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Valerian and Laureline (plot/story article)

Valerian and Laureline

(Profile #3)


Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This character profile very much assumes that you have read our previous Valérian and Laureline character profiles. The whole sequence goes:

  1. Valérian, space-time agent.
  2. Valérian and Laureline, space-time agents.
  3. Addendum – helpful alien animals.

This third entry finishes presenting the storyline. Meaning that it too has massive S P O I L E R S.

There are more entries about secondary characters – just click on the “Valerian” category above. You *did* see the category breadcrumbs at the beginning of every profile, right ?


History, part 1

Brooklyn Line, terminus Cosmos

Laureline’s investigation led her to planet Zomuk, which — barely — subsisted as a dismal garbage dump. The energy creatures now seen in 1980 France seemed to have been stolen from there. She eventually located a pair of penny-ante space thugs who had stolen these elementals.

Laureline also determined that the smugglers were manipulated by the powerful and mysterious Hypsis civilisation.

Meanwhile, Valérian determined that somebody had taken the creatures to 1980 Earth. They had then tipped off WAAM and B&G. Thus, both corporations were trying to understand what these elemental alien constructs were – and how to turn a profit off them.

However, a bad encounter with the fourth creature left Valérian sick and dazed. Though he didn’t realise it at that point, he seemingly stopped completely existing, due to a temporal disturbance. Confused and sleep-deprived, Valérian stupidly slept with a WAAM agent spying on him, infuriating Laureline.

Laureline intercepted the space pirates and manipulated them into killing each other. She then destroyed the hypercubes that could summon the elementals. 1980 Earth was now free from this incursion.

As to Valérian, Laureline refused to take him back to Galaxity. She left him to make his own way back from a hidden STS base.

The ghosts of Inverloch, part 1

In 3152, the Superintendent of the STS realised that Galaxity was seemingly being erased from the continuum. He had to flee. Only he, Valérian, and Laureline appeared to be left.

Valérian’s nightmares and confusion continued. Laureline wasn’t affected. They assumed that it was because she was from 984-ish A.D., rather than the Galaxity future.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) among aliens

The Superintendent sent Valérian capture an elusive Glapum’tian alien. While Valérian objected to kidnapping, he followed orders as always. Though that proved difficult, he was successful. Despite the circumstances, the placid Glapum’tian agreed to help. He decided to go by “Ralph”.

The Superintendent and his couple of agents regrouped with their local contacts in Inverloch, Scotland, in 1983. They also summoned monsieur Albert from France, and hired the Shingouz intelligence experts to gain information about Hypsis.

Hypsis was a roaming planet, able to move from system to system and disguise itself. Nevertheless, the Shingouz located it.

The ghosts of Inverloch, part 2

By this point, it seemed that Hypsis’ plot was altering the past of Earth. They apparently had all but retconned  Galaxity and the Terran Empire out of existence.

Specifically, the 1980s British allies of the STS discovered that the world’s nuclear warfare system were being dismantled. Alien objects were sneaked into the possession of those responsible for Earth’s ICBM’s, altering their mind and disabling them. A bunch of nuclear warheads then vanished.

This seemed likely to be related to the 1986 nuclear catastrophe. From the scant available records, said catastrophe was thought to be the explosion of a stock of hydrogen bombs in the Arctic.

On the plus side, Valérian and Laureline thoroughly patched things up after his indiscretion. Their relationship was stronger and more loving than ever so heh, silver lining.

(When exactly Valérian and Laureline became a couple is never clear, as most of it occurs off-panel . Things likely were ambiguous for a while. That would seem credible for many modern readers but would have been confusing for the more traditional readers of the early 1970s.)

The wrath of Hypsis, part 1

The STS had a working relationship with British intelligence through the XXth century and likely before. Specifically, the Superintendent would occasionally manifest at Castle Inverloch in Scotland, as the “ghost of Inverloch”, then trade favours to the STS in return for information.

This relationship continued for generations, as the owners of Inverloch traditionally served on her Majesty’s secret service.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) Valerian with a gun

Valérian shooting a multi-mode non-lethal capture small arm (note the drug darts launcher).

Thus, the investigation into Hypsis’ activity on 1980s Earth was backed by light assets from the MIs  and the Royal Navy . This allowed the team to get close enough to an Hypsis ship in Arctic to force its prompt departure.

