114 - Rufer aus der Ewigkeit
Caller From Eternity
Kurt Brand

Bell learns that as of August 25, 2103, Cardif-Rhodan will withdraw all Terrans that have been placed at the disposition of the Arkonide Imperium. He discusses the situation with Mercant but the two men no longer understand the actions of the Administrator. Such a measure is going to weaken Atlan. By common agreement, members of the headquarters decide to delay the implementation of Cardif-Rhodan's orders. The Solar Defense is given the task of watching the Arkonide bases and even the Mutant Corps is spread out throughout the large empire. A significant part of the fleet moves towards M-13.

Cardif-Rhodan discerns without halt a mental voice telling him that if he doesn't remove the cellular activator, he will soon become too big and too strong. This voice can only come from the immortal but he ignores it. Cardif-Rhodan wants to clear Brazo Alkher and Stan Nolinov, since their accusations could implicate him and blow his cover. A micro-emitter is soon recovered from the corvette D-109, proving the innocence of the two men.

Cardif-Rhodan is called by Atlan but the discussion heats up and the two men get angry. The only solution that remains to Atlan is to conclude an alliance with the Akonides. He sends a proposition to Drorah. The Ruling Council of the Akonides accepts Atlan's proposal but wants in exchange one thousand ultramodern cruisers and the appointment of some Akonides to key posts of the Arkonide Imperium. Atlan agrees to deliver the vessels. When Atlan learns that 28,000 Terran vessels have spread out throughout Star Cluster M-13, he calls Bell who is forced to confess his impotence.

At this point, Cardif-Rhodan meets an emissary of the Antis. Rhabol reproaches him for the death of Kalal. The Antis want the immediate opening of the Springer trading posts.

Fifty days after having received his cellular activator, Cardif-Rhodan receives a mental call from the immortal and feels an atrocious pain. He is immediately treated by neurologists. At this opportunity, one discovers that he carries a cellular activator. It is half embedded in Cardif’s thoracic cage and the neural terminations are in biologic contact with his nerves. When Cardif-Rhodan wakes up from his crisis, he discovers that he has gained weight, and this situation gets worse over the days that follow.

The agent of the Antis who met with Cardif-Rhodan returns to the planet Saos and informs the responsible priests there that Cardif-Rhodan knows the name “Trakarat”. Since it is the main planet of the Antis, the priests get worried. They decide to let Alkher and Nolinov escape while at the same time making them believe that Saos is Trakarat. A “fake” attack by Springers on the planet is affected, but during their flight the two Terrans intercept a communication proving the double-dealing of the Antis. They seize a lifeboat belonging to the Springers and are recovered by the GANGES.

Cardif-Rhodan, who everyone now knows is enduring a cellular explosion, continues to gain weight at an alarming rate. He decides to leave suddenly for Saos with a squadron of Terran ships.

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-01-25

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