1356 - Die Botschaft der Letzten Tage
The Message from the Last Six Days
Kurt Mahr

On his way back to Sabhal, Atlan stops on the planet Tonku to study the effets of the collaps of the Psionic Network in this region of space. Chaos reigns on Tonku and when he is identified as a Network Rider, he is arrested by five fanatics who still believe in the cult of the Eternal Warrior. Atlan is rescued at the last minute by a mysterious humanoid shape.

On February 17th, 447, Atlan reaches Sabhal and catches up with his friends. Abel Waringer has been working on a Vectoral Grigoroff Projector, which should make it possible to travel to Tarkan, the dying universe, in search of Perry Rhodan. Atlan decides to fly into Dorifer despite all the warnings in order to start the search himself.

Initially rejected by the Cosmonucleotide, Atlan finds a way to force his entry and his spaceship is then sucked into a psionic maelstrom. He lands on a desertic planet, near six pyramids. When he comes out of his spaceship, the pyramids turn into menacing giants identifying themselves as the Last Six Days. They tell Atlan that he will soon become their servants.

The mysterious shape appears again and the entire scene disappears. Atlan returns to Sabhal where three weeks have gone by since he left. He learns that Gesil left and that the Queions have summoned a special meeting of all the Network Riders. When the day of the meeting comes, the Arkonide notices that only eighty Network Riders out of four hundred and eighty are present.

The Querion Wybort starts to talk to the Network Riders and explains that a long time ago, Dorifer felt a threat coming and decided to increase th Psi Constant in this region of the universe. This change created the Psionic Network and the Querions decided to dedicate themselves to the protection of the Cosmonucleotide. When they realize that other races than themselves could use the Network, they enrolled additional people to help them: the Network Riders currently assembled.

When the Hangay galaxy materialized inside the universe, Dorifer mysteriously decided to return the Psi Constant to its original value even though the threat is apparently not gone. As a consequence of this decisoin, the Psionic Network is now collapsing and the organization of the Network Riders must therefore be dissolved as well.

Wybort says that the Querions are now withdrawing and that the Network Riders are free to do what they please. Atlan requires everyone to offer their help in tring to fix the chaos and misery that the collapse of the Psionic Network is causing throughout the Twelve Galaxies. They all agree, but Atlan's only goal is to return to the Milky Way despite the ban from the Cosmocrats and participate in the efforts to find Rhodan.

Later, Atlan, Demeter and Jennifer Thyron try to puzzle out the meaning of the "Last Six Days" and they remember of a song that was recorded on Zataras that contained this concept, along with that of the Hexameron. Atlan becomes convinced that the Day Zero is the paterialization of Hangay in their universe.

When Atlan enters Gesil's house, he finds a message destined for him only. The young woman tells him she was convinced by an unknown visitor to leave. The unknown visitor turns out to be the mysterious shape who saved Atlan earlier and he identifies himself as a messenger from the Cosmocrats.

He tells Atlan that the danger of the Last Six Days should not be underestimated and that the Hordes of the Six Days are already on their way to attack them. They come from Hangay and if Atlan accepts to organize the resistance against them, the Cosmocrats will lift their ban and he will be able to return to the Milky Way. Furious, Atlan renews his vow to never serve the Cosmocrats again and declines the offer.

A few days later, Atlan receives a call from Pucky, Fellmer Lloyd, Eirene and Ras Tschubai on Hubei. Pucky tells him that Bao at Tarkan, the commander of the Narga Puur, needs help. Atlan decides to head to Hubei, hoping to obtain additioal information on the Six Days from Bao at Tarkan.

Cedric Beust 2005-06-30

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