Per Aspera Ad Astra

Per Aspera Ad Astra

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The early light is breaking
 The morning sun is waiting in the sky
 And I think I'm gonna break away
 And follow where the birds of freedom fly

 I need to give, I need to live
 For the world is slowly turning
 And the lights of love are burning in my eyes

 Caravans, oh my soul is on the run
 Overland, I am flying
 Caravans moving out into the sun
 Oh I don't know where I'm going
 But I'm going

- Mike Batt: "Caravan Song" 

The Law of Murelov

Actually there are no ages. An “era” is always something someone has come up with. The universe didn’t really care what any individuals thought of the passage of time, especially when those individuals lived on a small, blue-green planet in third orbit around a yellow sun. Moreover, what these individuals called the “era” was no more than the blink of an eye to the universe. It also made no difference whether there were revolutions on this planet, people were killed or oppressed, or whether these people destroyed their own living space in an insane manner. The universe didn’t care. In fact, the universe didn’t give a shit. A scienctist named Murelov once said it and since then this quote was known as “the law of Murelov”.

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

But the people who inhabited the small, blue-green planet cared about it. At least most of them. Admiral McCloud stood in front of the image of the earth in his office. He liked it. It was a picture taken by NASA to show the beauty of the planet. In the dark hours he stood in front of the picture and looked at it. Because in the dark hours he felt how he didn’t care. The whole lousy filthy planet. And all of damn humanity. Do you want dictatorships? Then erect it and leave me alone! Do you want to destroy the environment out of greed? You don’t care about the climate crisis because climate protection stands in the way of your profit? Then please, go to hell with your fucking planet! Yes, McCloud just wanted to give up in those dark hours. Doesn’t make sense anymore. Doesn’t do anything.

Then he looked at the picture of the small, blue-green planet and thought of all the people who stood up for others. Who oppose the criminals, the gullies, the corrupt and the depraved. Just at the moment when McCloud was standing in front of this picture, children and young people around the world were protesting for better environmental protection. There were people who stood up against dictatorships, even if it meant being arrested, beaten or even killed. If others did that and had little chance of anything changing in the near future, why should he give up?

Yes, that day an era came to an end. The end had been particularly dark again, for the earth and for other planets. But with the death of the night, the day came. And maybe the new sunrise would light the way to a better future. The chances weren’t bad, at least better than in recent years. And McCloud remembered that Seneca saying: Per aspera ad astra. Through trouble to the stars. Didn’t Yefimov say the phrase in a conversation today? Yes, and he got it from his new colleague, Kaluwa Effiong. What a fitting sentence.

I’ve seen fire. The new era may now come.


Admiral McCloud wondered if he had ever seen Professor Ostap Yefimov so excited. He thought it was a shame that he couldn’t face the professor right now. But McCloud was in the ASTROCOHORS base ATLANTIS and Yefimov was in the ASTROCOHORS CLUB headquarters.
“If I understand you correctly, Admiral,” said Yefimov, “then I should, as it were, lead ASTROCOHORS CLUB into a new era.”
“Yes,” replied McCloud. “No more and no less. We are at a crossroads. There is a lot more to do, we can only achieve that together. A lot has been destroyed by despots like Scurra or Pupepa and the eternal taunts of the HIGH HAND. The task of In the future, ASTROCOHORS CLUB will consist of bringing the size and diversity of the universe closer to these primitive Terrans and thus preventing them from killing each other or destroying the planet.
All departments of the world can be found under one roof. I’ll assign Sousa and Mahdar to you. We also have to introduce two new departments. “
“Which two departments will that be?”
“First of all, Africa. And then we need a European department to sort things out more easily. Actually, it’s less of a department for Europe, more of a sorting, but maybe it will turn into more.”
“Do you have any idea who could take over the Africa department?”
“Oh yeah,” McCloud confirmed. “And I’ll get in touch with her in a moment. In the meantime, I would like to ask you to look through the documents. Everything is there again in great detail, also with regard to Africa and Europe.”
“I will do that,” Yefimov promised.
“And I will now contact the expert for Africa.”

“Um, sir, one more question!”
“What should the new department for Africa be called?”
“We thought about using one of the older names for the continent, KEMET. According to our linguists, this was once the name for the soil in Africa and was adopted as the country name. ‘Home soil’, so to speak.”

