1813 - Die Mörder von Bröhnder
The Murderers of Broehnder
Peter Griese

Alaska Saedelaere reaches the asteroid Brick in the galaxy Broehnder with the wedge shape spaceship CANT of the Cantrell Kummerog. In the headquarters of the Murderers of Broehnder he finds only four bearers of Kummerog’s skins. They are Unan-Kjur Vaikhuur, Settheran, Blibb Gonzerol and Kaydessel which have survived the sixty-six years of Kumemrog’s absence, in contrast to the other skin bearers. The four slaves have created a cult in the absence of the pirate leader, idolizing Kummerog as a god master. With this cult it was possible for them to control the members of the gang not provided with skins. The skin which the cell activator bearer Saedelaere carries, and in the view of the other skin bearers is controlled by, is the youngest of all. Therefore, the Terran becomes the new leader of the Murderers of Broehnder.

Kummerog’s four remaining slaves try to extend their life with the help of Liquorac. They retrieve this hormone from a being by the name of Varquasch. He excretes the substance in stressful situations, which the skin bearers generate by torture and constant starving. Varquasch is almost as large as an elephant and possesses gray skin, as well as two massive hind legs and two short front arms. They end in delicate gripping arms. The head of the being is a meter large, conically formed and covered by cream-colored fur. The eyes are set behind a four slit nose and are of a yellow color. At the top of the head sits a small mouth. Saedelaere finds out that it is not an animal, like the pirates believe, but an intelligent being. He feeds Varquasch in secret and supplies him with medicine.

To get back to the Arsenal of the Baolin-Nda, where he hopes to find Perry Rhodan and Reginald Bull again, he orders the pirates to start a search for Kummerog, which should begin at the place of the Cantrell’s disappearance - the Arsenal. Forced to comply by the skins, Vaikhuur, Settheran, Gonzerol and Kaydessel have no other choice than to obey. Together with the four skin bearers, ten other pirates and Varquasch proceed with Saedelaere onto the CANT for the 21-day journey.

On the way mysterious murders take place aboard the CANT, to which Kaydessel, Gonzerol and nine of the other pirates fall victim. Each time the corpses are bestially mutilated, and the murderer leaves no traces. Saedelaere tries with the help of the on-board computer, which had received the offensive designation Fasoldog from Kummerog, which means something like tin box, to catch the unknown offender. It turns out that Dorota – that is the true name of the computer - had blocked a large portion of its potential when it had fallen into hands of the Cantrell 144 years ago together with the spaceship. Dorota had originally been built by the Normads of Broehnder. Along with Positronic and Syntronic, it also contains Vegaonic elements. The computer has recognized that Saedelaere is not controlled by Kummerog’s skin, and, therefore, places its whole potential at his disposal, however, still plays the pliant Fasoldog towards the pirates.

Finally, the CANT reaches the approximate location of the Arsenal. However, without Kummerog’s Passantum it takes a while, before the station is found, because it is to be located only by a 5-dimensional signal in the vicinity of one light year. Arriving at the Arsenal, the group finds out that there is no way for them to get into the station. While they look in vain for a solution, Saedelaere accidentally addresses the on-board computer as Dorota. Therefore, Vaikhuur recognizes the game the former mask bearer is playing and attacks him together with Settheran. However, before they can touch him, they are attacked and killed by five small beings that possess a striking resemblance Varquasch. It turns out that these beings are the offspring of Varquasch - a hermaphroditic being - which it has kept hidden in a pouch in his body. These youngsters were also responsible for the murders during the flight to the Arsenal. Only the dwarfish pirate Tumed is spared. Because they cannot get into the Arsenal with the means available to them, Saedelaere and Dorota decide to approach the place where Kummerog met the Fourth Envoy of Thoregon sixty-six years ago.

Meanwhile, four days after Perry Rhodan and Reginald Bull had lost Alaska Saedelaere, who had actually flown off in Kummerogg’s wedge shaped spaceship, they decide to return over the Bridge to Infinity and the mushroom cathedral to Trokan. Before they leave the Arsenal, they leave Alaska a message. Shortly before the mushroom cathedral Rhodan finds a black, egg-shaped object which immediately changes shape and wraps around his wrist in a black band. He receives a mental message which addresses him as a new passenger of the Bridge. Shortly after this, the Bridge seems to swing and writhe. When this apparition comes to an end, Rhodan looks with the help of his new bracelet through the fog and the mushroom cathedral and recognizes that the Bridge has moved, because instead of Trokan a sun covered plain is to be recognized. Nevertheless, Rhodan and Bull cross into the mushroom cathedral to investigate.

jerry schneiderman 2007-06-12

Back to the cycle