Mayenne (Dumarest #09) – EC Tubb (1973)
‘Earl Dumarest still seeks the mythical planet Earth… still roams alien and violent worlds. With him goes Mayenne, whose songs create joy and passion – or forgetfulness.
Together they are cast up on Tormyle, a planet from another galaxy; a planet unique throughout the Universe. For Tormyle is sentient – the most powerful intelligence in the Cosmos, constantly recreating itself.
Tormyle can be Paradise or Hell. Tormyle can manifest as a dragon or a knight on horseback, faceless behind the helmet. Tormyle understands nothing of humanity: of men and women, of emotion. And Tormyle will let no-one escape who cannot answer the unanswerable.’
Blurb from the 1977 Arrow paperback edition.
Dumarest is on his way to the planet Selegal, along with a motley crew of suspicious characters, when a dangerous creature in the hold breaks free of its cage and damages the engine. Adrift in the void, signals are sent but no reply is received until Mayenne, an empathic singer, sends one of her empassioned numbers out across the ether.
They then receive a response and the ship is teleported to the surface of Tormyle, a sentient world from another galaxy. Tormyle is intrigued by the nature of human existence and sets some deadly tests for them in order to determine the nature of love.
There are no cybers in this episode although there are agents of the Cyclan, working undercover.
Nothing is advanced by this tale, although it does give Dumarest the opportunity to evade the Cyclan for a while since Tormyle teleports him to a random world whose location the Cyclan could not possibly deduce.
The Cyclan, in any event, seem to have acted completely against their vaulted logic since all they have to do is plant the coordinates for Earth for Dumarest to discover and then wait for him to arrive.