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The first of the 'Cageworld' series sees Maq Ancor, Master Assassin, Magician Cherry and Sine Anura, Mistress of the Erotic chosen for a great quest, the journey into the heart of mankind's greatest creation, Zeus, the computer system that runs a completely redesigned solar system involving concentric Dyson concentric spheres. Their quest takes them inwards from the 'Mars sphere' towards the sun (which no-one has seen in generations since they all live on the outsides of the spheres). Zeus who made the new worlds of man, endlessly forming, linking, organizing the spread of Man into the new Zeus-created lands. So great was the undertaking that it had passed beyond the control of Man. Zeus, obeying with ruthless logic its original program, was lethal in what it deemed its own defence. For Man to regain control he had to understand what he had created. This was the great quest, the ultimate journey of discovery.

Mercury Shell, Venus Shell, Earth, mars, Asteroid, Jupiter, Saturn. Each shell concentric, studded with artificial planets, each planet embedded in its shell, spinning like a ball bearing. The whole Zeus-created in the service of Man but now beyond his control. Now mathematics and space physics, converging, suggested another shell, its existence hidden from Man. A shell of utter darkness, cold and silent where only extreme mutants could survive. To find that shell, the three were journeying again, Maq Ancor, Master Assassin, Magician Cherry and Sine Anura, Mistress of the Erotic. Together, daring the all-seeing all-sensing hostility of Zeus.

Smoothly, remorselessly, inhumanly, the controlled flow of people continued. As each of the great planetary shells approached population maximum, the surplus mass of humanity was transported out. Inexorably they filled the space made ready for them by Zeus, the mater-minding intelligence. Mars shell, Asteroid, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,... But Uranus shell the flow stopped and the pressure of the countless billions had pushed the shell to the very edge of breakdown. Beyond Uranus lay ready Neptune shell. Zeus-designed, Zeus-built, but no longer Zeus-controlled. Another giant intelligence had usurped all power. And so it was that Maq Ancor, Master Assassin, Magician Cherry and Sine Anura, Mistress of the Erotic became the eyes of Zeus as they journeyed to the place where all systems failed, where chaos and the Tyrant of Hades ruled.

Cageworld 4.

The frontier of Earth's space empire is being raided by pirates. Add to these worries, some of the raided planets are obliterated hours later by missiles coming from the void between galaxies. To make matters worse the pirate raiders have deduced two things, (1) whoever is sending the obliteration missiles can predict the future, where and when their raids will be and (2) that they are destroying planets where the raiders pick up people associated with 'The Patterns of Chaos' science program which allows prediction of future events. Into this maelstrom Commander Bron has been sent to stop the raids and the obliterations.

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Ion War by Colin Kapp     0-0
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Dungeons and Dragons
DnD Rulebooks

 

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