1056 - Die steinerne Charta
The Stone Charter
William Voltz

Rhodan, Danton and Javier enter the vault under the cathedral and discover a gigantic station, formerly run by the Porleyters. Signs of devastation inside makes Rhodan think that Seth Apophis was once here, and that's where the super-intelligence got the weapons he used against the Terrans these past months: the positronic cells and the time points.

A creature called Sarlephan appears and shows Rhodan the way to the charter of Moragan-Pordh. He tells Rhodan that in the past, the Porleyters anchored the Frost Ruby and then disappeared for an unknown reason. On the way to the charter, Rhodan finds a left glove similar to the one that attacked the cosmic bazaar Rostock.

Rhodan finally arrives at the locaion of Moragan-Pordh, which is made of big stones that remind him of Stonehenge. When he stands in the middle of the ring, he receives a mental message telling him the three ultimate questions in the correct order: "What is the Frost Ruby", "Where does the Endless Armada begin and where does it end?" and "Who initiated the Law and what is its purpose?". Rhodan also learns that some Porleyters are still alive and are hiding at a certain location that Rhodan determines to be in the Milky Way.

Rhodan returns in the cathedral where the knighting ceremony begins. Rhodan learns about the history of the Knights of the Abyss, how the Cosmocrats hope to restore a positive balance to the universe. Once, they came close to being able to answer the three Ultimate Questions with the help of the Viral Empire, but they failed and the Empire disappeared for an unknown reason. The efforts to revive it are now accelerating.

The Knight in charge of the ceremony is called Cruiz far Greeden and he tells Rhodan that Atlan is still alive. Rhodan also learns that there is no plan to ever take him beyond the Matter Source and that Seth Apophis did obtain his weapons from the vault under the cathedral. Rhodan realizes that the fictive transmitters and the cell activators also come from the Porleyters.

Rhodan's mind becomes a part of the cathedral and at the same moment, Demeter wakes up on the Base.

Cedric Beust 2003-01-14

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