight- looking at him. Mundifico said:" Captains, we had been badly hit by an enemy space fleet. Our main vessel has been destroyed- but the enemy has now only three bigger ones and just one arrowhead vessel. We had one Orb and six Fighters here. Else we went there to be sacrificed, or we return to defend our main possession - the Aurean planet." 17084 Captain Masados say:" With all due respect, Sir, we rather be dead than defeated." "Yes, an honorable death. But I prefer to retreat and wait for the first of the two battle cruisers I asked weeks ago- it rest just scant days to see them coming."- Lulu said, also by the intercommunication system. "Are you of the same idea than King Lulu, Emperor? We are bond to wait?"- Masados asked in earnest. "Exactly. Let us retreat to the Second Planet."- Mundifico commanded. The group turns around, following the Orb. Inside of it, Lulu said:' I am sending radio messages in the direction of the future Cruiser's path. Soon we'll hear something in reply." "Yes."- Mundifico said, while the Orb was devouring thousands of kilometers per second, followed by the space fighters. Arandula said:" Pity what is happening! In addition, to think my companions are at the Fifth planet! I would have been there if not for your invitation." "Some says the Destiny could be denied, but there it is."- Mundifico said, kneeling at her side. "Hours ago you was very happy, now you are worried."- Arandula said, touching one of his hands. "Affairs de la vie! As some people says at the planet Earth! I'm sure I will be helped."Mundifico said. Lulu looked at him and said:" Of course, that is the correct course of action, Sir! Do as the king of Knapp did: make an alliance with the Federation of Planetssure, they will expel those 17085 Enemies of the system!" "All right! You'll talk with them, as soon as we could!"- Mundifico said feeling almost relieved- he had not donned that, due to his suspicion about opening the gates for the Starfleet; surely, they will ask something more than a roof and some carloads of food to be paid for their services! They stayed there until the arrival to planet Fourth, two hours later and Lulu said:" The reasonably thing it's to deploy the Fighters, Sir, at several points around the Aurean planet; we could stay locked to the Orbital Station, for logistics circumstances."

"And why don't you stay with your Fleet here, Mundifico? So you will have an option, if defeated- to get back to the Third Planet, and then to the Second, tempting your destiny to get better!"- Arandula proposed him. "Yes! That is better; we had several Fighters here, and it is King Belone to be of help. Tell this to the people."- Mundifico said to Lulu. "You better say it, Sir! You must give them the assurance you are in control of this situation."- He replied. "Right. Put them on screen- the ones in here too- see if you can communicate with King Belone, too."- Mundifico asked of him, decided to do whatever necessary in order not to loose his recent acquired kingdom. Later, when all of the Captains and King Belone were on screen, he told them:" Brave space soldiers! Now the Kingdom of Aurean calls you to action! The days ahead are of dire danger, but I know you are going to be brave, defending our populace on the surface of the remaining controlled worlds! Never to be a slave!"- And after that short invitation to heroism, he added:" Now, half of you ,Captains, are going to be posted between this planet and the incoming alien space fleet, and me, together with some more fighters we are calling here now, will made our stand here until further notice." 17086 In addition, with this and some more details given to the King Belone, he visited the Orbital Station, talking with the civil Administrator, Mr. Wallak. "We have no weapons here, Emperor Mundifico! What are we going to do, if the enemy fleet appears?"- Wallak asked him. "You must have a pair of shuttlecrafts ready to depart, with all the civilians on board. This could be a difficult time for us all, but not to despair: help is coming."- Mundifico assured the frightened natural Man. Arandula waited for Mundifico to be relaxed, and said:" Mundifico, I need to see my parents at Aurean city! Also, I only serves you here as a burden!" Mundifico didnt want to hear just exactly this, but he said:' Arandula, I really love you. Please stay with me! You give me strength I need. She was sure Mundifico wanted her body and little else more, but as she could not speak to him openly- in the end, he was a king- she said:' I knew not I was so important for you! I'll stay, but first allow me to visit my parents first." He kissed her, saying:" I assume you are a good daughter! Now I HAVE NOT any 17087 Means of transportation! Please have a little more patience, and wait until some shuttle of fighter spacecraft goes to the Second Planet." Arandula masked her inconvenience smiling, and said:" Very well, Mundifico, here you have me, all for yourself!" Mundifico sensed he was being teased, discovered in his lascivious way of life, and said:" You will not regret this, my love! I'll give you all the luxuries that you deserve!" And to prove her he wasn't bluffing, he gives her one of Holly's finger rings, saying:" Here's a token of my love for you!" - And Arandula was happy, as she valued the costly ring in several thousand Credits! The rest of that day passed uneventfully, and she went to sleep at Mundifico's cabin, while he stayed at the control cabin, talking to Lulu. "Why the enemy hasn't shown up?" "Sure thing they are plundering the Fifth planet, Sir! They think there is no hurry coming here to destroy our puny space fleet! And that is so, because they must have spied on usbeforehand!'- Lulu expressed the situation as he sees it. 17088

The captains, several hours later, asked for a meeting, and holographically they had one at 16:45 hours. There were seven persons, including Mundifico, they were Esfran, Eberg, Econmes, Ecialen, and Rodriguez- this last one of the Trainers, who stayed with the Fleet after his job was donned. Mundifico said: Congratulations for you all that have fulfilled your duties with heroism! Now we are gathered virtually here, to discuss the next step, bearing in mind the Cruiser must arrive in four days more." Esfran said: Thanks for your compliments, Emperor, but we are just doing our job. And about the enemy, they hadn't arrived because they must be plundering the mines of Fifth." 17089 "I assume so! However, we must take precautions! They can beat us very easily, in our present conditions- not without some looses, of course, that we could inflict them."Mundifico said. "We can offer you a small change of plans, Sir!"- Rodriguez said- he was two meters tall, a Natural- as the rest of the Captains were, as well as the ninety per cent of their crews was Synthetics. "Let's hear!'- Mundifico said who was always open to hear, but not to obey insinuations. "We could get back, and see if we could select targets. One by one, we could defeat them."- Rodriguez proposed. "Of be wiped out! Have you not heard about long-range radar? I am sure those enemies have that device in their spaceships. So, our presence would be spotted before we could speak of an ambush!"- Mundifico said, smiling scornfully. Rodriguez said:" I understand you are waiting for the Cruiser, Sir, but the Cruiser will appear exactly at the Fifth planet's orbit- ready to be attacked! And if they defeat the previous Cruiser, what will prevent a second defeat for us?" Mundifico remembered old tales about Nero, and said:' Very well! Let's packed all together and let's go there- it rests four days for the Cruiser's arrival - with luck, we'll catch the enemy by the two sides at the time."- Mundifico mused himself, changing his plans, in view that the Cruiser was, in fact, prone to be defeated. Mundifico went to his cabin, where Arandula was waiting, and said:' Darling, I am going to the battle. We must to help the Cruiser when approaching, or else, they could destroy it." She was seated on a chair; she sprung up, saying:" Oh, but it is dangerous! Why don't you wait here? Advise them by the radio- or send someone to tell them about the enemy, so they'll be prepared!""Good idea, darling. However, all the while we must depart. You are going to Aurean City, on the second planet Aurea, and you'll wait me there." She sobbed a little, and then obeyed what was her first idea Captain Esfran carried her to Aurean city, and when returning, Mundifico said by the radio:' All right, Captains! Follow me to the Fifth Planet!" In addition, they tiny fleet, composed by one Orb and four space hunters, leave the orbit and accelerate their engines in search of the enemy forces. The third planet approaching, Sir!"- Lulu said, as he was now the pilot of the Orb. "We'll use the mass of it to gain extra acceleration!- Mundifico said, and descended to the pod's hall, and there it was Holly, now in repose. He pushes a button and the System 17092 Awakened her almost instantaneously. She looked at him with his big green eyes, smiled, and the lid opened; Holly said:" Hi, love! Oh, what a rest that I get in here! I am feeling as newly born!' "Great, dear! Let us go to the main cabin! "- Mundifico said, taking her by a hand.

Lulu sensed her wavelengths, and said to her by the radio:" Holly: I will need your help on the LASER beam! We are going to defeat enemies at the Fifth planet- three battleships and a fourth and fifth big cruisers of alien design." "Acknowledged."- Holly radioed back. When at the controls, Holly said to Mundifico:" Darling, don't you worry about the LASER CANON. I'll manage it - you just give orders to the pilot." Mundifico was well aware he was outpaced by her skills and fast reactions, so he accepted it, and said:" Very well; and I'm musing about this: to send one Fighter out of the System, to warn the incoming Cruiser of these facts." "Good idea, Sir. Only if they arrive there and no cruiser is in sight? Must they wait?" "Of course, Lulu! Their mission is to make contact with the Cruiser- nothing else matters."Mundifico said, looking at the radar. Soon they were approaching V planet- and three dots were visibly, coming their way. "Sir: enemy in sight. Fighters are requesting orders."- Lulu said. "Tell them to scramble- each by their own- tell the Radio Operator to try to warn the cruisers, as we said." "Orders issued, Sir. Full thrust ahead."- Lulu said, and the Orb almost blurred itself, speeding in an arc against the three bigger machines = Holly fired the LASER canon and from one of the enemy craft was hit and a burst of flames sprouted from one of its sides. 17093 "Good work, Holly!- Lulu said, and the Orb almost blurred itself, speeding in an arc against the Third planet , that was still in sight - Holly fired the LASER CANNON, and one of the alien crafts was severed at the prow, becoming a torch in that eternal night . "Good work, Holly!"- Lulu said audibly, Mundifico smiled at her, in good spirits- the rest of the hunters made different attacks and Lulu descended on the Compound. A group of enemies fired at them from one of the tunnels - Lulu connected his radio waves with the ones at the Mine- and a voice said:" Orders, Sir?""Smash the enemy formations! Use rocks, if necessary!"- Lulu said, sensing his positron brain heating- the prohibition to maim living creatures was activated. Lulu erased the order from his memory banks, so the warning system cools down immediately. He said: "Sir, you can use your skills now!" Mundifico understand he was able to fight to kill with the aliens, so he uses the LASER cannon against the Aliens, scorching everyone in sight. The Miners come out of the mine and frightened the enemy so much, that they forgot any resistance and run by far, as they were using masks to breath whatever air they use as oxygen. "Compound recovered, Sir."- Lulu announced. "Good! Now, where are the two big alien spaceships?"- Mundifico asked. "Probably they went to meet the Cruiser, Sir!- Lulu informed, and in that moment, an alien spacecraft appeared, flying fast over the place; Lulu 17094 Ascended fast at them in the Orb, and Holly sent several burst of LASER beams against the enemy that paused and then regain velocity - soon it was back at the Compound, firing against the Miners, who were in the open. Two fighters from Aurean planet descend upon him, firing LASER beams- the enemy spaceship ascended, throwing flames by a side- spoon the fires were quenched by the icy coldness of space- the enemy then return the firing, plus two photon torpedoes, no matter how fast one of the Fighters try to escape, both photo torpedoes hits it and a big explosion ensued, leaving no traces of the gallant Fighter spaceship. < Three to go- Aurean Fighter planes were only 4).

The big spaceship of war goes by the second Aurean fighter and the Orb, that also was in the pursue- due to the higher velocity of the Orb, the LASER only scorched the energy field surrounding it but not the proper hull. Mundifico heard blips from the radar screen = pinpoints of light were indicating more vehicles approaching - and said:' Two other vessels incoming, at 82.000 km. of distance." Holly stared two seconds at the signal, and said:" Not ours." "Call the remaining Fighters and let's go!"- Mundifico said; the Orb accelerated, and flying over a mountain chain, lost the pursuer alien spacecraft; Lulu saw a deep ravine and descended. Then it camouflages the Orb by reflecting the surrounding area with a holographic projection above the craft, while the metallic parts of the ship were neutralized with a force field. "Pity about the Fighter craft."- Holly said. "Why do you say that? Certainly it can escape to the outer space."- Mundifico said. "No way, dear! It was destroyed- no signal in the wavelength- total silence! "Holly said, blinking her beautiful eyes. "Damn!- Mundifico said, using that Earthman word with property. The Orb extended the ladder and Mundifico descended, followed by Holly, both using space suits. The place was damp and cold, and full of rocks. He seats on one, saying:' Guess this idea was a bad one." "At least the enemy has only three spaceships in the vicinity! Easier pray for your Cruiser."- Holly remarked. "No signs of it!- Mundifico replied, with sadness; now his little fleet was no more- plus the lives of Naturals and Synthetics. "Don't be sad! You still have me!"- Holly said, kissing him. Lulu was at the control room, trying to hear something at the radio- no signals whatsoever; the Cruiser did not arrive, and the smaller fighters destroyed or in radio silence like him... The radar shows the surrounding area and the sky over their heads, where nothing moves. "Attention! Dilithium Crystal at thirteen per cent of capacity! Soon a new one must replace it! Notice number One."- The voice of the Central computer 17096 Barked by all the loudspeakers. "Time to replace it! Bad news."- Lulu remarked, looking at the monitor. Mundifico looked at the sky, fearing to see the shadow of an alien craft. He was haunted. His luck gone. He mused about that, and searched for a way out- he said:" If we loose them, by being here, then later perhaps we could go up and do something." "Yes, darling- I think the Cruiser is now engaged against the big battleship."- Holly said. "What? Are you hearing something by the radio?"- Mundifico said, startled. "NO, darling! I only supposed it so."- Holly kissed him, in a soothing way, but Mundifico was 17097 Restless, and went up the ramp and inside the Orb. "Lulu! No signs of the Cruiser, yet?" "No, Sir! Static only! "- Lulu replied, looking at him. "We'll wait here a couple of more hours! Then I think the best thing would be to depart to Knapp- in the way, searching for that Cruiser."- Mundifico ordered. "Yes, Sir! Plenty of gold to buy a Cruiser."- Lulu said. "OH! But only one more... if they had not used my Credit! What do you think it happened? "- Mundifico asked him.

"I' m optimistic, Sir! I think they are going to arrive any minute, now."- Lulu replied, smiling. "I don't know what to expect! When normal things did not happen in a normal way, it is because something awful is happening! I know Efron the Ecconomo- he purchased the defeated Cruiser and all those puny small Fighters! Being a Synthetic, I'm sure he didn't run away with my money."- Mundifico said. "No, he wouldn't have possibly donned that, Sir."- Lulu said. "Relax, dear! I'm sure your future plans would help you succeed."- Holly said. Mundifico went out again, and walked by the site, using the spatial suit- then he heard Lulu's voice, saying:" Time to go, Sir!" He went inside the Orb with Holly, and after pulling out his spatial suit, he seats at a chair in the Main Control Cabin, and said:" Up and away, Lulu! Right to Oredloro- if we didn't detect the Cruiser first!" The Orb departed slowly, scanning the vicinity - nobody in sight, the afternoon 17098 Was as black as always- soon out of the strong gravitational field of the planet, Lulu accelerated and then they were a million kilometers away. "No signs of those aliens!"- Mundifico said. "No signs of the Cruiser, either!- Lulu informed, while the Orb reach top speed- hours later, they use the Super radio, calling for the Cruiser, but only static comes back by the loudspeakers. They patrolled for a week, and then Mundifico said:" I cannot stand this situation any longer! I will be in a Cryogenic Pod! If we made contact with the Cruiser, or any other ship Efron could have bought in Oredloro, you make me know it, by awakening me." "All right, Sir. Also, I'll land at Rixiaberg, and awake you there."- Lulu said. "Of course, Lulu. Do that."- Mundifico replied. "A last kiss good bye, darling?"_ Holly asked, and after that moment of tenderness, Mundifico went to the pods chamber. Two months later, Lulu landed at Rixiaberg Cosmodrome and awake Mundifico from his artificially produced slumber. "Good day, Sir. We are in Rixiaberg."- Lulu said when Mundifico opened an eye. "Where's Holly?" - He replied, opening the second eye. "In storage, Sir! Did I awake her?""Yes! I need love."- Mundifico said, thinking he was not accustomed to be without care. Lulu awakened the beautiful Model, and she run to her Master, with a laughter. Lulu called again to the Rixiaberg Spaceship Company, and this time he obtained an appointment with the General Manager, about a certain transactions between them and the Aurean Administrator... 17100 Chapter 18. At Knapp. Two hours later, Mundifico presents himself, in person, at the RSC, and Mr. Fogonder attends him with a smiling face. "Mr. Mundifico! Glad to see you! Come in, take a seat! You too."- (This last to Holly and Lulu, who were present just to help Mundifico in any way possible). "Thanks you, Mr. Fogonder! I came from the Aurean Planetary system- I sent here a Mr. Efron, who hasn't appeared back with some spaceship I ordered some time ago."Mundifico said.

