The Karmora Papers

Part Three: Epilogue

Chapter Thirty-One


Mad Luigi steered his armed space trawler into an obscure parking orbit around Tumís World, careful not to bump his Blurm Occulter which, thank Glooka, was functioning again for the first time since the warranty period on it had expired. The Blurm Occulter, while it worked, shielded his space vehicle from discovery by the ever-scanning Lookout-o-phons, and for Mad Luigi, the present maintaining of a low profile was imperative.

After the debacles on Gwu, Iapetus, and later Mokus 5 and Saturn, Mad Luigi had decided to go underground for a while, since it appeared that he was no longer the uncontested Ďbigga cheesaí in the galaxy. Small but mean factions were giving him trouble everywhere. His strongholds on Gwu and Iapetus had been neutralized by the surprise-filled Saturnians who, in turn, had been overrun by congenitally unclean atmosperms and alien tourists who never bought anything.

On Mokus 5, even before he could lend a malevolent hand, everyone was done in by the unstoppable forces of an author possessed with the intent of disposing of three characters quickly and irrefutably.

On Saturn, the Wadk-newts were now in control, Glooka help them. And even Terra had lost its allure as a safe weekend retreat, for only yesterday -- too late to make the last chapter -- Madís twin brother, Cad, had been demolecularized there in what was probably a mixed-up assassination attempt.

Only the fortress on Venus remained as impenetrable as ever. But even here misfortune haunted Mad Luigi. On the run from Gwu, heíd misplaced his Front Door Proximity Key... and without it, he couldnít get in without permanently stir-frying his molecules. The Servantís Entrance, of course, was right out.

Consequently, he had fled to Tumís World in search of the legendary Astro-Oracle, whom he hoped could provide him with some key information.

Shunting down to the planet in the astrolator consumed an entire Earth-day, but it was the least conspicuous local travel mode. All of a sudden a mesmerizing cacophony of bells and chimes besieged his ears, but he was quick to snap his Nov-o-cane Earflaps in place before the dreaded Permo-Tintinnabulation Malady could afflict him.

On the crusty surface, Mad Luigi crept tourist-like to the nearest village, where a small but carefully etched sign caught his eye. Amazingly, it was written in his own Terran dialect. It read, "Astra-Oracle -- Dissa Way" ...and an arrow pointed away from the village towards the south...towards his destiny.

Several eat-periods dragged by as Mad Luigi traipsed wearily over the astrobrush and tumdra of Tumís world, occasionally passing deserted FrugaHome complexes. Each time he neared one of these uninhabitable communities, he was overcome with an irresistible urge to make use of the available lavatoria. So, he had not escaped the effects of the P-T Malady completely unblemished. Zoons!

Darkness finally fell and Boondock peeked over the horizon, glowering inhospitably. But still Mad Luigi pressed southward, following the increasingly less frequent signs which nevertheless continued to read, "Astra-Oracle -- Dissa Way."

Then he reached the top of a gravelly crest and spotted down in the very bottom of a gulch a dilapidated shanty. There was a dimly flashing electro-banner on top which announced ASTRA-ORACLE.

Mad Luigi tempered his enthusiasm and cautiously scanned the surrounding area. A trap was possible, even out here. He waited yet another eat-period, but nothing moved. He clambered down the embankment and approached the old building. Still no sound.

Then he relaxed and strode headlong to the entranceway, anxious to have his answers finally questioned.

But there was a note on the entranceway. Mad Luigi read it and then turned away, stupefied.

The note read "Gone to Mokus 5 on holiday. Back in eight Earth-weeks. Your friend, Astra-Oracle." next

The Karmora Papers is Copyright ©1976,1993,1996 by Dennis Báthory Kitsz and David Gunn. All rights reserved. If you enjoy this book, an appreciation fee of any amount may be made to Dennis Báthory-Kitsz or David Gunn at Malted/Media Productions, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield VT 05663.

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