A Voyage to Arcturus HTML version

it was all fire - the fire of Muspel. The light mounted higher and higher, until it filled the
whole world....
He floated toward an immense perpendicular cliff of black rock, without top or bottom.
Halfway up it Krag, suspended in midair, was dealing terrific blows at a blood - red spot
with a huge hammer. The rhythmical, clanging sounds were hideous.
Presently Maskull made out that these sounds were the familiar drum beats. "What are
you doing, Krag?" he asked.
Krag suspended his work, and turned around.
"Beating on Your heart, Maskull," was his grinning response.
The cliff and Krag vanished. Maskull saw Gangnet struggling in the air - but it was not
Gangnet - it was Crystalman. He seemed to be trying to escape from the Muspel-fire,
which kept surrounding and licking him, whichever way he turned. He was screaming....
The fire caught him. He shrieked horribly. Maskull caught one glimpse of a vulgar,
slobbering face - and then that too disappeared.
He opened his eyes. The floating island was still faintly illuminated by Alppain. Krag
was standing by his side, but Gangnet was no longer there. "What is this Ocean called?"
asked Maskull, bringing out the words with difficulty. "Surtur's Ocean."
Maskull nodded, and kept quiet for some time. He rested his face on his arm. "Where's
Nightspore?" he asked suddenly.
Krag bent over him with a grave expression. "You are Nightspore."
The dying man closed his eyes, and smiled.
Opening them again, a few moments later, with an effort, he murmured, "Who are you?"
Krag maintained a gloomy silence.
Shortly afterward a frightful pang passed through Maskull's heart, and he died
Krag turned his head around. "The night is really past at last, Nightspore.... The day is
Nightspore gazed long and earnestly at Maskull's body. "Why was all this necessary?"
"Ask Crystalman," replied Krag sternly. "His world is no joke. He has a strong clutch -
but I have a stronger... Maskull was his, but Nightspore is mine."