Photo by Damian Patkowski on Unsplash

Mission to Kemet

The deliberations had been very brief. It was an extraordinary situation. On many planets. On Uranus. On Earth. ASTROCOHORS ‘senior officers agreed with Admiral McCloud that something needed to be done about Earth. Somebody reiterated that the state the earth was in was possibly a result of the so-called “ERTL lamp” that stood on Mars and bombarded the earth with rays that restricted the brain’s capabilities . And if you looked at the earth like that, you would have been inclined to believe that. In that case, all of this would not have been a homemade Earth problem, but an attack. But there was no evidence of such an attack.
McCloud convened a committee that was to direct the fortunes of ASTROCOHORS CLUB from now on. Ostap Yefimov was appointed, Dozon Rasun, Zomm Arrghl, Fulmen Grancolline and Nat Anders. You had made a special contribution to the crisis surrounding the PURPLE DEATH. In addition, more should be added. Soraya Mahdar, an expert on the Asian part of the planet. Victor Araujo Sousa for Brazil. The CLUB should from now on help planet Earth. A big job. But after the darkness that one had experienced in the last few days and weeks, also a ray of light. But there were still some things missing. Two new departments would have to be set up. Yes, McCloud thought, it really is a fresh start! Let’s do this… mission to Kemet.

To Save Earth

“Why is it always with an alarm?” Yelled Admiral McCloud into the room. “It’s amazing, some people need some sleep and we have an emergency! What is it?”

The crew gathered in the conference room looked towards the door. McCloud had stopped in the doorway. The alarm was still ringing through the corridors of ATLANTIS base.
“Can anyone turn off the noise?” Asked McCloud. “I think they are all gathered.”
“All but you, sir,” confirmed Commander Gibeur, who was standing at a table. She had switched on the projection screen. An overview map of the solar system could be seen on the screen. And points that moved between planets. Something had happened.
“Well, I’m here now,” said McCloud. “So what’s up?”
Gibeur brushed her hair back from her face. She was quite tense. “It happens what we had long feared. The Armada, which has been shielding the solar system from the outside world for almost a month, has started moving. A squadron is moving towards Uranus.”
“Uranus!” McCloud’s eyes widened. “So they really want to disrupt the ceremony?”
“I don’t think they just want to disrupt the ceremony,” said Gibeur. “They want to prevent them. Intelligence reports say that Scurra, the now deposed Praetor of Lokubami, has moved to an unknown location. Armed militias are moving towards the capital of Lokubami. We must suspect that they want to implement Scurra’s plan, in which he is proclaimed emperor. “
McCloud shook his head. “Why always emperor? Praetor is also a nice office and when you’re done, you just leave.”
“You know, sir,” Gibeur pointed out, “that those who have power are always afraid of losing it again. The only question is: what do we do now?”
All the officers in the room stared at McCloud in awe. The decision he had to make now was not an easy one.
“Which ship is nearby?” Asked the admiral.
“The BOURGOGNE,” replied Gibeur. “She is in the same position and is watching the situation exactly as we are.”

“Basically we have no choice,” McCloud stated. “Our job is to protect freedom, peace and democracy. Even if democracy is as strangely shaped as in Lokubami. But we cannot risk losing that. Get in touch with BOURGOGNE. They have to stop the squadron.” . If the BOURGOGNE should ask for support … do we have other ships nearby? “
“The HEART OF GLASS would still be available.”
“The HEART OF GLASS, of all things,” McCloud grumbled. “Okay, if the worst comes to the worst, let’s use them. But to be on the safe side, put the fleet on alert. Who knows what the alien armada is up to. We may have to help out in many places in the solar system. And we have… To save Earth!”
“Yes, sir! I will inform the BOURGOGNE immediately.”
“And to everyone else: I need tactics and suggestions! Look at the maps, the strength of the Armada, all the information you need. This could be difficult today and I want us to be prepared!”
The officers immediately got to work. In the meantime, Commander Gibeur spoke to the BOURGOGNE, who immediately set out to intercept the foreign squadron.

Natluv – King!

