- Radio Freies Ertrus
Radio Free Ertrus
|While Rhodan and the surviving Ertruser Emotionaut set off from the proximity of the destroyed capital, a hyperradio call from Arkon reaches Mascant Kraschyn. It is Bostich himself, and he points out how extremely dissatisfied he is over the developments on Ertrus. The destruction of the capital does not please Bostich and the Mascant harvests strict criticism for it. For Kraschyn this situation is deadly, because should he fall out of favor with Bostich, then his life is will not be worth a Chronner. Bostich decides to send a Tato, who will worry about the infrastructure and administration of Ertrus. Kraschyn is given the instruction to keep control over the 4th Imperial Fleet.
When the new Tato arrives in the Kreit system and faces Kraschyn for the first time, it is immediately clear to the Mascant that he will never come to terms with the Tato. A deep chasm of mutual dislike develops between the two men and Formann da Ricce recognizes later, that Bostich had taken this into account in his plan. The Imperator is consciously playing the two leaders against each other.
As Forman da Ricce places his residence near the destroyed center of the former capital, it shows that the Tato does not recognize that the resistance of the population is far from broken. Assaults on food depots and patrols are on the agenda of the resistance. The plan of the new Tato to use a stooge as President quickly fails for lack of candidates.
To make matters worse for him, an unknown Ertruser, who calls himself simply "The Reporter", feeds news about the resistance movement's actions into the public communications network, whose manifesto is summarized in a single sentence: Ertrus will not fall! The reporter, behind whom the old trader Eden Arukitch hides himself, is in the area of the Buckligen Riders and meets a group of Ertruser resistance fighters, who report to him of the choice of a new underground government. The transmissions of the reporter are awaited for with anticipation and help support the will for resistance of the population. Therefore, the group of fighters invites Eden Arukitch to be there during the choosing of the underground government.
Rhodan and the small group of Emotionauts move toward the city Fin Calley, which is now the largest city on Ertrusafter the destruction of Baretus. On the way they find a badly injured Ertruser amongst the rocks and identify him as Kim Tasmaene, the mayor of Fin Calley! Tasmaene was one of the most popular personalities on Ertrus and obviously fled before the occupying forces. The group is able to revive the half starved Ertruser back to life with the remainders of their food reserves.
After Tasmaene has recovered, he informs Rhodan that he had by no means fled, but had been on his way in the Mattun Gor volcanic country, in order to stand up as a candidate for the office of the new president of the underground government. He demands that Rhodan accompany him and support the Ertruserís plan. Rhodan has the greatest doubts about it, but eventually agrees and follows Tasmaene with his group. With an age-old vehicle, a camouflaged grain transporter, they get going on their way. When the group must march on by foot, it becomes critical for Rhodan, because he must switch off his antigrav, due to the detection danger. The force of gravity of Ertrus is deadly in the long term and Rhodan goes to the borders of his bodyís physical maximum stress to avoid endangering the group. When they finally reach the meeting place and Tasmaene can nominate himself, thousands of Ertrusers have already arrived, which want to make their voices heard.
Forman Ricces continues to work to find a collaborator that could be used as a new president, but remains unsuccessful. Finally the Tato seizes to an unorthodox means and uses a "virtual president", who announces his assumption of office to the entire Milky Way. On October 15,1303 NGE Kim Tasmaene is selected as the President of the resistance movement by the clear majority of the Ertruserís present and personally sworn in by Rhodan.
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