1807 - Die Haut des Bösen
The Evil Skin
H.G. Francis

While the scientists of the GILGAMESCH I continue to examine the mushroom cathedral on Trokan under Myles Kantor’s leadership without success, the unconscious Kummerog, who is in a clinic on Mimas, begins to separate a new skin. At the same time his amputated left hand regenerates.

On November 4, 1288 NGE the two hundred meter long Taxit trade ship PRETTY PLAID, captained by the Plophoser Pavel Morquoise arrives on the border of the Sol system. The master businessman of the Taxit Organization hopes to be allowed to go, on account of his friendship with Bruno Drenderbaum, make a trade deal with the Herreach.

Four days after he wakes up, Kummerog explains that he was a castaway who had lost his hand in the galaxy Bröhnder during an accident, when as the single survivor of his spaceship he ended up in a foreign space station and came upon a peculiar plank bridge. On it he fell into a kind of paralysis and was pushed by some unknown force, until he ende dup dumped on the planet Trokan.

But because of the Kummerog myth of the Herreach, Cistolo Khan, Myles Kantor and Bruno Drenderbaum know that the report of the stranger cannot correspond to the truth. Because he fears it to be the only way to be able to find Perry Rhodan, Reginald Bull and Alaska Saedelaere again, Myles Kantor shows Kummerog celestial charts, so that he can identify the galaxy Bröhnder in them.

Meanwhile, the journalist Katie Johnson has been sent to Mimas by the editor of her news service to get to Kummerog and to get information about Project Camelot. She takes a drug to simulate a mysterious illness and flies to Mimas. While ‘recovering’ there, she tries to drug Cantor by spiking an edible mug of coffee on November 14th. However, Drenderbaum accidentally consumes the cup and it disorients him long enough to allow Kummerog’s newly sloughed off skin to attack and let the Cantrell mutant take control of him.

Bruno knocks out Cantor and flees from Mimas with Kummerog in a space jet. Due to a drug that Drenerbaum had injected her with during the takeover, Katie Johnson, the single witness to the skin’s attack, loses most of her memories.

Bruno steers his space jet to the PRETTY PLAID and arranges with Morquoise, who does not note that his friend stands under Kummerog’s control, to leave the Sol system. Later on the Taxit ship comes upon an object that its sensors can only register blurrily. It is five to six hundred meters thick object, whose surface is covered by prickly protuberances and sends out detection rays of an ultrahigh hyperfrequency, which cause strong nausea with all the living beings on board the PRETTY PLAID, as its hyperradio receiver also picks it up as a staccato hammering. Without further explanation Kummerog, who recognizes the object, states that the Milky Way is in acute danger. Moments later, the object vanishes.

Later, in an almost uninhabited region of the galactic center in which Morquoise has flown the PRETTY PLAID on Kummerog’s order, Kummerog and his slave leave the LADY PRETTY with their space jet. Afterwards the stranger from Bröhnder triggers explosives that he had earlier ordered Bruno to plant all over the trading vessel.

Jerry Schneiderman 2006-04-11

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