The three technicians of Vilayah, who had remained into the shelter of the bunker at the windmill base, rushed to recover Nips, meanly shocked and stunned, still more with what he saw than from his physical discomfort. Happily they were warned that the Guardians had cancelled any risk of bacteria aggression.
They regained control on the multivators, which were now just machines docilely submitted to their electrical remote control. Fortunately, they seemed undamaged. Probably the Cosmic Guardians repaired them as the action was going on. But out friends still wanted to check what happened with the electronic brains.
The precious psychophysical brains had disappeared.
At least the Cosmic Guardians were sure that they would never be used again. But they still had to replace the original electronic brains, which were still besides on secondary racks.
«Hem. Nips, do you think we have time to bring things in order?
-We need hours. And we even not noted the original configurations.
-Yes, we were in a hurry. And even if we get the brains in order again, there is the broken footbridge.
-Oops. And I don't know how to repair it. We can even not weld it again, it is crumpled.
-You know, Nips, what I think...
-That what is done, is done. To have to give explanations will repair nothing.
-The best is to get out of here, fast, before the people of the base arrive. Hear: the wind is nearby gone. The tempest is ending. Soon they will want to play the windmills game again. There always are checking after the tempests.
-You are right. Let us get out of here. Just don't forget to take our luggage.
-The computer remained in the gangway, above.
-Re-oops. It is written in bold «Shedrup Ling Centre of Vilayah» on it. If we left it, we shall be unable to avoid explanations. I go and get it, and in the meanwhile start moving toward the subway with the luggage container». Nips rushed back into the stairs to the main gangway, automatically picking up a piece of ouarkian PVC which had landed there, a chlorinated plastic banned on Earth and never synthesised on Dumria. On the spot, he paid little attention to his finding, but this object was afterwards carefully archived and stored, as it remained forever the only concrete evidence as what they experienced had been real, and not some dream or hallucination.
I do not know how Nips could end escaping the explanations, as when he went back to the subway station, the last, he found himself in front of the nicest windmill repairer he could imagine. With his computer «Shedrup Ling» in his hands. And there still were the out of order multivators and the broken gangway.
Definitively done for, he was, the Nips.
There was only one solution.
«Wouaaah, I love thee» he said to the nice unknown woman.
And it worked!
This is how Ulora Amandana became the spouse of Nips Erkentembar.
Right, not his first spouse. Not the sixth, and even not the twentieth. The Last spouse. Very romantic Dumrian way to say that it was not a game, it was for life, and together they would join the same paradise after their death.
The people of the wind mills clearly saw that someone had manipulated the multivators without their knowledge, and certainly Nips was for something in this, despite his awkward pretext of visiting the base for admiring these machines. But theft is so deeply unknown a thing on Dumria, than they conceived no real animosity. Just this remained a mystery to them: What strange game were playing the people of Shedrup Ling? Finally, they asked themselves not too many questions, as Shedrup Ling already had a well established repute of oddityteness on Dumria.
* * *
One per one, the riders had emerged from their sensory isolation caissons, like weary. It was not a physical weariness, but a kind of psychical torpor, not unpleasant.
Jérôme Eraert and the last technicians had ended up joining all the others, somewhat frustrated from missing the whole story. But Madame Eraert replied him that he just had not to stay discussing. Ah, a mother...
Kurt, as usual, was remembering only the beginning of his experience. Especially, at the time his multivator was crushing everybody on the esplanade, his graph was showing only very ordinary sleep waves. So these murders were really the responsibility of the entity who replaced him into the multivator, a hopeless bloke who had, in the time, applied to the SS, but, even here, he was dismissed because of personality troubles...
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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