Fleet Admiral Leonard McCloud was seated at a long table. A big round table. The table was in the so-called “Glass Salon” of the ATLANTIS base. ATLANTIS had different departments, everyone actually knew that. There were modern sections, but there were also those housed in historic buildings. But this one was rather modern. The room was named “Glass Salon” from the big windows.
McCloud sat at the table. As mentioned, he was alone, but there was still cover for several people. A naval officer stood on one side of the table and waited. The officer considered this to be Admiral McCloud’s quirk, but he didn’t want to spoil the old man’s game. ASTROCOHORS also suffered from the pandemic and from the invasion that severed the solar system from the rest of the galaxy. What McCloud was going to do here was actually a celebration. Because after the cowardly attack on ASTROCOHORS, the officers succeeded in an unbelievable show of strength in re-establishing all communication channels. That should be celebrated! But because of the risk of infection, too many people were not allowed to meet at once. So the admiral had other plans. It was some sort of game that was called “Natluv – King!”. There is a legend about a king on the moons of Jupiter. His name was Natluv. He had a difficult battle to fight, and his best men were scattered across the worlds. Finally, he wanted to celebrate the victory, but since his officers were not there, a servant had to fill in for everyone. The King raised his glass to each of his officers. And the servant raised his glass, each time shouting: “Natluv – king!” Hence the game got its name.
“So,” said McCloud, “how does it look?”
“All departments are operational again!” Reported the officer.
“And everyone has gathered?”
“Yes sir, they are all here!”
“Then let’s raise our glasses together!”

The officer came to the table. He now had to stand in for the various departments. So that he would not get completely drunk in the course of the procedure, there was only water in the glasses that stood at the seats of the departments. Admiral McCloud, on the other hand, insisted on pouring himself a red wine from Chateau Picard. He raised his glass.
“And now: report from all departments!”
The officer stood behind the chair on the Admiral’s left. On a small sign on the table was written: “ASTROCOHORS CLUB”. The officer took the glass from the table, raised it and said, “ASTROCOHORS CLUB and the newly planned ARCHIVE department are ready for action again! We are ready to plan and coordinate new missions, sir!”
They drunk.

The officer now moved to the next chair. There was also a sign on the table here. This was labeled “CANALIS TREMENDUM COLLABORATION”. The officer grabs the glass.
“The CANALIS TREMENDUM COLLABORATION, or CTC for short, is waiting to investigate strange phenomena and get into the details, sir!”
They drunk.

Again the officer moved one chair. In front of this was “CHEZ FRASHOKERETI”. The officer took the glass from the table and said: “I am extremely pleased to announce the complete production of the CHEZ FRASHOKERETI department! We are already investigating the extremely strange behavior of the Terrans with the help of new people. Super easy, barely an inconvenience, Sir! “
They drunk.

One chair further. The sign read “CLEF, PEN AND BRUSH”.
“We at CLEF, PEN AND BRUSH have already begun to devote ourselves to the fine arts and are glad to be running at full capacity again, sir!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “AQUAMARINON”.
“On behalf of the regent of the water planet AQUAMARINON, I can announce that the cowardly attacks of the enemy have been repulsed. Count on us, Admiral!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS ACADEMY”.
“It’s been a terrible year, even for us at the ACADEMY, sir,” said the officer. “But we have strengthened our staff. We will continue to fight against ignorance and stupidity! We will take the next opportunity to make people smarter. And the next. And the next, until we win, or until we run out of opportunities. But we won’t give up! Science will continue! “
They drunk.

One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS EMBASSY”.
“I can hear the complainers, sir!” Said the officer. “Politics, who cares? But the last few years have shown that everyone has to be interested in politics, otherwise they will go under, and otherwise democracy will go under. We at the diplomatic corps of ASTROCOHORS EMBASSY are doing our best to ensure freedom and Equality persist.”
They drunk.

One chair further. “CHRONICLES OF SIDUS BELLA”.
“Our task is to analyze and file events. We have to learn from the events of the past. Unfortunately, however, we have had to discover that there are people who look for nothing more than a purity in these events that doesn’t exist. We. We confront these people and look at the history of the galaxies in a big context. That is our job at the CHRONICLES OF SIDUS BELLA. “
They drunk.

“We were face to face with the enemy, sir,” said the officer. “And we’re still facing the enemy. I don’t know what the future will bring, sir, but we’re ready on the BATTLEFRONT!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS NExUS.”
“Our institute is still busy measuring and mapping all the star systems and cultures, the galaxies and universes. Our task will never be finished, but we at ASTROCOHORS NExUS are doing our best!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “BUREAU 07”.
“It was all a troubled time for the secret service too, sir! But we were able to obtain valuable information and thus prove that the days of secret agents are far from over. BUREAU 07 at your disposal, Admiral!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “THEATER OF THINGS.”
“Humor is important in these times too. It’s our job, sir, and we do it with as much duty as the other departments! We bring people back up when they are down! Rely on the THEATER OF THINGS! “
They drunk.

