The new bubble contained both flyers as it ascended toward the oceanís
Tamla, Savjoda, John Carter, and myself occupied the two flyers with
Fomas-67 and Ras Thavas as the pilots. Gosmasokamankgo and the other Minunians
stayed behind in the darmayok city to operate the machine.
The bubble broke the surface and opened into a floating, rubbery
pad upon which the two flyers rested.
We simultaneously lifted into the sky and Fomas-67 sent a wireless
signal to Gosmasokamankgo back beneath the ocean.
We were plunged into darkness and then a new sun appeared in a patch
of clear dark blue sky. The real Sun. We were looking into the sky of Barsoom.
The flyers lifted quickly and made for the hole in reality at the center
of the world.
Halfway to the opening, we saw a great mechanism flying through the
sky. It was the "brother" apparatus to the great machine at the oceanís
floor, the one which actually created the "road" through which we passed.
It orbited Dhaimiraís sun at a remarkable rate of speed. I was told by
Fomas-67 that it actually housed a full time staff of doyak and Minunian
engineers. I should very much have liked to have seen how those workers
were replaced, for only the very fastest flyers would have been able to
catch up with the speeding machine.
The air of Dhaimira didnít start to thin out until very near the
sun. In fact, so near that had the sun been lit, no living being could
approach closely enough to notice. I felt the air grow briefly thin and
cold before it became suddenly denser, but not so dense as that of Dhaimira.
I now breathed the air of Barsoom.
Cluros and Thuria hurtled overhead, quite visible if not as magnificent
as they appeared at night. Ras Thavas directed us toward Morbus where his
great laboratory complex was located.
The city of Morbus was very ancient dating back to the nigh-forgotten
age when rolling oceans covered much of Mars. It now stood on an island
in the middle of Lake Toonol. This region had once been a vast stinking
swamp, but the addition of the new atmosphere plants had started a reversal
of the planetary drying which had seized Barsoom ages ago. Today what was
once a desolate swamp is now a large clear lake. In some remote future
age, oceans would once more exist on this world. Lake Toonol was once the
deepest part of the deepest ocean, so it still persisted as a marsh even
into the driest age of Barsoom. Morbus was rebuilt once over fifteen hundred
years ago by Ras Thavas and is where his original laboratory was located.
Here he perfected his surgical wonders and it was here that he engendered
the first artificial humans, the so-called "hormads". The hormads proved
to be a great deal of trouble and for a time, the master became the slave.
Ras Thavas could well empathize with Savjoda. That second city of Morbus
was bombed out of existence by the fleet of Helium and Ras Thavas set out
to rebuild it yet again. While the city had suffered other mishaps since
that time, none had completely leveled the city again. The Morbus of today
is clearly assembled on the skeleton of that third city and is now home
to a great scientific university. Ras Thavas is jeddak of Morbus, but plays
little role in the government. That work is left to the "jeds of administration"
the head of which is Zorn Konark, the first jed. On Earth, we would call
him a mayor.
It was Zorn Konark who stood awaiting us as the flyers landed in
the center of the city. Ras Thavas was instantly giving a hundred different
orders to the throng that had gathered around. He called for every available
flyer assigning the fastest one to John Carter to convey him back to Helium
that he might take similar action there.
Many in the crowd stared dumbstruck at Fomas-67, for they had never
seen a creature of his type. One man, mistaking him for a dangerous animal,
attempted to capture him and swiftly discovered the amazing strength of
Before too long Tamla, Savjoda and I had a flyer of our own and a
peculiar gun which had been designed by Gosmasokamankgo and mass produced
through some amazingly swift method in the city of Morbus. Within hours,
several flyer loads were on their way to Helium.
Two days passed before the fleets met on the dead sea bottom halfway
between Helium and Lake Toonol where a small camp had been assembled to
support the Gridley wave device needed to communicate with Dhaimira.
John Carter, who now commanded a fleet of over six hundred flyers,
had Ras Thavas contact Gosmasokamankgo in the darmayok city. The device
required that the Mastermind wear tight fitting headphones to receive the
communication, so no others could hear what he heard, but the expression
on his face clearly revealed that he was unhappy with the news he was hearing.
Looking up at John Carted and Savjoda he said, "The darmayok city
is under attack by jomads. They have discovered that it is where the machine
is now located and they seek to retrieve it. They have blocked all of the
cityís snorkels save for one which they are trying to make their way down."
I asked Savjoda, "How long can the darmayoks hold them off?"
"Not long. The darmayoks are poor fighters. We must work quickly
or all may be lost."
At that moment, the darmayok city was under siege although
there were only a very few ways the jomads could get in. All but one of
the organic snorkels were blocked with huge stacks of boulders which had
been laboriously flown from land. It certainly did look bad until a sudden
illumination leapt up from the depths.
As each of the winged creatures was touched by the light they seemed
to dwindle in size. The device of Gosmasokamankgo had been brought into
play. Each of the jomads was soon no larger than a doll and as their bodies
shrunk, so did the capacity of their brains, for the hormad brains of the
jomads did not respond to the Minunian diminution apparatus in the same
way as that of a human. By the time they had reached their final size,
they were no more intelligent than the small birds they resembled.
The sky opened up over the dead sea bottom and the first group of
flyers rose into the strange rippling hole in reality. Our destination
was Pellucidar and then Earth. The hole closed and then reopened, this
time exposing the gray terrain of Vah-Nah and a second group of flyers
entered the spatial rift.
Although I was not there to see it, the last and most complicated
step was the team sent to Amtor. Amtor was not a hollow world like Earth,
The Moon or Mars. The central sun of Amtor only got as hot as molten iron,
creating sort of a "foamy" underworld of caverns and tunnels below the
surface of Amtor which was inhabited by all sorts of strange creatures.
The journey to the surface of that world would be arduous, requiring digging
machines similar to that which first entered Pellucidar from Earth. John
Carter referred to that region of Amtor as "Hades" when Ras Thavas told
him about it, a reference that the Mastermind simply did not understand.
The most dramatic battle was fought in Pellucidar. The second the
sun blinked out, the jomads knew what was happening. The assembled in a
great flock in the sky over Greenwich many thousands strong. They must
have, at least at first, been heartened when they saw how few the number
of flyers was that had come through. They would have been well able to
deal with only the hundred or so, particularly with their new metal weapons.
How quick they had been to take advantage of the great mineral wealth if
Pellucidar! Each of them now carried a large shiny steel sword and a Barsoomian
style long-range Radium pistol. It must have been crystal clear to them
how they would soon overwhelm us.
I was close enough to see the shocked expression on the faces of
some as they watched their weapons expand in their hands, as they suddenly
found themselves lost in the folds of their own clothing. It was only a
matter of hours before every jomad of the legions around Greenwich were
A group passed through to the surface of Earth and similarly handled
the city of San Francisco. Much to my relief, my father was discovered
alive, if dirty and underfed, in a palace basement room. The president
had been killed by accident while the jomads were attempting to win his
My reunion with my father, the jemdar, filled me with the greatest
relief that I had ever felt. Greater than the fate of worlds is the bond
between a son and his father.
In a matter of a few weeks, all of the major concentrations of jomads
in the solar system were engaged and eradicated, but occasional small tribes
of them were encountered on various worlds for another twenty years.
Finally, I was able to take Tamla of Helium as my bride. Ours was
a life of great contentment with occasional bouts of restlessness. We traveled
the solar system via the roads through space. Tamla presented me with two
strong sons full of vigor and inheritors of their motherís feisty spirit.
Savjoda returned to his capital in Dhaimira to await his punishment
by the doyaks.