Dangar, Simmons Tarok,
Jal-mar, and Hug-lo the Giant One approached the lands of Sari. They saw,
in the distance, the series of flat towers, so far unique within the realm
of Pellucdar that marked the city. And before them was a vast army, that
of David Innes, who by this time had returned to his native land.
The army of emperor was magnificent
and mighty. There were hundreds strong of the great war-tandors, and a
fewer number of the even mightier lidi, the great long-necked herbivorous
dinosaur known to science as the diplodocus of the Jurassic. To the fore
of the great army ran at great armada of cavalry soldiers, each warrior
mounted upon an ice-age forerunner of the modern stallion, their short,
stiff manes betraying their recent wild origins. At the fore of the formation
rode the runners, bearing the flags, bearing the Mammoth-stand of Sari.
One of the warriors approached
Dangar’s mammoth. ‘”Ho, warriors! I bring greetings from David Innes!”
“Ho, warrior,” said Dangar. “Tell
him we are in is service!”
The great sea of warriors parted, and Dangar
greeted his emperor, who was himself mounted upon a mighty mammoth.
“I bring friends to help defend
Sari, some of whom we thought lost to the Mahrs.” Dangar explained. “They,
and the great warrior called Hug-lo helped us fight off a tarag pack.
“So I see,” said Innes. ‘Welcome warriors!
But were is Clive.”
“We have not seen him,” said Simmons. “It
is a long story. But we are searching for Clive my friend and his mate.
We believe he may be lost somewhere to the east.”
“Let us return to Sari.” said
The army returned to the
city. There, they experienced hostpitaltity and exchanged stories of the
adventures which had befallen them. For Alistair Simmons there was much
to learn in the city of Sari, how the cave people of Pellucidar had thus
progressed under the tutelage of Innes and his friend Abner Perry. Needless
to say the two scientists at last met, and were delighted to at last converse
with one another.
But the Mahars, it seemed,
form newly constructed cites on the Dead World and elsewhere, and managed
to enmasse a vast army, ripe for conquering Pellucidar.
Then about a sleep later, the great
brass horns that served as signals sounded form all sides of the city.
The warriors were again aroused. They mounted upon tandor and lidi, and
ice-age horse. And they rode forth form the city gates out upon the broad
Tarok and Jal-mar and Valkara now rode
with them upon a single mammoth. Hug-lo strode alongside them.
In the distance, they saw at
last, the mighty army of enemy. It was like nothing they had ever before
Sarians, there was no cavalry among them. To the fore, strode a vast infantry
of sagoth soliders, armed with long steel and bronze spears. This was very
like how the Mahars used to send their subhuman servitors to subdue the
gilaks. But the army was much vaster than before, consisting perhaps of
literally scores of formally feuding sagoth tribes, all united against
the common foe of humanity.
Tarok scanned the vast intimidating
army for any sign of the loathsome groags, that had inhabited Zhuma. But
he saw only sagoths, and assumed that the groag race must be confined to
one single region of Pellucidar, unfortunately in the vicinity of Nu-al.
They were probably sensitive to the light beyond their darksome caverns.
And anyway, the creatures were far too cowardly to make good soldiers,
unlike the burly gorilla-men, who were always eager for battle, and whom,
it must be admitted, were seldom cowards.
But there was more. Beyond
the front ranks, there ambled an armada of colossal reptilian monsters.
Tarok recognized most of the species. There was the three-horned gyor,
the spike-frilled grynk, the plate-backed, spike-tailed dyrodor, and many
other species, including great plodding tank-like herbivores, not native
to his region of Pellucidar, and for which he had no name, but which were
known to science as ankylosaurs. And each of these great armored creatures
pulled, in the manner of oxen, a great wheeled device, mounted upon which
was a gigantic metal canon.
Tarok and Valkara and seen the
manufacture of such, and though he knew not the precise function of the
things, only that they supposedly amplified the Mahars’ own vast mental
powers, he knew that they were some kind of terrible super-weapon, some
sort of colossal engines of destruction.
