1440 - Deckname Romulus
Code name: Romulus
Ernst Vlcek

Aries has been studying computer viruses created by the Viral Wall for several years, including the Paramag-Alpha virus. One of their scientists, the Arra Ephemer, has determined that the VIral Wall is partially powered by the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

In the Eugaul system, the Elysian observe the appearance of a space fort called Orion-738. They pretend to get captured by a tractor beam and Aribo becomes the prisoner of the leader of the space fort, a Nakk called Awarin. Iratio and Mory board the station secretly and capture Awarin. They contact the Aries headquarters and the chief of the movement, a mysterious individual known as Romulus, decides to come inspect the fort himself.

On Orion-738, squash of Hyguphotes come out of hiding and capture the crew of the Elysian. Galbraith Deighton arrives on the space fort and tells them that the space fort was a lure to capture Romulus. Only Iratio manages to escape back to the Elysian and he takes Awarin in hostage.

When Romulus arrives near the space fort on board the Liberty Queen, his spaceship is shot down and he agrees to meet with Galbraith Deighton under a truce. Romulus is hiding behind a force field that hides his identity but Deighton tells him that he identified him as Geoffrey Abel Waringer. Romulus is not convinced by Deighton's good will but he says he might get convinced that Deighton hasn't become a puppet of the Cantaros if he will show him his cell activator. Before he can do that, two Cantaros spaceships appear and Romulus has to flee with the Liberty Queen.

The Queen Liberty heads for the Viral Wall and manages to cross it thanks to Ephemer's work. They head for the location location where the two ships from outside the Milky Way were rumored to be and Romulus eventually finds the Cimarron and the Bluejay. When he realizes that Rhodan and Bull are back, Romulus reveals himself as being Homer G. Adams.

The former head of the Hanseatic League tells his friends that the Walls were built shortly after their fall into the Perseus black hole. Adams waited for their return for years but he eventually gave up and decided to create a resistance movement which he called Aries. Adams doesn't know much about the forces that he's fighting, but he knows that the Cantaros, the Nakks and Nathan, the moon computer, are forming a triumvirate.

The three ships then head for Arhena, the Aries headquarters.

Cedric Beust 2010-03-11

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