That was the plan. “Ralph” could then use his absolute mathematical senses to compute its precise trajectory. Based on his calculations, the remains of the STS reached Hypsis.

Valérian also discovered that the Hypsis ship had been carrying nuclear warheads. These likely would have been the cause of the 1986 disaster.

Lastly, he and Laureline realised that the Superintendent had fallen under the sway of an alien psychoactive object. It was weakening him in much the same ways as with the 1980s persons responsible for nuclear missiles worldwide.

The wrath of Hypsis, part 2

On Hypsis, the remains of the STS found three entities identifying as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. These claimed to have created and guided life of Earth. However, they had decided to end the experiment. Their Hypsis colleagues had been complaining that by Galaxity’s time, Humanity was unacceptably interfering and meddling with other species.

Hypsis was chiefly populated by self-proclaimed gods, each being apparently responsible for a solar system. The trinity responsible for Earth’s solar system, though, was far from being the most competent, the most prestigious or the wealthiest. And they resented that. Though Humanity would become the largest galactic player, the “holy trinity” felt that “their” solar system had been a bum draw.

The “holy trinity”’s plan to “fix” the Galaxity situation didn’t quite make sense, as we’ll soon discuss. Either their understanding of chronophysics  was terrible, or it was a deception all along.

But in either case, it was possible to negotiate. It was thus agreed that the 1986 disaster wouldn’t take place. In return, Humanity would never create anything akin to the Galaxity future timeline.

The Superintendent requested to be sent wherever the Earth from the retconned-out post-1986-disaster now was. Valérian hesitated, but decided to remain on 1980s Earth with Laureline.


Okay, now let’s have a break from the narration and discuss the chronophysics. Valerian isn’t a hard SF series, and doesn’t want to have a tight continuity. So it doesn’t come with a full, robust explanation of this aspect.

And this is where we come in.


Interlude – the matter of timelines

The basics

The initial understanding is :

  1. There’s a nuclear disaster in 1986.
  2. A “dark age” follows, though “undocumented age” might be a better description. Travel and research into this span — 1986 to 2314 — is forbidden.
  3. In 2314 a fully working space/time machine is produced by Humans. One imagines that the Terran Empire and Galaxity quickly ensue.

Then, it is discovered that the 1986 nuclear explosion was part of a plot by Hypsis to prevent the existence of Galaxity. Which is immediately pointed out not to make sense, since the 1986 disaster *is* what resulted in Galaxity ! Nevertheless, Hypsis is bought off so they’ll stop monkeying around. Thus, the 1986 disaster is averted.

At which point, the new understanding is :

  1. No nuclear disaster occurs in 1986, as Hypsis stays its hand.
  2. A “golden age” follows, though a “well it sure beats a nuclear-triggered climate apocalypse age” might be a better description.
  3. Thus, Galaxity and the Terran Empire never come to exist. The timeline from which Valérian and the Superintendent come from has been retconned  out. Earth’s future is yet to be seen.

Wait. Wait, wait.

There are too many discrepancies here.

Yes, we can assume that it was an empty bluff by Hypsis all along. They pretended to plunge Earth into a disaster so US-aligned intelligence services would prevent the emergence of the Galaxity future. And Humans even gave them a lot of money in the bargain.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) the superintended of the space-time service

Note the Superintendent’s exact words.

But that still doesn’t entirely work.

  • The one person who genuinely knows what he’s talking about, the Superintendent of the S.T.S., has been mentally damaged by Hypsis. All other persons negotiating with Hypsis don’t have a real grounding in chronophysics. Valérian might, but at this point he’s also conveniently confused and diminished after having being exposed to one of the alien elementals brought to 1980 France.
  • The Superintendent and the “Holy Spirit” immediately agree that Earth has been “shoved somewhere else”, rather than retconned out. How can it still exist if the causality web leading to it has been removed ?
  • When the Superintendent sees Galaxity being retconned out, he specifically and oddly notes that this may only be occurring in his mind. At this point, he doesn’t know yet that he’s being under the influence of an Hypsis-smuggled psychoactive object.
  • Valérian’s nightmares and feelings of dissociation starts when he’s suffused by the energy of an alien elemental construct, *not* when Galaxity supposedly vanishes. And two other Humans born in the Galaxity future (the Superintendent and Jal) do not mention similar symptoms.
  • Several chronophysicists in Valerian books state that multiple timelines cannot exist. There can only be one timeline.

The last point isn’t really explained in Valerian. But it would make sense in models postulating “chronal resilience”.