But even worse, high above
the massive army there flew and flapped on thermal currents, the dreadsome
forms of the mighty Mahars themselves. There seemed to be scores of the
winged monsters, even more than he would have expected. Doubtless, these
served as the real military captains. There appeared to be no captains
or officers among the sagoth troups—the Lords themselves obviously filled
this function, and were ready to command the attacking army at will via
beams of metal contact.
The two armies surged
The cavalry of David
Innes fought fiercely. The soldiers of the Emorer sought left and right
with their iron swords. But the sagoths had sheer numbers and bestial savagery
on their side. They fought ferociously, often leaping onto the steeds and
tearing the warriors to the ground. They killed not only with their spears,
but with their teeth and brute strength a well. Then the great mammoths
and lidi were among them. Gigantic though the giant steeds were, the gorilla-men
and leaped and clambered upon the backs of gigantic prehistoric beasts
with primate agility, fighting hand-to-hand with the warriors. Still the
war Mammoths plunged among them, smiting with their gigantic tucks, tossing
the sagoths with their mighty trunks. The giant lidi swung their tremendous
tails, wiping out whole legions of sagoth warriors, in a single swipe.
And that was when the attack
A terrible sonic squeal emitted
form the great canon, pulled by a lumbering triceratops. The great beam
was directed against one mighty war mammoth. The soldiers riding upon it
screamed and fell. The great mammoth collapsed, crushing fried and foe
alike beneath its bulk. Then another canon sounded, and then another. One
by one, lid and tandor collapsed on the battle field, insensible, crushing
soldiers beneath the might of their bulk. Another canon beam aimed at the
cavalry. To Tarok’s utter horror, he saw the men go mad turn on one another.
Before his eyes, the mounted Sarians were slaying each other with their
“Turn back.” said Tarok.
“Prey that Dangar and Innes do the same, before they wipe us out.”
He turned the great tandor back toward
Sari. The surviving mammoth warriors and remaining cavalry did the same.
The fell back wih in the city gates. The Mahar’s army did not siege the
But the Mahars were obviously
biding their time. Playing a deadly game of cat and mouse before they lay
siege to Sari and killed or captured all who lay within.
Clive and Jahlanna got
to their feet and examined their surroundings. They had been seated on
a series of wide stone steps which had been hewn out of the rock of the
At the top were what appeared to be
a pair of glass doors.
As they approached, examining them,
the doors whooshed open. Jahlanna gave a little squeal of surprise. The
corridor beyond was blindingly white and new. Warily they ventured within.
It looked as if this part of Phutra had been preserved, or else it had
been renovated or added on after the old city had been sacked. Whatever
the reason, it was obvious this place was not in the state of decay as
had been the tunnels they had traversed—far form it.
“I fear to go on,” said Jahlanna.
“Just stay with me.” Clive told
They ventured on. The walls remained
white and immaculate. The tunnel was brightly lit from gas-bulbs on either
side. They passed a number of rooms. Though there was no person or being
in them, these were obviously still in use.
One great chamber
appeared to serve as a vast library. Clive and his mate stepped in and
examined it. The shelves were filled with row after row of parchment scrolls.
Clive took one down and examined it. The wring, in what appeared to be
nautiled ink, was in a series of glyphic characters which he could not
read. Jahlanna, being illiterate, as were all her tribe, could not either,
and Clvie doubted even Alistair Simmons could discern any of it. It was
different from the writing on the scrolls of the library of Az-al, and
Clive rightly guessed it must be the written language of the Mahar.
“What are those strange markings?”
Jhalanna asked. “You should not be looking at them, Clive. Surely they
are some sort of curse. Perhaps the Mahars wish to put a spell upon us
for trifling with their possessions.”
“It’s no curse.” He told her. “It’s
“These marks stand for words. They have meaning,
just as spoken words do. The Mahar communicate telepathically with one
another, but they also seem to have a written language. My friend Alistair
would give anything to be able to read this.”
They left the chamber and continued
on until they found an even larger chamber which strongly resembled the
one they had quit back on the lower level. It appeared to be a breeding
chamber. Only this one was new-looking and immaculate. The only thing was:
the place had been desecrated. The artificial womb-sacs had been forcibly
ripped open, the dead fetal Mahars laying eviscerated in pools of fluid.
