David Bruce Bozarth and James D. Bozarth's Sequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Beyond the Farthest Star
Copyright © 1982
This outline was prepared over a six pack of brew and a pack of smokes (me) and a 2 litre Dr. Pepper (James) back in 1982. ERB lovers of episodic adventure/romance can easily fill in the blanks the outline assumes we'd take care of during the writing process. James and I managed approximately 45,000 words before real life intervened (typical, eh?). By the time we were free to resume, the creative fires were sputtering embers. After a few fitful starts the project went on the shelf where it remains to this day.
What we actually wrote bears only the most superficial resemblence to the following (and we like our results better!). If someone wants to use this outline just help yourself. We only ask you remember us in a dedication on your finished work. You may ask why we've never returned to Beyond Poloda--the fact is James and I have our own writing universes. As much as we love ERB and believe Tangor, Handon Gar and the rest of the characters of Beyond The Farthest Star need a revisit we've decided to pursue our personal creativity.
Following the outline, you can read the Foreword to Beyond Poloda. Here, then, in 12 chapters (projected to be 50,000 words) is the astonishing tale of the journey undertaken by Tangor and Handon Gar. Beyond Poloda takes up at the conclusion of Tangor Returns...
I. THE FLIGHT
In chapter one, Tangor and Handon Gar make the dangerous flight to Tonos 547,000 miles away from Poloda. The trip takes 41 days using the solar powered amplifier that has been developed by the deceased Kaparian scientist Hortal Wend. During the flight they encounter several strange lifeforms that exist in the air between the worlds. They also discover that at the mid-point between the planets the atmosphere thins dangerously to a narrow band. All of this is negotiated and they land on the surface of Tonos.
II. THE LANDING
The explorers are astonished by the similarity between Tonos and Poloda. Fill in flora, fauna. Land at several sites, explore. Spend a night on the surface.
Next morning a woman's scream is heard in the distance. The men rush off to discover a lady about to be devoured by a Tonosian lion. Tangor and Handon Gar make short work of the creature. The woman is frightened by the machine pistols and starts to run when Handon Gar calls out to her. She waits, and in the ensuing discussion, the Polodans are amazed that she speaks a more archaic form of the language of Unis. The girl enlists their aid to return her to a city over the mountains. She is amazed by the aircraft and reveals her people have ancient legends of men with wings.
IV. THE AGERI
Landing in the city of Gerca, Tangor and Handon Gar are introduced to Kirella's people, the Ageri. They are fine looking and intelligent, though their standard of living is barely above the primitive. Tangor and Gar hear the legend of ages of war which reduced Tonos (the natives call the planet that) to the present state of affairs. Tangor spends much of his time studying the ruins of an older city while Handon Gar examines the people themselves, of course most of that examination revolves around Kirella.
V. THE SEARCH
Tangor is astonished to discover that buried in the ruins is the remains of a ray projector of a type unknown. By questioning Cerek, Kirella's father, he comes to the conclusion that this was the product of a powerful society. If the machine could be understood, it might mean the end of war on Poloda. Cerek and Tangor leave the Ageri city to chase the roots of legend, which lie a thousand miles to the north. Handon Gar remains at Gerca to help the Ageri prepare for battle with the Bundra, who live south of the mountains. Tangor's flight is detailed over a period of a week, expounding on planetary aspects and learning more of the society through conversation with Cerek. They find the ancient city of legend and begin to search for the secret of the weapon.
Handon Gar, meanwhile, has his hands full directing the defense of the Ageri tribe from a massive invasion from Bundra. So overwhelming is the attacking force that for the first time in centuries the Ageri are forced to retire from the field of battle. The city is surrounded and in the day s that follow, the Bundra breach the walls of Gerca. In the melee that follows Kirella and Handon Gar are captured.
