i arrived on planet zoltor at approximately the rising of the second moon. immediately my guide materialized and directed me to the two neither-alive-nor-dead persons that i had been notified of shortly before. they continued in their present state, unsurprisingly.
when i foolishly attempted to question them, i was no further along. the usual stream of childhood babble, obvious flattery, visions of god and infinity, etc. all very well, but what i need is a CLUE!
well, what else was in the vicinity? had it remained untouched as i insisted? "oh no, sir," the guide smirked, but i felt it wouldn't have changed much. the remnants of a meal, some overturned furniture (though on this planet hard to tell), a few misleading fragments of paper and the like. i unfolded one to find the net address of Galaxy Central, which of course i already had memorized.
as i studied the abstract representation of a mildly obscure act from an entirely different civilization (found on another fragment), one of the neither alive-nor-deads drifted over, oddly squeaking. was there a connection? alas, it continued on by and bumped into one of the walls. this was not getting me anywhere!
waving the guide out of the room, i sat down on one of the "overturned" chairs and began to ponder. that had always been my strong point. was i reminded of anything? a faint glimmer from years ago awoke, and rapidly went to sleep again. another, bolder, decided to stay around, and i realized that i was back on planet P, not literally of course as i had no teleportation credits available, but the memory was strong and i could well-nigh scent the jasmine breeze. there, too, had been this state of inanition, this puzzling entryway between the worlds. a younger i had not understood, and attempted to revive the victims. peaceful smiles met me as they floated away, and one seemed to produce my destiny ere he went. now, i began to understand "they must be let through", a voice may have cried, but was that my job? i was a mere detective, no releaser of souls. and if i succeeded, would i in fact be guilty of their demise? oh, what was an upright law-abiding man to do? luckily, i wasn't one.
a few mystic passes did nothing, and i was forced back on my resources. "just tell me who did this to you, and i will OPEN THE GATE," i craftily declaimed. the squeaking increased, and a vision of madness luckily passed me by. in truth, i saw it all, but as from the view of a 4-eyed wagnolian, rather hard to decipher. but the essentials were there, and i could ponder them later.
again, the past surrounded me, that old man, that fragrant hilltop...the sun a-rising... i murmured the words as i closed my eyes and waited. a light thump told me i had succeeded.