In the hatching chamber, they found some of the Mahar eggs smashed and
“But what could have done this?”
Jahlanna wondered. “Perhaps one of the animals that has made this city
“I don’t think so,” Clive said. “This
has been done recently. I think Jarn has been here.”
“You think it was him?”
“If so, he is in trouble. Notice he
didn’t finish his work here.”
The crept on into yet another
chamber—and found themselves overlooking a vast nursery!
Below, waddling throughout the chamber
were little Mahar fledglings. This, was where the just matured hatchlings
were taken. There were intricate playthings set up around the nursery,
some obviously designed to teach the science of mathematics, and too hone
the young reptiles’ calculative and analytical skills. One such consisted
of bronze cubes, spheres and pyramids arranged on a series of wires. The
young retiles seemed to enjoy their play and were engaged in the various
games and puzzles. It was startling to come upon a species of reptile which
showed every sign of sentience.
But Clive noticed that among
these young, though most appeared to be female, there were a few larger
specimens which already bore the markings of the male members of the Mahar
Clive and Jahlanna left before they
were discovered. They kept on traversing the chambers in the weird city,
but came upon no sign of the boy Jarn—or the girls either, if they had
been through here. They saw no sign of Mahar or sagoth, but it was clear
by now that the city was very much inhabited by something. Someone, for
example had to be caring for those Mahar young, and someone had to have
renovated this portion of the city. That it appeared abandoned form the
outside had to have been a ruse. That meant, very likely that the Mahars
were using this particular city—long thought destroyed—as a secret scientific
Then, form somewhere ahead, they
heard a murmur of massed voices.
“I hear them.”
They made in the direction of the voices,
but remained ready for an unwelcome encounter. They rounded a corridor
and made their way down a great hall, lined with small bronze releifs Mahars.
They reached the area from which the
throng of voices was issuing. They stepped through an entrance and onto
a wide balcony overlooking a startling scene. Below were a mass of sagoths,
all chanting weirdly and in unison before a three great bronze idols representing
Mahars. There were made not just to represent the Mahar race in general;
they were idols representing the three ruling Lords of the Mahar technocracy.
Simmons had told Clive once that the Mahars had once been ruled by a single
matriarch, but apparently the old order had been overturned.
“Hold it! You two! Gilaks!”
The sharp command had issued behind them.
Clive and Jahlanna turned to see four burly gorilla-men. Clive still had
his weapon, but he did not intend to use it on the guards unless he had
to. “Run!!” he cried. They ran. Out the side entrance and back down
“Get them!!” bellowed an order.
Jahlanna and Clive ran and ran,
but they knew not where. They heard the shouts of more of the sagoth guards.
They seemed to be everywhere now. Hearing the approach of a party of guards
hey found a small alcove and crouched there hiding.
“There are two gilaks on the
loose.” came a voice.
“The three we captured earlier—they
have not escaped?”
Jahlanna nearly cried out when
she heard this, for they both knew whom they meant.
“No.” came the answer. “A red-haired
man and a girl. We found them observing the ceremony form the balcony.”
At that moment, a great
burly sagoth leaped in front of them. Jahlanna shrieked. The guard had
been sneaking up on them.
“Move it, gilaks!” he snarled.
“The Lords will see you now.”
Clive and Jahlanna were prodded through
the streets of the underground city to great chamber which was doubtless
located near the surface. It was remarkably similar to chamber of the lords
he had experienced on the Dead World.
A great panel in the ceiling
drew back, and down into the chamber flapped the great forms of two of
the rulers of the Mahars.
Clive recognized them at once,
though Jahlanna did not. They were Ka-ul-na, and Zu-ul-ka, the two mighty
males. The great winged reptiles settled their bulks upon the the massive
cushions which served as their thrown.
The sagoth guards bowed in reverence.
