172 - Das Geheimnis der heiligen Insel
The Secret of the Holy Island
Kurt Mahr

The Explorer-318, commanded by Colonel Griffin Tuchmann, arrives at the planet Trio following the distress call from the survivors of the Explorer-5207 but it only finds a planet in the grasp of an atomic fire. After having searched in vain for traces of the survivors, Tuchmann decides to leave the system. Enroute, the ship is attacked by a Blues fleet. It is hit very seriously and nearly all the crew is killed. Only the commander, Colonel Tuchmann, his friend Ter Philips and Frankie Pell survive. They manage to control the wreckage sufficiently in order to land themselves on the surface of the third planet of the system, Trap, from which came the original Trio astronauts who caused the destruction of the Kostana and the Explorer-5207.

The three survivors are stopped by a police force of the planet, which is divided into two blocks: the Boreal Federation centered on Felghan, and the Southern Empire centered in Artrot. It is close to this last city that the three Terrans, mistaken for spies from the north, are incarcerated. From the language of their captors, led by the policeman, Rima Kim, the Terrans realize that they are descendants of the Akonides. Therefore, a transmitter station should exist somewhere on the planet which, with some luck, they can use to get back home.

During their captivity they are witness to something which looks like an earthquake. A young woman, Gianal Tea, helps them to escape by way of a tunnel. She works for the Boreal Federation. She takes the Terrans with her and informs them that the conflict between Felghan and Artrot is due to a rivalry over the control of the island of Jorgh, situated between the two continents - an island protected by an invisible barrier. The Terrans are convinced that this is where the transmitter station is located. To their great surprise, Rima Kim and his men make a sudden appearance.

A big earthquake hits Artrot, and the Terrans take advantage of it to escape. Gianal Tea serves as their guide and, as a precaution, they carry away Rima Kim as hostage. They gain the northern coast where they seize a boat to reach the island of Jorgh. During the journey, Tuchmann expresses his opinion that the earthquakes are due to the Blues who are using a vibratory field to depopulate the planet.

They are attacked by planes, but Ter Philips succeeds in finding the mechanism deactivating the protective field of the island. They pass through it whereas the Trio squadrons are destroyed mercilessly by the Blues ships. The three Terrans and their two companions penetrate into the station but, to their great disappointment, the transmitter is no longer linked to any other transmitters on other planets. However, they decide to send nuclear bombs at random into space to attract the attention of Terran warships. These arrive and make the Blues fleet flee in disorder. The survivors of the Explorer-318 are picked up.

Michael Mahoney 2005-03-01

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