VII. KIRELLA FINDS A WAY
Handon Gar and Kirella are confined in a large pen with twenty other Ageri. In the days they spend there, Gar tries to find an escape. Daily they watch one or two taken from the pen and hear the frightful screams as they die from Bundra tortures they cannot see (which makes it all the more horrible). On the fourth day Kirella tends the fire built against the stone wall when she notices a crack in the earth. The heat from the fire has crashed the ground and they enlarge it to discover a hidden tunnel. They guard their secret all day and that night 10 survivors leap into the hole to make their escape. They encounter a ferocious lizard thing in the labyrinth of natural caves beneath Gerca.
VIII. THE SCIENCE OF BANOS
Tangor and Cerek have discovered the vault deep within the well-preserved city of the dead, only to find not only the device the seek, but a cult of mysterious warrior-priests protecting the secret shrine. In a brief struggle with two of the warrior-priests Cerek is struck in the arm by the flash of the hand ray guns. Tangor kills their attackers with his machine pistol, but he and Cerek are forced to leave the general area. Tangor recognizes the value of the ray, but is at a loss of how to study it, or take it from the priests. Just as he had decided to return to Ageri for Handon Gar and reinforcements, he and Cerek are captured.
IX. ROOM OF WONDERS
Beneath the city of Gerca Handon Gar, Kirella and fellow escapees battle the lizard, killing it, then make their way into a large cave. Inside they find the remains of a vast scientific culture, preserved against decay. Many things are recognizable to Handon Gar, but just as many more are not. One thing he does understand is the aircraft parked for who knows how many centuries. With the aid of five or six men (name them) Handon Gar puts one of the flying machines in order. They locate a way out of the cavern and do a recon of the area. The plane flies well for about an hour, then fails. Handon Gar and Kirella are behind enemy lines and they must make their way back to the room of wonders where they will be save from the Bundra. On the way they are captured by a Bundra patrol searching for escaped Ageri.
X. ESCAPE, AND ESCAPE AGAIN!
Tangor and Cerek make good their escape. Tangor is only able to bring along one small ray projector as they return to the Polodan aircraft. Once airborne they head for Gerca. Fortunately they see the city has fallen before they land and could be captured. Cerek expresses great fear over the fate of his people and daughter. They land some distance from the city. Cerek is to stay with the plane while Tangor reconnoiters. On the way to Gerca Tangor hides from a noisy Bundra patrol. As they pass his concealed location, he sees Handon Gar and Kirella. Tangor effects their escape and, after stories are exchanged, they return for Cerek (who is overjoyed to see Kirella) and then all head for the Room of Wonders.
XI. ASSAULT ON BUNDRA
Handon Gar and Tangor examine the ancient arsenal and, with the knowledge Tangor brings from his exploration of the warrior-priests' city, large power sources are activated which fuel the tremendous ray cannons. More Ageri refugees are located and gradually a small force of men, armed with the powerful ray weapons of the ancients, attacks the Bundra at Gerca. During the night attack the Bundra are surprised by the ferocity of the ray guns, they flee toward their lands, but the Ageri, now reinforced by their freed countrymen, follow with vengeance in their hearts. At the river which traditionally divides their two nations Cerek stops his people with wisdom he says, "Let us work for peace, let us make our enemy our friend, for the world is a large place and there may come a time a friend is more valuable than a comfortable hatred."
Kirella and Handon Gar have fallen in love. This condition creates great angst for the two young people, which intensifies as the time for departure nears. Tangor is anxious to return to Poloda with the secret of the ray cannons which might bring peace to the war-torn world where his true love, Harkas Yamoda, resides. Gar is duty bound to return though his heart is breaking. On the last night, after a huge feast, Tangor takes Handon Gar aside.
"I am sorry. I cannot take you with me to Poloda."
Tangor's grim expression metamorphs into a grin. He nods toward Kirella. "Your heart lies there, old friend. These people need you, you need them. Besides, I have promised your place to another."
