PlotThis one has very little to do with the arc
story, and is almost a stand-alone SF piece. An accident strands the ship on
which Dumarest is traveling in deep space. The eerie songs of Mayenne, a Ghenka
singer also on board, are accidentally transmitted over ultraradio, and are
received by a mysterious entity that eventually transports the whole ship to an
unknown planet at the very edge of the galaxy. It is quickly revealed that the
planet itself is the entity Tormyle, which proceeds to eliminate passengers and
crew in “10 Little Indians” fashion while performing a series of experiments to
understand the nature of human emotion. Tormyle notices and tests the love
between several sets of passengers, including the budding romance between Dumarest
and Mayenne. By the time the cast is down to five, Tormyle is desperate to
make Dumarest love it, and reveals that Mayenne and another passenger are actually
agents of the Cyclan. Dumarest kills the man and Mayenne kills herself before
Tormyle allows the other two to escape in the repaired ship. Finally alone
with Tormyle, Dumarest convinces it that a human (at least Dumarest) simply
cannot fall in love with a planet, and Tormlye releases him.
Clues of EarthNothing new, although legends of the
existence of Terra and The Original People are confirmed by a scholar traveling
on the same ship (who later turns out to be Mayenne’s partner, an agent of the
Cyclan, who was using this knowledge to distract Dumarest’s attention until he
could be delivered to the Cyclan).
The Cyclanthe Cyclan had placed agents on every
ship in the area in a dragnet for Dumarest, and unsurprisingly both of them who
were on Earl’s ship end up dead. Tormyle’s apparently random casting out of
Dumarest means the Cyclan has no way to extrapolate his movements and have to
start their search over from scratch.
The JourneyEarl begins Book 9, Mayenne, on a
ship he boarded on Grill and which has since stopped at Frell, bound for
Selegal and Ayette. The ship is rescued by Tormyle between Frell and Selegal.
At the conclusion, Tormyle sends Earl to a planet which is not named,
presumably in a different part of the galaxy.