Basically, if time travellers are monkeying with history, reality will strongly tend to find ways to snap back to what should have been. In pop terms, chronal resilience is “if you strangle Hitler in the crib, then he’ll just be replaced by a similar bloke and History will be the same.”

Okay, so what does writeups.org think ?

Glad you asked. Heeeeere comes the No-Prize Hypothesis , mostly based on allusions in Valerian secondary sources  and a few panels in the last graphic novel.

The parts noted (NPH) are genuine No-Prize Hypotheses, the rest is in-text in Valerian books.

  1. (NPH) Originally, there’s no 1986 nuclear disaster(/NPH). 1986 simply is the start date of the “no-go era” in the S.T.S charter, without an explanation.
  2. Earth will indeed sink into a climate apocalypse – but not in 1986. It will presumably happen much more gradually, and deploy like it does in the real world via anthropocentric climate change.
  3. There will neither be “dark ages” nor a “golden age”. Rather, there is a “dark age” for the victims of climate change and the attendant catastrophes as they die in droves. And there is a golden age for the super-rich, as they eventually manage to evacuate Earth and build Galaxity. But they are the ones who get to write the History books…
  4. Which in turn explains why the S.T.S.’s founding charter forbade all activity during this time period. The roots of the Terran Empire are indeed apocalyptic genocide. But in a far more callous and indefensible way than the official lie about an unforeseen nuclear accident. The elites left everybody else to die.
  5. If so, (NPH)1986 might be the date at which a climate apocalypse becomes inevitable (/NPH).

So it’s not quite Damnation Alley  after all. It’s more like Elysium .

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) spacehsip making a time jump

STS spaceship doing a time jump.

As to the 1986 disaster, our No-Prize Explanation:

  1. (NPH)Hypsis decides that the best way to take on the Space-Time service is to act during the 1986-2314 “no-go era” (/NPH). Especially near the beginning, since this is when the STS will be the most reluctant to intervene.
  2. (NPH)They make up the 1986 disaster story. Then they push a little data toward the STS, so the STS gets the impression there was some sort of nuclear accident in 1986, without specifics (/NPH). And the STS is forbidden by its charter to check the facts.
  3. Then Hypsis engineers a nuclear disaster in 1986. It closely resembles what was described in the data leak.
    (NPH) This is a long play, on three levels :

    1. One goal is for the STS to pay to prevent/correct the disaster. This will refill the “holy trinity”’s coffers. The 1986 disaster is meant all along to be prevented.
    2. Another is to create enough of a brouhaha to smuggle a mind-weakening device to the Superintendent. This creates a key vulnerability. With it, the exceedingly centralised Terran Empire can be taken out.
    3. The third goal is to create a cover story. This story will be used for deception when taking Earth out of the game. (/NPH)
  4. (NPH) What Valérian and Laureline see in The City of Shifting Waters is thus not the correct version of History. It’s the one manipulated by Hypsis. They are eventually able to stop the Hypsis plot… but this means that History is put back on track after a glitch, not deviated into a new timeline ! (/NPH)
  5. Thus the events of The City of Shifting Waters never took place, since the Hypsis-engineered nuclear detonation was prevented as planned. But Valérian, Laureline and their handlers still have their memories of these events.

Other aspects

In the confusion that follows, Earth is shunted by Hypsis into a black hole in 3152. One cryptic line implies that the Superintendent of the STS is the one who shifted the Earth, presumably as he sleepwalked under the mental domination of Hypsis.

There are inevitably loose ends. But these can be fed the cover story of an erasure by timeline manipulation.

Conveniently, Valérian and Laureline’s ship chronal drive is damaged, and they can’t travel between the present and well after 3152. They can return to the future, but only after Galaxity has seemingly been erased.

The Terran colonies likely can’t hold on their own without the backing of Galaxity, which is highly centralised. There are clearly still Humans around in the galaxy, but it would seem that they quickly “went native”, adapting to an aliens-dominated environment.


History, part 2

On the frontiers, part 1

On Earth, Laureline and Valérian came to work as field agents for monsieur Albert. Albert pitched their services to his intelligence contacts, as long as the missions were clean. Presumably, the British services with their traditional alliance with the STS also helped set them up.

