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Return to Horde's Moon

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If you have not yet heard of the Pall and the Voyage of the Transylvania then you might want to read those stories first.



Return to Horde's Moon


The portal from the Horde's moon had been sealed and the last of the Hordlings destroyed. However, the reverse-engineered nanogenes of the Pall continued to wreak havoc on the world of humans. Despite the best efforts of The Snargfargle and Dr. Venture, the Pall persisted and continued to mutate both man and beast alike. So rapidly did the tainted naogenes change that none were left in their original form. With each new mutation came new complexity too and the best of the human supercomputers could barely begin to analyze nanogene strain before it mutated and rendered most of their computing time obsolete. What was needed was a supply of the simpler, original, strain of the nanogenes so that a baseline model could be developed. The portal had to be reopened!


The main problem with reopening the portal to the Horde's world was that the power crystals brought back on the USS Miami (aka Transylvania) had been used up to seal it. All that was left were the three crystals that powered the Staff of Ages. These crystals would be used to open the portal but this, unfortunately, meant that Snargfargle's ancient companion would lose much of its abilities. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, however, as the humans had ventured once before to Horde's Moon and had made it back with only limited help from the staff. This mission was going to be a quick collection raid too and all the Staff needed to do was to locate a supply of un-mutated nanogenes.


Another problem would be selecting three ships, for this was the maximum number of ships that Dr. Venture and, now, Dr. Compass Rose had determined could be transported safely through the portal. Of course, modern electronic technology could still not be used on the ships that would pass through the portal. However, ironically, the mutant nanogenes themselves had resulted in the evolution of creatures that could meld with inanimate objects and use them as part of their own anatomy. A very few of these creatures could be controlled enough via the Staff of Ages to render then semi-domesticated. The power of these melded beasts was much greater than anything coal and steam could provide so the USS Maimi would have to sit this one out. Three great mutant beasts were chosen: a giant crocodile, a giant crustacean, and a monstrosity that was a chimera of so many animals that it was impossible to ascertain which ones were involved, though by its behavior one must have been a loyal dog. The great beasts were led to the Navy's mothball fleet, where they, themselves, chose ships to bond with.


After abbreviated sea trials and some outfitting, the USS Crocosaur, Mutanovsk, and Fossil were ready to transport through the portal. However, unknown to our heroes, two other human factions had learned of the time that the portal would be opened and had created their transportable ships and had plans to obtain their own supplies of un-mutated nanogenes. What were their plans for these nanogenes? Did they merely not want one human faction total control of the situation or were their plans more nefarious? Only time would tell as currently The Snargfargle and Dr. Venture didn't have an inkling that other ships waited just outside the quarantine area, ready to rush through the portal the moment it was opened. The crews of these ships, greed, ambition, or political stance notwithstanding were decidedly brave because it had been widely publicized that the portal could only be opened twice and that only three ships of a primitive technology could pass through and that any ship that didn't make it back in time would remain trapped on Horde's Moon.


On a dark, still night the portal was opened and the three giant beasts/ships with their crews were directed through it. Just before it closed, two other triads of fast primitive-technology ships raced out of the darkens and also were transported. The humans would only have a day, however, to meet their goals and return because Earth's portal could only be reopened once. Would the missions meet with success? Would the human factions, once they realized that others of their kind were on Horde's Moon, collaborate or would they battle? You tell me because the rest of the story is yours to tell.

Edited by Snargfargle

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