Cronos, p.37Robert Silverberg
“Come inside,” Lanoy said. “Damn you, I never thought I’d be helping you this way.”
“If you’re smart,” said Quellen, “you’ll go the same way. Kloofman’s bound to catch you sooner or later. It can’t be avoided.”
“I’ll take my chances, Quellen.” Lanoy smiled. “When the time comes, I’ll look Kloofman in the eye and see if I can’t strike a deal with him. Come along. The machine’s waiting.”
It was done.There was a swirling and a twisting, and Quellen felt as if he had been turned inside out. He was floating on a purple cloud high above some indistinct terrain, and he was falling.
He dropped, heels over head, and landed in a scrambled heap on a long green carpet. He lay there for a moment or two, breathless, clutching at the carpet for stability in an uncertain world.
A handful of the carpet tore off in his hands. Quellen looked at it in puzzlement.
Living grass. Strands of it in his clenched fingers.
The clean smell of the air hit him next, almost as a physical shock. It was painful to pull air like that down into his lungs. It was like inhaling in a room with full oxy turned on. But this was outdoors. The air in Africa was not like that, because it held an overstratum of residues from the more densely populated regions of the world.
Quellen gathered himself together and stood up. The grassy carpet extended in all directions, and in front of him there was a great thicket of trees. Quellen looked. A small gray bird came out on the overhanging branch of the nearest tree and began to chirp, unafraid, at Quellen.
He wondered how long Kloofman’s minions would search for him before they concluded that he had hopped. Koll would be apoplectic. And would Kloofman cope with Lanoy? He hoped not; Kloofman was a sinister unreal monster, and Lanoy, despite his slyster habits, had a sense of honor.
Quellen began to move toward the forest. He would have to locate a likely stream and build some sort of house next to it, he decided. Improvised architecture—he’d make out, though his first attempts might not be very impressive. It would behishouse, at any rate.
He felt no guilt at having taken this route. He had been a misfit, thrown into a world he could only hate and which could only ensnarl him. Norm Pomrath had taken this route. Brogg had. Now it was Quellen’s turn. At least, before he had left, he had made a valiant try to defend himself against that world. It had been madness to think that he could match guile with the High Government. But he had shaken Kloofman, at least for a few minutes, and that was a worthy accomplishment. He had shown he was a man. Now valor’s part dictated a quick exit, before Kloofman’s superior might crushed him.
Two deer came bounding out of the forest. Quellen stood aghast. He had never seen land animals of that size, not even in Africa. The African mammals had long since been penned in preserves. Were these creatures dangerous? They looked gentle. They skipped off across the plain.
Quellen’s heart began to throb as he filled his lungs with the sweet air. Marok, Koll, Spanner, Brogg. Kloofman.Helaine. Judith. They began to fade and blur. Social regurgitation. Quickboats. Good old Lanoy, he thought. He’d kept his word after all. Back to an unspoiled continent.
The world is mine, Quellen thought.
A tall redskinned man emerged from the forest and leaned against a tree, regarding Quellen gravely. He was dressed in a leather belt, a pair of sandals, and nothing else. The redskinned man studied Quellen for a moment and then raised his arm in a gesture Quellen could not fail to interpret. A warm feeling of comradeship glowed in Quellen. This man welcomed him. This man did not fear him.
Palm upraised, smiling at last, Quellen went forward to meet him.
Cronos: An Introduction
Letters From Atlantis
1: Eric - 5 Minutes
2: Sean + 5 Minutes
3: Eric + 50 Minutes
4: Sean - 50 Minutes
5: Eric -5 X 102Minutes
6: Sean + 5 X 102Minutes
7: Eric + 5 X 103Minutes
8: Sean -5 X 103Minutes
9: Eric - 5 X 104Minutes
10: Sean + 5 X 104Minutes
11: Eric + 5 X 105Minutes
12: Sean -5 X 105Minutes
13: Eric - 5 X 106Minutes
14: Sean + 5 X 106Minutes
15: Eric + 5 X 107Minutes
16: Sean - 5 X 107Minutes
17: Eric - 5 X 108Minutes
18: Sean + 5 X 108Minutes
19: Eric + 5 X 109Minutes
20: Sean - 5 X 109Minutes
21: Eric - 5 X 1010Minutes
22: Sean + 5 X 1010Minutes
23: Eric + 5 X 1011Minutes
24: Sean - 5 X 1011Minutes
25: Eric - 5 X 1012Minutes
26: Sean + 5 X 1012Minutes
27: Eric + 5 X 1013Minutes
28: Sean - 5 X 1013Minutes
The Time Hoppers
Robert Silverberg, Cronos
Cronos by Robert Silverberg / Science Fiction have rating 3 out of 5 / Based on18 votes