Tangor laughed, pointing at Kirella's father, who had just whispered something into his daughter's ear. She turned wide eyes toward the two sky gods and the look she gave Handon Gar would have melted the heart of the coldest ice demon. Gar hurries away before Tangor can say, "Cerek."
The following morning, as the sturdy Polodan airship spiralled high into the atmosphere, Tangor leans foward eagerly. "I'm coming home, Harkas Yamoda!"
For many years I have been chided about the mysterious manuscripts that were produced on my typewriter in the early Forties. I have used restraint in dealing with my detractors who refuse to believe the accounts were produced by unseen, ghostly hands. There is nothing further I have to say about such narrow minded critics. The manuscripts have the undeniable ring of truth.
I have been asked to edit the stories of a number of important men during my writing career. In all cases I have found it best to leave their words intact, changing only syntax or spelling as required for clarity. I present the following in the same manner, for I have been once again contacted from beyond the farthest star by Tangor of Poloda.
As with the first two encounters with the invisible typist, I was amazed at the speed and rapidity which produced the document. I was not surprised at the event, however, as I was thrilled to have Tangor communicate once again with the planet of his birth.
Tangor, an Earthman who has not revealed his true identity for the sake of his family still living on Earth, was shot down over the German lines in 1939. Inexplicably he did not die--he was transported, or materialized if you prefer--to Poloda, a world some 450,000 light years from the scene of his death in the skies over Europe.
He entered a world at war, but such a war! He was eventually adopted by the people of Unis who, for one-hundred-one years had fought against the vicious Kapar regime. Tangor distinguished himself as an aviator and later, on a delicate secret mission wherein he appeared to be a Unisian traitor. Tangor entered the Kaparian capital city and brought to Unis the secret of the Kapar solar generator, a device of unlimited power.
Upon his return, and believing that the woman he loved had turned against him, Tangor agreed to undertake an even more dangerous assignment: to fly a specially fitted aircraft from Poloda to the nearest planet, Tonos. This incredible journey was possible because of the unusual make up of the Omosian star system. The planets circle the primary sun at nearly 1,000,000 miles in a common, shared orbit. More strangely, an atmospheric envelope, doughnut-shaped appeared to link all the planets together! Tangor's mission was to prove the feasibility of interplanetary travel, for if he were successful the free peoples of Unis would abandon their troubled world to move to a more hospitable planet.
On the night of his departure Tangor was faced by his most vocal denouncer, a man who had once believed the Earthman to be a traitor. Handon Gar made public his apology and offered to accompany Tangor to Tonos. Tangor would have refused if not for Harkas Yamoda's plea, who now knew the truth behind Tangor's actions for the Unisian government. Tangor agreed to take Handon Gar. The Earthman was glad to know how much his little Harkas Yamoda loved him.
All these years I have wondered what happened to Tangor, Yamoda and Handon Gar. Now at last I know a part of it through this mysterious manuscript which appeared one Sunday afternoon as I sat nodding behind my desk, hands clasped across a paunch that a grown with the passing of years and the demise of my accustomed vigor.
After all this time Tangor had sent another message! I eagerly took the first sheet and commenced reading as the unseen hands inserted fresh paper and resumed their work. As I read further, the noise made by the typewriter faded from my ken as I realized this message was not from Tangor alone. Every other line was from Handon Gar!
I find it impossible to explain how Tangor's message has travelled 450,000 light years and even more astonishing is the first hand experiences of Handon Gar in his own words; or how the exploits of both men were sent nearly simultaneously--one account alternating line by line with the other. I cannot explain, nor will I attempt a guess, what matters is the reality of this astonishing communication.
As stated earlier, I usually refrain from editing the works of others but in this case I had to re-type the manuscript to separate Tangor and Gar's stories. I then arranged them in what I hope is the correct chronological form.
Therefore, any mistakes are mine and mine alone.
This is a tale of fantastic proportions...and I believe it to be the Truth.