1959 - Im Hypertakt
In Hypercadence
Robert Feldhoff

The Sol is on its way to the Gorhoon galaxy but it is only flying at 40% of its capacity. The crew is busy fixing the wrecked sections of the ship and one of the engineers, Tautmo Aagenfelt, is able to build a prototype that should help them locate with precision where the Hypercadence flight is taking them. Shortly after the prototype is tested, it is stolen. Seneca is not able to give any meaningful information about the thief.

Using his mechanical eyes, Monkey, the Oxtornian, replays the stars as they were initially shown by Aagenfelt's Hypercadence orientation device. Comparing them with the current view, he reaches the conclusion that the Sol is not where it is supposed to be. He informs Ruud Servenking of his findings in a private cubicle, where Seneca cannot hear them, since he suspects the computer to be part of the plot. Monkey decides not to inform Rhodan or Bully because whatever is hijacking the Sol will most likely kill whoever knows their secret.

Monkey calculates that the Sol is actually headed towards the Milky Way. He hadn't recognized it earlier because the ship is coming from an unusual angle. The Sol is currently flying at 48 million times the speed of light but it is impossible that they already covered twelve million light-years in such a short time span, so they should not be so close to the Milky Way. Monkey is now persuaded that Seneca is their enemy.

He suspects that the board computer might have used a hidden transmitter or engine to speed up their journey back to the Milky Way but Servenking finds the answer : Seneca has been pretending that the engines were running at 40% of their capacity all the way while actually, they are fully repaired. The Sol has been traveling at 120 million times the speed of light ever since they left Alashan and Seneca has stolen the Hypercadence orientation prototypes so that the crew wouldn't find out about this.

Monkey and Servenking manage to hide bombs in some parts of the ship that Seneca controls but they can't tell whether Seneca saw them or not. Meanwhile, the Sol reaches the end of its journey. It emerges back into normal space near the Sphere-Wheels of the Nonggos, the fifth one being Kenteullen, where Rhodan wants to enter the Mushroom Dome. Suddenly the display changes and reveals the Solar System. Armies of robots invest the Sol and Seneca informs the crew that they must surrender immediately.

Cedric Beust

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