145 - Armee der Gespenster
Phantom Horde
Clark Darlton

In April 2114, Perry Rhodan is on Pluto where he waits for the THEODORIC that has just undergone a refitting. On the suggestion of Van Moders, he decides to go ask for help from the Barkonides. He travels to Wanderer on board of his flagship. The immortal refuses to bring him to the vagabond planet as he has already done in the past, but he does provide Rhodan the coordinates for Barkon, far out in the intergalactic void.

Lasting eleven days, the THEODORIC crosses the abyss to the provided coordinates. There, no trace of Barkon is found but a planetoid of 850 kilometers of diameter is discovered. The analyses proves that it is hollow. A team leaves to explore the planetoid. Little by little, the crew begins to complain about headaches. Soon, strange apparitions are observed, reminding the Terrans of transparent specters. It is quickly determined that these creatures, given the name Luxides, eat energy. As a result, the THEODORIC is unable to take off.

A commando team teleports itself inside the planetoid and discovers mechanical facilities. To their big surprise, they find dead Laurins. The truth comes to light: the Luxides are from Andromeda and that sometime in the past the Laurins had shut them within such planetoids that they then sent against the Milky Way.

The Terrans finally find the means to get rid of these energy vampires. The ship’s tractor rays attract the Luxides and the Kalup converters project them into hyperspace.

The THEODORIC returns to Wanderer. IT reveals that it had voluntarily sent the Terrans to face the Luxides that represented a danger, not only for itself, but for the rest of the galaxy as well.

Michael Mahoney 2011-08-26

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