1985 - Ein Köder für MATERIA
A bait for Materia
Arndt Ellmer

A month ago, on the 18th of February, 1291, the Terrans were contacted by Yorgan Pittker, a member of the Galactic Guardians. Pittker said he wanted to defect from the Galactic Guardians and join the ranks of the Terrans. He was picked up by Dennor Massal and then taken to the leaders of the Terran government.

It's at this time that Rhodan had the idea to create a replica of the Sol in an attempt to lure Materia. The Terrans already owned spaceships that could mimick the two "Cells" of the barbell-like spaceship, but they lacked a ship big enough to represent its central structure. The only spaceship readily available is called the Pantani and it belongs to the Galactic Guardians. Using information supplied by Pittker, the Terrans launch a commando to capture the spaceship while the shipyards on the Moon are put to work to manufacture the missing pieces.

Meanwhile, the Terran scientists are still trying to understand the nature of the Ultimate Material stolen from Materia a few weeks ago. They find out that the metal is actually connected to an enormous structure hidden in hyperspace. The unknown artifact is approximately the same size as the Pan Thau Ra, the spore ship, and even bigger than the Moon. There is no doubt that it is a Cosmocrat technology, but its purpose remains unknown.

The commando, led by Pucky, quickly conquers the Pantani, which turns out to be really old. A self-destruction mechanism is started but it is successfully deactivated by Dennor Massal, the Oxtornian, who has to defeat the commander of the ship, an Oxtornian as well.

In an attempt to receive help from them in their imminent assault on Materia, Rhodan requests an audience with Bostich, the Arkonid Imperator. The Arkonid leader will cooperate if Rhodan accepts two conditions : stop building spaceships on Camelot and turn in the Gilgamesch to the Arkonids as soon as it is back in the Milky Way. Rhodan accepts the first condition but offers a compromise for the Gilgamesch : the flagship will be handed out to the Galacticum, where it can be guaranteed not to be misused. Bostich accepts.

As Rhodan reports the good news to Bully, spaceships from all the races in the Milky Way start arriving on the Earth. They have all agreed to take part in the offensive against Materia. Rhodan is now in charge of a fleet of more than 55,000 ships.

Cedric Beust

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