Clive felt the stab of
telepathic thought enter his mind. So red-furred apeling—you dared to defy
us. We have read your intent, and it was not to return the weapon prototype
to us as we had ordered you.
is to my mate and to my own kind.” Clive said aloud. He could not tell
the two reptiles apart by looking at them, but he somehow assumed the one
addressing him was Zu-ul-ka.
That is unfortunate
indeed. We keep our bargains, even with such lowly lifeforms as yourself.
But for disobeying the Lords you and mate shall die.
“You won’t kill us if I can help it.” Clive
We will soon decide you fate.
But first let us show you how the Mahars are conquering the Empire of Pellucidar.
The sagoths proceeded Clive and
Jhalanna through an arched doorway, down a hall with a great vaulted ceiling,
and into an even larger chamber. Zu-ul-ka and Ka-ul-na followed waddling
on their web-clawed feet. Since Zu-ul-ka, onstibly the one less sympathetic
to the plight of the gilak race within Pelluciar had been the one addressing
him, Clive was certain, would dud Ka-ul-na think about all this? Thus far,
the other reptile had not addressed him.
In this chamber were
four great banks of complicated machinery, covered with levers, switches,
dials, and blinking points of light, formed and arranged like pillars,
each one running floor-to ceiling. Arranged about each machine were chair-like
perches. Upon each one was a Mahar. The great winged reptiles were each
“wired in” to the machine. Each had a pair of goggles over its bird-socketed
eyes, and bizarre metal “helmet,” from which ran a multitude of copper
wiring, fastened to nodes on the machine.
More wires then branched off form the
top of each of the machines to a consol-like device in the front of the
chamber. This somewhat resembled a great control panel. More Mahrs were
seated on stools, pushing buttons and pulling levers. And in front of them,
making up the entire wall, were a series of vast screens. Showing different
regions of Pellucidar. One was obviously a scene of the city of the Dead
World. Another showed another Mahr city, Clive and Jahlanna had never seen
nor heard of, in some unknown region of Pelluicdar. But three of the screens
showed different scenes of the same region. And they witnessed what was
taking place. The pictures changed periodically, showing different angles
and close-ups, not unlike in the manner of a motion picture. Clive had
seen motion pictures at the local cinema as a boy. All that was now a world
away. He remembered how he and his friends would pay a nickel at the afternoon
matinee, where he’d first seen King Kong, a movie that made a great impression
on him at the time, and helped to influence his interest in a career as
an explorer with National Geographic. Now, of course King Kong, with its
jerky stop-motion critters, seemed as hopelessly artificial as it was.
those cinema pictures, this screen was in vivid color—partly, some part
of Clive guessed, because they were somehow the result of direct metal
projections form the reptiles brains! But the scene itself was very real,
of that he was certain. The Mahars were somehow mentally recording a battle
that was actually taking place, even as they watched.
On the screens was a mighty
city, consisting of a series of great circular towers, and smaller communal
buildings. The city Clive guessed correctly, was Sari, home of David Innes,
Emporer of Pellucidar himself. The city appeared to be well fortified,
but it was obviously under siege from a vast conquering army—the army of
Just how they had
managed to repel the great army of mammoth-warriors, Clive was uncertain,
but the armed sagoths were besieging the city in mighty droves. Already,
they had thrown grappling hooks over the wall, and were descending enmasse
upon the hapless Sarians. A few warriors mounted on lidi and mammoth back
were attempting to ward off the invaders outside the city, but it was obvious
that they were fighting a losing battle. Then, to Clive’s amazement, one
of the great war-mammoths toppled over, human warriors spilling to
the ground to be butchered to the enemy. Then the scene changed. And they
saw now the apparent cause. Here were the great psy-canons mounted on wagons
pulled by lumbering prehistoric beasts. Each time a sagoth would order
a canon to fire a mammoth or lidi would fall.
You see, my apeling friend, came the
insidious telepathic voice of Zu-ul-ka, The siege of Sari is nearly complete.
The empire which once drove us form our rightful lands is at an end. The
weapon you have now returned to us—willingly or not—will not be needed.
