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The Nightmare Machine

Novels > Original Trilogy Novels > Galaxy of Fear

The Nightmare Machine

Author:
John Whitman

Publisher:
Bantam Spectra

Release date:
June 1, 1997

Series:
Galaxy of Fear (Young Reader Novels)

Star Wars Saga Timeline:
0.6 ABY

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PLOT

Hologram Fun World. It's a theme park visited by families from all across the galaxy. It's a place where Tash and Zak can safely hang out while Hoole continues his work.

It's a place where daytime fun turns into nighttime terror.

One of the park's attractions is called the Nightmare Machine. It scans your brain, then shows you your worst fears in holographic form. Hairy, creepy-crawly insects. Cyborrean battle dogs thirsting for blood.

But it's not real, so it's fun—right?

Wrong.

As Zak and Tash will soon find out, nightmares can come true.

SUMMARY

Out of the six parts of Project Starscream, only three are left. The furious Shi'ido scientist decides he will try number four out on Hoole and those pesky kids.... Hoole, meanwhile, has taken the Aranda's to the Galactic Research Academy of Koann, then vanished without a word. The two decide to dig up info on Hoole in the Academy computers, and find out what connection - if any - he has with the Empire. Before they get anywhere, Hoole returns, intending to take them to Hologram Fun World. He also finally reveals the scientist's name: Borborygmous Gog.

En route, new information from Forceflow reveals that four years of Hoole's life is missing from records. When they land, Hoole leaves the kids to enjoy the amusement park. They run into Lando Calrissian, who is considering buying co-ownership in the park. He asks to tour the park with the kids, to see their reactions to the place. He shows Zak how to play sabacc while bluffing Dengar into a loss.

At the park, they find a new attraction: The Nightmare Machine. Zak sneaks in - and runs into Gog himself. Gog is using the attraction to torment any kids who come in by using some kind of creature. When he alerts Lando and Baron Danna Fajji of the danger, Fajii blows it off - and shows them a holo-based fear-fest. It telepathically reads a person's worst fears, then throws it in their faces in holo-form. However, that is not the only problem. The Hall of Reflection seems to turn Zak into a monster - it's fake too, but then everyone in Hologram Fun World seems to vanish - fake visitors to drum up business. Then a Rancor - a REAL one - tears through the park and eats Lando, and the kids end up in a lake and eaten by a Whaladon - they make their way out only to be attacked by a workshop - Hoole finds them and leads them to Fajii - who is really Gog. Hoole and Gog have been working together the whole time!

One nightmare after another.... the kids figure it out. They are still in the Nightmare Machine. The creature they saw is what is really causing the illusions. Once they know that, they realise that to beat it, they have to face their worst fear - losing each other. Once they have done that, they reawaken to find the creature sucking on their brains. They break loose with Lando's help, only to run into a legion of stormtroopers and a very angry Gog. They are loaded onto a shuttle - where Hoole, disguised as a stormtrooper, knocks out the other Imperials and frees the group. Lando heads off to look at a Tibanna gas mine on Bespin, while Hoole takes the 'Shroud' and the kids away from Hologram Fun World. He still will not answer questions, except to say that Gog is farther along than he thought, and they are in extreme danger...

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