"Oh, I'm sorry you had to come from that distant part of the Galaxy! And I only can tell you how deeply sorry I am to give you the news."- And Mr. Fogonder made a grimace. "Well, let's hear! Must be a good one."- Mundifico said, imagining right the contrary. "It's bad news, actually! The government of His Majesty the King Lugner had said: no more weapons to any other Kingdom, Republic, Empire, Tyranny, or Communist government in this or any other Galaxy, Cloud or Branas! And here we are, unable to sell our products except to His Majesty's Space Fleet."- Mr. Fogonder said. "And how do you think that is possibly, for the future permanence, and existence, of your Industry, to obey such an order?"- Lulu asked. "The government of our King Lugner had signed for two battle Cruisers a year, plus smaller spaceships now and then- provided we upgraded them as times goes by- so you see, we'll keep on building- but how many time more, I don't know."- Mr. Fogonder said, perspiring- he had seen better days. "But, we had a contract! This Edict, or order, when was issued? Before or after our Contract? As we can go to tribunals, I suppose- laws 17101 Still in existence, I guess."- Mundifico asked him. "After, Mr. Mundifico. And the Edict forbids any deliverance- starting the day it was issued."- The Manager said, looking significatively at his wristwatch. Mundifico stand up from his chair, and said:" I understand. Pity our Government is acting this way, with loyal subjects such as me.""Can give you an advice? Talk to the Ministry of Defense- perhaps in your case, being yourself a loyal subject of our King Lugner, could be excepted from this Edict for this time."- The general manager Fogonder said. "But, can you tell us what happens with our envoy, Mr. Efron, who must have come here beforehand?"- Holly asked him. Fogonder reddened, and said: " Mr. Efron was captured, I'm afraid- by the government. Ask at the same Ministry." "We will do that."- Mundifico said, departing; at the street, Lulu said:" Your funds are intact, Sir. No transactions had being made- I connected with your Bank by radio waves." "That's something. Where to the Ministry of Defense?"- Mundifico asked, hailing a fliertaxy. "Ask the driver, honey."- Holly said, taking him by the arm. 17102 The driver said:" It is that big building over there, Sir. Are you going to speak with someone of importance?" Mundifico raise an eyebrow, and said:" And what to you if I am?" "Guess you want a special favor, isn't it?- The built in mechanism said. "Yes and how do you know?"- Mundifico was spellbound- by the way, the taxi flier was not going anywhere, standing on the floor. "I am well informed, Sir. You come from the fringes, and you want something- spaceships of war! I am correct?"- The built in mechanism said. "I am speaking to a taxi flier? I must have turned myself mad."_ Mundifico said to Holly, who said:" Let me handle this, my love."- And she communicate (by radio) with the Entity, who offers a number of things with a purpose. "My dear, I know all about it, now. This mechanism has almost reached the limit of service; soon it will be dissolved and made it useful as recycled materials; but he does not want to die."- Holly said. "Oh, and it's a male?"- Mundifico smiled; surprised with this show of personality a Synthetic mind could perform.

"He wants to be a male, with your help. In exchange, he offers a bargain: he has connections that could solve your problems."- Holly said. "What I must do? Rip his positron brain out of this vehicle?'- Mundifico asked. "No, dear; simply buy the vehicle! You could do it, as it is veering at the rim of a melting pot. They will ask you just 390 Credits for this Flier."- Holly said. "As little as that?- Mundifico asked, as he was aware that a Taxi flier costs, at the least, 4.000 Credits. "Yes, because you could not use it to fly! Just to take some items out of it, or repair some other vehicle you could have, with the spare parts."- Holly said. "All right, and then? I carry it to my Orb, or what?"- Mundifico asked. "You bring the positron brain to the Cullin Works, or some other Company, saying you want it on a new Synthetic person! So, he would not die."- Holly said. "I get it! The desire of to be immortal! Well, our race shares that desire, too! Only we wish some Spirit in the Sky could remake us in the form of a cloud!"- Mundifico stated. "Yes or no?"- The voice of the taxi flier said. "Yes. Hope you could use your future body in my service."- Mundifico said. "Or course, Sir. I will serve you right."- The built-in positron brain replied, and then he added:" You do not want to talk with the big brass there! You are going to search for the Administrator of Appliances and Storage! He is a Synthetic person; he will give you what he could- spaceships able to sustain a battle in the sky without coming apart." "Guess you get the point! I am so despaired that everything I could get to defend my Administration seems to me a fine thing."- Mundifico said. The taxi driver carried them to the outskirts of the city of Rixiaberg, where stands some buildings - close to a spaceship yard. "It's all arranged, Sir. Just ask for ACER290; you'll have not a problem."- The taxi driver said, and added:" Ill wait for your return at the parking lot." "All right."- Mundifico said. At the gate, four Synthetics with weapons looked at them, and Mundifico said:" We came here to speak with ACER290!" "Wait for confirmation, Sir.... Confirmation acceptable. You may come in- I'll guide you to him."- The chief of the Gate said, and guided through a big corridor and inside a big chamber, where some electronic apparatus were blinking. "You are in the presence of ACER290!- The Chief of the Gate said. "You can return to your post, 29083."- A voice from the ceiling said, and the guard departed. "Where are you?"- Mundifico asked, looking at the ceiling. "I am here- the machines you are looking now."- The voice said. "Oh. Well, I talked with some taxi driver, who is waiting outside, as I need..."- Mundifico was saying, but the voice interrupted him, saying:" I know what you need; but the price will be nor money, nor gold."- ACER290 said. "And what do you want? A body of a Synthetic humanoid model?"- Mundifico asked. "I would not be able to be inserted in such a small artifact!- The voice said-" I must be inserted on a spaceship! But regulations get me stuck in this room!" Mundifico sensed a chill going down his spine, as the Synthetics brains were having desires - and more than that, a desire to do something to fulfill their will! "I have no problem with that! I need spaceships- an alien race attacks my newly founded Administration- five planets recently colonized- my spaceships were destroyed. Here, they denied me a single Cruiser."- Mundifico said. "All of it could be solved, Sir. Orders could be forfeited, numbers changed, stock feigned. Live it all to me- I will be inserted in a big spaceship, under your orders of course-

payments are not necessary. Five Cruisers, eight Destroyers, a couple of Orbs... you name it."- ACER290 said. "Really, I don't have enough money- perhaps a Cruiser and a couple of Orbs."- Mundifico stated. "No problem, Sir! I must be inserted in a Destroyer- so a Cruiser and a Destroyer must be! Your money will serve to realize the insertion of myself into the Destroyer- the Cruiser will be lend to you, of course- don't you worry about payments- and a special clause about warranty- mere formalism- will take care of the payment, if you lost the Cruiser in a battle non provoked by you. Enough?- ACER290 said. "Yes, I accept."- Mundifico said, and then back to the taxi flier, who gets them to another place in the city, saying:" You'll be lodging at a safe place, Sir; no spying on you this way; I will call you , Miss Holly, when the spaceships gets ready." "All right; hope it will be not too much time- we are pressed by time."- Mundifico said. "Don't you worry? This will be quick; we had this plan ready to get into action four years hence."- The in-built driver said. Later, Holly was enchanted with the new location: luxury was too fade a word to describe the Arabian luxury they found there- every new appliance was present, and some others that were not already on the stands, too. "Feel yourself at home, Sirs! We are here to serves you."- A Synthetic female said, while showing them the bedroom. "Thanks! We are very thankful."- Mundifico said, looking at the very well built female. When left alone, Holly murmured in his hear:" NO matter they said there is no spying here, I sensed 39 bugs in this bedroom alone; so watch out what you are saying." "Yes."- Mundifico said, very surprised. "And I am hearing conversations- they all know about our little plan; don't you worry, they will not betray us- ACER290 is too important and powerful for them to ignore- guess they are afraid of the guy."- Holly said. Four weeks they spent there- at night, they went to dance, and in the morning they always went to the Cosmodrome, to talk with Lulu; at last, they were called by ACER290, who said:" The goods are ready, Sir. Please come to my office, to give you the last instructions." "Well, I was expecting you will not need to do it, after ..." "Don't say another word, Sir! Please come."- ACER290 asked of him; so he went there, with Holly and Lulu; and Mundifico was very nervous- could it be a trap? However, there was a person seated behind a bench, with two other Synthetic persons wearing green suits. The man approached, and said:" Guess you don't recognize me." "ACER290?"- Mundifico asked, spellbound- could it be that those big machines shrink as much as to be able to be inserted in a humanoid skull- or chest? "Oh, no, Sir! Just the taxi driver, remember? Our boss is already in orbit! Later I will give you more details! For now, let us made the final arrangements- you must sign some documents here, and don't worry: this Synthetic gentlemen are loyal to ACER290 and are here to help."- The taxi driver said, with a wink. Mundifico signed the documents that were in digital form using a fingerprint reader. Holly read it and made an abridged comment:" All is legal here, love. Sign without regret." "Yes."- Mundifico said, but all the while, he was worried- illegal things always made him nervous. "Now, we are ready to depart! Guess I could guide you the rest of the way- let's go to your Orb."- The Driver said, and they followed him out; in a special vehicle, they traveled to the Cosmodrome; there they climb the ladder, and Lulu said:" Welcome, Sir! And you too, Lady Holly, and Mr. Driver."

This he said smiling, as he was already aware, through the radio emissions... "Our friend and benefactor are already in orbit; the rest of your private fleet is traveling out of the orbit now; we must follow them until out of the Knappian System, where they are going to be under your command in full."- The Driver said. "Hope so.'- Mundifico said, seating on his chair of command- Holly at his right, Lulu at the controls, and the Driver enjoying the ride, flexing now and then his new body- a body so similar to a human body, that you couldn't notice the difference even with a magnified glass. Five hours later, crossing the orbit of the Fourth planet, they saw the small fleet shinning with dull colors - the voice of ACER290 filled the cabin, while he was saying:" Welcome, Administrator! Hope you had a nice trip!" "Yes, I am delighted to see you honor your word and nothing bad happens! I need these vessels and now I am happy to order you to follow us to our Planetary System."- Mundifico said. "Not a problem, Sir! I am the Battleship with a star painted at starboard! "- ACER290 said. "Yes, I'm looking at you now. Nice spaceship."- Mundifico said, while noticing several cannons protruding from the aft side. "Heavily armed, yes, Sir! I need to save my skin, if we are in a fight."- ACER290 SAID, as if he had read his mind. Lulu gives the coordinates, and the order to make the transition- Mundifico leaned on Holly, saying:" Guess we had a new war fleet again!" "Yes, darling! Two cruisers, five Destroyers and two Hunter Spaceships! The enemy will have problems with us, if they dare made a new attack!"- Holly said, kissing him tenderly. Two months later, they were facing the lights of Aurean star, and the planets were like tiny specks of reflected light. Chapter 19. AUREAN PLANETARY SYSTEM 17106 THEY SUDDENLY glimpse lights of various colors in front of them; and Lulu said:" That is the enemy, Sir!" "Let's fight!"- Mundifico ordered. Lulu sent the message to all of the Aurean Fleet, and as a swarm of angry wasps, they accelerate to that point. The stronger rays were issued- not only from the Cruisers, but also from the enemy! Two fighters went against one of the alien cruisers, firing their LASERS- they obtained several bursts of rays, but not as many as the aliens wanted, as they were busy with the Cruisers. Suddenly, two explosions of white radiance illuminated the scene, two alien vessels were disrupted and their cores exposed. The Neutrons had their bidding- after the explosion, the enemy Cruiser surrender- no firing were issued- soon it was boarded , and their crew went into captivity - Lulu said:" The Commander of the Cruiser is calling for you, Sir." "On screen!"- Mundifico said. 17108 An unknown person appears there, saying:' Glad to meet you, Sir! I'm Salter, Commander of MQ-600, one of your new Cruisers." "Glad to meet you too, Captain Salter! Especially under this circumstances."- Mundifico said.

"We are locking the prisoners, Sir. No need to loose the opportunity to learn something out of them."- Captain Salter said. Quite right, Commander Salter."- Mundifico said, grinning- he was thinking the guy wanted to command everything by his own free will, so he added:" My orders are: all spaceships available on this System must be reunited at an orbit around the Second planet. See to it, Commander." "I recommend you to wait at the V planet, Sir. In case the enemy presents itself, you'll be ready to shun them the entrance to the whole planetary system."- Commander Salter recommended. "I'm well aware of it, Commander Salter. Very well, let us proceed: to the Second planet. Motion to remind at the Fifth planet is refused. Orbit around the Second planet is the reunion point, Commander Salter."- Mundifico said, 17109 Beginning to feel angered, and finished the communication. "Are you angry, dear?"- Holly asked him, kissing his cheek. "That Salter! He must love commanding operations! But in here, he will learn to obey."Mundifico said. "Pity you feel like this, honey. I knew he is one of the few Naturals in your Fleet."- Holly said. "Are we departing to the Aurean planet, Sir?"- Lulu asked. "Yes. Top speed. I will talk with Cornejian- personally. Tell him we are on our way to Aurean planet - victory on our side this time. Also, ask for revenues- we are going to need a lot of gold and valuables."- Mundifico remembered him. "I'll call every King of your Empire, to be ready about deliverance of gold."- Lulu said. "I'm afraid we'll be spending more money in weapons than we could afford. A pity! In addition, me, thinking I was in a safe neighborhood! - Mundifico said, embracing Holly. A week later, a meeting was adjourned at Aurea, the major city of the Aurean Planetary System. King Cornejian had a grand saloon all set for the occasion- twenty-seven Synthetics were helping with the event. At 15:15 hours, Mundifico said: The Session begins. I, as your Emperor, am happy to see our efforts win the war- but also, this war could keep on, if we do not invade our neighbors first in their abiding place. Our new cruiser's commander, M. Salter, is here to say a few words- Commander Salter; you have your ten minutes option to speak." Salter rise from his seat, saying:" I am honored with the command of the Aurean Fleet. I fought hard and I defeat the enemy with valuable help, of course, of the space vessels our Emperor has at the time. 17110 Then he looks around the table, to each one of the Audience, and said:' We need more Cruisers, and Destroyers. Figber vessels are too puny (small) for this kind for this kind of battles. The enemy knows about cannons and missiles- they know about warp drives and force fields to protect their vessels. We aren't dealing with pirates here, or a second grade scientific civilization." And he seated. An iron curtain seems to have dropped in the middle of that reunion- Lulu reacted and said:' As you know, I am a Synthetic person and notwithstanding that, I am the King of the Fifth planet. Our Emperor need vessels, and we cannot produce them here- our civilization is in drapers, to use a Natural ditto. We need to extract gold, copper, and send it to wherever they pay us for it- and in doing so, provide with money for our Emperor's needs."

Belone talked in a similar way, reminding them about the need of hard labor, for the goods to be produced. Cornejian said; ' I am honored to say I can help our Emperor in his efforts, to build a great Space Fleet, as tons of gold are already in storage, and from seven mines we are digging for gold and silver, copper and iron."- And then he seats, while everyone applauded him. 17111 Reggie and Kette said:" In our worlds, there are no riches. We cannot export minerals, but perhaps we could device tours to the strange formations of rocks and ice that we have in our planets." "That will suffice! I will lend you money when I could! By now, we are engaged in the formation of a big Space Fleet". - Mundifico said. 17115 Lulu summed up the products and calculates the amount of Credits it will provide to the Empire created by Mundifico, and said:" With a margin of error of about four per cent, the minerals exported will give you fifty six million Credits, Sir." Mundifico was not too happy; a Cruiser costs 143 million credits, and the Destroyers cost 99 million credits apiece- plus the crews! In addition, the food and hundred other small items, that would mount to a considerable sum. "Considering a Cruiser costs 143 million credits, a Destroyer 99 credits, and a Frigate 85 million credits, I could think this war is lost."- Commander Salter said. Mundifico stares for some time at him, and said:" Of course- if they have more vessels like the ones, you saw! But, perhaps they didn't have any more to send here.""Maybe you are right, Sir. But a belligerent race will have more to throw at us." Lulu intervened, by saying:' I am sure that with two cruisers and a frigate they could be stopped. ": "Preposterous! If they come here again, I doubt they'll commit the same mistakes!"Admiral Salter growled. Mundifico realized that the Admiral was for ever looking on the somber side of things, and said:" Lulu, we will be trying to use all our money to buy weapons. From an idyllic surrounding I was prone to build, I will be changing the face of gladness to a one of terror and destruction, aiming to survive here. Perhaps with a little luck, the enemy will be destroyed." The Admiral made a grimace- he finds the Emperor a person with too much optimism, and said:" Well, congratulations! So I'll be here waiting with all the responsibilities weighing on my shoulders." "Oh, no! I'll leave somebody in charge here, as Viceroy- King Cornejian will be in charge."Mundifico said, looking at the named person. "Thanks very much, Emperor Mundifico! I'll try to defend the Empire with all my imagination." King Cornejian said, with apparent vehemence. "Well, Viceroy, see that the valuables are downloaded into a pair of Frigates! I'll be running in my Orb with King Lulu."- Mundifico said, looking at the Synthetic. After the meeting, Mundifico went to the Imperial Palace- in fact, a two stories building; with wide park surrounding it-, in fact the park was almost a vacant lot, with scant grass and lots of rubble. Inside, a pair of halls and at the second floor, a bedroom, a food dispense, not working at the time, and a field kitchen, with four Synthetic persons to attend it- and serves the Emperor an his guests when necessary. "Not too much luxury, I'm afraid! All the mo0ney its going by the sewer!"- Mundifico said, resting on the king- size bed - with Holly at his side, and Lulu standing at the feet of that bed.

