117 - Die gestohlene Raumflotte
The Stolen Spacefleet
Clark Darlton

Three weeks after Perry Rhodan has been freed from the Antis, he lounges with Pucky and Bell on Goshun Lake. Atlan calls them and reminds them that he delivered one thousand vessels to the Akonides, information since forgotten by the Terrans.

On November 10, 2103, Rhodan and Atlan meet on an isolated planet and Rhodan presents a plan to take back the spaceships from Akon without causing political complications. It is necessary to put back in place the microconnections that will permit the Robot Regent to take the ships under its control once again.

The two Earthmen stationed on the Terran base on Drorah are put in charge of procuring information for operation “Recovery”. Stanislas Jakoboswki leaves to spy on the equipped cruisers at the nearby Akonide spaceport. Invisible, he is detected all the same but is able to escape.

The battlecruiser ODIN brings Rhodan, the mutants and a few specialists to the Blue System. The screen surrounding the entire system has disappeared, but Drorah is now surrounded by such a screen, making it impossible for vessels with linear propulsion to penetrate it without crashing into the surface of the planet. Perry Rhodan is immediately invited to an official reception, where he finds again the beautiful Auris of Las-Toôr.

The following night, Pucky and Wuriu Sengu leave on a reconnaissance mission to a location close to the one thousand cruisers. The next day, Auris and two Akonides come to discuss the Earth-Akon treaty with Rhodan, who is attracted to the beautiful Akonide. Micro-connectors necessary for retaking control of the cruisers arrive at the Terran base, brought there by the smuggler, Captain Samuel Greybound.

Teleporters and specialists, Doctors Ranault and Sorowski, then undertake to install the micro-connectors in the ships one by one. After three nights where everything unfolds as planned, Pucky is obliged to intervene to come to the help of Doctor Ranault. He is forced to neutralize two guards. Suspicions immediately focus on the Terrans. The blue screen protecting the planet - shut off since the arrival of Rhodan - is re-established. When Auris comes to ask for explanations, Rhodan pretends he knows nothing about the incident. After threatening to have the Terran fleet intervene and after simulating an enlivened discussion with Atlan, Akon's Ruling Council informs Rhodan that the Terrans are free to leave. Seven cargo ships and the ODIN land on Sphinx and Rhodan and his team leave the planet.

The impulse is then sent out by the Robot Regent and the cruisers take off. They appear to plunge into a blue sun that changes into a nova. However, this is only subterfuge on the part of Atlan and Rhodan. In fact, the fleet lands on a distant planet of the Arkonide Imperium and is eventually recovered by the Arkonides and Terrans. The Akonides suspect Rhodan but they have no proof. Besides, for what reasons would he have destroyed one thousand ships? They try to get another thousand ships from Atlan but he refuses. The Terrans find an involuntary ally in an Akonide technician who happened to be aboard one of the cruisers as it flew away and was recovered by the Arkonides before their "faked" destruction. Given a hypnobloc, the technician is sent back to the Blue System and confirms to the Akonide government that a technical mistake was the cause for the fleet's disappearance.

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-01-28

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