1007 - Die Kosmische Hanse
The Cosmic Hanse
William Voltz

424 years have gone by since Perry Rhodan returned from his quest for the Cosmic Fortresses. The year is 424 of the New Galactic Calendar and the Cosmic Hanse is a powerful entity spread over the Milky Way and various neighboring galaxies. Its hidden agenda, the fight against Seth Apophis, is only known of a few selected people, among which thirty-four agents who meet regularly. The six former Spore Ships of the Mighty Ones have been renamed and are scattered in various strategic positions where they act as trade places. Perry Rhodan uses Laire's Eye to travel between the various points.

Agents that serve Seth Apophis are hard to track because they are not aware of their role until activated and Rhodan's organization faces numerous challenges while trying to track them. On Mardi Gras, one of the main bases of the Cosmic Hanse, the computer systems collapse and Rhodan suspects another attack from Seth Apophis.

One of the stations of the Hanse detects a modification in the background noise of the universe, which is no longer 3 absolute degrees. The phenomenon seems to be limited to a region of space where an unknown spaceship is discovered. Rhodan heads there with a small fleet but soon discovers that a psycho-field protects the mysterious object. Everyone getting near the object feels the urge to turn around. The scientists determine that someone with a low morality should be able to penetrate the field.

Not long ago, Carfesch, who poses as a peaceful merchant, was robbed. The culprit was soon arrested and examined since such criminal behavior is now very rare in the civilizations. The robber's name is Robert Aerts. Rhodan asks him to penetrate inside the object.

Inside, Aerts find an unconscious body. The mysterious being is brought back on a Terran spaceship and wakes up. His name is Quiupu and he has lost most of his memory. He remembers that he was asked to reconstruct the Viral Empire, a task that is somehow connected to the Cosmocrats. Quiupu also remembers the name Vishna and he asks to be given research facilities in order to resume his work on germs.

Rhodan decides to investigate the recent events on Mardi Gras and he asks Aerts to accompany him, although he doesn't understand why he made this request. The doctors who examined Aerts concluded that he is not fundamentally evil but that something recently altered his behavior.

The two men leave for Mardi Gras.

Cedric Beust 2003-11-11

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