128 - Mörder aus dem Hyperraum
Killers From Hyperspace
William Voltz

The Galactic Merchants (Springers), guided by the Trox, Vicheline, and the Terrans, guided by Tonrim, another Trox, discover the HAT-LETE, an Arkonide robot cruiser adrift in space. The Terrans defeat the Springers and take control of the ship while the Galactic Merchants are allowed to escape. However, the Springers do leave Vicheline aboard the robot ship.

Right after the FRISCO takes control of the HAT-LETE, a fragment ship - the same type of spacecraft observed by the BOB-21 station - approaches the Terran and Arkonide vessels. The occupants of the fragment ship look to preserve all "mechanical" life and to destroy all organic life. Thus, the fragment ship opens fire on the FRISCO that is immediately reduced to a state of wreckage. On May 29, 2112, the FRISCO sends an SOS to the new Terran flagship, the THEODORIC.

The THEODORIC arrives shortly afterwards and, not realizing that the fragment ship has no organic crewmembers, "irradiates" the fragment ship with the paralyzing radiators but without effect. In return, the fragment ship attacks the THEODORIC which barely escapes destruction. Rhodan decides to send three teleporters in a space destoyer to the fragment ship.

The three teleporters arrive safely aboard the fragment ship, each in a different location, and are immediately pursued by robots that form the crew of the fragment vessel. Ras Tschubai and then Tako Kakuta are taken prisoner but decide to not escape in the hope of eventually meeting the masters of the ship. Pucky attempts a more direct approach by teleporting toward the two prisoners. On the advice of Double-0, one of the robots, the commander of the fragment ship uses some paralyzing radiators on the teleporters. As a result, the three mutants are obliged to flee to the HAT-LETE.

Rhodan, with the THEODORIC, comes back to look for the three teleporters but learns that they are stuck on the HAT-LETE because they are too weak from the aftereffects of the paralyzing radiators to use their teleportation abilities. A small troop of ten men led by Brazo Alkher is sent in support aboard the HAT-LETE with the help of the fictive transmitter.

Alkher's commando team splits up into two group: one of which comes to the aid of Tako Kakuta and the other to Ras Tschubai. Pucky attempts to rejoin one of the two groups. It is at that moment that the propulsion unit of the HAT-LETE in started up by the robots from the fragment ship.

Noting that the HAT-LETE and the fragment ship are getting under way, the THEODORIC takes the fragment ship under fire, without result. Fortunately, twenty-two heavy cruisers called in as reinforcements by Rhodan arrive just in time and engage the fragment ship which is forced to flee alone while abandoning the HAT-LETE to the Terrans. All robots from the fragment ship that have been left behind on the HAT-LETE "commit suicide" while at the same time the telepaths hear a non-human laughter.

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-11-15

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