": Yes, Sir. Pity the enemy was so near, and come so soon."- Lulu remarked. "I'll buy those spaceships and I'll attack them when returning from Knapp! I'm sure they will be surprised."- Mundifico said, kissing the agreeable Holly on her full red lips. ":The crews must be trained." Holly said, blinking her eyelids like a butterfly. "No need, Sir! With Synthetic people, all what is required its good software."- Lulu said. "Right! No more Naturals on my Space Fleet!- Mundifico said, laughing. "I don't mean that, Sir! I just propose you with the best course of action, and nothing more! "- :Lulu explained his opinion. "It was a remark only, Lulu!"- Holly defends her lover immediately. "Sir: I am being told the cargo is already being shipped to the orbit around this planet; they think three days elapsed time and it'll be all ready to depart."- Lulu said. "Wish you could spare a couple of vessels 17118 To defend our convoy, darling! Too much precious cargo, to be risking it without an escort."- Holly said. "The spaceships must defend the planets- now we have enough to do that duty.'Mundifico said to Lulu. "Two big spaceships in each planet, Sir- the Orb could harbor other cannon; did I work on that?"- Lulu asked. "Of course! We are the defenders in this new trip."- Mundifico said. Holly embraced him, saying:" Do not be too much troubled, dear! With a little amount of luck, we'll get through!"17120 A week later, the Orb and the two cargo vessels leave the Aurean planetary system, and the escort of three Fighters - the Cruisers had followed him just to the orbit of the Fifth planet only. 'There are heading to the V Planet, darling!"-Holly said, while looking at the radar. "Yes! They will prevent the enemy to take our planets for themselves."- Mundifico said. Hours later, Mundifico return to the main cabin - he had a nap at his bedroom- and asked:" Troubles?" "None, Sir! No enemies in sight, and the cargo ships looks rather good- hired personnel."Lulu said. "I wonder how many Naturals are in those freighters."- Mundifico said. "Fifteen, Sir. The rest are Synthetics."- Lulu replied. "Fine. The minute you can, ask for buyers in Knapp. Especially ship builders- perhaps they wanted to trade our valuables directly, instead of just only money."- Mundifico said to Lulu. "I recommend you not, Sir: I wonder how many would be hearing our offers! People of the Kingdom, traders, merchants, even pirates!"- Lulu reminded him. "Better to wait in safety, than to get rushing into trouble, dear."- Holly said. "Well, sometimes it pays to be apprehensive." -Mundifico said. One by one, the spaceships race in increasing velocity, in the general direction of the Knappian Kingdom. "How much time left for arrival?"- Mundifico asked. "Two months, Sir. Lulu said, looking at him in the dim light of the central cabin. 17124 "I wonder if I slept that period."- Mundifico said. "If you do, you'll be only for me."- Holly said, touching his right hand tenderly. "If you do, and we are in trouble, you'll be awakening two and a half hours later from the first alarm."- Lulu said.

"Guess the best thing it's to sleep."- Mundifico said, patting Holly's hand. "Yes, darling! The more you to into deep sleep, the more life span you'll get."- She said, always looking for the bright side of life. Hours later, Mundifico was in the Cryogenic pod, asleep. Lulu was saying:" No wonder he has an Empire in danger! He often slumbers while action must be donned." "Who knows why his race is alive? Who knows the meaning why things exist?"- Holly asked, while seated at the long-range radar's console- she was looking at the pinpoints of light, that were huge planets and bright suns at the far distant horizon. "I can cite a hundred theories, but all of them are devoid of certainty. The truth must be hidden there."- Lulu said, pointing to the stars. "Somebody said the whole Universe is a project made by a super race of beings, mathematics who love life."- Holly said, after searching for some remark on her database. Lulu speak no more- he was hearing faint signals, coming from Knapp- old news brought by the radio waves, that traveled like a caravan in an empty desert. Two months later, Mundifico regained conscience; the beautiful face of Holly was in front of him, looking at him with care. "Hi."- Mundifico said, feeling his tongue like a mop. "Hello, my darling! How do you feel?"- She asked, touching his face with cold fingers. "Just fine. You're beautiful." - He said, smiling. 'Thanks. And we are arriving to Knapp, darling. One hour later than expected."- Holly informed. "Oh, just one hour only?"- He smiled. "Some meteorites on our way, but all was sorted fine. Rixiaberg Cosmodrome is in sight."Holly said. "I guess I must be going at the Control Cabin, myself. Please help me walk in there, Honey."- He asked, as he felt himself rather dizzy. With gravity at half normal, it was easy to arrive there; Lulu was at the controls, and said:" Sir! Good to see you back. Soon we'll going to land." 17128 "You had donned a good job, Lulu! See if we contact the weapon shops as soon as possibly."- Mundifico said. "Yes, Sir! They had replied that only with King Lugner's authorization bought could be made. Lulu informed him. "Then, contact the proper Minister! We need their help." - Mundifico said, while the small fleet landed on the ground. Custom officers come and revised the Cargo, deduced the tax amount, and left, while Mundifico went with Holly to the Ministry of war. "The Ministry is available- not only for you, but to several others. Wait at Room Sixty three."- A functionary said to them. At R63, six other persons were waiting; on seeing Mundifico one of them said:" So you are here to obtain an interview with Olbog the Ministry of war?" "Yes, I am a Knappian citizen, and I have a remote Planetary System under Administration; I need several war ships badly." Another man approaches. He was small but stoutly build, and said:" I am Jorge Masir! I had being here five times, already; to not avail! This time I am in desperate need- pirates takes all the shipments I sent out of my realm! Without proper protection, I will loose my Administration- poor people; they will be an easy prey to those pirates!"

"Gentlemen! You can come in now: the Ministry is waiting."- A Synthetic functionary said: they followed him to a wide office, where the Minister Olbog, seated behind a huge desk, saluted: "Come in, Gentlemen. Take a seat, please!" 17129 They all seated, and the Minister Olbog said:" Please, and beginning for your left, state your petition." Jorge Masir was there, so he repeated, but in a larger form, what he had said previously; then Olbog said:" You are familiar to me? Seems I had seen you before." "Yes, Ministry Olbog! I had been here four or five times earlier, but now I'm in so great a hurry, that I came again to be heard."- Jorge Masir said, rubbing his chin. "I understand. Next, please? State your case." The next was Mundifico; he explains how he had lost one Cruiser and several space fighters when attacked by another race of beings at his Planetary System. He ends by saying:" My Admiral advise me that I need four Cruisers and two battle crafts will suffice by now- at least, to defend the planetary condominium." "I see - your position is in danger, there. Next person, please? State your case."- Olbog said, raising a hand. The others had similar problems, mainly with the Pirates of the Space. When the last of them ends his petition (Five warships plus Synthetic crews) , Olbog said;" Our Majesty King Lugner had decreed , several weeks ago, that no more warships of any kind will be sold to Administrators of Planetary systems , Kings of planets, and so forth. Our space fleet had grown old, and every warship will be built for our own purposes: mainly, to defend our planetary System. "Notwithstanding that and as our Majesty the King Lugner is a generous man, 17130 He will provide Warships and crews to anyone requesting help from our Space Fleet."And Minister Olbog made a pause, to read their faces that now were lighting up..."With one condition: the Administrators will recognize our Majesty as their King, and under his will they are going to Administrate the planets they have." Everyone protested, while Mundifico was saying it was not legal. Okkkk Minister Olbog nodded, and waits until their voices quiet down, so he said:" Of course, nobody could make you sign the Treaty- you are the ones who need help, and help has a price. And about the legality of this, who made laws in this Branas Two? The ones at Branas One, who give Administrations to you, without even were here. They did not represent any Government in this side of the Universe! Your mandates have no legality in our society, but we respect your efforts to enlarge the rule of humankind. Now, you will excuse me, I have some other matters to attend; and if you realize his Majesty's offer suits you fine, you will return here to sign the Treaty. Good afternoon, Gentlemen." They all went out of the Office with an angry mind, and at the corridor, Jorge Masir said:" I have a proposition to give you, gentlemen: take it or leave it, but it is our only hope now: let us reunite our forces! Let us build a space fleet with whatever we had! I had a Cruiser and two old Frigates! Let's see what the rest of you have to offer!" Mundifico said:' I have five Cruisers, four Battle crafts, and several Hunters, plus my Orb, who had a LASER cannon." The rest has one Cruiser, one battle craft and five Hunters. "See? We can get our forces together and be stronger! One by one, our Planetary Systems could be cleansed up from our enemies!"- Jorge Masir said.

"I'm Colus, Administrator of the star system charted as 368-20: we must state here where our dominions are located, 17131 As the distances will mean months of delay! " Mundifico said:" Let us study all of this somewhere else! I'm sure we are talking where all is being recorded!" "Let's go to my hotel suite! It's at the "Rujis Hotel", no bugs in there!"- Jorge Masir said, so they went there; Lulu was called, and he made all the necessary calculations. Finally, he said:" We have seven planetary systems at Branas 2 located at the same Sector; we will call them stars A, B, C, D, E, F, G, for general purposes. Let us say A and G are at the opposite directions- eight months apart one to the other. Let us see how the space fleet could travel from D to A or G in only four months. We must deduce also which planetary system is in he greater danger now- and as you Gentlemen had stated your individual situations to me, Star A is in the greater of dangers so the Space Fleet should begin there their operations, following with E,D,C, B, F, and finally G." "And you think the Space Fleet could accomplish that? And who will be in command of the fleet?"- Mundifico said. Jorge Masir said:' Well, lets' talk about our Army Forces! Some of you just have mining operations! Let's put in the table how much of a real Colony or civilization we have!" Mundifico explained that he has three major cities and seven mining fields that produce iron, copper and other minerals - in all, more than seven million people, and three Space Orbital Stations. Colus, Administrator of the Star System 368-20, said:" My Administration is over planets not Terraformed. I have eighteen mining stations with a total populace of eighty three thousand miners, 17134 Including Synthetic personnel-, I have a Cruiser and several cargo space ships armed with LASER guns. Just help me get ride of those pirates in order to work steadily! I am sure when they know we have a space fleet at our command, their attacks will diminish!" Mundifico said:" I have an Admiral; he could command the Space Fleet for all of us. Let's hear what he must to say!- Lulu had a direct connection with the aforementioned officer, and so, in the way of a hologram, they all were able to see Admiral Salter in "person". "Admiral! We are in position to relay in your abilities! This space fleet will be under your command; and you under our orders."- Mundifico said, after explain the situation to the astronaut. "I approve of your insight, Sir! We must to move fast, now you decided the course of action! I wish you could elect a person, among you, to give me the decisions you could device in the course of the actions of war."- Admiral Salter said, as he was not willing to be obeying a bunch of persons with equal powers to decide. Mundifico addressed the Administrators, saying:' Gentlemen: I propose myself as the Delegate in charge of the Space Fleet! We must search a name for our Alliance and our Fleet; and of course, the ruler will only act in accord with the rest of the Administrators." Mundifico said. "I have no objections to your requirements! I accept the motion and nomination!"- Jorge Masir said, heartily- the rest react in the same way. Admiral Salter said:" I need all the spaceships in working order, with their crews on board, with food and water a-plenty. " The Administrators sent notice to their Planetary Systems right there and then; afterwards, Jorge Masir said: "We are going back to our planetary systems. However, Mr. Mundifico will be working for us- let us bring him, apart of our sympathy, ways to accomplish his duties. Let us fix him a sum for operations."

The Administrators offers him a million credits per year. Mundifico accepts, saying:" We need to establish a certain amount for our Army Forces. Jorge Masir said:" Of course! We must get organized. Perhaps a sort of Federation of planets Branas 2."- And saying this, his eyes sparkled. Mundifico, as every other Administrator, wasn't willing to loose independence, but seeing they were as isolated as prone to be attacked by pirates or alien races, accepted with a movement of his head, saying:' A central government would suffice- you as the President, me as the War Ministry- provide this cargoes are accepted by the Administrators here assembled." Jorge Masir said:" I assume Admiral Salter is planning the first action! Let us start with that and see what comes our way! Guess I could be in the first action of war, as well as Administrator Mundifico." The Admiral Salter said:" Of course, Sir. You are entitled to it. The Orb is not a machine of war, but could accomplish many other labors- I do not know if you are willing to fulfill the job in our space fleet- as an explorer- at the front- giving hints to us about the location of the enemy forces and the like. " "No problem at all! And Administrator Jorge Masir is also coming with us." "Under your own responsibilities! If an accident to you could occur, think about the future of your planetary systems! "- Admiral Salter said, looking worried. "It will be for the first campaign, Admiral Salter! Later we'll get back to our respective Planetary Systems."_ Jorge Masir said, soothingly. Mundifico saluted and put an end of the communication with the Admiral Salter, looking at Jorge Masir. "We'll see how your Admiral manages their first fight! Then and only then, we'll him free of action, to keep on with his duties."- Jorge Masir said. "I trust in him- he already fought on my behalf."- Mundifico explained. "Things are a bit different now- he's working for a lot of Administrators and not only for one- and hell be fighting in different environments "_ Jorge Masir said. 17143 "What he said is true - the rest of the Administrators must be kept in safe! Our coalition works while their are alive."- Mundifico said, half repented to be in the path of action... "I assume the Admiral will have all the warships in working state by tomorrow morning! Let us say good bye to the rest of the Administrators, while we let them know we are going to fight for them."- Jorge Masir said, activating the holophone once again- half an hour later, they were in holophone Conference with the rest of the Administrators... "We need to elect a new government. One of us will be the President and the rest are going to be members of the Senate."- Jorge Masir said to them. "We don't want a President over all of us! We only want a Space Fleet who could take care of the space between our planets and the rest of the civilization."- Administrator Colus said. "A President will be in charge to make your life easier! Suppose we have a common market to present to the rest of the civilized worlds! Think about exchange of goods, immigration and tourism!"- Jorge Masir said. "Let's vote this motion."- Colus said. "Of course, my proposition it's very simple now: the details must be worked out! Each one of us must make a list with the goods that we are producing in our environments."- Jorge Masir expounded. "Let us get ride of the invaders and pirates first! Then we could talk about business!Colus growled back. "Delaying the best deal we could have in our hands? It is up to you! Let's vote!"- Jorge Masir said, eagerly.

"My vote will be open! I vote: Let us make us stronger! Let's unite!"- Mundifico said, but the rest of the Administrators did not like the idea, and they vote against it. "The votation is no to the election of a President! So be it."- Jorge Masir said, very angry about the no-voters... At the next day, the Space Fleet departed to the most trouble planetary system of them all, arriving there after forty-five days of travel. "We are now in the Administration of Covarrubias, in delta Spoon, ravaged by pirates; in fact, the planet orbiting sun Delta Spoon was only one- but around it, seven big satellites offers the miners great riches in the form of iron and copper veins; Covarrubias had also a big Orbital Station around the planet One Delta Spoon, where the freighters carried the mineral From there, in bigger spaceships, the mineral were sent to Knapp." - Mundifico said. "Let's hope we catch soon with the pirates, in order to get on with our Agenda."- Jorge Masir said. Mundifico asked, by the Intercom:" Admiral Salter! Are you aware the delay could be great?" "I don't think so! We'll wait here- indications say they always come from deep space."Admiral Salter replied, from the Cruiser. "As scout of the fleet, perhaps it could be better if I begin searching for them in the planet."- Mundifico offered himself. "Of course, Sir, but not right away."- Admiral Salter replied. Several days they spent encircling the principal planet that was the Delta Spoon I that was the only one that star has, among 18 moons and several big asteroids. Mundifico heard that the planet has three mining sites, one of them 17145 as large as a city. "We could visit our friend the Administrator Covarrubias! It is on this planet since two days ago. - Jorge Masir told to Mundifico. "Fine with me! But how about our Admiral Salter? The Orb isn't truly armed, but likewise it's necessary in case of a battle."- Mundifico objected. Masir called the Admiral and he gives his authorization right away, and they descended in the Orb. "It's night outside! Perhaps you should wait for the sunlight."- Lulu reminded his boss. "Call the Administrator Covarrubias and tell him we're here."- Certainly, we deserve some special treatment."- Jorge Masir said. Later, a group of vehicles arrives, with Administrator Covarrubias among other persons. "Welcome to my mining camp! Sorry I was delayed."- Mr. Covarrubias said, handshaking them "a la Terran". "Of course! We are here to observe and being observed! We're too tired of to be in artificial gravity!" Jorge Masir said. "Welcome! And you, Mr. Mundifico, how are your Orb? Fantastic vehicle, indeed!"Administrator Covarrubias said. "Yes, it's wonderful to have one of this grand tourism in a war." Mundifico said, smiling. They traveled in the Fliers to a long and stout building; inside, workers and machinery were by everywhere- at an elevator, Administrator Covarrubias said: My offices are in the sublevel forty-five! Sorry, but safety regulations forbade top building in devoid of atmosphere planets- such as the one we are now." Mundifico was astonished when the doors one: a carpeted corridor was in front of them, with several Guards lined against 17146

