125 - Retter des Imperiums
Savior Of The Empire
K.H. Scheer

Three months after his dismissal by the Regent and his replacement by Carba, Atlan returns to the Arkon System aboard the IRONDUKE: having hidden a transmitter inside of the gigantic Brain, he gets ready to use it in order to deposit a bomb that will destroy the Regent. At the last moment, he escapes certain death: the Akonides have discovered the transmitter and short-circuited it! But the dilemmas for the Terrans remain and are numerous. The Akonides have modified the Regent's programming and the Brain is now about to launch a major offensive against the Solar System. As a result, Perry Rhodan even considers dropping an Arkon Bomb on the Regent's planet, Arkon 3!

On Earth the most important men of the Solar Imperium meet in the office of Mercant. They include Atlan, Rhodan, Bell, Quinto, and Freyt. A new, daring plan has been formulated by Mercant and Quinto. On February 12, 6,023 years ago (therefore shortly before the final completion of the Regent's honeycomb defensive screen), the arkonide cruiser SOTALA sent an urgent message to the Imperator Tutmor IV and was then destroyed shortly afterwards. The Terrans of the Galactic Defense have constructed an identical copy of this ship. Utilizing the Akonide “time phaser” (one of these machines was used by the Akonides in the episode titled "the Phantom Fleet") they consider returning to the past in order to travel to Arkon 3 and deposit a bomb in the Regent's heart before its advanced defensive screen is activated. The bomb will be set so that it will explode 6,023 years later! Reginald Bell is charged with occupying the large squadrons of robot ships which will become inactive once the robot Regent is destroyed.

Rhodan goes on an official visit to Sphinx, the home planet of the Akonides. In reality, however, commandos helped by the mutants work in the background; their goal being to seize the last existing time phaser and the four Akonide scientists capable of using it. In order to steal the machine, they break into the museum where it is lodged bringing along with them the 4 hypnotized Akonides, travel backwards in time around 4000 years, move the machine a few kilometers to the exact place where the IRONDUKE will be positioned in the future and return to the present time. It only remains to load the machine aboard the IRONDUKE! They also succeed in destroying the museum thereby camouflaging the theft of the machine.

Auris of Las Toôr suspects what has truly happened and embarks without the knowledge of her people aboard the IRONDUKE in order to ask for the release of one of the scientists who happens to be her uncle. Actually she lets Marshall know her true feelings (particularly in regards to Perry Rhodan) and warns the Terrans that a fleet of robotships is enroute to intercept them. Rhodan executes an emergency takeoff with the IRONDUKE and rejoins the SOTALA: the real mission can now begin.

10 February 2106 minus 6,023 years: Rhodan, Atlan, Marshall, Kalup, Quinto as well as a large part of the Mutant Corps find themselves disguised as Arkonide crew members aboard the SOTALA listening to messages exchanged by fleet squadrons of Tutmor IV 6,023 years ago; their ship is now well "in the past". In two days the true SOTALA is going to send its message before being destroyed three hours later. Once this has indeed happened two days later on the 12th February, the Terrans take up the role of the SOTALA and land on Arkon 3 very close to the Regent whose construction is almost completed: the first part of the mission is a success. They still have two days to place the bomb.

The mutants go on a reconnaissance mission but are unable to "hypnotize" the Arkonide’s great scientist and designer of the robot Regent, Epetran, and unfortunately this one in turn seems to have detected their presence in spite of their camouflage. Shortly afterwards a strange vehicle comes "to snoop" around the SOTALA before leaving. Finally Epetran, interested by the technical information sent to him by Atlan regarding propulsion units and more efficient transitions, invites Atlan and his officers to a meeting; Rhodan, Atlan and Marshall answer his invitation and are impressed by the Great Scientist. Upon their return the three men have the feeling of having been unmasked. Marshall explains to them that in fact during the meeting with Epetran they were hypnotized and their knowledge "uploaded". They realize that in a very short period of time Epetran will possess all knowledge of their plans and even of the history of humanity.

Atlan and Rhodan jump with Pucky and Ras Tschubai inside of the Regent to deposit their bomb, but it seems to them a little bit too easy. Once they plant the bomb they feel an atrocious pain lasting a few minutes: the temporal field ceases and they find themselves once again in the Gigantic Brain on February 15, 2106 with a bomb that is scheduled to explode in 17 minutes!

A fight commences between the four men, the Akonides and the Antis. Numerous explosions sound in the Regent's innards. A telepathic message is captured by Pucky: a small automatic vehicle comes to look for the four men and to transport them safely outside. Epetran, after having studied their memories, conceived a program that actuated the self-destruction of the Regent upon the arrival of the four men in the present time.

Once outside Rhodan attends to the destruction of the Akonide and Anti vessels present on Arkon 3 by the Terran squadrons and the landing of troops. Unfortunately, the SOTALA is badly damaged in the fighting and the last “time phaser” is destroyed. Even more tragic is the death of Auris of Las Toor.

In addition, the Terrans immediately seize 20,000 robot ships and take control of the principal administrative centers of the empire. The destiny of the two peoples - Arkonides and Terrans - is even more linked than ever...

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-10-24

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