In 1988, Valérian worked with Soviet scientists to prevent the detonation of a sabotaged nuclear reactor. This disaster would have been far worse (and much closer to Western Europe) than Chernobyl . Shortly after that, Laureline and Valérian prevented the detonation of a large stolen nuclear warhead in Tunisia.

Valerian (and Laureline graphic novels) in a Russian nuclear reactor

By that point, they were working for a joint Soviet/American anti-nuclear proliferation task force (no, not that one). But the client was puzzled, as attempts to steal and use nuclear warheads were rapidly chaining worldwide. Some of these attacks showed impossible acumen, not unlike what Valérian and Laureline could deliver using their future-tech equipment and knowledge.

Laureline and Valérian soon came to suspect that they were not all that was left from Galaxity.

On the frontiers, part 2

Indeed, another STS agent had survived the disappearance of Galaxity. Jal was one of the best, as well as a dyed-in-the-wool believer in the Terran Empire. When Galaxity disappeared, Jal was on a years-long mission in the strange nebula of Neferfalen. The rules of reality are different there.

Jal stole the powers of a rare type of alien by tricking and torturing one Kistna. He thus absorbed her energy and probability manipulation abilities. Then he left for Earth in the late 1980s. There he made a fortune by gambling, which he used to set up a criminal network.

The goal was to trigger a nuclear disaster on Earth. If done swiftly enough, it would resemble the disaster that supposedly should have occurred in 1986. Then, the same causes would result in the same effects. And something close enough to Galaxity would eventually emerge.

However, Laureline and Valérian stopped Jal. They calmed him down after he finished expending the power he had stolen. They then agreed to band together and scour the universe for any remain of their timeline that they could find.

The trio returned to Point Central after 3152, where Laureline contacted the Shingouz. The Shingouz found what remained of the Terran habitat on Point Central, in a special area set aside for fallen civilisations. Jal decided to stay behind in the deserted, last remain of Galaxity and not return to Earth.

As to Valérian, Laureline dragged him away so they’d explore the cosmos together… and move on.

The living weapons

With the STS and Galaxity gone, Valérian started running in problems with his ship’s maintenance. There were no maintenance facilities left, and its technology was now old and exotic. Not wanting Laureline to worry, he started taking shady space smuggling jobs to pay for the naval upkeep.

One job involved delivering a Schniarfer from cut-rate weapons dealers to Blopik, a primitive war-torn planet. Laureline disapproved, and Valérian soon came to agree that it all stunk. The Humans also rescued alien artists who had been tricked into coming to Bopik by the same weapons dealers, as their talents could also be used for war.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) kissing

The lot returned to Earth. But with the ship’s poor condition they crash-landed in Russia. To raise money and have fun, Laureline and monsieur Albert organised a series of circus shows in major Russian cities with the alien artists. These were a success, and paid for having their spaceship towed to another planet with shipyards.

Valérian also performed surgery on the Schniarfer, so it wouldn’t be in a constant rage. Thankful, the Schniarfer joined the show as a sort of trick shootist.

The circles of power

Valérian and Laureline ended up on the semi-lawless planet Rubanis. Rubanis had well-paying mercenary jobs. It also had shipyards robust enough to make much-needed repairs to their now one-of-a-kind ship.

The duo was hired by their sort-of-allies the Shingouz, to work for the Rubanis Chief of Police (or “chief corruptee”, as he put it). Rubanis’ everything-goes society was divided in four circles, with the fourth being the ruling class – the Circle of Power.

However, the Chief thought that something had gone wrong with them. Thus, he needed troubleshooters to investigate the forbidden Fourth Circle’s area.

During this mission, Laureline took possession of another .

As it turned out, the Fourth Circle had been infected with an intellect-destroying virus. There was essentially nothing left of it. They only maintained the illusion of power through mesmerizing television broadcasts set on repeat.

As Valérian and Laureline exposed this power vacuum, a three-way war for power erupted between :

  1. Colonel Tlocq and his corrupt police.
  2. Proletarian rebel Na-Zultra and her mercenaries.
  3. The rough-and-tumble brotherhood of drivers and truckers.

Having earned their pay, Laureline and Valérian (and the Shingouz) dodged the war. They left in their thoroughly repaired starship.

Hostages of the Ultralum

Having made a small fortune on Rubanis, the couple took an extensive round of luxury vacations. As they were getting bored of it, they ran into the Grand Calif of Iksaladam. His heir was promptly kidnapped by criminals armed with a Schniarfer. As per tradition, they kidnapped Laureline as well.

