*We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.
Richard P. Feynman*
We survived our battle with the Mellors, and made it out of the city, only to be again blasted with the Arctic deep freeze. Nobody in the attacking army was alive to object, so we helped ourselves to a couple of their speeder bikes. It took a little work to dig them out of the ice and get them started, but once that was done, we headed to King Pellius’ castle.
I don’t know what it is about this world and air defenses, but it’s a wonder anybody even bothers to fly anywhere. As soon as we got close to the castle, we were blasted out of the sky again. Corey still didn’t have a falling cloud, but this time, as we watched him plummet to his doom, we saw him get snatched up by a gaggle of gargoyles. They flew off with him before we could do anything about it. I really hate those guys.
We did eventually make it to the castle. There didn’t seem to be any way in from the front, so we climbed around to the ocean side. That’s when we saw the spaceship. It was just floating by the dock, like a houseboat from the Jetsons. It appeared to be abandoned. As much as we would have loved to go inside, we had a job to do, so we headed into the castle.
We found the automated missile turrets that took us down, but there was no one to man them. There didn’t seem to be anyone alive in the entire castle, just human sized piles of dust. That didn’t bode well, but we continued in. In the center of it, we found a large room, like stadium sized large, complete with stands. In the center was a huge scintillating globe of energy. That was what we were looking for. As soon as we came into the room, our cloud armor, and all our other high tech devices stopped working. I took some radiation readings and they buried the needle. The entire place was hot, but we had to get closer to find out what was going on.
We cautiously approached the sphere, and that’s when we found the pylon in front of it. I was just starting to examine the thing, when a door at the far end of the chamber opened and a white Mellor came in. As he started walking toward us, the door we came in opened, and the black Mellor came in and did the same. They were armed, but didn’t seem to be making any aggressive moves, but John wasn’t taking any chances. He fired on the black one. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon your point of view, he missed, and they continued towards us.
Pete managed to talk John out of taking a second shot. We wanted to hear why they were here and figure out what their intentions were. Believe it or not, they came up to us, and asked, “What is your quest?” We said we were seeking the Grail. I half expected them to follow up by asking us what the airspeed was of an unladen swallow. Instead, they told us that in order to find the Grail, we had to pass a test, and then they started asking us questions. Lucky for me, they were all science questions. I’d kick myself for getting one of the chemistry questions wrong, but they had some type of blaster ray that did it for me. In spite of that, we passed the test.
That was the easy part, then they told us, that in order to save this world, we had to calculate the exact relative motions of the Nothing and the Matter and jump through the spherical portal. If the calculations were off, even a little bit, we’d die instantly. That’s apparently what happened to the Destroyer and Merlin. We had a computer to help us, but even then, there were so many variables that it looked like a couple months’ worth of calculations were needed. Of course, we only had about 17 hours.
When I say we, I mean me. I was the only one who had a chance to do the math, and even that chance was small. John helped by periodically looking over my numbers, but I was doing some serious sweating trying to make educated guesses to speed up the process. I guess I did it, because when we jumped into the portal, we didn’t die.
We landed in what turned out to be Hyboria. You can imagine how that made my day. At least this time, we weren’t naked and unarmed, and I still had all my cyberware. Of course, all our cloud devices blew up on the way through, but we still had our guns. That’s a good thing.
Now, we have to figure out what to do, and how to get back. It can’t be a coincidence that the Khan and Sekhmet were in Nanoworld and we just happened to land back where we first met both of them. Somehow or other, this all started right back here in Conanland. I have a feeling that it’s going to lead us back to that abandoned city where we attacked by the Mellors. Of course, for all I know, it might be something that happened back in the Casino from Hell. We’ll find out. In the meantime, we managed to take out a band of bandits, nab some loot and endear ourselves to the locals. You know, the usual.