1988 - Die Diener der Materie
The Servants of the Matter
Robert Feldhoff

The present, Dengejaa Uveso
As the blast from Materia subsides, an eleven-meter sphere emerges from the cloud and heads towards the Sol. However small the capsule may seem, Rhodan decides to take no risk and attempts to escape with the Sol, but the sphere catches up with them. The Sol is hit with a violent psychic attack that incapacitates most of the crew except for Rhodan and Blo Rakane. The two men manage to switch the Sol into Hypertakt, therefore getting rid of the capsule.

The past
Cairol drops Torr Samaho on Talmarsch, a planet in a distant galaxy. The robot tells him that he's going to stay here for very long but that one day, he will receive his mission. Torr Samaho, hosted by a six-meter tall cyclop, has no other choice than to wait.

Many centuries later, Cairol shows up again. He introduces Torr Samaho to Paradyn Smonker, one of his eight future colleagues. The nine Servants of the Matter will each be in charge of a cosmic factory. Samaho will take care of Materia while Smonker will live in Nar Sarenna. Cairol says he receives orders from Hismoom, a Cosmocrat, who will take possession of the tenth cyclop body. The factories are designed to collect the ultimate material and also to create swarms in order to spread intelligence throughout the universe. However powerful the Servants of the Matter are, they cannot leave the standard universe or penetrate the cosmonucleotids such as Dorifer or Triicle-9.

With Materia, Torr Samaho takes part in the creation of the Knights of the Deep on the planet Khrat and he also supervises the Porleyters and the construction of the Frost Ruby. However, these tasks don't interest him : his passion is music and he intends to pursue it. With the help of the Errands, a group of people living on Materia, he builds a special spaceship in order to escape Hismoom's attention.

One day, Parr Fiorano, the commandant of the cosmic factory Kymbrium, offers him a special spacesuit : the suit of annihilation, which gives its bearer mental powers sufficient to attack a super-intelligence. During the next centuries, Torr Samaho is busy putting together an intergalactic orchestra, kidnapping the best musicians throughout galaxies. One day, Cairol the Second lands on Materia. The robot is not happy with Samaho's latest results and takes over Materia. Samaho accepts, glad to be finally able to focus on his passion.

Shortly thereafter, Materia is attacked by the Terran fleet. First unimpressed, Samaho finally realizes that Materia is not invincible. When the Terrans eventually hit the cosmic factory with their improvised weapon, Samaho has barely the time to escape in a small capsule, while his orchestra and former master, Cairol, perish in the explosion. Mad with anger, Samaho tries to attack the Sol but Rhodan manages to escape. Samaho heads back home, firmly determined to come back and make the Terrans pay for what they did to his life achievement.

The present, Dengejaa Uveso
It contacts Rhodan. The immortal tells Rhodan that DaGlausch is in great danger and that they must get there as soon as possible. In order to reach the distant galaxy in time, the Sol must first be fitted with more powerful engines on Wanderer. First irritated by It's obstination not to give any more information about the recent events, Rhodan eventually accepts when he realizes that his wife and son are in danger. Before leaving, It mentions that DaGlausch is exposed to a much greater danger than the Earth.

Worried by It's last words, Rhodan tries to contact the Earth but cannot get any response. Faced with the most difficult decision in his life, Rhodan decides to part with his crew and to head for the Earth.

Cedric Beust

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