1300 - Die Gänger des Netzes
The Travelers of the Net
Kurt Mahr

On January 430, the Viroship Migratory Bird reaches the unknown goal that was entered into its syntronic computer. The location is inside the twin galaxy Absantha-Gom / Absantha-Shad, where the crew detects a space station. Invited inside, the Terrans meet with the projection of a Cappin called Testare that Rhodan soon identifies as the Cappin that Alaska Saedelaere merged with during his fateful transporter incident.

Testare belonges to an organization called the Network Riders, also known as the Travelers of the Net, which was created by the Querions, Kytoma's people. Testare can appear in all five thousand stations included in the Psionic Network. Testare directs the Terran toware Parakku, a stellar cluster inside a Quiet Zone, making it impossible to reach with the Enerpsi drive. On Sabhal, a planet of the white star Moorga, the Terrans find the headquarters of the Travelers of the Net.

The Vironauts learn that the Network Riders had been actively developing the Psionic Network for fifty thousand years, when a sudden modification of the univeral psi constant happened in the zone controlled by the cosmonucleotide Dorifer. The region of space impacted is fifty million light years wide and includes the Spheres of Influence of both Estartu and IT.

The alteration created a breach in the Psionic Network and split it into two different communication lines: the Preferred Lines, which the Network Riders use to travel, and the Normal Lines, which are endangered by the Enerpsi engines. The Querions then decided to create the Travelers of the Net to watch over Dorifer outside of the influence of the Cosmocrats.

The access to Dorifer itself is located 320,000 light years away from Parakku in the intergalactic void and is threatened constantly by the cult of the Eternal Warriors, who are busy trying to increase the psi constant with Quiet Zones generated by Cosmic Wonders. The Network Riders use the 50,000 stations located along the Preferred Lines to move around and defend the netrowk.

Alaska explains that he can't strip Rhodan and Atlan from the Cosmocrat aura, a feat that can only be achieved in the Kesdschan cathedral in Norgan Tur, which is ouside of the Network. A few months later, Rhodan, Atlan, Salik, Lloyd, Pucky and Tschubai receive the Psionic Imprint, which makes them Network Riders as well. Only Abel Waringer refuses to become part of the organization because he is skeptical of a mode of travelling that relies on the modification of a universal constant. Rhodan and Gesil are finally back together, along with their new born daughter, called Eirene.

Icho Tolot decides to head for M87 in an attempt to determine if his home galaxy has been reached by the cult of the Eternal Warriors but he fails, unable to enter the galaxy. Atlan tries to explain their latest findings to the Elfahdian Volcayr and how they are being exploited and lied to, but he is not heard.

The Terrans try to install a Network Rider station on the World of a Hundred Suns but fail when the Sotho Tyg Ian invades the Posbi homeworld and creates an Upanishad school there. The Sotho still face resistance within the Milky Way and the Blues and the Galacticum are still opposed to his teachings.

On June 30th, 432, Tyg Ian completes his plan and creates a Cosmic Beacon spanning over 8,000 light years outside the Milky Way. The beacon is called Gordian Knot and it is powered by a black hole and protected by thousands of space forts. Tyg Ian declares it to be the Thirteenth Wonder of Estartu and is controlled by five Nakks who are loyal servants of Tyg Ian.

The Gordian Knot, also called Stygian Network, connects the Milky Way to the Psionic Network and therefore prevents the Network Riders from collaborating with the galactic resistance.

In 435, Carfesch contacts the Terrans and tries to convince them to give up the Third Way one more time. He claims that by not serving the Cosmocrats, the Terrans are helping the Chaotarks, an argument that none of the Terrans buy. Carfesch offers to name them official guardians of Dorifer but Rhodan refuses, infuriating the Cosmocrat further.

For Eirene's tenth birthday, Rhodan brings her on the fourth planet of the sun Heyssar through the Psionic Network. Carfesch appears before them and calls Eirene with her Cosmocrat name, Idinyphe. He tells her that in time, she will recognize her destiny as a Cosmocrat. He also tells her that her mother has secretly set aside a cell activator for her.

When she reaches the age of sixteen, Eirene officially becomes a Traveler of the Net and is exposed to all the knowledge she already had glimpses of about the Moral Code, the Cosmonucleotides, and the role of the Cosmocrats and the Chaotarks in the evolution of the universe.

For her first trip through the Psionic Network, Eirene visits a planet populated by degenerated Somians in Siom-Som. One of the inhabitants tries to drug her, but thanks to a mental contact with Carfesch, she manages to escape safely through the Network.

Atlan announces that abnormal activity is happening within Dorifer, which is detected by a spike in the amount of Psiqs, the psi particles, that Dorifer emits. An asteroid materializes outside Dorifer and starts disrupting the Psionic Network. Eirene, who was traveling at that moment, is hurled back to the planet she was visiting and captured by the creature that tried to drug her earlier, called Fiload.

Perry Rhodan leaves Sabhal and goes looking for her.


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