One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS CENTRAL”.
“We at headquarters always fly a little under the radar. But important information is also gathered here and we are fully operational again, sir! We are ASTROCOHORS, Admiral!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS Brasil”.
“We in the South American section also had problems, especially because of the situation in the country. The attack also hit us hard, but ASTROCOHORS Brasil is ready for action again, sir!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “LES GUERRIERS DE BOYARD”.
“Our department has an unusual name and we are also a regional section. We are a little smaller, so we had difficulties getting back online, but from now on you can also hear from LES GUERRIERS DE BOYARD in French again!”
They drunk.

One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS YAZHOU”.
“We are also a regional section, responsible for the Asian area. Perhaps this will be a little different in the future, but at the moment it is so and we are doing what we can. ASTROCOHORS YAZHOU is ready for action ! “
They drunk.

One chair further. In the meantime the officer had circled the table completely and had arrived at the place on the Admiral’s right. It was the last one, and “ASTROCOHORS Japan” was on the sign.
“We can only get through times like these together. We at ASTROCOHORS Japan are ready to make our contribution and we would like to announce that we are ready for action again!”
They drank one last time. The officer noticed that there was a lot of water in his stomach. Admiral McCloud had taken only a small sip at a time. He didn’t want to get drunk either. Chateau Picard was way too good for that.
At that moment the sound of a clock could be heard. In a distant corner stood an old clock on a dresser that rang a bell every hour. The officer and Admiral McCloud counted.

One – two – three – four – five – six – seven – eight – nine – ten – eleven – twelve!
Midnight. The admiral rose.

“We’re just in time,” he said aloud into the room. “I wish all departments a Happy New Year! I’m not going to announce the usual year now, because I have learned that due to special circumstances the time calculation is to be changed. So we’re not talking about the year 2021 according to the time calculation of Terra … better Said, a calendar of Terra, because there are several. We will probably also abolish the Galactic calendar. In the future, the years according to the calendar of human history will be determined. The year “zero” of this calendar is ten thousand years before the year “zero “of the Terran calendar. It was the time when man built a city on earth for the first time. I will inform you all exactly, but if it stays that way, then at this moment we will welcome the year 12021! For you, your Departments and their people all the best in this new year! “
The admiral and officer raised their glasses one last time and drank from them. Then the officer took a small remote control out of his pocket and pressed a button.
“The transmission to the departments is terminated, sir!” He said.
“Very nice,” replied McCloud. “It’s a shame that the internet connection on this damned planet is so bad! Otherwise we could have brought the others in too, but I think it went well that way. What do you think?”
“It was definitely very uplifting, sir!”
McCloud nodded. “So, and now I will retire. I am tired, the new year has already started and I am not missing a thing.”
“Exactly, sir. Good night then!”
“Thank you! Good night to you too and a Happy New Year!”
“Happy New Year!”

Hear the Ticking of the Countdown Clock Tonight

The ASTROCOHORS CLUB headquarters was still busy. The large room in which all the activities of the organization were monitored was filled with noise. People and aliens who sat at computer terminals and had conversations. Conversations around the world and between the planets. For the first time in a long, dark time, something like hope seemed to arise again.
“Can someone get McClure for me?” Someone suddenly called through the noise.
Immediately the noises muffled. What? McClure? What was going on? Why should you contact them? Seconds later her picture appeared on one of the screens.
“This is McClure,” she said sternly. “Woe if that is not important!”
“It’s important!” Said one of the communications officers. “I join you!”
The officer pressed a few buttons. Two images were now placed in parallel on the large monitor in the room, with Aisha McClure on the left, who had been monitoring the operations over the past few weeks. The face of an Asian woman appeared on the right half.
“This is Commander Soraya Mahdar!” Said the Asian. “Can you hear me?”
“McClure here!” Said Aisha. “I can hear and see you. What is it?”
“Good news from ASTROCOHORS ONLINE! We did it!”
“Done?” McClure couldn’t seem to believe it. “You finished too?”
“Yes, we …” The rest of the sentence Commander Mahdar had to say was drowned out in a cheer. The officers in the great room expressed their joy.
“Quiet!” McClure called over the communication. “Quiet please! Commander, please repeat.”
“We’re done. Communication is back. However, we’ve lost a few of our employees.”
“Oh.” McClure looked down. “Not all of us made it either.”
“Then let’s be silent for a minute,” replied Mahdar. “Without the sacrifices that have been made for the cause, what we have now achieved would not be possible. So let gratitude flow into your hearts.”
Mahdar looked down too. Everyone in the room stood up, bowed their heads, and said nothing.

