1603 - In der Toten Zone
In The Dead Zone
Peter Griese

On 10 January 1200 NGE the cargo ship QUADRIGA III, in flight toward the Yppena System, is roughly ejected from hyperspace. All devices working on a five-dimensional basis break down. The owner of the QUADRIGA III, Mark Ryttusko, is killed when the ship is forced from hyperspace. His son of sixteen years of age, Spiroangus, activates Xero, an old Siganesian robot of non-syntronic construction. With his wounded mother he leaves the cargo ship in an auxiliary craft. It is equipped with a photon propulsion system permitting it to reach the Yppena System in sublight flight.

At the same time Atlan is under way with the ATLANTIS to the Jimmerin asteroid with Hepnor-Wollana, the son of a Galactic Representative (diplomat). Atlan founded the “Group of Arkonide Researchers for Innovation and Progress” (GARIP) in order to affirm the position of Arkon in the galaxy. With this flight Atlan wants to put an end to the fears of many races of the Milky Way that the GARIP would be a secret organization similar to the USO. Yart Fulgen, the chief of counterespionage for GARIP, is skeptical of Atlan’s plan to let a galactic investigation commission inspect a station of the GARIP. With the onset of the space-time disaster Atlan is forced to break off his flight to Jimmerin and travel to the planet Olymp. The planet is seventy light-years from the Dead Zone, the name given to the sector affected by the hyperspace disruptions. He sets up “Operation Dead Zone”, which is directly run by Yart Fulgen as project leader. The headquarters of the operation is set up in the ATLANTIS and the BASE, which are in orbit around Olymp. At the beginning of February Atlan and Yart Fulgen succeed in putting back into operation the stations of the galactic surveillance system, deactivated at the time of Nathan’s silence. With the help of these stations, Atlan’s team is able to determine that the Dead Zone constitutes an irregular sphere of ten thousand light-years in diameter. They also determine that the Dead Zone is drifting toward the western periphery of the Milky Way at two light-years per day. Thanks to this movement, the Springer Aydin leaves the Dead Zone on board of a lifeboat of the MARKA GOMESCH that had been destroyed with the onset of the hyperspace disruptions. Meanwhile, on February 9, the auxiliary craft of the QUADRIGA III leaves the Dead Zone and reaches the planet Shakar in the Yppena System. Spiroangus and Rhea Ryttuskos are captured by Norman MacBolder, a Springer. Owner of a large mining company, he wants to use the evacuation of the mining world threatened by the Dead Zone to rob his competitor’s mines of howalgonium. However, on February 13, Norman MacBolder, along with the Ryttuskos and the MARTAPPON, a space jet of the BASE sent to rescue them, are trapped on the planet Shakar when the Dead Zone reaches it.

Michael Mahoney 2015-08-23

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