The walls; Administrator Covarrubias explained:" These fellows are here to welcome any intruder who dares to get in here! They're quite inoffensive while I'm around." "Of course; you must protect yourself."- Jorge Masir said, and down the corridor and to the left, there was a huge door; it opens automatically and a big room was in sight. "My humble abode!"- Administrator Covarrubias said, clapping his hands together; from several doors, that snapped open, beautiful E-females sprang into action, smiling and giving faint expressions of awe-, they offered drinks, fruits and beverages to the new comers. (Ersatz). "These E-persons are very efficient!"17147 Mundifico yawned- instantly, an E-dame approaches him, serving a flask of X-treme beverage, and saying:" This drink will give you superior energy! Prove it!" Mundifico already knew about energizers, so he drink- soon he felt stronger as he could get. 17149 Administrator Covarrubias was happy to impress them, but Jorge Masir wants results from that reunion- he disdained E-women and Energizers! "Let's talk, Covarrubias! You have here mines and workers! But how much do you get from the mines? We had been studying possibilities, with Administrator Mundifico." "Yeah? And in relating to what?"- Covarrubias said, caressing a pair of efemale legs. "Mr. Mundifico knows we are not a great city here nor our revenues are too spectacular. But our contribution to the erase of pirates and enemy foes cannot be disdained."Covarrubias added. "In time, we could be great as a Coalition of planets! Your planet will be of use- I'm sure you had explored all of them?"- Jorge Masir asked. "Very little, Administrator Jorge! I was based in what the " Bellerofon" , that was a Solar System Exploratory spaceship, published papers at the "Berhoff ", a bulletin of my old University- and based on those records, 17150 I asked for the Administration , and once obtained, I use all my money coming here with personnel and two space freighters a year ago: hard labor and long trips selling the ores makes me what you are looking now: a miner of sorts." Mundifico smiled- the guy has sincerity in his words- also guts! So he said:" I am going to congratulate you for your accomplishments! "-= And they shake hands- he was looking at the guy with other light, now he knew some of his background. "Ill show you my mine, using the hologram."- Administrator Covarrubias said, and at a corner of that room, the figure of the building appears- then, the floor after floor, and the underground levels were shown there, while the voice of Administrator Covarrubias , recorded previously, begin to ponder the excellence of the mining field. Mundifico learn that eighteen space Freighters were in use- the Ores were currently sold to King Lugner of Knapp. "I know what you are thinking! Why I do not sell it at the Branas One, where Terrans, Vulcans and the like abode! It's true they could pay me more for the ores, but also, the travel through the Branas must be donned with special freighters, that cost lots of money that the difference when selling to King Lugner of Knapp its minimal! "- Administrator Covarrubias said, clapping his hands together. After a while there, they went to several sections of the mine, ninety nine per cent of the personnel being E-people, mostly males and big E-workers. The din also was great, and Jorge Masir ends up by complaining of it. Covarrubias said:" In here

17151 we maintain an atmosphere for the equipment and personnel. If not, you would be not hearing a sound- but don'[t worry, the tour is over now!" So they return to Administrator Covarrubias's offices, and abiding place. Mundifico said:" Wish we could be of help, visiting other sites, searching for new deposits." "Thanks, but I guess you're with Admiral Salter, didn't you? Soon you'll be moving- so why don't you enjoy your stay here?"- Administrator Covarrubias asked, while he called several E-damsels to attend his two guests... Jorge Masir said:" I prefer to visit the terrain, outside. Could be it possibly to do that, Covarrubias?" "Why, of course! I will see they provide you with a suitable machine! As a tip, I recommend you a visit to the long Channel, worth visiting place!'- Administrator Covarrubias said, sending two efemales with Jorge Masir out of his rooms. Perhaps I'll go there, later!'- Mundifico said, while he was kissing a superb e-woman. "Yeah! Me, too!"- Covarrubias said, laughing... Four days later, Jorge Masir comes back to the mining compound, where he met Mundifico and said:" Our friend Covarrubias is not telling all about his mining camps!" "Oh, yes? What more he has in here?"- Mundifico said, being caressed by two E-females on his couch. "Diamonds! I didn't see them, but I saw the guards taking care of a shaft as with a lot of weaponry."- Jorge Masir informed. "The guy obviously doesn't trust us to the extreme! I do not blame him, of course. I'll do the same thing, if I was in his place."- Mundifico replied. "I mean, we can extract a lot more dug from him! If he wants to be protected, he'll have to pay us more!"- Jorge Masir said. "Right. He has provided me with a lot of luxuries never imagined in a mining camp."Mundifico realizes. "I figure he must be giving himself a little big of Heaven in here."- Jorge Masir chuckled. "I cannot blame the guy!- Mundifico said who had several items in mind to improve his own abode, if and when he went back to the Aurean planetary system. Admiral Slater called them back to duty that evening, saying:" Administrators: we are moving at 21:30 hours! So please come back soon." "All right, Admiral! We'll be there before 21:30 Universal hour."- Mundifico replied. 17153 They went to say good-bye to the Admiral Covarrubias, and he wished them good luck. Once at the orbit, they take their position (at the rear) and departed majestically. By radio waves, Admiral Slater said:" Our destiny it is Beta Spoon! Our enemies are piratesseveral names had been given- that is not crucial information, and more details I'll give you when necessary." "Well, that was a short message!"- Jorge Masir said, smiling- he thought the Admiral wasn't too prone to give indications as to why he was leaving the present locationperhaps tired to wait for ghosts that never appeared. Mundifico said to Lulu: "See we aren't left behind! I'll be studying some charts at my cabin."- And taking Holly with him, departed from the control room. "Since How much time are you working with Mr. Mundifico?" Jorge Masir asked Lulu. "Enough!"- He replied, being on guard of any question pertaining to his Master. 17154 -"He seems intelligent and active. Perhaps he is going to remain in power- I confide he will- but in this voyage we must have a success- defeat the first group of enemies is tantamount!"- Jorge Masir explained.

"I'm sure the Emperor will put all his skills in this undertaking- also Admiral Salter are a good fighter."- Lulu said. "I have no doubts at that. I will rest assured only when we defeat the pirates."- Jorge Masir, who knew that the best intentions had little to do with the imponderables of life. Salter ordered four days later, radio silence on all spaceships of the fleet. The communications were made through gravity waves, but those were not available for small units, so only the commanders of each spaceship get full communication. "That'll be enough for us, Sir."- Lulu told Mundifico, through the intercom, after telling about the radio silence. "Of course that you must send me a call if somebody sees something."- Mundifico asked of him. "Yes, Sir. I will."- Lulu replied. The Admiral Salter at his big seat, was looking on his long range radar screen- the planetary system of Spoon B was there, but only the star was visibly- a mere pinpoint of light among others. "No signs of enemy activity."- Larkon, his first officer, announced him. "Are we receiving radio waves from Administrator Johanson?"- Salter asked. "All the time, Admiral. Commercial waves. Let's hear."- And the first officer puts on the loudspeakers some of that garble. 17155 However, I do not understand a word! It is not Knappian, nor English or Interlingua!'- The Admiral said. "It's Rumanian, Sir! There a big immigration of Rumanians at Spoon B planetary system. -The first officer said. "Bad luck for us! We cannot know what are they saying?"- Admiral Salter was adamant. "Any Synthetic made in Earth could answer that question, Sir! I will ask right away for a translation, if you wish so, Sir.'- Officer Larkon offers. As Salter said yes, the next half an hour was devoted to hear news and advertising from several sources. "Clearly, they aren't being attacked yet, Sir."- Larkon remarked. "They had never been attacked on their cities. Pirates had attacked convoys- going out of the Planetary System."- Salter declared, and by the gravitatory communication system, he said to the rest of the Fleet:" All commanders will obey this order: we will be spread near the last planet, searching for the Pirates. The minute some of us spotted a pirate spaceship, an alarm must be issued and together we will attack them. Victory always!"The Admiral ends his transmission with that battle cry... 17157 Mundifico said to Holly: "We are patrolling a sector of space where Pirates often uses. Get the data about intrusions." Holly communicates, through the Orb's main computer, with the data storage on the data banks before the Total Silence Order was issued- there was some information, and Holly said:" All attacks started with pirates coming from star Spoon 10. The retreat had been in the same direction." 17158 "Interesting! And the charts, what did they tell about the environs?"- Mundifico wanted to know. 17160 "I guess it'll be of much pain to pay them a visit, instead of to wait for them here. Possibly they were noticed about our coming, so they will wait until our departure."- Mundifico said. "And do you suggest we went there, instead of to wait in here?"- Holly asked.

"Could be that! Guess I think I'll go to the Admiral with alternative."- Mundifico said. "And do you suggest we went there, instead of to wait in here?"- Holly asked. "Could be that! "I will tell the Admiral about it."- Mundifico said. "But he is under your command! You must not ask him permission!"- Holly remembered .He called the Admiral, and when knowing what he was willing to do, he said:" Sir, but you will be in danger! Don't you want a couple of Star Fighters with you?"_ Salter offered himas it was the tradition. "This time I must go alone, Admiral. I am sure this pirate has some device who gives the alarm when more than one spaceship goes their way."- Mundifico said, and soon they were speeding on the Orb, in the direction of Spoon 10, the star where the pirates most probably abide. Holly said:" It is a trip several months away, dear! You should be in a pod.""I must not! Who knows if they are coming this way, after all?"- Mundifico asked. "To defreeze you it will take only six hours, dear! But we could run until you are fully awake, of course."- Holly said, disappointed. 17161 "Not in a million years! Battle in deep space did not take much time to decide who'[s the winner! Lulu: give some extra speed to the Orb!"- Mundifico said. "It'll take thirty per cent more energy, Sir."-Lulu recognized. "No matter that! Plenty of Dilithium crystals, on stock!"- Mundifico said, and so Holly made some calculations, and said:' From two months to a month and six days it'll take us to arrive there, darling!" "Fine. I will study something in between! You'll cooperate."- Mundifico said, embracing the E-woman. "I'll be delighted to be of help."- She said, giggling. But Mundifico was seriously thinking in to learn about Genetics- the history of the Anunnaki was fresh in his mind- emulate them he think would produce a new race... He learned that Nature does not even care about. The reason we think that Is because the only thing we measure or can measure is surviving offspring. Nature could have created the ideal, perfect human 3 million years ago and we wouldn't even know it if that human had no surviving offspring. Nature does not care about kids, or intelligence, or strength, or size, or lifespan. Nada. Nature just stumbles around, like a Friday-night drunk. Or else Nature is doing stuff we cannot perceive or understand, without even giving us a proper put-down Job-style. But it is pretty obvious genes are not things with interests or desires. They are not even particular bits of material. They are after all, formed by arrangements of blocks of material. A gene is a union of genomic sequences encoding a coherent set of potentially overlapping functional products. That is, the sequences for one gene and the sequences for another could partially overlap. This makes the physical location of the gene somewhat ambiguous; I understand that definition (btw, what is the reference?) as saying That two genes with distinct sequences can carry out the same function. But even if there is sequence overlapping, one sequence can be part of a gene at one time and part of another gene at another times (usually depending on the activity of a third gene or ultimately

because of environmental changes). one cannot point to a particular set of physical elements and say "this and only this is gene XYZ." Then, the alarm ring alerted everyone on board. Lulu said, by the inner circuit:" Sir, enemy vessels approaching: three bigger ones and seven smaller craft." "And do you think they are enemies?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes! Want to hear them?"- Lulu asked, and not waiting for an answer, he put the incoming messages on the loudspeaker's system. "Surrender or we'll fire against you! Stop all engines at once! Stop or we'll fire!"- And harsh voice was saying. "Sounds decided."- Holly noticed. "Let's turn back to the Spoon B planetary system! Send radio messages in code, telling them we're being chased!"- Mundifico said. "Donned. No response- the message is traveling at ... kilometers per hour- seems we can arrive there almost with the message on our tail."- Lulu commented. "All right. Are we getting surpassed in velocity?" "No, Sir. They're still speeding up- but I assume the bigger ones could match our velocity."- Lulu said. Send them a couple of missiles! Who knows? Perhaps we're lucky and they get hit."Mundifico said. "Of course, Sir. Donned already; dormant proximity bombs. Better than missiles at this range- thirty-two of them.'- Lulu said. "Why not all of them? We are being chased! No need to spare them!'- Mundifico said. "All right, Sir. Twenty-nine more of them dispatched. Increase in velocity of 0.32 percent, without that weight."- Lulu said. 17163 Twenty hours later, the enemy force was 32.000 kilometers away- 25.000 km. closer than at the beginning of the chase. "How much to Spoon B? = Mundifico asked, with a sleepy voice- he has thirty-two hours awake, and he yawned. "A week, Sir. Guess they'll get us chased, by then."- Lulu said. "Three days more, and their weapons will be at range with us, darling. Have you thought in surrender the ship? Perhaps they could spare our lives."- Holly said, musing internally in which kind of life the pirates could give her in prison. "A life in prison? Not me. I rather die fighting!"- Mundifico said, grinning unnecessarily. "Attention! Orb of the Administrator! This is Safe One and Safe Two! Do you hear me? - A voice spring from the loudspeakers. "Safe 1 and Safe 2: This is the Orb's captain speaking! We're being chased by pirates!"Lulu replied immediately. "Yes, we know it! We recently received your radio message and we are running to your encounter! We are 20.000 kilometers ahead of you! We will get into position in five seconds! "- The same voice said; Mundifico went to the long range radar, but nothing appeared there. "Cloaking devices, dear! Not visibly by the radar! Use infrareds."- Holly said, and Mundifico made the switch, and he saw how two small vessels get into position- between them and the pursuers. "Captain Lulu of the Orb, a message was sent to the main force! Soon they'll be heading here!"- The captain of one of the Fighters said." "Copy that! We'll wait!"- Lulu replied.

"Sir: I'm receiving radio messages inside the group of enemy pirates! They are laughing of our rescuers! They are saying they are like fleas for their vessel's might."- Lulu informed. "That is said to make us think we are an easy prey!- Mundifico said. 17164 Six minutes later, the enemy forces find themselves at the heavy mined field- four explosions made three of their smaller vessels explode in brilliant white flashes- the rest went ahead without damage. "They're feeling us - there will be no mercy for us now! They are describing torture methods to kill in a slow way."- Lulu said, who was receiving the radio signals. "Pity we had no more of those!"- Mundifico said. "Our company does not have those weapons, either. Just LASER beams."- Lulu said. "Are they all Synthetics?"_ Mundifico wanted to know. "Yes, Sir! They can go against the enemy vessels if you give them the order."- Lulu said. Two hours later, the Cruiser was in their long range radar; Mundifico said:" Slow down, and turn to the left; we'll be attacking in unison." "Get it, Sir. Turning around."- Lulu said. The enemy vessels moved against them, to intercept what they thought was a diversion to escape- soon they were in range, and Lulu sent five LASER shots against the bigger spaceships- they glow when it- but of course, it was the force field that was hit- enormous quantity of energy was drained from those spaceships, while they were repelling the assault- then, they fired several photon torpedoes. From ajar, the Cruiser fired its C Beam, 17165 making havoc among the pirates- three lesser spaceships puffed into non- existence; three bigger vessels lost their shields- the swarm of Aurean- Coalition Forces attacked the remaining pirate forces; soon four of them were broken pieces and the rest was gone into nothingness. The bigger vessels were fired upon until they were burning from aft to pope; some safe boats went out, and they were chased and hauled; their occupants were taken into custody. "Interrogate them! I want to know where they have their Base!'- Mundifico asked to the Admiral Salter. "Yes, Sir. At this very moment they are being questioned - soon I'll send you a full report."Admiral Salter said. "And thanks for to disobey orders! Those two hunter space ships were on our trail for good."- Mundifico remembered "Oh, no, Sir! They were also exploring! "- Admiral Salter said, with a faint smile on his reddish face. Chapter 20. Planetary System B2M603. (Home of the Space Pirates). The interrogations produce interesting information : he pirates had their Base at the Moon of B2M603-3; IT WAS A HUGE MOON WITH ATMOSPHERE WATER AND WILD LIFEAS WILD AS TO BE A REAL THREAT to any colony - but not to the pirate's abiding place, who was at a summit. 17166 "The Base it's on Faroden Continent. Three remaining vessels are there. It's imperative we went there and destroy it- or else, they will recover from the losses of this defeat, and made more forays unto civilized worlds."- Admiral Salter said.