Photo by Shaurya Sagar on Unsplash

After a minute, McClure broke the silence.
“We need to inform the Admiralty,” she said.
“We do,” confirmed Mahdar. “And we can tell you: ASTROCOHORS CLUB is fully operational again!”




Oh, misty eye of the mountain below
Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls
And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke
Keep watching over…

Ed Shiran: “I See Fire”

To say this is the beginning of a new era would give the wrong kind of importance to events. It is important, but usually eras are always named after glorious events. Not this era. Because…

…. I see fire!

It starts in all departments here:

Now I see fire

Inside the mountain

I see fire

Burning the trees

I see fire

Hollowing souls

I see fire

Blood in the breeze

And I hope that you remember me

Ed Shiran: “I See Fire”

A World in Peril

Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash

The worlds were in the dark. This was not unusual, especially if it was a world like Kor Ywen. But even this darkness now seemed even darker than before. Was that possible? Everyone seemed to be wondering. It had been three tough years since Pupepa seized the Prostate’s throne. He and his sidekick Modofa Rascar Pecapac had ruled the Star Alliance with an iron fist. At the same time, they had managed to win over not a few of the inhabitants of the Usovai’i worlds. Compliant fools who were ready to die with guns in hand for Pupepa’s wicked ideology.

The Republic of the Free Worlds no longer existed. The unions were virtually wiped out. The age of a new galactic megalomania had dawned! Prostat Pupepa ruled the alliance with his powerful and simple-minded subordinate Pecapac. The latter had already personally subjected a number of star systems that had dared to resist the prostate. Pecapac is convinced of himself and believes that the gods have chosen him to become the heir of the universe.
“Heir of the Universe” – this mysterious title came from an old scroll. Nobody knew exactly what it meant. Nonetheless, a radical sect had emerged, the ideology of which was based on finding this heir to the universe and shaping the galaxy as it wished.

It was in the middle of the night in this part of Kor Ywen when Dozon Rasun was woken from sleep. A roaring hum buzzed through the streets. Rasun looked out of the window.
“The sky is gone!” He said to himself.
Everything vibrated. The floor. The walls. The window. The furniture. He could feel it. What was that? He ran out of the room and across the hall, banging on a door with both fists.
“Professor!” He called. “Professor! The sky is … gone! And we have an earthquake! Professor?”
The pneumatic door opened. Professor Ostap Yefimov stood there, in his pajamas and dressed in a gown.
“What does that mean, the sky is gone?” He asked.
“Yes … gone … Everything is black. Look out the window!”
Yefinov went to the window and pulled back the curtains. Kor Ywen was a huge, ugly city that covered an entire planet. The buildings were impressive, but a terrible monstrosity. But now this monstrosity was even more terrible. Otherwise there was life in the city, whether it was day or night. But now the city was dead.
Yefimov’s hand had touched the window frame. When he felt the vibration, he backed away, startled.
“It vibrates. And the energy … COMPUTER!”
No Answer. The computer should have responded. That meant the energy had to be down. Very unusual. The building in which they were located belonged to the priority 1 buildings. This meant that there could not be a complete loss of energy here. The emergency energy should have started up long ago.
“Oh holy spaghetti monster!” Rasun swore. “What is this?”

There was a low whistle. One of the control panels on the wall began to glow.
“We have some energy back,” said Yefimov.
“Yes! Yes!” Rasun agreed. He ran across the room to a computer. He pressed a button and the terminal started up.
“Quick!” Yefimov demanded. “What is the angle vector of the moon?”
Rasun sat down at the desk with the computer. He started typing on a keyboard. For the research work, this was more practical than voice input. He looked at the screen in front of him and paused.
“Well?” Asked Yefimov. “Has the axis of the moon shifted?”
“By more than 12 degrees,” Rasun said in horror. “But that … that must be a mistake …”
“No!” Yefimov contradicted. “This is definitely not a mistake! This is an attack! I warned them that it would happen. The Ursupator on the prostate’s throne feels cornered. Now he bites like a rabid grubbancha! This is going on on his responsibility. “
“But that would mean he risks the life of …”
“… of every creature on this planet, exactly! You got that right. But he doesn’t care about the people. The main thing is that he can keep the throne. He goes over corpses. I always said so, but at ASTROCOHORS they didn’t want to believe me! “
The energy came back.