Valérian captured the Schniarfer then tracked Laureline down. While the pair was struggling to get reunited and out of this mess, a ransom was demanded. The kidnappers were the Calif’s workers, toiling in the ghastly ultraluminal fuel extraction fields. These wanted various rights and income guarantees.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) the Califette of Iksalam

The Califette of Iksalam.

The Calif outmanoeuvred most parties in this case. Thus, he recovered his son – crippling the workers’ rebellion. However, Valérian then got the drop on everyone, being armed with the Schniarfer. He and Laureline fled, along with :

  • The union leaders (who snatched a fortune in cash to fund their struggle).
  • The Schniarfer…
  • …and the Calif’s son, who refused to leave Laureline.

Orphan of the stars

Valérian and Laureline were now stuck with the insufferable Califette. Thus, they were stalked by elite mercenaries sent after the kid – such as the Quatuor Mortis.

The Quatuor unexpectedly cornered them, but Laureline and Valérian fled pell-mell with the kid. They ended up in a luxurious asteroid belt, an equivalent of Hollywood or Beverly Hills at their height.

As they were cut off from their ship, the couple tried to hand the Califette over to some sort of discreet, safe school. On the way, Laureline raised additional money (the grumpy transmuter was out of juice) by becoming a superkinomax actress for roughly two minutes.

The sum was used to place the Califette with an alien, high-security private school modelled after traditional British boarding schools.

In uncertain times

Valérian kept being nostalgic of Galaxity. He often lost himself in what little data remained about it aboard his ship. This concerned Laureline.

Meanwhile, the “gods” of Hypsis were doing a piss-poor job at controlling Humans. Even with the help of various Western secret services, Earth made unexpected secret discoveries. These would eventually make Humanity as troublesome as Galaxity had been.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) in a fake French past

Valérian infiltrating one of the Fake Earths.

By 2001, the “holy trinity” clumsily tried to stop Vivaxis, a Paris-headquartered global corporation. Their researchers had been stumbling upon a way to make Humans immortal.

Meanwhile, one of the fallen “gods” of Hypsis, LCF Sat, attempted to snatch Earth away from the control of the fumbling “holy trinity”. He discreetly came to Earth to take over Vivaxis, using a fortune in alien diamonds.

Thankfully, both the Shingouz and Monsieur Albert realised that somebody was monkeying with 2000s Earth. Laureline and Valérian were soon back to investigate Vivaxis. The secret was super-clones, infused with power from the three alien heroes once encountered on Simlane during the festival of the equinox.

The Trinity confronted the Devil-like LCF Sat during a Vivaxis shareholders conference. However, the ex-S.T.S. agents and their allies intervened to broker a peaceful deal instead. The two Hypsis factions took shared control of Vivaxis and put an end to the super-clones experiment.

As a compensation for helping broker a viable deal Valérian and Laureline received certain answers from the Hypsis “divinities” about what had happened to Galaxity.

At the edges of the great void, part 1

Based on the insider information from Hypsis, Valérian and his Laureline went undercover. They posed as itinerant peddlers at the edges of the galaxy, near the great void. The great void could be explored with the right technology, but doing so was extremely dangerous.

(The nature of the “great void” is unclear. The area has swathes of antimatter, a large density of black holes, and is described as an area where new worlds chaotically come into existence. Perhaps it’s an area around a white hole.)

Laureline and her Valérian bought an old anti-grav long truck, a turned it into an improbable carnie-style itinerant shop. True to type, Valérian sold weapons and Laureline sold jewels and clothing.

At the edges of the great void, part 2

As they thus did legwork, Laureline hired a Human named Ky-Gaï as a helper. Originally from the impoverished moon of Phnom-Nam, Ky-Gaï was a near-slave garment worker in a free trade zone. But she was also particularly sharp and knowledgeable about the remote zones of the galaxy.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) with their space truck and Ky-Gai

With Ky-Gaï (blue shirt) and a Schniarfer (reading).

(We *assume* that Phnom-Namh used to be a Galaxity colony, which fell into poverty and was conquered after Galaxity disappeared. The Phnom-Namese likely forgot about their origins within a few generations, especially with the poverty and lack of education.)

With her help, the couple worked faint leads to Abyss Harbour, a free starport.

After various adventures, Valérian and Laureline joined not-entirely-legal explorer Captain Singh’a Roog’a in a daring expedition into the great void. Laureline and Valérian were now confident that Earth was there. And the Captain and her elite crew were highly prepared to brave the dangers of the great void.