But once the weapon prototype can be perfected, it will be short measure
to train an entire sagoth army to use them. And then, perhaps, your surface
world as well, shall fall to us. O, yes, we know by now that your surface
world does very much exist, apeling. It will provide much raw material
for the Mahar race. A rich world waiting for us to explore and conquer!
And filled of course, with myraids of experimental subjects.
Though the voice of the reptile
seemed cold and emotionless, Clive swore he could discern a sneer in the
telepathic wave. Hot rage boiled up within him.
Yes apeling. But the siege of sari
is not finished. Notice how the sagoth warriors are now retreating?
Clive looked and saw that it was so.
If you are puzzled as to why, watch
Again, the screen switched to another
scene. It showed the wide, grassy plain beyond Sari. On the horizon there
appeared a rising dust-cloud. Clive continued to stare in a daze. What
was it? Another army?
Then he saw. It was a vast army
of gigantic prehistoric beasts, all stampeding toward the city. There was
the mighty tandor, the great maj, the flat-skulled mastodon, the Y-horned
sadok, and many others he could not name or classify, including gigantic
hornless rhinos, and great elephantine beasts with downward curving tusks.
But following these were an even vaster number of reptilian behemoths.
He saw the giant lidi, the gigantic stegosaurus, or dyrodor, and the great
triceratops, known as the gyor, and spike-sheilded grynk, or styracosaurus.
And there were carnivores too—the mighty zarith, or tyrannosaurus rex,
the leaping jalgor, the smaller allosaurus, the horned xarg, or ceratosaurus.
Then their were packs of smaller, sickle-toed meat-eaters known to the
Pelluicdarans as utgors. Above a mighty flock of gigantic thipdars flew,
in a vast formation like a squadron of enemy aircraft.
All were headed inexorably toward Sari.
Clive wondered—were the beasts being
driven by fire? No — they were not just stampeding madly, or fleeing something.
There was something purposeful about this stampede—purposeful and unnatural.
Then he saw them--- a formation
of psy-canons arranged on either side of the charging behemoths. He knew
then that the canons were not just weapons—they were used to control the
minds of giant creatures.
Somehow the horde of hulking
primordial behemoths was purposfully controlled by the vastly amplified
Yes, gilak, you have guessed
correctly. Came the telepathic voice of Zu-ul-ka. One other time, we attempted
use the great beasts to lay siege to Sari. But our sound canons proved
far less effective. The new devices amplify our own metal strength through
the power of crystals. We have perfect control over each individual beast
— watch, my primitive mammal friend, and learn the power of the Dead World’s
crystals, and the doom of your pathetic species!
and Jahlanna watched, horrified. Just as Zu-ul-ka said the remainder of
Innes’ army was either crushed, or retreated back with in the wall. The
mighty dinosaurs lay siege to the city, acting in contrary to their natural
instinct. The utgors, rather than attacking the abundance of natural prey
species bore down upon the valiant human defenders of Sari. They leaped
over the wall, into the city itself. The great gyors and grynks ramed their
horned shields against the wall like living battering rams. Two great ankylosaurs
smashed the masonry with their clubbed tailed. The great lidi, the diplodicus,
heaved their giant swaying bulks over the wall, stomping it to pieces,
smashing their way in. And from above their swooped the hordes of giant
thipdars, bearing down upon the besieged city, to seize hapless warriors
in their talons, and let them fall to their deaths.
The scene changed again, and Clive
and Jahlanna were treated to something more startling still. Behind the
horde of gigantic, dawn-age behemoths, came yet more — a herd of giant
dinosaurs, these larger then even Clive had ever dreamed. They great long
necked herbivores, similar to the lidi, only at least twice as gigantic,
their forequarters far larger than their hindlimbs. Had professor Simmons
been present he would have identified the super-behemoths as the brachiosaurus,
the largest sauropod dinosaur currently known to science.
“Those are tordons,” Clive
heard Jahlanna murmur. “I have heard of them. They are the greatest beasts
the gods have ever created. They are found upon a great forested-pain beyond
Thuria. They will destroy Sari. Nothing can withstand a stampede of them.”
