1822 - Die neue Haut
The New Skin
Ernst Vlcek

Kummerog develops a new skin at Rudy Ringentís house located out in the wilderness on the planet Camelot. Wanting to determine the position of his galaxy, the Cantrell gives his daughter, Thea Ringent, the order to help him in this endeavor. As a result, Thea Ringent gets access to the hyperspatial resonator. Her attempt doesn't have any success, but the young woman can leave a message on her situation with the Siganesian, David Golgar. As foreseen by Thea Ringent, Golgar succeeds in secretly approaching the house of the Ringents thanks to his small size. The Siganesian recognizes Kummerog and Bruno Drenderbaum and immediately informs Atlan, who is back from the Solar System with Myles Kantor. Kummerog, having learned from the media that the Tolkander have arrived in the Milky Way from the Reticule constellation, assigns Thea Ringent the task of looking for his galaxy in this sector. With the help of Golgar, the technician discovers the galaxy NGC 1313 at a distance of 11.5 millions light-years corresponding to the specifications provided by the Cantrell. On the order of Kummerog, Thea Ringent rents a shuttle and travels to visit her father thereby attracting Atlan to his house. When the Arkonide approaches the house alone and without a SERUN, in spite of the advice of his second brain (logic center), he is enveloped by Kummerogís new skin. Although temporarily under the control of the new skin, Atlan is able to ask the Cantrell mutant about the Tolkanders and the mutant declares that they are the worse of all scourges and that the Milky Way is lost. Under the waning influence of the new skin, Atlan leaves with Thea and Ruby Ringent, Drenderbaum and Kummerog in a shuttle for the GILGAMESH. When Drenderbaum discovers Golgar, who hid in the shuttle, a short battle takes place in the hangar of the central module. Drenderbaum dies while trying to protect Kummerog. Atlan tries to win the mutant's confidence but the Cantrell understands that his new skin dies, probably because of Atlanís cellular activator. He draws his weapon on the Arkonide but is killed by a group of pursuers. The dying skin refuses to give Atlan any information on the fate of Rhodan and his two companions.

Michael Mahoney 2015-08-03

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