"I assume we are in good shape to do it? As it is a long trip."- Mundifico said. "NO, of course not- they had taken a wrong course of action, and they must be stopped. Let us carry our forces there, and finish our job here."- Mundifico said. Administrator Jorge Masir of Moll 3 said:" I guess I understand your train of thought, Sir! Perhaps you are thinking they could have some option to be redeemed! perhaps we could colonize there- beginning with what this Pirates could had built there- perhaps even with some of them who could accept our terms." Mundifico said:" Of course. Even a pirate has more value than blasts." Admiral Salter said:" Well, that matter could be dealt with in due time! First we must crush them!" And he gives orders to proceed to B2M603 immediately. At the Orb, Mundifico and Jorge Masir went under hibernation for the duration of the trip. 17170 Five days before arrival, Admiral Salter gives orders to awake all personnel who were in Deep Freeze; Mundifico was also awakened. "Darling: Two days to B2M603-3! Admiral Salter said all personnel out of hibernation!"Holly told hi, when he gets fully awake. "Perfect. I am all hears. Any news?"- Mundifico said, smiling faintly- he was not feeling very good. "We had encountered thirty eight balizes- that also serves as signal call- so the enemies are already aware that we are going their way."- Holly informed. 17171 "I expect they already loose their best space ships! Or else, we'll find a couple of bad surprises."- Mundifico said. Later, he attended a meeting with Admiral Salter and the other commanders- in a virtual reunion. Admiral Salter said to him:" Emperor Mundifico: we are near B2m603; soon it will be the end of our journey. Do you want to say something at this respect?" "I congratulate you for this uneventful trip; I expect bravery in the next few hours- I guess the pirates lost them major forces; but only reality could decide it. Proceed, Admiral Salter!"- Mundifico said. "Battle formation at all times! Small ships way up in front; we will circumnavigate the moon, and we will fire against any alien spaceship on sight- beginning from now. Reunion dismissed!"The captains obeyed the order immediately; the Hunter smaller vessels accelerate and the main forces aligned themselves in an angular formation, with Admiral Salter's cruiser in front. The moon was very near; soon they were looking the rivers and mountains through the pail of white clouds. "Imagine! A whole world in a moon!'- Mundifico said. "It is a new formation- generally; older satellites loose their atmosphere, if any was in the beginning of their life." Holly explained. 17172 Mundifico saw the yellow shores being kissed by indigo seas, under white clouds." Must be a delight, being there - scant gravity, pleasant breezes."- Mundifico mused. "Enemy spaceships, Sir. Forty of them."- Lulu said; and he speak no more, as a swarm of missiles come his way- the Orb zigzagged among them, while Holly fired the LASER cannons without interruption- C beams destroyed three enemy spaceships in the lapse of five seconds. "Hurrah for the mighty cruiser!'- Mundifico said, and he saw all that action by the rear monitor. A space hunter of the Coalition receives three missiles in a row, and disappeared

after a single flash of light. Two others followed to non- existence. Mundifico saw two big pirate cargo spaceships (or space freighters) heavily armed, passing to the right of the Orb, firing enormous cannons 17173 Mundifico saw his cruisers firing photon torpedoes. While speeding out of the theatre of action- followed by a swarm of pirate spaceships. Lulu fired against the small "Buzzer" fighters; one after the other were being stalling in the middle of the field of battle, their engines fused by the LASER cannons... Suddenly, the cruisers crossed the field of vision- one of them in flames- they keep on traveling away, 17174 Followed by just six spaceships from the pirates. "Seems they finished the rest!'- Mundifico said, but when the group disappeared on the distance, five of the pirate ships appeared; Lulu said: They are going to fire at us, Sir. Do you want me to keep on fighting?" "Yes. Perhaps the Cruisers will come back."- Mundifico said, eager to destroy the pirates one by one. The pirates fired, and Lulu moves the Orb away; one of the photon torpedoes hit a spaceship from the Alliance, and the Hunter explodes with an orange color. Lulu returned and fired against a Class 20 Hunter Spaceship- twice as big as the Orb- and damaged the steering system of that vessel that speeds out of view in four seconds. "Not destroyed but out of the battle field."- Lulu said. "You had accomplished well your inner rules."- Mundifico said, smiling briefly. Several explosions lighted a far region of space- Lulu said:" Good by to your Fleet in the Sky, Sir." "What-*? The Cruisers destroyed?"- Mundifico said, chilled to the bone. "And the pirate large vessels are also destroyed, Sir. Want to hear Admiral Salter's last message? - Lulu asked him, but at that instant, three small Hunters begin firing against the Orb, so Lulu zigzagged again, returning the fire as he could. "You are saying their pirate's fleet is destroyed, but here are more of them!'- Mundifico almost yelled in fright. Lulu gives more velocity to the Orb, and soon they were out of sight of the planetary System B2M603. "Are we going back to friend skies, Lulu?"- Mundifico asked him. 17177 "Not yet, Sir! I'm waiting for your orders."- Lulu replied. "You cannot return to some other Administrator's planetary system, dear!- Holly interrupted"- You was defeated and your Fleet is gone." Mundifico takes his head between his hands, and moaned; then he said:' Certainly, I cannot go there to be crucified! I had lost all the fleet at the first battle!""Well, we can go to the Aurean Planetary System! You are the Emperor there.'- Lulu said. "Without a battle ship? Easy pray for those aliens! They can win my planets without firing too much! "- Mundifico remarked. "Darling! You can buy more warships! Certainly there will be more gold waiting for you there."- Holly said. "You know it or you are guessing it?'- Mundifico asked. "Guessing, of course! See, with two more Cruisers, I'm sure you could stop any invasion those pirates could sent."- Holly said. "All right! Lulu, let us depart to the Aurean planet! I'll send you to buy me Cruisers, if money is available."- Mundifico said, half-seated and half-hanging from his chair of command aboard the Orb...

17178 "That's better, Sir! One problem at a time! In addition, I recommend you to have a Guard de Corps - at all times! Jealousy and revenge are going to be hunting you from this day on."- Lulu said. Mundifico said nothing in return- but he was remembering how optimist he was when trying to build a mighty Star Fleet! At least, one of the Administrators was now ALMOST freed from pirates... His return to Aurean planet was subdued; he was trying not to give the people the bad news- so he interviewed King Cornejian, saying:" I need all the gold you can give me! We had lost our Cruisers." "You are surely kidding me, Sir!'- Cornejian said, smiling, still incredulous. "Not me! I'm speaking dead seriously."- Mundifico said. "But, I receive notice you was defeating the pirates at Planetary System B2M603! Cornejian said, stubborn. "You can see I descend there on my Orb. Nothing else remains from our fleet, and not to mention that every Administrator of our neighborhood contributed with their spaceships to the Fleet! Now all is gone."- Mundifico said, patiently. "But ... did you defeat the pirates?"- Cornejian asked, rubbing his cheek. "Almost to the bone! Their major space ships are gone."- Mundifico said. 17180 At that moment, Arandula the Natural woman appeared, and they stop talking about national affairs... "Emperor Mundifico! I will be at the Dockyard! I'll wait for you there."- King Cornejian said, leaving the room. "My darling, I'm so proud of you! You had defeated the pirates at Planetary System B2M603 and you are back again! "- Arandula said, kissing him dearly. Mundifico smiled- she was superb, and as he was treated with the proper care, her skin was shinning new, her eyes sparkling and not a worrying thought was darkening her stare. "I'm very glad to be here with you again, darling! This time I'll stay, and we'll get married."Mundifico declared - Arandula was radiant with joy. "I'll be giving you a welcome party, to night! Oh, I'm so glad you're back!"-Arandula said, embracing him, who sensed that body with all her charms pressed to him for a long time, while kissing her perfect mouth... That night Arandula patronized a nice dinner party; Mundifico noted that she has several male friends, who almost applauded everything she said or do; they were young and well built: the difference with him was notorious. Jealousy sprouts its stalk in his brain... They danced, but also she danced with several of her friends. Mundifico talked with Lulu, saying:' While I was away, Arandula seems to have attained quite a number of admirerswho knows if something more is going on there.""Do you want me to collect gossip about her, or simple facts?"- Lulu replied. 17181 "Everything! I would detest ignoring a single fact of the Natural woman I love."- Mundifico said, realizing, while saying it, that too much depended of that inquires. Lulu already know a lot about gossip about that lady, so he just fill the taps among them, and using the common pool of information the Synthetics have, he give the report three hours later- Mundifico receives the tablet and read it at a computer, together with photos and holovideo clips where the lady was portrayed. He learned the woman loves to dance and the night life0 several men were posted as her friends, none of them lovers. Mundifico felt himself relieved and decides to keep going on

with her as his future wife. He called on Lulu, and said:" As I see your reports, the woman has me as a love, several men as friends. She loves to dance and she's probably a night goers." "You're absolutely right, Sir."- Lulu replied. 17182 "I am decided to marry her!- Mundifico told him. You are decided and your will have a fine specimen into your bed, to have child. Congratulations."-Lulu said, simply. Mundifico asked him for more advises, and Lulu added:" I recommend you to shun out everyone around her- now they are friends, to-morrow more than one of them could ask for more- you get ride of them now."Mundifico laughed, and said:' Very easy to say! But the minute I did what you are saying, the smiling bride will show her temper later.""Made a trip, Sir! Abandon the present surrounding! Could be that a trip to Earth, with the matter of the new war vessels acquisition, would straighten things: at her return, everyone of her present bunch of friends will be at my kingdom performing tasks I am certainly will make them forget absolutely everything they knew about your bride."- Lulu said. "I don't know if I could do it! Seems to harsh, to me... and I don't know, yet, if there are 17183 enough money and gold to go buying ships."- Mundifico explained to Lulu. "Better put on your pants now, Sir, than after a big havoc! Remember that a woman in a man's life could mean even life or death." Mundifico grasped the idea, and then he return to the Ball, where he grasp the real situation: she saw her radiant face and sparkling eyes when dancing with Germario, a guy with a beard, young and member of a wealthy family. He looked behind him, to see Lulu, but he was not in sight. When the dance was over, Arandula approaches him, saying: Darling! Where were you all this time? I missed you!" "Some obligations, dear! However, I saw you did not waste your time! - Mundifico said, looking at Germario, who made a bow and went to his group of friends. "Why, he is a friend- a good dancer too! Did I molest you by dancing with him?"- Arandula asked of him, with a gentle smile. "Of course, dear! I detest seeing my woman frolicking with another man! Or men! I forbade you any of these dancing matters!"- Mundifico said, enraged- he was also surprised by his own emotions. Arandula was white as a paper, and gasped for air- she was so sure of her situation that to find his supposed tamed man was in a rage against her doings, was new to her. She asked for water, and the whole group of her friends attends her immediately. Mundifico finds Lulu in a corner, and said to him:" End of this dancing 17184 party! Tell everyone to get out! In addition, about lady Arandula, tell her to get out of my rooms at once! I am sure her friends will find her a shelter! I'll be on my Orb."- Mundifico roared. "Take it easy, Sir! You can get sick, with so many emotions!'- Lulu was worried about his master, as he was scanning his pulse and body temperature. "You did what I say!"- Mundifico ordered, and departed to the Orb. Lulu gives orders to the Synthetic personnel- the orchestra dissolved at once, the waiters gives no more food or drinks; and half the lightning went off , while the rumor of a break -down between the former lovers spread around the halls as a flame.

At the next day, King Cornejian went to the Orb, with the news:" Emperor: I can give you seven million credits in metal! I am sure you could buy at least one good cruiser, with that money." "Second hand, of course! Now I cannot be too choosy! I am receiving notice of the rest of the mining plants- 9n a few days more, I'll depart to Earth and buy me a new fleet."Mundifico burped out. "I am very sorry by what just happened, Sir."- King Cornejian said. "Well, it was a defeat in all the line! The pirates had more resources than we never thought possibly!"- Mundifico explained. 17185 "Oh, yes, Emperor! But I was referring myself about Lady Arandula and you! "- King Cornejian said. "Oh, that! I am sorry to trouble you with that item! I almost forgot the disappointment. She just does not give the height required! I will search in higher levels, of course! You cannot made a diamond out of a rock.'- Mundifico said, rising his shoulders in bewilderment. When Cornejian went out of the room, Holly approaches him and said:' I know you must be disappointed with women, my love! But I wonder why did you search for another female, if you have me?" "It's very simply, honey! I want to rise a family, had kids and in due time, pass on them the Administration of the Aurean planetary system! With you I can be happy indeed, but I cannot have child or heirs with a synthetic person." Mundifico explained the obvious. She smiled, and said:' There are banks of mother cells- you can have as many heirs to your throne, just by giving your sperm to the medics! As simply as that, dear! And I will be your lover for ever.'- Holly said. Mundifico turns around his gaze, and said:" Yes, option number two: let us do it! Find an appropriate laboratory, and vie them some of my fluids! You must have a lot of it, storage somewhere?"- Mundifico asked her. "Of course, darling! You know, we female synthetics had in storage some of our master's sperm just in case of hereditary problems! I'll deliver it and soon we'll have a sound baby in our hands."- Holly replied. 17186 Four days later, the news of the defeat was known in all the neighboring planetary systems, and Mundifico was required in every one of them. Mundifico accept a virtual reunion no more: "I refuse to present myself before you empty handed! Certainly we were defeated, almost every warship destroyed- except my Orb, that is a civilian vessel."- He said, not saying it was armed with LASER CANONS. "We consider you a failure, Administrator Mundifico! We demand of you every one of the lost ships- at once! Some of us are already in battle, and others waiting the enemy of civilization: the space pirates!"- Seredon of Alfa Moll said- and he was very angry! Mundifico replied:" All you had to do is to appoint more spacecraft to the Fleet! Take in consideration that Administrator Johanson clearly stated we almost wipe out every pirate of his planetary system."- Mundifico said; and Johanson said:" Certainly the 17205 Fleet defeats a ninety per cent of the pirate forces! With another push, I am sure every one of them will be eradicated!" Colus said:' That was not the original purpose! A big fleet, almost destroyed to bits is not certainly a victory! For my part, I withdrew my participation at this very minute! I will try to buy a couple of Frigates, to defend the most important of my investments at the 368/20 planetary system.'

Like him, the rest also withdraw their participation - with one exception: Jorge Masir, who said:" My participation in the battle forbade me any reclamation against the manager of our space fleet. Without doubt, the enemy forces were very strong, with crews having the know how to destroy and defeat enemy forces. I humbly beg of you all to reconsider your position - Johanson over all of you, as now he is able to have profits. Let us give more spaceships to the Fleet! If you doubt of our Commander skills, let us put another in place! For example, Seredon! You could be the next commander of the fleet, and I give you my support immediately, if you accept."- Jorge Masir said. Seredon moves his head negating any help- Colus repeated he was not interested in more adventures with a Fleet, but suddenly Johanson said:" I will reconsider my former decision! But with another chief of command." Jorge Masir shrugged his elbow, saying:" I am not an over ambitious person, I will accept to be the leader of the space fleet! I will put my best efforts to accomplish it. 17206 Mundifico remained silent during the rest of the meeting- everyone except Colus decided to keep on with the original project. After the meeting , Jorge Masir went with Mundifico to the Orb, saying:" Of course you'll have a preponderant place in the Fleet - I will be the president of the alliance but you are going to be my Second in command- if you desire the post." Mundifico, who was not pleased with his former demotion, accepted, saying:" I hate to be out of a project who had apparently failed at the first trying." 17207 'That I understand very clearly, Mundifico."- Jorge Masir said, adding;" I am sure next time we'll have a little more luck." In the weeks that followed that meeting, Jorge Masir was exerting pressure against the Administrators, asking for money to by new battle spaceships. Eight new officers were helping in that matters, over a group of three hundred and thirty three Synthetic personnel-, they were buying armament from planet Earth. "Expensive, but the next choice, after King Lugner of Knapp said no to our request! "Jorge Masir explained. "The weapons made in the Solar System are better- so instead of a second hand Fleet we'll get a first one!"- Mundifico said. Six months later, close to the Alfa Moll star, three cruisers, four Frigates and seventeen Hunter spaceships were moving under the command of Masir. Mundifico was at his own Orb, and Holly was the gunner and the person in charge of the radar. Alfa Moll III was attacked last month, dear. Administrator Seredon said he is unable to go out of the planetary system, less to send Freighters out.""A pity to hear that- but I expect this time we could cut the Pirate Fleet in half!'- Mundifico said. "That is what we also expect."- Holly said, meaning the Synthetic population. 17208 Speeding to the Alfa Moll star, Mundifico saw the entire formation ahead of him, like the head of an arrow. He chooses not the front line, as some of the vessels were capable of fantastic velocities, if asked. "They sure had improved the new machines. Their velocity matches and doubled the Orb's performance." Mundifico said to Lulu. "Yes, Sir. They also had an in-built pilot."- Lulu explained. "I imagine they could fight better than with an external pilot?- Mundifico asked, thinking that those pilots were part of the machinery- so they must be better acquainted with the conditions of the spaceship.

"They said they are going to left in cinders every pirate vessel! I ignore if they could break the First Law of Robotics."- Lulu commented. "Guess they are without that law in their brains."- Holly said. "Wish I could know more of those who built them! Must be a lot of gossip about this."Mundifico said. "Yes, of course, dear! We gossip a lot! News from the Solar system are by the hundreds."Holly smiled. "Such as what?"- Mundifico wanted to know. "Orbital Stations are permitted to rent rooms- so any passenger in transit could delay his trip to the surface of the planet as long as he wants. The commander of the Orbital Station could marriage couples, as well as divorces them!"- Holly said. "The concept of marriage has changed a lot; I wonder how it is now."- Mundifico said. "Marriage contracts are from five days to for ever; so you can marriage for a season, a year, ten years- the child are adopted by the Government in 17209 case of divorce."- Holly explained. "I wonder how many couples just didn't divorce- only not to loose their child's!'- Mundifico said, astounded. "South America its linked with Europe by an underwater tunnel- the air traffic it's very jammed as it is. They are saying that in ten years more, the Synthetic populations will double the Natural populace."- Holly said. ":Well, that's the natural trend of things! Humans created Synthetics to be servedobviously the servants must outnumber the served!"- Mundifico said. "Not only that: now you can marry a Synthetic and have child! There are sperm Banks, so you even can choose characteristics on your offspring! The Synthetic in question, if she is a female, could get the baby on her womb and deliver it at the Hospital when the appropriated time is up.'- Holly said. "I assume the maternal instinct must be activated in them, first?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes, darling! We all are able to raise kids, have normal lives! With a Synthetic, the motives for a divorce are minimal- almost non existent."- Holly said. Mundifico did not reply to that, but he mused for a while about the subject- a race that developed artificial mechanisms to be of help and at the long run, that same mechanism could serves to replace the entire race of Naturals! Mundifico imagine that there will come the time when Synthetic personnel could be far better in every aspect of life, compared with a Natural, that some of them could choose to live far from their Builders and raise a perfect society by themselves! 17210 That will be the time when they will realize the real meaning of life- perhaps they could develop a society as perfect as it can be, where humans will be a rarity of old. Chapter 21. ALFA MOLL (AM) PLANETARY SYSTEM The Alfa Moll was in front as before, but very bright now- the planets were mere specks of reflected light. "Space Hunters deployed at high velocity! Surely they are in search of planet III "- Holly informed. Mundifico was lying in mid air, on his zero gravity field graduated to float as a feather. "Time of arrival! It will be nice to step on a planet, again! Lulu! How's going with the Dilithium Crystal?"