“But what are we going to do now?” Asked Dozon Rasun.
“I want to bet that there is a big battleship somewhere in the system. We have to find and shut it down. Or destroy it.”
“Professor!” Rasun called. “Destroy it? We can’t …”
“… destroy Prostate Pupepa’s super battleship? And why not? We’re in danger …”
At that moment a flash of lightning lit up the sky.
“Big Scott!” Yefimov exclaimed. “What was that? Can it be …”
“Professor! Professor Yefimov!” A familiar voice echoed across the hall. Yefimov recognized the companion without having to look.
“You saw it too, Fulmen?” Asked the professor.
“How am I not supposed to see that!” Replied Fulmen Grancollin. “What did you just say about destroying the super battleship?”
“Oh, no, do you think that’s a good idea?” Asked Rasun.
“Do we have a choice?” Grancollin asked back. “What was that flash of lightning?”
“LAHAP. They destroyed it.”
“LAHAP moon base?” Rasun looked up at the sky. It was still dark, but now you could see a glow of light. Something shone brightly in the northern hemisphere of the moon Botriro. It had to be very large because it could be seen with the naked eye.
“The moon base was basically a big dump for high-energy waste from the planet, wasn’t it?” Said Fulmen.
“Yes,” Yefimov confirmed. “I think this vibration was triggered by some weapon. The high-energy garbage probably responded to it.”

“Professor! Fulmen! Dozon!” The next guest arrived.
Fulmen turned. “Nat, did you wake up too?”
Nat Anders went to the three men. She also wore a dressing gown. But she was barefoot. “Woke me up?” She said. “What do you think? It would have been rather surprising if I hadn’t been woken up! What happened?”
“Look, the moon base has exploded,” said Fulmen.
“This is an attack!” Confirmed Yefimov. “Another insane plan by Cofehaf Pupepa to expand his reign of terror.”
“The professor said that a battleship must be in the system and that you should … turn it off …” Rasun explained.
“Or destroy!” Added the professor. “Switch off or destroy!”
“I still don’t like destroying,” Rasun admitted. “We would fight one of the most powerful armies in the galaxy.”
“But I’m afraid we don’t have many alternatives,” said someone. From the dark came Zomm Arrghl, the Usovai’i.
“What?” Rasun exclaimed. “Now you’re talking about it too? You Usovai’i should know the risk best!”
“Oh, I do,” admitted Commander Arrghl. “However, I weighed this risk against the only alternative, namely to do nothing. Then we risk Pupepa becoming the ruler for life, he and his lapdog Pecapac.”
“Pecapac is the crown prince anyway,” said Nat. “We both have to stop, otherwise we will get into the eaves from the rain.”
“Should we really do that?” Said Rasun. “Our job was actually to research and provide information, wasn’t it?”
“And there we have a problem,” said Arrghl. “This attack serves to paralyze the planet. The ASTROCOHORS CLUB facilities will no longer function properly. Reports to Earth will no longer be passed through and we will not be able to do our job.”

“Worse,” said Professor Yelimov. “The planets of the galaxy will sink into ignorance, and evil creatures like Pupepa and his friends will seize power. This will destroy democracy and sink the galaxy into darkness.”
The five companions were silent. “How many were on the base?” Fulmen finally asked.
“Three hundred and twelve,” replied the professor. “My comrades, we are pilgrims in a godless country.”
“Pupepa and his henchman Pecapac would surely contradict you there,” Arrghl said. “Both consider themselves to be chosen by the gods. I never understood this kind of religious obsession. The founders of our glorious star empire never had this in mind when they wrote the constitution. And yet we are now facing one of the greatest dangers, the the alliance has ever faced. “
“Well,” the professor wanted to know, “will you follow me? We have to do something – for the beings on this planet, for the beings on other planets and for the poor who lost their lives up there on the moon base.”
Everyone nodded.
“That’s good,” said Arrghl. “Unfortunately, we don’t have much time left. If the attack continues to the same extent, we will run out of energy on the planet within a few days. Many of the ASTROCOHORS CLUB transmissions are already stuck. We have to hurry up.”

“Maybe in the future,” said Fulmen. “But … it’s not the future. It’s the present. In the present we have to fight for the future!”