The Best of the Mage (Page 62 and 63)


Dublin Core


The Best of the Mage (Page 62 and 63)


Science Fiction


These pages describe the beginning story of Message Intercepted On Hyperspatial Frequency by Wade Tarzia and a monster illustration by unknown.


Rizky Suwoto


The Best of the Mage (Number 8, Fall 1987)


Colgate University Student Association


Fall 1987


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The Mage#6, Winter 1987






Science Fiction

Document Item Type Metadata


Wade Tarzia made his Mage debut in our Winter 1987 issue (The Mage #6) with "Message Intercepted On Hyperspatial Frequency" and since then has joined our staff as a columnist. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. in English literature.
Message Intercepted On Hyperspatial Frequency by wade rarzia
(* * * T ARGEf: Sol System/ ROUTE: Earth= 2637-273-2849X 493 I GRID ERROR: 4.486%/ BEGIN MESSAGE: = * * *) Dear Friend, you asked how one might leave a gentle home for the harsh world of Ras-shah Foren. You asked how I could leave the cool kiss of the breeze that rolls from the Pirian Hills. You asked why I would leave the warm rains of spring, the friendly setting sun, the music of Sheren that weaves the air like a dewjeweled web-sparkling and delicate. You said we would never again celebrate our friendship, floating in the aircar over fair Earth, drinking the wine ofSahla. My departure was cruelly abrupt, I know. Forgive me. But if the starship had not swept me away in that instant, your thoughtfully made trap would have worlced. Ras-shah Foren is not the paradise of Earth. I tell a tale I know-that here the winds scour the plains and do not kiss, but rake with talons; the storms flail the rain until the droplets might as well be small stones, for they sting as such; and they are cold; the sun is red enough, when the storms let up and you can see it hovering, its light dispersed in the sand-laden air until the horizon is a sullen funeral pyre. I'll make a home here, yes. To tell you why . . . I cannot do it. Let me tell of my new home, and in doing so, seek an answer for the both of us. I found the planet while studying the astrography of its
system. Readings from Hoi Station told a strange tale-how the bodies of System AOS4000 did not orbit as expected. I went there, curious, and found indeed that AOS4000 had suffered an encounter with a powerful force long ago-perhaps a wandering cousin. I recorded all: the plume of gas strewn across the void, the gas giants pulled into outlandish orbits, and a captured body that plummeted through space as if it would escape the primary and venture boldly alone, only to be drawn back into the warmth of the inner system like an errant child. Yet most curious of all was the one planet in the life-zone. It spun awkwardly on its axis, sending endless storms ripping across the surface. How unlike the ballet of our Earth, which does not careen angrily around its central fire, but waltzes gracefully with it. I was not surprised to find that others--humans-had been there before me. Our race has long wandered the stars. But I was amazed to fmd them in the state I did, marooned on that ravaged travesty of Earth. I wondered what tragedy had struck, before realizing the unimportance of the question. In the end nothing matters but the result. Perhaps those ancient space farers had been like us-tall, slender, and graceful-but those who could live in the demanding climate became small and toughened over the generations. Their skin was scarred and wrinkled; when disease or injury came, they suffered and died: in exile they had lost all their science.
They invented new ones. They learned how to live in the cascading wind. If they lost the secret of power, then they learned to kindle a fire in the shelter of a tent. And those tents-so well designed to meet and tum away the storms, they were like sleek ships that ply a sea, but here the ships remain anchored while the sea passed overhead! If the storms became an angry god to them, then they defeated the god. Most of all, they defeated this god. At first I watched this strange society from afar through ship's instruments. I saw vessels being hurled before a storm front; they were spindly, crude things in all that angry vastness, with their wooden wheels and awkward arms stretching forth ragged, patched fabric to catch the gale. Yet they bounced and crashed over the terrain for several hours until the passengers had steered past the strongest portion of the storm; then they sprang from their vessels, moored them against the howling tide, and shouted in celebration of their cleverness. How unlike our gentle world, I thought, where life treads softly and unconcerned for ages on end. I stayed there. The Ship's brain translated their language, and I learned what I could in that short time. Then I went among them-a stranger from another land, lost in the wastes, I said. I asked them to teach me, and I nearly died before I learned enough. Those small, roughened people are my kin. They can be dour folk. And why not? From birth

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