"Fine, Sir. 8 % useful! Soon a recharge it is needed! "- Lulu said, from the bridge- his voice comes out of a console, on M's bedroom's wall. "Ask Headquarters about a new one! Also for some water."- Mundifico said, bored of to be drinking recycled water. "Requisition granted, Sir! We will approach to the "ACER290" battle cruiser! You know him from Knapp."- Lulu said. "Of course; old reliable ACER290!- Mundifico smiled, remembering the bargain he made with that huge machinery of King Lugner... Soon they were locking with the big battle cruiser; several crewmembers of the ACER 290 come inside the Orb, and replaced the worn out Dilithium Crystal with a fine new one. "What are you going to do with the old one? Throw it out to the space?"- Mundifico asked a sailor from the battle cruiser. "No, Sir! We will use it at the battle cruiser, giving energy to some supplementary systems! "- The Electronic man replied- a voice from the nearest Console said:" Administrator Mundifico! Glad to hear your voice again! How it is going with you?" "Acer 290! Glad to hear you too! My last dilithium crystal is worn out. Too many trips made with it."- Mundifico explained. "This time we had a lot of work to do! Wish you could command the Fleet again! I will gladly be of help, in any case."- ACER290 said. "Yes; but now we ignore how many pirate spaceships are waiting."- Mundifico said. "No matter how many they are, I gladly protect your Orb. Not too much threat with that LASER gun of yours, isn't it?"- ACER290 remembered. "Certainly not much, if we compare it with your vessel!- Mundifico said, smiling- the battle craft ACER290 was looking as a porcupine , with so many cannons and missile launchers and even Nebelwerfers protruding by its outer hull. "I like your remark, Sir1 But don't you forget: I'll protect you at all times."- ACER290 promised. Later, the Fleet orbited planet VII of Star Alfa Moll; there were a small outpost there, a mere hut with three Synthetic humanoids and a powerful /Radio unit - their mission was to warn the people on planet III, if they saw signs of the enemy forces... Mundifico saw three Synthetic persons by the Holographic system- stout and resembling small towers, their red flashing "eyes" were pathetic to contemplate. Lulu said:" This planet have in its mountains iron and copper, Sir. 17212 But in a very small percentage- that's why there is no mining field out here." "Administrator Seredon abides in planet II. He already knows we are coming this way; possibly he is waiting for us, with no certain date in his Agenda."- Lulu informed. The Flag spaceship signaled, with blinking lights, the decision of the commander in chief ( Masir) to get immediately into the inner orbits- so they departed from there, following the Admiral Salter's battle cruiser. The star Alfa Moll was brighter by the hour- they passed orbits VI and V... then the IV planet was circumnavigated. In front of them shines planet III, surrounded by clouds, patches of green and fiery reds. "Terraforming in progress! Not much information about that, Sir. Radio communication is restored, but the Commander in Chief asked us not to use it except in exceptional cases. "= Lulu said. "All right; I don't intend to ask them for something at all."- Mundifico laughed. "The moon is terraformed, dear! Administrator Seredon is inviting the Admiral Masir to his principal building, at the mining field. And not an invitation for me? What am I, a ghost? "- Mundifico was feeling rejected and humiliated.

"Admiral masir asks you to stay in th orb, Sir."- Lulu said, after a brief conversation with the skipper of the Flag spaceship. "I see. Certainly, I'm not in command."- Mundifico said, and ordered to lock the Orb with the Flagship. Donned that, he steps on the Cruiser, asking for Jorge masir. Larkon, the first officer, said:" Sorry, Sir, but Chief Executive Jorge Masir went to the ground of Alfa Moll IIIs moon ten minutes ago." 17213 "Location?"- Mundifico asked, enraged still. "Coordinates L300- CA 20. The principal city here, Sir- or shall we call it a mining field?"Officer Larkon replied. "Right.- Mundifico said, while contemplating the crew of the Cruiser through a portholehe saw many Synthetic females, a thing that start him guessing what was the idea... Later, and in the Orb, he said:' Incredible the big number of Efemales on that spaceship! How come to happen such a thing?""Darling, few natural women, in these spaceships, is available for male naturals! And the Admiral prefers to look on females instead of into males."- Holly explained. "I cannot blame the man!"- Mundifico in a sour way. "Attention! Enemy ships! Red Alert!"- Lulu said, unlocking the Orb from his former position. Suddenly, the LASER beams crisscrossed the darkness with red and yellow colors. "Seven Frigates and four Battleships, eight Space Hunters, and three Orbs!"- A small fleet!"- Lulu exclaimed, while he sorted the lethal shower. "The Admiral is ordering us to get behind the battle cruiser ACER 290"- Holly said. A giant Cruiser appeared in front of the Orb- Mundifico thought that is last moment was arrived, but a dozen missiles come running after the group of enemy spaceships, producing a series of red explosions on its 17214 hull, while the force field titillate into extinction. "Battle Craft ACER290 at our rescue, Sir! Firing the LASER cannon!"- Lulu said, while the fiery finger of death cuts into the vowels of the pirate's spaceship- a glow predates the end of it, while the Orb moves quickly away- a silent explosion occurs, and the concussion waves tilted the Orb several times. "Good news! But, what about the others?"- Mundifico asked to Holly, who was at the long range Radar. "Dog fighting, dear! This is insane! Two Hunter ships are already in flames; three Frigates are being hit by C- beams." Lulu made a run to a side, being persecuted by three new Hunters; again, the solid battery of guns from the "ACER290" Battle Cruiser came to the rescue- more than forty missiles run after the three Hunters, making them explode with silent green flashes of color. The Orb encircled the field of battle, firing the LASER cannons. A Cruisers cannons, exploding in a shower of bright white pieces, hit a smaller Alliance Hunter spaceship. "The enemy lost another Frigate! Cruiser ACER290 was hit! "- Lulu informed. "I wonder if the Admiral Jorge knows what is happening up here."- Mundifico said. "He is hailing us to pick him up from the surface of the moon! His shuttle craft are no match for this kind of battle!'- Holly said. "Get the coordinates! Let's go there, and put in on board!"- Mundifico ordered, leaning against a console, where a small radar screen shows the vicinity in blue hues. Lulu maneuvered the Orb down to the surface, and soon they were landing near a spireand the Commander of the Fleet, Administrator Jorge Masir come on board at a trot, together with a hundred and fifty Synthetic personnel...

"You are relieved of the command of this Orb, Administrator Mundifico! Only by the extension of this battle- no offense intended."- Admiral masir said, while seating at a chair on the Bridge. "I understand the order, Admiral. You can proceed."- Mundifico said, looking at Lulu, who was looking at him for some signal on the contrary. "Pilot! Move up and search for the Flagship! I need to be inside of it!"- Admiral masir said, strapping himself to the chair. The Orb jumped up to the heavens, and soon it was dancing around the Flagship, who was being attacked by every pirate vessel available in the vicinity... Two Allied Frigates come to the rescue, but their weapons were nullified by strong forcefield - the LASERS lick the sphere of protection made by the enemy, to not avail. "Pilot! Call all arms to the rescue! Where are they?"- president masir said, looking with frenzy eyes at the main holoscreen. "They are following two enemy Frigates, Admiral. It seems to be a tactical diversion."- Lulu informed him. 17216 "Call them back!- Ordered the Admiral, and at the same instant, a huge explosion occurs, produced by the disintegration of the Flagship, and the foes that were against it fightingthe wave of concussion sent the Orb on the opposite direction, so they lost visual contact with the Third Planet for a while. "Tractor beam on us, Sir."- Lulu informed. "It's the battle cruiser " Mefaga"!- Holly said. "Let's lock the Orb with it! I will command the battle inside it!"- Salter said in a hoarse voice- he was looking how strong the enemy forces were in the first row! The Battle Cruiser "Mefaga" fill the screen with its hulk; a thud comes from behind, and the Orb was locked with it. Lulu said:' Enemy forces dwindling in numbers, Sir! " "Good to hear that! : let's aboard the Battle Cruiser now!"- masir said " I congratulate you, Sir, for our victory! - Administrator Mundifico said "Thanks you, secod in command.."- President Masir said, now more at ease. Mundifico made a bow in his direction; and then the President of the Alliance Fleet abandoned the Orb, followed by their retinue of Synthetic personnel. "Guess "ACER290" was blown to pieces, am I right?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes, Sir. No traces of his energy imprints."- Lulu said. "Pity, as it was a dedicated person. May he rest in peace at the Golden Electronic Gates of Heaven."- Mundifico said, chuckling softly, while he saw how the lock was closed after the passing of the President Masir and his troop. "Let's move out of this Behemoth!- Mundifico said, and the Orb detached itself from the external grapple of the " MEFAGA" battle cruiser; he went round the Orb, looking for failures, together with Holly who had a spectrometer in her hands. "Guess it's asking for a rehaul."- Mundifico said. "Yes, dear; the Outer hull needs some repairs. But all in all, it's in perfect shape."- Holly replied. "Yes; I would refit it in the Solar System! Lulu: what with the bought of other Orb's models? "- Mundifico asked- the Synthetic assistant listened through Holly, and responded likewise:" The war stops my inquires, Sir. But perhaps we could send someone to buy models to the Solar System: only money will be needed, Sir. "- Lulu replied, as the government at the Solar System didn't care to whom they sold their spacecraft, so sure they were of their security. 17221

Mundifico growled and said:" Pity we are not having too much earnings! I must devise a way to win the war on aliens and pirates! Perhaps a weapon so terribly that anyone who exposes me will certainly find havoc and destruction!" "I am sure you will find similar weapons at Earth! There are a number of Doomsday weapons in storage, there! You must have the necessary connections, beforehand."- Lulu said. "Is it something you Synthetic people dont know?"- Mundifico asked, wide eyed. "Rumors and gossip! That is all for sure."- Lulu replied, not wanting to say too much about them... "You should have a hundred million Credits to buy one of those D-Weapons, dear!"- Holly said. "Well, no doubt the Earthman will not give one of their secret weapons for a bag of peanuts!"- Mundifico said. 117222 The commander in chief Jorge Masir called all spacecraft captains for a meeting; his flagship was now the MEFAGA battleship. "Good work, Captains of the Allied Space Fleet! The enemy forces were abashed; now we will take dominion of the planet and its moon! We are sure that just one city must be taken; the rest of them (2) will surrender as they're smaller in size!" The Battlecruiser descended to the surface of the moon, followed by the remaining spaceships, as if were a flock of hawks. The sea was blue and soon Mundifico saw several dots in the radar screen, while Holly was saying:" They are atmospheric airplanes, dear!" From the enemy lines a series of LASER shots ensued; and from the Flagship came the order to fire against the enemy vessels; several hits on the Hunter Spaceships earned some respect for the atmospheric crafts- but that was not a hindrance to defeat the small group of pirate airplanes. The spatial fleet pursued them to the gates of the big city where they met a surprise: a huge C Beam was shot to the MEFAGA, cutting it in two pieces, that came headlong into the blue sea, sinking there as a stone. "Approaching the C Beam Cannon!"- Lulu said, placing the Orb right on top of the 17224 terribly weapon, and fused machines and servers together in a ball of melting steel with shots of the LASER CANNON~! The explosion takes half the city speeding to the atmosphere, while the rest of it perished in a sea of fire- Lulu said:' what have I donned?"And suddenly he collapsed, as his interior software fused, having perpetrated profanation of the first Directive. Holly jumped to the controls, leaving the place in a swift arch. "Don't you worry, dear? I have the basics of piloting an Orb- not much to it!"- Holly assured him. "Poor Lulu! He was a good companion."- Mundifico said. "Well, he's gone now, for sure!"- Holly announced, taking the body and storage it on a closet. At her return to the main cabin, Mundifico said:" Surely we could do something with his positronic brain? Sort of recover his thoughts plus memories?" She kissed him at his cheek, replying:" His electronic brain is fused together, dear! But see that we can bring together all the memories of him , his ways and ticks we know of, and put it on a new brain- electronics will do the trick- and bingo, it will be as if he keeps sharing on with his life and skills." Mundifico moved his head, and said:" Let us do it- when the possibility arises! By now, let us keep on with what we are forced to do: finish this war on the pirates." Holly sent radio messages for a while, trying to reunite every alliance Fleet vessel

17225 Three Frigates badly damaged and four Hunter spaceships arrive, so they orbited the Moon together, under the faint shine of the planet. "Call for a virtual reunion, please."- Mundifico said. "Donned. Starting now."- Holly said, and the figures of the seven commanders appeared round the cabin, in green hues. "Welcome. As you know, I am Administrator Mundifico. Ex Commander of the Alliance Fleet. As I see it, I'm the eldest of all of us now; I take the command from now on." "You are entitled to it; you have my obedience."- Captain Guildo Horn said, bowing slightly in his direction- he was from Alfa Moll 3; the rest of the captains follow his example, and accepted his leadership. Mundifico said:' Now, let us see what we had here: we destroyed the capital city, and we had only small towns scattered around what was a big city. This is what we should do: went down, and inform them a new beginning its available for everyone, if they forget the old ways of robbery and assault and start with the 17226 hard work and commerce with other planets, so to begin with a sound life style." "Administrator Mundifico:' we should need a police body of sorts, a provisional government and good administrators taking care of the services. A lot of work, I'm afraid."(Natural) commander Tarion said (from the Delta Spoon D planet). Mundifico replied:" Obviously, we aren't entitled for this "opera magnum", but we'll try our best to made a start- let's say, five months of hard work- later, we'll try to see if we could get more vessels for the next war on aliens and pirates." They all agreed; through the scanners and infrared searchers they made an official register of the existing towns -Mundifico said:' We have five towns - let us forget the other sites, as they are just small settlements without much organization. We will proceed visiting the towns in full force, every one of them- let them see our machines and see our strength! They must believe there are plenty more of us in big cruisers out there!""Wish it could be true."- Captain Farguten said, smiling. "Yeah, but let's do it with care- all naturals will wait until the first encounters are made, by our stout Synthetics."- Mundifico said. They descended- the towns were located near rivers and their inhabitants were well 17227 aware of the catastrophe that occurred with the Metropolis- the Alliance Fleet commanders called on their chiefs, and explained what was intend to do- three of them accepted, and the other two refused. Lout, one of them, said:" We are free here! No need to enslave us into an industrialized civilization! You call us pirates, but we call ourselves freemen!"- And asking the people in those two towns, they were all of the same opinion. Mundifico called for civilian meetings in those towns, and said:" We are here to get your society included in the Universal society of man. You can live isolated if you want, but working honestly in order to get your food and stuff without pillage and robbery. Nothing of that will be permitted. A freeman works honestly. We are going to police your towns, made amends with honesty and hard work, be it on the farms or in the industry and commerce." Those words make them understand the old ways were shunned forever. The town Majors understand, also, their role in the new administration and accepted - some of them thinking it was for a short while, others in the right sense. 17228 Months later, new occupations and interplanetary commerce were beginning to give fruitsMundifico was appointed Administrator of the planetary system, and from Aurean planet,

he receives twenty thousand new colons that were colonizing the city of New Aurea, on the coast of the inhabited continent, at the occidental hemisphere. At a sunny beach, with the Orb under the shade of gigantic trees, Mundifico takes baths with Holly- at the Orb; twenty-five Synthetic personnel were taking care of the organization of the towns, as the central administration offices were at the Orb. Seven hundred and twenty synthetics were in key positions of government in the five towns- with native Majors having also, their bidding there. "We hadn't find gold or silver, Sir."- Renard (S) informed him, by radio. "What a pity! Those lands, at the second continent, were my illusion-based project! But now, only tourism and agriculture could save this moon of poverty."- Mundifico said in response. "Yes, Sir; great cascades and beautiful mountain ridges abounds here."- Renard said. "Very well, let's see if you could make a full list of animals there; must be a couple of surprises?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes, Sir. We hadn't find Dinosaurs or the like of them, but plenty of mammals; some of them resembling bears, others resembling small horses."- Renard said. "Make me a good list of them! Also about fish and insects; not the whole lot, of course; I want the report in a week."- Mundifico asked. "A week will suffice, Sir. Over and out."- And the Synthetic man gets busy in his new mission at the moon of planet M23-3. "I will wait for the report, and then we'll depart to Aurean planet; must be some gold in there for my projects."- Mundifico said to Holly, who was at his side on the cabin. "Of course, dear! The last news was good; but the exact amount of gold was not given."Holly said, remembering the last report from that planet. "Yes, I know- I give the order not to send specific reports by radio- too many pirates could be listening us."- Mundifico said. "Darling! You defeat them, at least, in this sector."- Holly smiled back. "Hope I did it!- Mundifico replied, as he was not sure about it- the Pirates were too heavily armed and perhaps they could have made hideouts in other regions of space. "If you are planning to return to Aurean planetary system, why don't you take the Fleet over there, and clean the skies of aliens? There had been reports of small rides on their part! Soon a big fleet could appear, and you will be in danger again!"- Holly said. "You're right! I will do it; prepare all for our departure in eight days."- Mundifico said, touching her right arm- it was soft and warm. "Enough time to be prepared! Our fleet has a ninety per cent of Synthetic personnel in it; delays are almost impossible."- Holly said, stating a fact. "Of course! You don't sleep and could work 24 hours a day - for any given amount of time!"- Mundifico said; Holly did not reply, but she knew that was not quite right- Synthetic personnel could work for long periods, but "rest" was necessary to clean the software, occasionally. She gives the orders; the repairs were hastened, the Dilithium Crystals repaired or changed, and at the seventh day, the report from Renard appeared on screen in the morning; 39 new species of mammals were there, in photos and with written reports; insects were five times more, but none of them too queer to be mentioned in special; climates zones and temperatures also were shown. "Guess there are interesting specimens here, to be of use if tourism is going to flourish!"Mundifico said, looking at a two. Meters high kind of bear. "Hunting grounds could be alow, dear! Preserving the game, of course, must be your motto."- Holly said.