Your mate is quite correct. This
time Clive was CERTAIN that a sneer was discernable in the Mahar’s telepathic
voice. The gilak race within Pelluicdar is doomed, and it is time you realized
it, before we send you and your mate to the dissection chamber.
“Great Lords!” came a voice.
Clive and Jahlanna turned around
to see four sagoth guards enter. They bore with them three familiar prisoners;
Zara of Azeer, Jarla of Olar, and Jarn of Nu-al. “This is the jalok-whelp
we caught in the egg-chamber, destroying the first-born. He has also the
one who slew all of the others in the Life-chamber, the future lords created
from YOUR cells, o great Zu-ul-ka.”
Good, said Zu-ul-ka
You have brought them as I requested. Now we can dispose of all of them
at once. I will take personal pleasure in the destruction of the young
male. There are some vital experiments which involve pain-response in primates.
I believe that he shall serve nicely.
“Perhaps the red-hair and
his mate would care to watch you slice open the youngsters, before it their
I had the same in mind,
Targ. said Zu-ul-ka, addressing the sagoth But the fate of the prisoners
does not concern you.
“Yes, of course, my lord.” Targ bowed
in apology, and he and his friends left.
Then, to the astonishment of all, Jarn
did something totally unexpected. He kneeled and fell upon his belly
in apparent supplication. This was difficult, as the lad’s hands were tied.
What is this? Zu-ul-ka
the boy said, in a pleading, sycophantic voice, and they saw that he was
addressing the other Mahar. “Forgive me, Great Lord, if my actions have
not pleased you. I only did as you commanded me!”
Speak, Ka-ul-na! What does
this vermin mean?
I know nothing of what he says!
Clive could now hear nothing of the
conversation flashing back and forth between the two reptiles. But the
very air within the chamber seemed to ripple with telepathic hate. He could
tell, sure as his soul, that Jarn’s pretense had enraged the two winged
saurians—Zu-ul-ka in particular. He did not, however, yet know what the
boy was up to.
“O, Ka-ul-na,” pleaded
Jarn. “Have mercy on your lowly slave! I only acted as you told me—to wipe
out the seed of your rival, stupid and ugly Zu-ul-ka. I obeyed so that
YOU, not stupid Zu-ul-ka, might rule over the Lords, and set my own people
the lowly gilaks, free to live as equals to the Mahar in all ways — "
That was enough for Zu-ul-ka. He launched himself at his hated rival beaked
jaws distended and clawed wings slashing. The two gigantic pterosaurs clashed,
slashing with their webbed hindclaws and ripping with their terrible battery
of teeth. They crashed into a bank of machines, causing sparks to fly.
One of the screens went black and the Mahars at the control posts flapped
off into the other chamber.
The two reptiles continued to
battle in primal saurian combat. They were ripping each others veined wings
to shreds. Zu-ul-ka, it seemed was gaining the advantage. Both reptiles
were wounded, and their slimy reptilian gore was befouling the stone floor.
But it seemed Ka-ul-na was loosing the most.
Clive, now having undertood Jarn’s
ruse, aimed the psy-weapon at Zu-ul-ka, and squeezed the trigger. It had
the desired effect. The pterosaur screamed in agony as the mental bolt
assaulted his brain. Ka-ul-a saw the opening he needed and attacked. The
Mahar seized his rival by the other’s scrawny throat.
“Hold him, Ka-ul-na!” Clive commanded.
He aimed the weapon directly at Zu-ul-ka’s pterodactyline skull.
“Your work is finished here,
Clive ignored him. “Now listen
to me. I want you to do something about those beasts attack Sari. Make
them turn around!”
Fool primate! I can do nothing
to stop them!
He lies. This was the voice of Ka-ul-na.
The beasts CAN be stopped. All I need to do is order it. The rest of the
Lords that you see in this room are linked with the others flying above
the battle. And it is they who are controlling the sagoths who man the
weapons that in turn control the beasts.
“Will you do it, then?” Clive asked Ka-ul-na.
