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1999 - Der Puls
The Pulse
Uwe Anton


Scanning the ambient space, the crew of the Sol determines that the area surrounding the Mega-Dome is a perfect vacuum. The Pulse seems to be its own universe, 0.8 light years big. Obviously, the six super-intelligences intend to create a third force which would be neither with the Cosmocrats nor the Chaotarks, since they cannot reach this area of space and can obvisouly not transfer matter from it into the Matter Sources.

On the Taucoon, Atlan realizes that the Solar Prison actually contains a solar transmitter, which they crossed. Most likely, Maahks went through this transmitter in the past and once in Chearth, they evolved into Gharrians. The trip is interrupted and the Taucoon emerges in the normal space. Two threatening spaceships are closing in. They are huge, sixty kilometers big, and Atlan remembers seeing such a structure during the Laire era. He doesn't know yet that they are Cosmic Factories. Vincent Garron, helped by Sirku, teleports the Taucoon and its cohort of Solar Worms into the Pulse.

On the Sol, Mondra Diamond is about to give birth but she knows that her child won't appear until after Thoregon has been created. Her unborn son shows her images of what is currently happening near the Mega-Dome : the six super-intelligences keep sending impulses toward the Mushroom Dome but they receive no answer.

On board the Virtua/18, Alaska Saedelaere is surprised to see Icho Tolot float in his direction. The Halutian is let in, carrying Atlan, Myles Cantor and Vincent Garron. They exchange their stories. Alaska tells him about the Virtual Ships, how there were supposed to be twenty of them but only eighteen had been made when Shabazza destroyed the Delta Space of the Baolin Ndas with a Nano-Column.

Alaska is interruped by Vayiathas, the computer of his Virtual Ship, who tells him that a new mission awaits him. Alaska is told that Jorim Azao, the First Messenger of Thoregon, has received a message from Sirku. The Virtual Ships and the Creators must now take care of the Solar Worms and watch over their evolution. They must maintain the same population and regulate the extra energy that the Pulse will be emitting. Jorim Azao invests So'o'Both body, the Solar Worm who lost its intelligence last, and starts giving him directions about where to direct its hunger.

Perry Rhodan appears on a balcony at the top of the Mega-Dome. He is picked up by Lotho Keraete, It's messenger, who explains to him the motives behind Thoregon, and how the Pulse represents a neutral area of space that challenges both Cosmocrats and Chaotarks. There are other similar empty areas of space in the Multiverse, Rhodan learns, and none of these areas can be influenced by Cosmonucleotids such as Dorifer. The intersection of these areas with the standard universes generates a lot of energy, which will be regulated by the Solar Worms.

Lotho Keraete tells Rhodan that despite their incredible powers, the Cosmocrats still have to use middlemen to accomplish their goals, and these middlemen often make mistakes, like for example some Servants of the Matter who were more interested in pursuing personal hobbies than creating Swarms, or Shabazza underestimating the Terrans in the fight against Goedda.

The Bridge over Infinity was not constructed by It, and nobody knows who built it actually. Similarly, It doesn't know who the Heliots are and what they represent, just that they serve Thoregon. Right now, the six Super-Intelligences are trying to make contact with a Mega-Dome in a distant galaxy called Segafrendo. If they don't make that contact in the next ten hours, Thoregon will not be created and chaos will ensue, including the destruction of the six spheres of influences of the Super-Intelligences. Rhodan also learns that the Mega-Dome in the Pulse holds a city on its top called Port Erevintage.

Then Keraete tells Rhodan that Hismoom, the spokesperson for the Cosmocrats, has arrived outside the Pulse and that Rhodan has been designated to negociate with him. Rhodan meets Hismoon outside the Pulse on the Cosmic Factory Nar Sarenna. The Cosmocrat uses the body of a Servant of the Matter called Paradyn Smonker to talk with Perry Rhodan.

Hismoom threatens to destroy the central worlds of the six races that form the Council of Thoregon if the coalition is not dissolved right away. Rhodan, helped by Lotho Keraete in his argumentation, says that if the Cosmocrats do that, Thoregon will see to it that many more Pulses will be created in the forthcoming years, thus undermining the power of the Cosmocrats and the Chaotarks in the Multiverse. Hismoom is frightened by the perspective and eventually agrees on a compromise.

The Cosmocrats will withdraw the Cosmic Factories from the central worlds of Thoregon and will promise never to interfere again with them. Nor will they be allowed to use Dorifer, the Virtual Matter or Servants of the Matter to attack Thoregon. In exchange, Thoregon guarantees that no other Pulses will be created. Before Hismoom disappears, he gives a terrible warning : Rhodan has no idea of what he has just negociated, and once the Cosmocrats have retired, a chaos of unseen precedence will take place in those galaxies. The Cosmocrat predicts that a war of thousand years will erupt.

On his way back, still shocked by the last words of the Cosmocrat, Perry Rhodan and Lotho Keraete are shaken by vibrations coming from the Pulse. Inside the Pulse, a gigantic energy ray is being cast by the Mega-Dome. The ray is quickly shrunk to a smaller size by the Solar Worms, led by the Creators, and turns into a pulsation. The pulsation happens every thirty two minutes and the whole area is now stabilized. Mondra Diamond has now given birth to a son and everyone in the Sol is asked to gather to receive an important communication from Lotho Keraete.

It's messenger tells them that the energy ray has opened the passageway toward a distant galaxy, called Segafrendo, where the Sol must now go in order to fill an important task. Keraete gives them an energy cocoon that will act as a Passantum, allowing them to enter the Mega-Dome and then use the transmitter inside toward Segafrendo. This is why the Sol was brought into the Pulse : no positronic computer will survive the flight, but since the Sol is based on Syntronics, it will go unharmed through the transmitter. For this same reason, Pucky cannot take part in the trip or his brain will be destroyed. Rhodan won't be able to make it back to the Sol in time either. When she hears that, Mondra Diamond feels an intense despair.

Bull decides to stay as well, to help Rhodan and Pucky in their future tasks. When Rhodan makes it back into the Pulse, Bully breaks the bad news to him. He gives him a video message recorded by his wife before they entered the Mega-Dome. She tells him that she baptized their son Delorian and that according to Lotho Keraete, it is unlikely that the Sol will return before another ten or twenty years.

Perry Rhodan has never felt so lonely in his life and he wonders if he made the right choice by deciding to support Thoregon after all...

Cedric Beust

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