"Guess photographic safaris could be implemented."- Mundifico said, remembering the powerful ecological associations the Federation had in their midst. "Leasing grounds could be of service, for a start. Anonymous societies could be interested in this world; the mere presence of a moon inhabited and with atmosphere, has enough magnetism for the common tourist."- Holly said. Mundifico kissed her lightly, and said:' Guess we could make some money out of this tiny world."At the next day, he departed to Aurean planet, leaving a Frigate and two Hunter Spaceships to defend the planet- enough if he had really defeated the pirates and an error if he had not. Chapter 22. Plans for the future. With a Frigate and two Hunter spaceships, Mundifico made the trip back to Aurean planet, the four months he spent in deep sleep were also some more spare time for the gold mines at Aurean planet to rise some more tons of the precious metal. When the Emperor Mundifico awakes, they were orbiting Aurean planet, and Holly was the first thing he see when opening his eyes. "Good morning, dear! Have a nice sleep?"- Holly asked him, smiling gently. "Oh, my head! These sleeping periods are taking my brain apart!'- He complained; and it was certain his increasing age were having a part on those headaches; Holly knew about his pains, and placed a glass of medicine on his right hand, saying:' Drink this, dear, and you'll feel O.K.' He did it, and soon he was out of pain; he wondered how the chemicals could do that, but hadn't the guts to ask how it works; instead, he said:" And, have we arrived to the Aurean planetary system?" "Yes, dear! We are almost landing at Aurean planet; but we are waiting for your orders to do it."- Holly said. "Are they aware I am aboard?"- Mundifico asked, feeling his tongue as a piece of rag in his mouth. "Yes, dear! They are happy now you are awake- we are radioing your recovery world wide- have no fear- they love you."- Holly said, and it was almost true. "Good guys! Tell king Cornejian I am descending at Aurea city; nice place, there. And of course, the matter about gold and the mines interested me the most! "- Mundifico said. "I cut the audio of your recovery, dear; and yes, they had a lot of gold for you to spend; also, I recommend you to say you are very concerned about the people- the natural people at the cities of this world- and not the gold goes first, in diplomacy, darling!"- Holly recommended him. "Well, I guess you are right."- Mundifico said, placing the information in his brain as first thing to say when in public. The Space Fleet of the New Alliance Branas 2 descended on the Cosmodrome at Aurean city; a music band was waiting for Mundifico to appear at the top of the ladder; and when he begin the descent, the martial sounds begin , banners were rise, and the small company of soldiers, all of them Naturals, stand in attention to their Emperor. King Cornejian walked and bowed in front of him; he was using a green parade suit, with a lot of golden in it; other members of the Army were also present; Mundifico saluted them rising an arm in the old Roman and Nazi fashion, and speak to the public using microphones:" I am happy to come back to my beloved Aurean planetary system; we had cleansed two planetary systems of pirates and aliens; now it's the time to finish our

enemies here; give me some days of rest among you, and I am sure we'll succeed in our work." The people assembled there applauded and cheered him, while he stepped on a big Flier machine, and departed to the Royal palace, which stands on the north side of the city and near the sea. "Hope you made a nice trip, Emperor! We were worried for you, while you were at war."Cornejian said, seated next to him on the Flier. "Thanks you for your concern, King Cornejian! I see you had worked hard; new buildings I am seeing by the window, and lots of aerial vehicles flying around; guess lots of people had the means to do it now."- Mundifico said. Cornejian replied:" The Federation of Planets has something to do with it, Your Majesty; forty trips a day brings lots of colonist here and at the other four cities! Tourists also come here , to spend holidays doing excursions to the best panoramic sites we had prepared for them; of course, without the invaluable help of the Synthetic people, half of this would not possibly been donned. " "We had another planetary system to rule: B2M603! There are plenty of tourist sites over there, which could serves also to earn some money from the Federation society; there are no mines on that moon, but plenty of good soil to plow; forest to visit, places to go. I will appoint someone there; perhaps you could recommend someone with experience to do the job."- Mundifico said who knew only Synthetic personnel only. Cornejian was proud that the Emperor has so much confidence in him, and said:' Of course, Your Majesty: I will study some curriculums and I will put some names on your desk, for you to choose amongst. " "You do that! In addition, I will thank you, of course. Add some assistants for that person, of course. And about the gold: I need it to rise another powerful Fleet; as you are seeing, every time I come back, I had but a scant number of vessels remaining; the pirates certainly uses the money they robbed from the honest people, to buy powerful spaceships; now we are going to fight with aliens in their own cities; guess it would be difficult to win- perhaps I will only post a number of battle cruisers on our borders- a thing, as you know, hardly possibly, as in a planetary system, there are lots of places where to get inside the inner orbits without ever seeing a spaceship."- Mundifico said. "Well, your Majesty, now there are some very efficient gadgets that advice the Army forces when and where an alien spaceship is trespassing our borders; another matter is if we could divert spaceships to detain them!"- Cornejian said. "And that's why I want to buy more spaceships! I guess I must go there and defeat them in their territory; who knows? I even could be able to add another planetary system to our Empire!"- Mundifico laughed. "I will be delighted to be of help, Sir.- Cornejian said, thinking in how much gold was going to be expended in those wars. Later, Mundifico did receive a list of candidates to be Viceroy of B2M603 (the home planetary system of the pirates); and he chooses a stout man in his forties, after several interviews and scanning of knowledge. "Asus Fergolio, you are the new Viceroy of M23! I am giving you a harsh world to tame, and remember that our Army Forces are small and in need of improvement, so you use the weapons and your tongue with caution. " "I'll do my best, Your Majesty, to enrich the arcs of your Treasure Chamber!- The man assured; Mundifico smiled, as in M23-3's moon, there were no rich metals to exchange. "Wish you luck! Holly, see if there are a couple of Freighters for the Viceroy Asus!"Mundifico said to his fiance, who was always of help, now that Lulu was not there.

"Yes, Darling; you have four in each planet; guess planet V could release one, and planet I the other."- Holly said. "Oh, I forget that item! We must put someone as King of planet V!"- Mundifico said. "You could put some Synthetic person, dear; it's the key planet for the rest of the system; must be a reliable person, don't you think?"- Holly said. "Well, then, if you guess a Synthetic person could be fine, you name it!"- Mundifico said. "Any Synthetic could be the same- externally, but you know there are standard models and fine models; Ill choose a fine model for the job.- Holly said, while revising automatically the database some other E-person was delivering her in haste; soon she said:' Well, we have three good models to choose; please give me a name to put on one of them.""What? They all have names, is it not?"- Mundifico asked. "Yes, dear, but for external appearances, a new name would be better- you , Naturals , love to search old data in newly appointed persons in high positions- to mock if the former labor wasn't fashionable- so we start in Zero, with a new name."- Holly explained him with patience. "Oh, I guess it's a psychological theme, what you are opening up here! Let's call him Lord Byron; a good name isn't it?"- Mundifico said. "Lord Byron it is! Must he like men instead of women, also?"- Holly asked. "Well, I guess the males of your "species" aren't lovers... or am I not right?"- Mundifico asked her. "Oh, I was joking, dear!"- Holly replied, kissing him tenderly. THE END OF KNAPP 11.

2009.23.3/ AJF./ Addendum & Data: BREVIARIUM KNAPIANUS XI 1 Mundifico booked at Hotel Varela, downtown Oredloro 6 He receives secret information by Lalita at the War Ministry, that Gertrude could help him get the 7 Information he wants 8 Then he sold it to Tallius 9 He went to Oxiborion 10 Seatown 11 Then to 12 Shekik 13 Town, where he 14 Sensed the people's 15 Nervous about the 16 Possibility of spies 17 Lurking their streets. 18 Enemies of Knapp Kingdom begin 19 An attack

20 Falans they are 21 From Carina star 22 Who wages war 23 On the neighbor 24 Planetary 25 Systems 26 And 27 Now 28 Its the 29 Turn for 30 To seize Knappian 31 Kingdom, but 32 As the King was finishing the 33 Signatures 34 With The 35 Federation of Planets 36 He was 37 Defended by them. 38 So the Falans were defeated 16511 And Mundifico attends a celebration at the Royal Gardens. The keel of the Ship Argos is the location of Beta Carinae, home to the Falans. 16514 He moves to Rixiaberg after buying 2 E-males and 3 E-females. There he stayed living in luxury. 57 Doctor Rubeose exchange his Orb for the Mundifico Wagon Flier for a time 58 He made a trip 59 From Knapp to 60 Earth in two hours by a jump into Hyperspace- Chile. He bought batteries for the Synthetics while on Earth Planet. 61 He also danced and has a good time on Earth. 62 Back to Knapp. 63 He visits 64 Dr. Rubeose 65 As he want to offer money for his Orb spaceship. 66 Rubeose refused but then he died in a fire. Mundifico returns to Earth in order to repair some minor malfunctions on the Orb, at 67 The Wonorb Orb Industries68 Two months waiting for the repairs to be made. 69 Brandon Cornejian 70 Presents himself as an able Student, capable for the replacement of any other crew members- he had worked in the Government Mass Manipulation Center. 71 He visits Antarctica. 72 They give it back the Orb, so he takes off with the Synthetics, the doctor and the Student. 73 Dr. Jaime Mauvan 74 Is hired as a doctor; he had worked at the Gob. In the manipulation of masses through electronic means. 16710 Queen Ester of Mahlen, Princess Dhaleng. His niece Lord Flurd, chief officer at Dhaleng's Army. Domes. Lord Edoin, Minister of Agriculture, Count Drajul, Walled site, city castle, Lord Bucho, Chancellor Fagadon, kingdom of Barkisan, Larconian Keymaster of the Dungeons were there.

16712 Prince Dhaleng with her guards attacked the crew of the Orb in a swift movement they capture doctor Mauvan, Lemueldo Murita, and others. 16747 Doctor Mauvan Learns Their Language. Priests Chili and Tarken say is the Princess Dhaleng is a dangerous person. Doctor Mauvan talks with Chancellor Fagadon 16748 And gives info about himself and his civilization 16749 The Aurean 16750 show him some god given items- he discovered in them old artifacts of his own civilization. 16751 Priests talks about this- they fear truth and not religion could reign if Doctor Mauvan explain publicly his knowledge. 16752 The priests decide Mauvan must work for them in secret. 6 16756 At the Orb, the kidnapping troubles Mundifico; he sent Belone and Nicole Covarrubias to that city. However, they failed and Nicole is wounded .They return to the Orb. 16757 Mundifico moved the Orb to a place where to dig for metals. 16758 They dig. 16759 They find some gold, silver and copper. 16770 Nicole is recovered and returns to the Walled city with Belone to the rescue. 16773 Searching for the prisoners at the city. 16774 They are at the Tower of the Princess Dhaleng 16775 They fight to rescue Dr. Mauvan 16780 Nicole goes back to rescue the rest who are: Chuan Despero, Dango Etenim, Dolobre Yalus, Ebonita Inaures, Gayuna Inscite, Hunakbu Limax, Fernan Salvatierra, Inocencia Gomez, Alberto Oyarce. 16787 A the digging place 16788 Attack of the Pinacosaur 16792 They dig at the mine 16800 The big asteroid 16806 Glass is found at the asteroid 16810 They went to Earth to sell the gold at Chicago city. 16818 The gold is sold 16819 Bargaining 16820 They went to Santiago Chile Cosmodrome 16830 Pachanga Restaurant 16832 Tourism at Santiago 16835 Visiting Orb vessels. Mundifico bought 4 mining models Class ARTO3 Serial numbers ML393, ML330, ML390, ML391 and 2 mining models Class CA Serial number CA20, CA29, plus sets. At the Cullin Works Org. 16840 Mundifico at a Resort Hotel at a beach with his E-women. 16849 Mundifico hired mining drills and machines from the Cobra Corporation. Captain Urrutia of the cargo vessel "Poderoso", crew officers Pinto Bope and Diaz. 16856 On the way to the golden planet 16869 They all arrived and with Shuttlecrafts, the machines are lowered to the ground .The captain Urrutia returns to Earth. 16871 The miners are called ERBO834, ERBU040, DEK 0300, DEK0322, UNT0425, UNT0302, or Erbo ,Deko, Dektu, Untfive, Untwo. 16872 They went to work at the mine. 16878 The work begin

16880 Mundifico returns to the walled city, and hit several buildings with missiles and rescued the kidnapped ,firing LASER beams. 16887 They think another digging place could be better than the first. 16888 Arriving to a new place of digging, among the mountains. Gold is found. Mundifico set course to Earth, with 8 kg of gold, 12 kg of silver, 65 tons of copper. 16895 At the solar system 16899 They arrive to Chicago and sold the metals. Brando Cornejian called his daughters, but he is not welcomed. 16903 Cornejian bought clothes 16911 Cornejian had date with a woman : Lia 16920 Cornejian went to visit Lia. 16921 Out to dance with Lia 16922 At a Restaurant Lia- Cornejian; small dance 16926 Lia returns to her place in a hurry. 16932 With Lia shopping. Later Cornejian meets Professor Wormbur, who owns some Sumerian Clay Tablets. 16947 At professor Wormbur's place, a nice daughter. He shows his cuneiform writings. Mundifico stole a tablet and sold it at a Pawn Shop. 16952 Miss Wormbur calls the Police when his father died of an earth attack, blaming Cornejian of it, as he stole an important Tablet from the deceased one. Cornejian returns to the Orb. 16965 Mundifico bought more Miners from the Oredlorian Cyborg Industries. 16966 Five miners bought. Gosse is sold. 16970 Cornejian at a luxury Hotel with 2 E-women. 16983 Cornejian escapes from the Hotel with the Police on his heels- helped by the two Efemales. 16984 Cornejian at the Orb, scared. Mundifico rents two E-females for the use of him and Cornejian .Holly pb 2983, Marlene. They travel back to the Golden planet, miners set to work; Cornejian on a scientific travel, lost Marlene and come back on foot and with some apes. 16999 Cornejian informed how she was smashed her head and is not working but the body was saved. 17000 Cornejian mourns about Marlene the Synthetic female; Mundifico sees about the Apes Cornejian brought. He decides to sell them to some Earthian Zoology. Mundifico rented two Efemales at Cullin Works- another for himself and the other to Cornejian (Model AB35) to replace the one drowned at the river. Mundifico sold the Simians. They visit the city of Chicago (Earth). They also visit Santiago Chile. NBooked at the Alfredonius Hotel, there, Mr. Uriangobo told them he knew where to find the ones who shaped the human race. The Nigerian Uriangobo gets a place on the Orb, together with his daughter. Later, Uriangobo tried to steer the Orb directly to the Anunnaki whereabouts, but was discovered and put to sleep, together with his daughter. 17001 Back to the Aurean Planet, Lulu and Belone saluted them back. Lots of gold, Pteranousaurs, 380 kgs. Gold, 103 kg. Silver, 3902 kg pure copper. The Uriangobo couple is dumped on an island, in order not to take cryiogenized people to the Anunnaki realm. 17002 Chapter 7. In search of Nibiru at Chi1ORI". 17003 They found deserted ruins at V. At II planet, they find spacecraft- someone called Saracen authorized them to land near the Equator, speaking in Interlingua. When disembarking, several small beings directed them by deserted but guarded corridors to a hall where five Giants were seated on high chairs.

Mundifico presents himself as Knappian- a giant said they only know about Earth humanoids. Cornejian (as an Earthling) thanks them for the granting of intelligence. 17003. Kirio (Anunnaki) asked if humans are not satisfied with the life they get. Another giant said 9.000 years had passed since his race abandoned the Earth. Another said life is the ultimate goal to be enjoyed. Then they were dismissed. 17004. Chapter 8. Colonization of Aurean planet. Reggie said two months takes the trip to the Aurean planet from there. Mundifico and Cornejian put to hibernation - a small Grey went out of a compartment- the Anunnaki wants to know where the Knappian lives, in order to watch them too! Reggie explains they accepted to take him on board, or else the Orb would have been retained forever at Chi1OR-2. Then she killed the Grey with a LASER beam. 17005. They take the naturals before the entrance to the Aurean Planetary system. At the mine, some workers were in bad shape, with the excess of work. 17006. At Earth, where they replaced the Workers for others in working order. Mundifico went to speak with Mr. Peacock who receives his application to be Administrator of the Aurean Planetary System. 17009. Peacock writes it down- a sun class 1, places at Branas 2, Coordinates jdi00ksxis29029 at 932 parsecs from Earth (plus Jump). Five planets. 17019 Peacock finds him acceptable, after revising his affidavit. 17020 The name was Star System Aurean, II planet, Aureo, he obtained the Mandate and its obligations. 17024 They bought some more spaceships and returns to Aurean Planetary System. 17025 They had five hunters and a Cruiser around planet V- orbital Stations on every planet. 17036 Mining operations at the Third planet. Detected were seven strange spaceships. Kette informed that at the next Planetary system (nine inhabitable planets) are dangerous neighbors. 17037 Mutiny at the orbital Station around planet 3- reduced with the help of captain Eforn and several Hunter spaceships. 17038 Admiral Marlo Foss. 17040 Kette explained the enemy tampered the Synthetics at the Orbital Station. 17041 At the new Cruiser, Mundifico is worried. 17042 Admiral Marlo says forty Synthetics were infected. 17044 Three fighters at Aurean III, the rest with the Cruiser to the Second planet. 17045. Two enemy vessels incoming. The bigger one is hit by a C Beam from the Cruiser and exploded. 17046 C Rays destroyed another big alien spaceship, the last is boarded and the crew captured - they are aliens of three eyes, no head, stump instead of legs.16 prisoners, Energy and figures of the alien vessel differs from known artifacts of flight. 17049 Mundifico talked with Reggie- Lulu is calling. 17050 Lulu show him new buildings and mines. 17051 Cornejian said he is working hard administering Banks and Firefighters Stations. 17052 Cornejian believe more in Naturals than in Synthetics to organize the System. Mundifico gives him the title of Minister of Foreign affairs. Cornejian prefers to be the major of Aurean Town. 17053 Cornejian accepts the title, for a while. Mundifico also nominate him Governor of Aurean Town. Cornejian believe in Socialism. 17054 Cornejian is building a Capitol Building. 17055 Cornejian talks about Hitler plans- he had a memory chi[p in his brain. Mundifico said he was not going to be an avenger but an Administrator.