However, Valérian had learned of a faction from the great void called the Wolochs. These apparently had ties with the new order on Rubanis… and wanted to prevent the two Terrans from finding previous-timeline-Earth.

The order of the stones, part 1

Along with Captain Singh’a Roog’a and her riches-seeking crew, Laureline and Valérian explored the great void. However, the lot was stopped cold by the Wolochs.

The Wolochs were enormous, flying, black monoliths. They were nearly invulnerable, and could crush almost anything through sheer mass, speed and hardness. They weren’t quite sapient , and didn’t even have a conventional consciousness. The Wolochs simply hated anything that wasn’t like them, and wanted it gone.

With the help of a priest who could communicate with them, the Woloch were ready to leave the great void and take apart the universe. The ruling triumvirate in Rubanis had allied with them. The triad’s foolish hope was that they would be left to rule the galaxy’s ruins.

Captain Roog’a’s party took casualties during the brief Woloch attack. It was left marooned on a planetoid. Thankfully, Laureline could message the mothership using a . Thus, the rest of the Captain’s crew rescued the stranded shore party. Refusing to be intimidated, Roog’a forged on to uncover the riches of the great void.

The order of the stones, part 2

Meanwhile, young Ky-Gaï (and her Schniarfer) had an intuition about how to help Valérian and Laureline find Earth. She was familiar with the Limboz peddlers – a pathetic, broken, foul-smelling species of dirt-poor vagrants.

During her previous legwork for Laureline and Valérian, Ky-Gaï had realised that there was more to them than people thought. She also confirmed that the Limboz originally came from the great void.

Laureline and Valerian (plot/story article) ambassador of the shadows

Ky-Gaï practiced speaking the No-Tongue of the Limboz, and asked them to tell her their stories. She learned that the Limboz had once been a mighty, sophisticated tribe roaming the great void. They had found and sought to use a reality-restructuring artefact, the Time-Opener. However, the Limboz civilisation wasn’t strong enough, and failed. Not long after that, they were broken and almost exterminated by the Wolochs.

The Limboz vagrants then simply gave her the Time-Opener, with some instructions. They had kept the cosmically-powerful device all along. The Limboz had sensed that the Wolochs were coming, and that Ky-Gaï’s friends would be the space monoliths’ worse enemies.

The order of the stones, part 3

Meanwhile, Captain Roog’a and her men found in the great void a planet teeming with riches. But her Human allies warned her that she was probably being manipulated by the Rubanis triumvirate. They were right – once the planet had been found, Rubanis spies warned the Wolochs.

Though Singh’a Roog’a’s cruiser was heavily armed and armoured, it was nothing compared to the Wolochs. The ship was torn apart. Laureline and Valérian only escaped thanks to Valérian’s piloting.

Then, Ky-Gaï and some Limboz tribals used a small portion of the Time-Opener’s power to teleport in to Laureline and Valérian’s rescue. Laureline attempted to use the Time-Opener. She was strong enough to do so without backlash, but being just by herself she only could achieve limited results.

Still, she confirmed that Galaxity’s Earth was indeed trapped in a black hole in the great void. It hadn’t been erased from space-time. And with a group of strong and united people backing her, she would be able to use the Time-Opener to greater effect.


Interlude – the Time-Opener

The Time-Opener seems to be the equivalent of Marvel’s Cosmic Cubes. They can be used by those of great willpower to perform large-scale reality restructuring.

In the low-powered Valerian setting, this requires a tightly-united group of strong people. Some of these must have heroic willpower. Perhaps it could also be used by a single person with will on a super-heroic scale, such as the Red Skull.

The Limboz civilisation thus couldn’t conclusively use it, but Laureline by herself could make minor use of it.

If an attempt to use the Time-Opener completely fails, there can apparently be some cosmic backlash. There is a vague implication that the Wolochs may have been created by the Limboz’s failure.

It’s the Time-Opener. It opens time.

It is stated that only one civilisation ever successfully used the Time-Opener prior to Laureline… and that it’s Earth. Nothing else is specified about that.

However, one strongly suspects that Earth used the Time-Opener in 2314 to gain mastery of space-time teleportation. In fact, it may be why it’s called the Time-Opener, as it opened time travel to Humans.

