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 "Virtue is its own punishment."

                         THE LAST NIWRAD
                          by Roy Stead

 Old grandfather sat on a log  beside the tree. His years weighed
heavily  upon his shoulders,  his back was arched and  his  limbs
were weak. He had sat there, on that log, for hours, listening to
the  chirruping  of the crickets as they wandered over  the  land
before  him.  Another sound disturbed him,  rousing him from  his
nightly meditation.
 Nightly?  When  had it become nightly?  Old grandfather  vaguely
recalled a time - now lost in temporal mists - when his visits to
the  tree  were infrequent,  a thing to  look  forward  to.  They
remained  a source of anticipation,  but now he  merely  wondered
which visit would be his last.
 He heard the sound again,  louder this time.  Old  grandfather's
ears,  alert now to the possibility of danger,  pricked  up.  The
children.  Only  the children,  probably wanting to hear  another
story from the old days. Niwrad smiled.
 "Grandfather!  Grandfather Niwrad!" chattered the excited  young
voices, bringing another smile to the his lips.
 Quickly,  they  gathered into a semi-circle before the old  one,
eagerly  anticipating  the tale he would  tell  them,  the  elder
children hoping against hope that this would be one that they had
not heard - yet also hoping that would be an old  favourite,  for
Old grandfather Niwrad spun an enthralling yarn.
 When the children had settled down,  the old one began his tale,
one handed down from Niwrad to Niwrad for thousands of years.  As
they  sat,  spellbound,  he told of a time when their people  had
ruled  the Earth with vast machines.  He did not  mention  flying
machines in his tale,  because the children never believed  those
tales,  but  laughed  and broke the spell which  old  Niwrad  was
careful to cast.
 When the tale was done, one of the older children - Noitaerc, if
the Niwrad's memory served him correctly - stood up, as if to ask
a question.
 "Why,  oh Old one, do our people no longer rule?" Niwrad thought
a moment before replying.
 He  smiled,  softly,  as  he  said,  "We  outgrew  our  childish
machines, Noitaerc, and learned of wiser things. Our minds became
our  playthings  and the joys of that play occupy us  until  that
time when all creatures become as we are now."
 At  that,  the old one waved the children away,  watching  their
tails  grasp  the highest branches as the youngest  struggled  to
keep up with the rest.
 Old grandfather sat on a log  beside the tree. His years weighed
heavily upon his shoulders,  his back was arched,  his limbs were
weak and his tail was not as supple as it once has been.  He  had
sat there,  on that log,  for hours,  wondering once more if  Man
would  ever  find his way through the  darkness  and  evolve,  as
Niwrad's people had done, had done, into Monkey.

                                               Roy Stead, 12/4/91 

The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.