17056 Cornejian urges him to visit the neighboring planetary system and take revenge. 17057 Mundifico want to appoint Kings in his hew Empire. General Mervio, Admiral Marlo is astonished. Kings by planets: Fifth planet = Lulu; Fourth = Belone; Third = Reggie; Second = Cornejian; First = Kette. In addition, Mundifico is the Emperor with the seat of Government at the Second planet (the only with breathable atmosphere). 17061 Aurean City on planet 2. Admiral Marlo to Fifth planet. 17062 Mundifico asks for two more Cruisers. The first to appear in a week. 17063 4.000 people on the Fifth planet (2200 Naturals). 17064 Other sites are being tested for ores. 17065 Mundifico want more Orb spaceships. Lulu is in charge of Acquisitions. 17069 Lulu informs that there are Natural females in the staff. 17070. Lulu presents Technicians to Mundifico. 17071. Blueprints. 17073 Miss Arandula (Chief Architect) and some other Natural females present. 17074 Dinne with Arandula . 17075 She cannot be a virgin... 17076 Mundifico flirted with Arandula. 17077 Mundifico dance with Arandula. 17078 Mundifico and Arandula visiting the Second mining field in the Orb- they kissed each other. 17080 Enemy ship approaching. The Cruiser sounds the alert. 17081 The enemy fired upon them. 17082 One lesser alien vessel destroyed. The Cruiser was hit and exploded. The Hunter vessels arrive- six Hunters. 17084 Captain Masados want to fight but Mundifico ordered the retreat to the Second planet. Lady Arandula is on the Orb. 17085 King Belone of the Fourth planet. 17086 Civil administrators Wallak of the Orbital Station at IV planet. Aurean planet, Aurean city, Arandula want to go, but Mundifico find it hard to obey. 17087 In orbit of IV planet. 17088 Fighters in orbit of the IV planet awaits the new cruiser in four days elapsed time. Esfran, captain, said enemy is plundering the V planet. 17089 Captain Rodriguez said they must prevent the new Cruiser about the presence of the alien fleet at V planet - four days to the arrival of the Cruiser. 17092 Mundifico went to planet V, where they saw enemy ships. 17093 Mundifico defeats them. Then, at the surface of V. 17094 Several damages at the Mundifico space fleet. But enemy reinforces appears, and Mundifico flies from there. 17096 Mundifico lands with the Orb on the planet and waits for a clearance in the sky. 17097 They take off at full speed, after some hours. 17098 They departed to Knapp Oredloro city. 17100 King Lugner refuses to sell spaceships if not to subjects of his. 17101 Fogonder, ship builder, says he cannot sell without royal orders. 17102 Mundifico is contacted with ship smugglers (ACER290), a synthetic entity who provides him with smuggled war ships from the Royal Knappian shipyards: 2 cruisers, 5 destroyers, 2 hunters. 17106 They arrive to Aurean Planetary system and the enemy attacks. With the Neutron Beam and missiles, Alliance Starfleet defeats those enemy ships.

17108 Admiral Salter is appointed as such. 17109 Back to Aurean planet. 17110 Mundifico calls to a reunion, stating more gold from the mines are needed. 17111 Reggis and Kette have no gold on their worlds. 17115 A cargo trip is devised. 17118 A gold convoy to Knapp- Mundifico at its command. 17120 Orb and 2 cargo vessels on route to Knapp 17124 In deep space. 17128 Again begging for more spaceships to the king Lugner. 17129 Minister Olbog repeats: no serfs of King Lugner, no sells. However, other Administrators are asking for vessels. 17130 Olbog said: Administrators of planetary systems, appointed by people at other Branas, must be under their rule. 17131 The Requesters refused and organized a small fleet with every battle ship they own. Administrators: Jorge Masir, Colus (star 368-20, no Terraformed planets, 18 mining fields, 1 Cruiser, several armed Freighters. The Alliance of Planets is born. Elected President: Mundifico. War Ministry: Jorge Masir; Administrator Salter: commander of the Fleet. 17143 Administrator Covarrubias, over Delta Spoon, one planet, 18 big satellites, with mining operations going on- mineral exported to Knapp. 17145 Administrator Covarrubias has several female Synthetics at his service, on subterranean palace. 17146 His synthetic females attend Mundifico and other visits. 17147 Mundifico made plans. 17149 Administrator Covarrubias has great ideas for the future. 17150 Adm. Covarrubias show his installations through a holographic projector. 17151 Adm. Covarrubias is wealthier than he shows. 17153 Commander Salter made plans to attack the Pirates of Space. 17154 The Alliance Fleet nearing Delta Spoon whereabouts. 17155 Spoon B inhabited by Rumanians. 17157 Commander Salter and the Fleet patrol the area around Spoon B. 17158 The Fleet is in waiting for several days. 17160 Tired of to wait; Mundifico offers himself and the Orb to go scouting near other stars. 17161 Bored, Mundifico learns about Genetics- soon afterwards, the pirates appear. 17163 Enemy ships closing up against the scout Orb commanded by Mundifico. Admiral Salter goes to the rescue. 17164 Pirates crossing mining fields planted by the Allied Starfleet. Orb spaceship fires missiles against the pirates, but to not avail- force fields stronger than supposed. 17165 Admiral Salter in battle; pirates are captured, others dead. They said their base it is at a moon. B2m603 star system. 17166 At the moon, Faroden continent has the pirate base. Its guarded by several warships. 17170 Admiral Salter when nearing the pirate planetary system is aware of 17171 pirate fleet in waiting. War plans are devised. 17172 Pirates on sight. Forty vessels different sizes. 17173 Mundifico on his Orb, Lulu at the guns. The pirates hit an Alliance Cruiser. 17174 Another Hunter is hit. Admiral Salter is killed when his Cruiser is hit. Mundifico runs out. 17177 Mundifico set course to Aurean P.S.; Alliance Starfleet is destroyed.

17178 Arrival to Aurean; King Cornejian cannot believe the defeat. 17180 Miss Arandula welcomes his former lover Mundifico, believing he defeats the pirates. 17181 Mundifico is jealous of Arandula, who dances with others and has too many friends. 17182 Lulu made inquiries: Arandula is innocent and loyal to Mundifico, but has many friends. 17183 Mundifico stops a dancing party and told Arandula to behave, as he wants. 17184 King Cornejian gives all the gold he gets from his gold mines, for to buy warships. 17185 The jealous Mundifico rejects Arandula. Holly takes her place. 17186 Finally, the news spread among the people: the defeat of the Alliance Fleet is known. Alliance Administrators called on Mundifico asking his renounce to the post. 17205 Administrator Colus is enraged by the loss of the Fleet; Jorge Masir defends Mundifico, Administrator Seredon ask for the removal of Mundifico as President, Administrator Johanson ask for names to elect a new President. 17206 Jorge Masir is the new elected President of the Alliance Space fleet. He appoints Mundifico as his second in command (no official title ascribed). 17207 New battleships are bought, this time at Earth. 17208 New battleships are 3 Cruisers, 4 Frigates, 17 Hunters, 1 Orb. They set prow to Alpha Moll, where Administrator Seredon is asking for help. 17209 Asked, Mundifico says Replicants are not to be built in numbers, or they are going to replace humankind. Arrival to Alpha Moll star. 17212 Administrator Seredon at Alpha Moll, planet 3 in terraforming progress, not habitable yet. 17213 Enemy ships appear, and they are seven Frigates, four Battle ships, eight Hunters, three Orbs. 17214 Two Alliance Hunters downed, three Frigates damaged on the first encounter; at the second encounter, another Hunter is damaged, but the enemy lost a Frigate; a Cruiser from the Alliance is hit. Jorge Masir, who was at the satellite, is rescued by the Mundificos orb. From there, to the Cruiser Mefaga. 17221 President Masir went to the surface of the satellite at the Cruiser Mefaga. 17222 A ground enemy battery opens fire against the Mefaga, severing it in two pieces. 17224 From the Orb, Lulu gunned the enemy battery with LASER rays, and fused the C Beam Cannon out of action, but his brain is burnt when the First Law is disobeyed. 17225 Alliance Fleet orbiting the satellite at Alpha Moll 3 amounts to three Frigates badly damaged and four Hunters. Mundifico calls captains to a virtual reunion, taking the command of the Space Fleet without resistance, due to the disappearance of the President Masir and his staff aboard the Mefaga. 17226 Mundifico sent troops to the mining fields and towns, appeasing the incoming revolt. 17227 The old Majors keep their post, provided they work loyally to the new administration. 17228 Months later, economy is recovered at the satellite, under Mundifico administration. He appoints a Frigate and two Hunters to guard the space around the satellite. and went to Aurean planet. 17229 They arrive to Aurean planet; king Cornejian receives him with great ceremony; this time he is a victor. The End. Characters of the tale and other information:

Captain Lucho Urrutia of the "Poderoso" space freighter. Crew: Pinto, Bope and Diaz. Three were the kidnapped, minus one who is doctor Mauvan; now her niece Nicole Covarrubias deserted (to be helping the two at the walled city). The remaining crew is: Commander: Mundifico First Officer: Lulu, Second Officer: Belone, Pilots: Reggie; Technical Advisors: Kette, Gosse. Chief Engineer Alberto Oyarce, Mechanic: Gayuba Inscite. Doctor: Jaime Mauvan. Crew: Brandon Cornejian, Chuan Despero, Dango Etenim, Dolobre Yalus, Ebonita Inaures, Hunabku Limax, Fernan Salvatierra, Inocencia Gomez. The kidnapped are: Jorge Alvarez, Ignacio Gutierrez, Liliana Nadir. Rescuer: Nicole Covarrubias. Queen Ester of Malehn (The "anuk" is their language). Chancellor Fagadon- Friends: Gofrend (farthing); Chilin, Sikabon- bald Tarken, Princess Dhaleng, Ester's niece. Sobrina - governed the walled city of Firnuca, and the queen usually abides in there. Lord Flurd, chief officer of Dhaleng's Army. Lord Buchon , officer of Dhaleng's Army. Larconian, Keymaster of the Dungeons Brandon Cornejian, student. "The man of the maps". Crew of the Orb: Jaime Mauvan, Doctor- Nicole Covarrubias, Doctor- Chuan Despero, Dango Etenim, Dolobre Yalus, Ebonita Inaures, Gayuba Inscite, Hunabku Limax, Ignacio Gutierrez, Fernan Salvatierra, Inocencia Gomez, Jorge Alvarez, Liliana Nadir, Alberto Oyarce. Ribardo, guide from the "Perico Hotel". Earth. CROVAILOBA the golden Robot of Professor Rubosa (Both killed in an explosion) Professor Rubosae, owner of an Orb Spaceship (diameter 40 meters.) MALE MODEL Class AA3... "Belone" SERIAL NUMBER... BL 19568 FEMALE MODEL. Class AA3...Reggie" SERIAL NUMBER...BL18303 MALE MODEL. Class AA3...Lulu" SERIAL NUMBER...BL19303... FEMALE MODEL. Class AA3...."Kette" SERIAL NUMBER...BL 19322... FEMALE MODEL. Class AA3...."Gosse" SERIAL NUMBER...BL 19393... Four Mining male models, Class ARTO3. Serial Number ML 393, Serial number ML 330, Serial Number ML 390, Serial Number 391. Two Mining male models Class CA, Serial Number CA 20, Serial Number CA 29. 4.304.000 million Credits the six mining Series. Bought at Epeople from the Knapp 10: Hand kit, to be used at hard labor. Brains Class AB-CXO, similar to model CX. Names of Class AA806: Shuleta, metallic AA806 340 730 Sinerbio, metallic AA806 340 830 Askarbio, metallic AA806 390 392 Atisinerio, metallic AA806 393 100 Costonokio, metallic AA806 393 123 Umsteigen, metallic AA806 320 230 Carbasus, metallic AA806 300 102 JG model. Ronaxa, model AA4 number 93 Knapp 11 (Earth made.) Knappian people:

King Lugner of Knapp Isildur: Prime Minister of Lugner. Seiten, scientific; Vorrang Emontecinos, helper. Seiten (desde): tourist Vorrang (primacia) assistant to Seiten 250.000 Rolos (price of the first mechabot) "Easypeople Company", etc. 1.000.000 Rolos model JG Model BA 35 350.000 Rolos Battery life span: 182 years, 6.000 Credits. Workable In, 14 model AB 35 no software 1 million Credits each. AB 35 series 63 400 "Yasuri". Mechamen model 29 OD . AB 35 "Brunilde, "Lirian", "Yasuri". WKR03, paralyzing weapon 2 M Credits. BA 35 model, price 350.000 Rolos - Easypeople Company. Model AA806. Metallic. Correlate = 125.000 credits = 17.500 Rolos 62.500 credits = 8.750 Rolos 31.250 credits = 4.375 Rolos 1 million credits = 140056.02 Rolos 7, 14 credits - 1 Rolos 1 Rolos = 7.14 credits Note about speedways: The concept of a megalopolis based on high-speed walkways is common in science fiction. The first works set in such a location are A Story of the Days To Come (1897) and When The Sleeper Wakes (1899) (also republished as The Sleeper Awakes) written by H. G. Wells, which take place in a future London. Thirty years later, the silent film Metropolis (1927) depicted several scenes showing moving sidewalks and escalators between skyscrapers at high levels. Later the Roads Must Roll (1940), written by Robert A. Heinlein, depicts the risk of a transportation strike in a society based on similar-speed sidewalks. The novel is part of the Future History saga, and takes place in 1976. Isaac Asimov, in the novel The Caves of Steel (1954) and its sequels in the Robot Series, uses similar enormous underground cities with a similar sidewalk system. The period described is about the year 3000. In each of these cases, there is a massive network of parallel moving belts, the inner ones faster. Passengers are screened from wind, and there are chairs and even shops on the belt. In the Robert Anson Heinlein work, the fast lane runs at 180 km/h, and the first "mechanical road" was built in 1960 between Cincinnati and Cleveland. The relative speed of two adjacent belts is an unrealistic 20 km/h (in the book the fast lane stops, and the second lane keeps running at 160 km/h). In the Wells and Asimov, works there are more steps in the speed scale and the speeds are less extreme. In Arthur C. Clarke's novel, Against the Fall of Night (later rewritten as The City and the Stars) the Mega city of Diaspar is interwoven with "moving ways" which, unlike Heinlein's conveyor belts, are solid floors that can mysteriously move as a fluid. On pages 11-13 of the novel, Clarke writes,

An engineer of the ancient world would have gone slowly mad trying to understand how a solid roadway could be fixed at both ends while its centre traveled at a hundred miles an hour... The corridor still inclined upwards, and in a few hundred feet had curved through a complete right angle. Only logic knew this: to the senses, it was now as if one were being hurried along a level corridor. The fact that he was in reality traveling up a vertical shaft thousands of feet deep gave Alvin no sense of insecurity, for a failure of the polarizing field was unthinkable. In Strygatsky brothers Noon universe the worldwide network of moving roads is the one of the first mega projects undertaken on newly united Earth before the advent of FTL starships and its consequences turned everybody's attention to the stars. These roads there are quasi-living organisms close to Clarke's description and were used for both local commuting and long-distance non-urgent transport until their eclipse in form of instant teleportation network. The animated TV series The Jetsons depicts moving walkways everywhere, even in private homes. Music: http://www.seeqpod.com/search/?plid=77ad52bf14 *1 Immortal - (Deutschland). *2 Sobretasa CHART OF DISTANCES AT THE SECOND BRANA. Knapp to Aurean Knapp to Suyam Knapp to @ Eridani Knapp to Reticule B Knapp to @ Centaury Aurean to Knapp Aurean to Suyam Aurean to Earth Aurean to @ Eridani Aurean to Reticule B Aurean to @ Centaury Aurean to M23 2 months 3 months 20 months 12 months 10 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 5 months

AUREAN PLANETARY SYSTEM Aurean2 to First Planet 1 day Aurean2 to Third Planet 3 days Aurean 2 to Fourth Planet 6 days Aurean 2 to Fifth Planet 9 days

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