“I shall.” The Mahar scientist send
a telepathic message to Mahars hooked up to the machines. And slowly, they
saw the horde of rampaging dinosaurs retreat. Thought he outer ramparts
of sari had already been breached, the city itself, and her citizens had
“Very good.” Said
Clive. “Now---I want myself and my mate, and the three younger gilaks to
There is no need to order. Ka-ul-na
responded. But first we need to take care of him. Make certain that he
does not interfere.
It took Clive a
moment to realize that he was talking about Zu-ul-ka.
He cannot attack your minds
so long as I have hold of him. Ka-ul-na said. But I suggest that he is
bound and that you take care to cover his eyes.
Jarn fetched some cords of rope, and they
bound Zu-ul-ka tightly. They lashed the jaws of his fanged beak together
securely, and covered his eyes with a cloth. Even so, Clive could almost
sense the almost palpable hate that seethed from the Mahar’s brain. It
was very obvious that Zu-ul-ka would kill them all the second it was in
his power. Clive was going to make certain that would never happen.
Perhaps I should thank
you, gilak. Ka-ul-na spoke to Clive. Zu-ul-ka was a hated rival. But he
will trouble your species no more. I am the ruler of the Lords now.
“Does this mean that
there will be peace between the gilaks and the Mahar.” Clive asked. Jahlanna
was clinging to his arm, as they faced the terrifying reptile.
I would never suppose
that the gilak is on the intellectual par with ourselves, Ka-ul-na said.
But I realize your species has the capacity to reason, perhaps nearly as
much as ourselves. Those such as Zu-ul-ka, are supposed to be scientists,
but continue to cling to theories long since proven false.
“The gilak race may yet
surprise you.” Clive said. “But for now, we merely wish to leave here and
to return to our people?
Where are your people?
Clive told him about his friends,
and that he was uncertain at the moment just where they were.
The warrior known as Dangar
rides with Sari. The ones you know as Huglo and Tarok are also there.
“Then that is where we wish to
If you and your mate do not object,
then we shall take you.
The next moments were among
the dizziest Clive had experienced. Great Ka-ul-na bore him aloft and out
over the stretch of mountains, forests, verdant plains and vast glimmering
oceans, which stretched up and as far as the eye could see. The Mahar ruler
ordered his subordinates to transport the others. Another great winged
reptile bore Jahlanna, while three others carried, Jarla and Zara, and
Jarn. Under almost other circumstances, the experience should have been
an utterly terrifying one. The girls were instinctively frightened anyway.
Here they were in the grip of the dreadsome flying monsters who used humans
for food and experimentation, whom they had been terrified of all their
lives! Jahlanna, though she comforted herself in knowing that her mate
trusted the flying dragons, dreaded at any moment their transporters would
make toward the Dead World, or to some other Mahar city.
But Ka-ul-na kept his word,
and at last the city of Sari appeared far below.
The sagoth army had departed
mysteriously, and the Sarian forces were slowly recovering. Many of the
men were startled to see the great flying dragons hurtling out of the heavens.
Some of the warriors raised the spears, but then they saw that the monsters
were bearing humans who appeared to be prisoners. Not knowing what was
about to transpire, David Innes commanded the warriors to halt.
When the monsters released their catives
and settled to the ground they found that the humans were those they most
wanted to find--Clive Neville, his mate Jahlanna, Jarla of O-lar, and Jarn
of Nu-al. The did not recognize the Azeer girl Jarla, but welcomed her
all the same.
Clive explained the situation
to them. Though they were still understandably nervous by the presence
of the Mahars, Ka-ul-na, spke with David Innes as well. he explained that
the war open Sari had ended—for now at least. He explained that he would
seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the Mahars and the Empire.
I and my associates
shall take up this matter with Tah-ru, the great Patriarch, Ka-ul-na explained.
“Tah-ru,” said Clive. “Is
he a male too?”
He is, returned Ka-ulna.
When the survivors of my race fled the Empire, we came to him for leadership
once more. He had been living as an outcast himself for ages. Some of us
did not even realize his identity as the last male Mahar, we had survived
for so long as a race of she only.
From then, a truce was
called. Ka-ul-na, and the other Mahars flapped up into the sunny heavens
in the direction of Phutra.