The discovery of full-scale time travel seems to have been sudden. After all, an enormous generation ship project (the future Enlighteneds) apparently launched but a few years before the 2314 discovery of time travel. This suggests that the 2314 invention was unexpected.

There’s also an implication that Hypsis cannot act directly against the 2314 discovery. This would make sense if it was brought about by the cosmically powerful Time Opener. If it had been a more organic process, Hypsis could have tampered with it like they did in 1986.


History, part 3

The Time-Opener

By that point, the Wolochs had enough strength to start rampaging throughout the galaxy. They smashed anything that stood in their way. But Laureline and Ky-Gaï now had a good sense of how to use the Time-Opener.

With Valérian, they rounded up all the allies they had made throughout their career – those who had faith in the ability to save the day. Complex logistics were set up so they could assemble seemingly out of nowhere.

The core group would use the Time-Opener, and the rest would hold the perimeter. Both were injected with an extensive cocktail of protective nanotech assets. But the core team was unarmed, as an affirmation of strength before using the Time-Opener.

Meanwhile a few more parties (such as LCF Sat) allied with the Wolochs. They thought they could profit from the spreading chaos and carnage. They didn’t realise how little the Wolochs cared for anything.

As to Hypsis, they retreated and waited for the right time to act – though there probably wouldn’t be one.

Point Central was badly damaged and thrown into disarray by a Woloch raid.

Promised you a miracle

As the ceremony took place, the perimeter security team held in the face of fast response by Woloch agents.

Meanwhile, a trio of agents (Jal, Kistna and “Ralph”) forced the hidden Hypsis “gods” to have their planet make a new jump. Though the “gods” didn’t realise it it would send Hypsis to take Earth’s place. This would lower the energy expenditure necessary to take Earth out of its black hole.

Thus, it was possible to kill two birds with one stone. The Time-Opener undid the Wolochs while returning the Galaxity Earth to the Sol system.

One suspects that returning Earth was done to bolster Laureline and Valérian’s resolve, to undo the Wolochs.

Galaxity

When Laureline and Valérian returned to Galaxity and the STS, they realised how poorly they now fitted in. They had long since outgrown the routine, the orders and the crushing banality of the Terran Empire. Worse, the Superintendent ordered them to split up to handle two distinct missions.

As the couple hesitated, they were contacted by Xombul, their earliest foe. His death had been undone as a subconscious side effect of the Time-Opener. Presumably, this was a result of Valérian’s lingering guilt over Xombul’s death.

Xombul had renounced his dreams of conquest, but he had repaired an old mini-time-shuttle. Grateful toward Valérian and Laureline, he offered them to escape from Galaxity with the shuttle. However, he couldn’t guarantee a lack of side effects. Laureline and Valérian took the deal, and she set the shuttle for Monsieur Albert’s STS relay in 2009.

‘Cause all that remains before it’s begun

The trip went catastrophically wrong. It wasn’t the first time Valérian and Laureline were transformed by a time jump with poor equipment. But that one was irrecoverable. They were physically and mentally reverted to an age of about 6, and the vast majority of their memories was wiped out.

The dingy little shuttle was burned out and smashed to smithereens, but the Paris firefighters got the two kids out and in one piece.

Monsieur Albert talked his government contacts into becoming the kids’ legal guardian. They agreed to his proposed first names of Valérian and Laureline. The two kids demonstrated amazing intelligence and energy, as well as a startling gift for languages and science. Having a trusted scholar raise them thus seemed reasonable for the French government.

Laureline and Valérian thus began their second childhood at monsieur ALbert’s place, in the suburbs of 2010s Paris.

Cultural context note

Since the end may seem odd from the outside, a post-scriptum.

“Valérian” is a made-up first name (though derived from an obscure sci-fi novel by Nathalie & Charles Henneberg ). The first name “Laureline” already existed, but was exceedingly rare.

However, by 1970-ish, the Valerian graphic novels had become so popular that a non-trivial number of Valérians and Laurelines were born. Though the peak has passed, these have long since become known and accepted, if uncommon, first names.

Thus the last few pages are a simple metaphor. The two aged authors bring the series to a close after 40+ years, while they’re still alive. But the legacy of Valerian will always live through kids named after the series, a rare achievement for what started has light, short sci-fi comic books.


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By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Valerian graphic novels and the expanded Les habitants du ciel sourcebook. I’m using the Cinebook translations when they exist, and my own when there’s no English language material.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 26th of May, 2017.

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