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155 - Die Sklaven von Nowhere
The Slaves From Nowhere
Kurt Mahr


Three former officers of the Solar Fleet, Bran Cathay, Marr Toss and Bakter Brown buy a ship, the New Brisbane, to launch a search for a cell activator in 2326. The characteristic signal brings them to the planet Nullepart which is supposed to be desolate but which, in fact, shelters a population of individuals in bad health. There, they are immediately stopped by a police woman, Garika, and are brought before the leader of the Supreme Courthouse named Lemmy Pert who condemns them to slavery. The New Brisbane is destroyed by security but Brown is killed while trying to run away. Cathay and Toss are taken in charge by Garika.

Brought to the house of Garika, the Terrans run away and take Garika and her companion, Hayda, as hostages. They learn as well that the Aras deport to Nullepart all sick that they could not heal, thereby protecting their reputation. Garika has been charged by the Aras to supervise all strangers. The two women come over to the side of the Terrans and all four undertake to flee in the direction of the mountains where the Ara base must be. They are hunted immediately but the pursuit is interrupted very quickly.

They face the dangers of the jungle and fall into a trap intended for fur snakes, a very dangerous indigenous species. An Ara in a glider soon appears to seize the animals but the four fugitives seize him instead. Thanks to the system of automatic piloting, they reach the base, hidden in the heart of the mountains. After wandering through the underground facilities, they are stopped. Their interlocutors are Lemmy Pert, one of his men, Kappak - in fact the contact of the Aras - and a Galactic Physician, Gerpo-Kha.

The plan of the Aras becomes obvious: they constructed around a hundred fake cell activators to sow confusion while they look for the real cell activators. They use a secretion of the fur snake to create an effect believed to be energy renewal. Marr Toss runs away and succeeds in sending an SOS from a hypercom. In part, thanks to the help of an Ara, he manages to hold off, with the threat of his weapon, Lemmy Pert, Kappak and later Gerpo-Kha. Pert is killed just as the first cruisers of the USO fleet make their appearance. The base is dismantled and the two Terrans and their companions are brought back to Earth aboard Admiral Atlanís ship.

Michael Mahoney 2005-02-24

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