2000 - ES
Robert Feldhoff

"A new future for the Earth - The Solar Residence is born."

On his return to Earth at the end of the thirteenth century NGZ, Perry Rhodan finds a confused political situation. The Earth is losing ground to the Crystal Empire every day, as they continue their aggressive expansion. Since most of the leaders were killed during the attack by the Cosmic Factory Wave, Rhodan decides to run for president. To that goal, he makes an agreement with Maurenzi Curtiz, the Arkonide ambassador. Camelot has to be dissolved, since it represents a symbol of secession that is no longer relevant. Rhodan asks Homer G. Adams and Monkey, the Oxtornian, who turns out to have a cell activator, to carry out this task. The two men reluctantly accept and take off for Ceres.

Tautmo Aagenfelt visits Rhodan and gives him bad news : on Troubadour, all the Syntronic computers have gone offline. The scientist has come to the conclusion that they have been infected by Korra Vir, the 5D-based computer virus that came from DaGlausch. Korra Vir had been brought to Camelot to be studied but it obviously escaped the laboratories.

A meeting is called, during which Bully explains his latest ideas. In front of the latest advances by the Crystal Empire, the Terrans need a new symbol. It will be the Solar Residence, a new city that will be constructed above Terrania. The hovering city will be a thousand meters high and will be able to retreat into the nearby sea in case of an emergency.

Homer G. Adams and Monkey arrive on Camelot and announce the bad news to its citizens. Contrary to Rhodan's plans, the two men intend to merely move Camelot to a new place. They opt for the former location of Quinto-Center, a hollow asteroid big enough to hold both personnel and equipment. A poll is conducted and out of the 500,000 people living on Camelot, 60,000 decide to stay there, 180,000 will return on the Earth and the rest will move to Quinto-Center.

On Terra, more and more mutants are born every day. They are teleporters, persuaders, telepaths, etc... but they suffer from the same problem : the are all color blind. For this reason, they are called Monochrome Mutants. Studies reveal that all Monochrome Mutants have at least one ancestor from Horrikos, a planet that was used for gene manipulations during the reign of Monos.

In front of the threat posed by the growing ranks of mutants too young to control their power, Rhodan appoints a young woman called Moharion Mawrey. She is not a mutant herself, but a hunchback, and therefore acutely aware of how it feels to be different. She accepts and as she leaves his office, Rhodan painfully remembers that Mondra Diamond, his own wife, was born on Horrikos, and that Delorian, their son, might very well be a mutant himself.

A temporary solution seems to appear with the Psi-Nets, the weapon that was used during the Algion conflict. They should make it possible to neutralize, at least temporarily, the capacities of the young mutants.

A young mutant called Trim Marath reports to Mohario that he has been in brief contact with a very powerful entity called Morkhero Soul-Source. He cannot tell much more about it except that Morkhero seems to be very hostile.

Bully is preoccupied by the latest outbreak of Korra Vir. He predicts that most of the syntronic computers will be affected in a near future and that the Solar Empire should start considering falling back to positronics until the crisis is settled. However, positronic chips are hard to find and there are only two main places where they are produced: Olymp and in the Hayok system.

Bostich, the Arkonide leader, turns out to be at the origin of the Korra Vir outbreak. He has been using the virus to increase his influence and conquer whole solar systems. He sends 200,000 ships to the Hayok system, therefore depriving the Terran Empire of its main source for positronic chips. Rhodan negotiates with Bostich. Pretending that self-destruct devices have been installed in the factories, Rhodan states that all current residents are allowed to leave unharmed. But the Arkonides are now in control of Hayok.

Rhodan is then contacted by Homer G. Adams who tells him that he saw the potential for this crisis years ago and has been stockpiling p-chips for the past few years. He now owns 4.8 billion units but he doesn't intend to give them to the LFT, but to sell them. Stunned, Rhodan asks how much he wants. Adams says that Camelot, now renamed New USO, needs fifty cruisers of the Odin class. Rhodan agrees. Meanwhile, Nathan and Prince Roger, the computer on Olymp, have been switched back to positronics and are therefore impervious to Korra Vir attacks.

Trim Marath has another contact with Morkhero that terrifies him: the evil entity is now on the Earth and is after Rhodan. Mawrey tries to warn him but cannot find him. Rhodan is busy talking with Tautmo Aagenfelt when suddenly, the physicist tries to kill him. Rhodan barely escapes a deadly shot of disintegrator. Aagenfelt is killed during the fight.

Later, Rhodan receives the visit of Lotho Keraete, It's messenger, who has stayed on Earth since they returned from the Pulse. Keraete tells Rhodan that IT has decided to reveal ITs past.

Millions of years in the past, IT was not a super-intelligence yet. He chose Ahn-Visperon, a Vojaridian in the galaxy Laxaron, as his messenger. IT was actually a split personality: the lesser known half part was known as Estartu, but she hardly ever manifested herself. Later, the Vojaridians were attacked by a mysterious entity and the only solution was for IT to switch to the next level of consciousness: becoming a super-intelligence. The process took thousands of years and the whole race of the Vojaridians had to give away their physical existence for this to happen. They became spiritual beings called Nocturnians.

Ambur, the home-planet of the Vojaridians, was split in half. One half became ITs new residence and the other half was turned into energy. Rhodan realizes that it was actually ITs switch to a super-intelligence that created Anti-IT, who almost destroyed the human race decades ago.

Wanderer starts evolving with the help of the Vojaridians and Ambur, the main city, is renamed Karbush. Millions of years later, IT receives the visit of a strange entity calling itself a Heliot. IT learns about a rare phenomenon that happened twenty million light years away: two galaxies collided in the past and formed a region of space completely devoid of matter. Such a place is unreachable for the higher powers and the Heliot would like an independent council, called Thoregon, to be created there. While IT is very interested by the project, Estartu seems to be extremely frightened. IT decides to postpone his answer. The Heliot says He understands but he will be back one day, and he will expect a clear answer then.

In the time that followed, it became clear that Estartu would never agree to join Thoregon, so IT decided that it would be better if both entities split. Estartu left for an unknown destination and IT remained in ITs Sphere of Influence, unaware that Estartu had left a counterpart in ITs conscience: Anti-IT.

ITs first challenge as a super-intelligence was to fight Strowwan, a negative super-intelligence. IT managed to defeat Strowwan with a trick, later to be known as the Strowwanian Paradox, forcing its enemy to destroy itself. Strowwan was turned into a Matter Sink and eventually disappeared from the standard universe. Strowwan's fate triggered the birth of Nisaaru, who settled its Sphere of Influence in the galaxy Chearth.

IT sends Ahn-Visperon to meet with Sirku, a split personality of Nisaaru. Sirku says that Nisaaru received the visit of a Heliot and that it accepted to take part in the council of Thoregon. Two other participants are known at this point: Metamorph, from Gorhoon, and Baikolt, from Plantagoo. IT asks Estartu again but his sister maintains her refusal to join the Council.

Rhodan is brought back to the harsh reality of the present when he is informed that Bostisch has sent 38,000 spaceships in the Topsid system, nine hundred light years from the Earth. Bully happened to be there when the system was attacked and all contacts with his team was lost.

Cedric Beust

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