1806 - Der Mutant der Cantrell
The Cantrell Mutant
Peter Griese

After Alaska Saedelaere has awoken aboard the black wedge shaped spaceship, the gelatin covering which surrounds him mentally announces itself as one of Kummerog’s skins. The skin reports that Kummerog comes from the people of the Cantrell whose members have to slough off their skin every five years. Because Kummerog, whose age nobody knows, is a mutant, his skins live on, remaining in contact with their master and can be used by Kummerog to enslave other beings.

In the mental picture which the skin shows him of Kummerog’s exterior, Saedelaere notes that the hands of the Cantrell with their two fingers and two thumbs resemble those of the Herreach. The skin describes Kummerog as brilliant, cruel and completely unscrupulous. Because of his crimes he was exiled by the Cantrell into the galaxy Bröhnder, where he soon rallied a group of feared pirates, the "Murderers of Bröhnder” around himself. Among other things, using his skins he brought Vaikhuur, the most capable scientist from the people of the Unan-Kjur, and the dwarfish Blibb Gonzerol, a technical specialist, under his control as slaves and made a base in the asteroid Brick.

Saedelaere recognizes that the skin, which is entirely fixated upon the goal to finding its master again, depends upon him for its nutrient and oxygen supply, and pretends a readiness to cooperate at first. Finally, he succeeds in subjugating the skin in a mental duel. However, he cannot bring himself to kill the strange being, particularly as he will need its protection after the arrival on Brick. During their mental discussions, the skin reports on what happened to Kummerog sixty-six years ago:

During a flight with his wedge shaped spaceship CANT, Kummerog follows an emergency call to the wreck of a spindle shaped, seventy meters long spaceship, whose nose sector consisted of a crosswise twenty-five meter long and four meter thick quadrangular beams. Aboard the ship the pirate discovers a lethally injured, 2.20 meters tall, emaciated looking humanoid with silver skin that called himself the “fourth envoy of Thoregon”. The stranger asked Kummerog to fly to the Arsenal of the Baolin-Nda in the empty space between Bröhnder and Troutt, to inform an ‘authorized person’ that Goedda has been awoken and sent on her journey. The dying envoy stressed that that cosmic disasters are threatening whole galaxies if the news was not passed on, and he handed over to Kummerog the coordinates of the Arsenal and a six centimeter wide, black bracelet which he called a "Passantum".

In the hope to be able to plunder the unknown Arsenal Kummerog flew with Yonkanrog, his most important slave, a yellow skinned, one-eyed, reptiloid Bodaden that survived the conquest of Brick by the Cantrell mutant, to the indicated place. In a blue and white plastic backpack he carried two older, conserved skins as well a newer skin that he had shed only shortly after the departure from Brick.

Arriving at the Arsenal of the Baolin-Nda, a skeptical Kummerog was offered subminiaturized artifacts, but from curiosity took a thirty centimeter long tube similar to a drill head, which was recommended as a freely programmable time machine. While he believed he was only lighting a fireworks display with another cube, he discovered too late that he had rashly released a nuclear fire with it in wide ranges of the Arsenal. Because he was now cut off from the CANT as well as the Main Control Room of the arsenal, the mutant finally fled with his now empty backpack into the mushroom cathedral to which the Passantum made access possible, and ended up on the "Bridge to Infinity”. However, the mental voice the Passantum declared that he had now entered into a forbidden area and that the passage to the other side would have to be activated by intelligent living beings from outside. It then showed him that at the other end of the bridge laid a lifeless planet with an underground mushroom cathedral, and besides, ordered him to take off the bracelet. When Kummerog refused, the bracelet glowed up and amputated the hand of the Cantrell. The Passantum itself then changed into an egg of five centimeters of length.

Meanwhile Kummerog’s slave Yonkanrog was recognized by the central computer of the Arsenal as an authorized person and received a system to extinguish the nuclear fire. Afterwards a piece of falling debris killed the Bodaden, however.

Because he saw no chance to leave the bridge under his own power, Kummerog ordered the time machine to extend to fifty centimeters of length and inserted his separated hand and the Passantum into a compartment inside it. Then he gave the time machine the order to extend to its maximum size when it reached its target and to put its time lapse mechanism into operation with its maximum rate of 3,7012 million. The hand would be used on the dead planet as base material for natural evolution. The time machine was also ordered to care for the fact that the intelligence which developed from this evolution was peaceful and looked at it as its purpose in life to open the cathedral and receive the divinity Kummerog. As soon as the time machine detected a 5-dimensional impulse, it was to switch off its time field and carry the mushroom cathedral to the planet’s surface.

After the time machine engine took on its regular size again, Kummerog threw it into the fog bank at the end of the bridge. Then he instructed his newest skin in the Arsenal of the Baolin-Nda with which he still stood in weak mental contact, to search out a body for itself and return with the preprogrammed CANT to Brick to look for their master with Vaikhuur and Gonzerol. Because he estimated that more than 300 million years would have to pass on the lifeless planet for a civilization with 5-dimensional technology to appear, he had to count on a one hundred year waiting period, so Kummerog shifted himself into a biological deep sleep.

Saedelaere was reminded of the report of the black small box, which Ernst Ellert had given to Perry Rhodan in Hirdobaan. After a twenty-one day journey, on November 22, 1288 NGE the CANT reaches Brick, the sixty kilometer thick asteroid...

Jerry Schneiderman 2006-02-17

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