1418 - Die Höhle des Giganten
The Caves of the Giants
Kurt Mahr

The Eternity Spaceship crosses the event horizon and arrives in a miniature cosmos maintained by a space station in its center. The Haluta breaks away from the ship and Rhodan and Pucky teleport on the station, where they understand that the so-called gods once used this station to make genetic manipulations on the Bekassus. The find five energetic tubes which they identify with the Columns of the Past. The master of the station, a Cantaro called Rongn'ataan, captures him and as Pucky tries to free Rhodan, the Cantaro commits suicide.

A Nakk called Lakardon makes contact with the Terrans and tells them he used to be Rongn'ataan's slave. He tells Rhodan that he can open the access to the columns and that he will open the access every six hours so the Terrans can come back.

In the area beyond the Columns, Pucky discovers ruins and the broken fragments of the Time Tables of Amringhar, which talk about a curse announced by It on this region of space. They find Icho Tolot in a crystallized form, and when the Halutian regains consciousness, he tells them what he remembers: before he fell victim to the Cosmic Catastrophe seven hundred years ago, Ernst Ellert visited the Time Tables after assigning an important mission to his companion, Testare.

The Tables were then destroyed by the Catastrophe and Tolot started hearing rumors about Rhodan's death. He also says that Lakardon is a traitor and when the access back into the normal world doesn't open after six hours, as promised, Rhodan realizes that they've been lied to.

Contacted by the Terrans, Lakardon says that his name is actually Tawala and that the network of the Black Star Path is spreading every day and will soon know no limits. Rhodan opens fire on the Columns, which explode, causing the space-time bubble to collapse. The Haluta's only escape is through the singularity of the black hole, and on the way, Tolot starts remembering...

Cedric Beust 2006-06-09

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