20 - Venus in Gefahr
Venus in Danger
Kurt Mahr

(1980) The Stardust hyperjumps back to our solar system only to discover that 4 ½ years have gone by. A new government has taken over the Eastern Bloc and (emboldened by Rhodan’s long absence) has broken the fragile unity of the earth’s governments. It has launched an assault on Venus, in an attempt to take over the New Power’s base there. General Tomisenkov commands the armada of 500 spacecraft.

With the arrival of the Stardust, Rhodan divides and disrupts the Russian forces on Venus’ surface. Tomisenkov’s ground troops, decimated by the Stardust's low altitude approach and landing is further reduced by the hostile environment, weather and wildlife of the planet.

Major General Lemonovich, assuming Tomisenkov has perished, takes control of the surviving forces and the remaining 79 spacecraft. Rhodan and an expedition force go to great lengths to disable the spacecraft and disarm the Russian troops without any further loss of life. Tomisenkov is able to rejoin his now stranded army, and sets about building shelter.

The threat against the Venus base now thoroughly neutralized, the controlling positronic computer allows Rhodan and the Stardust to enter the compound. Rhodan inputs his limited data (charting a portion of the orbit of the planet Wanderer), and the computer is able to calculate a complete course, ensuring Rhodan will be able to find and return to the planet when he needs to. He prepares to address the renewed disunity on Earth.

Mark J. Golden 2007-08-25

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