2106 - Der weiße Tod
The White Death
Horst Hoffmann

For years, Zineda's insectoid race has been exploited and constrained by the technically superior E'Valenter and constrained to work like slaves in their mines. The population decreases from day to day. When Captain Imm Zuliffer proposes to attack their oppressors, the scholarly Liktus Boi grants his support. The small troop tries to defeat the guards of the mine but they are not able to do anything in the face of the enemy's radiant weapons. Only the scholar escapes from the debacle and is sent back to the queen with a message - new workers must immediately be sent to the mine. The queen, Scharanay, touched by the general's death, doesn't want to comply.

In his despair, Boi remembers a stranger's visit to his world. He had come from the Ruined (Dead) Empire. He left him a frock and a hypercom before dying. The scholar uses this last device to send a distress call.

While searching for the Eltans, the cruiser JEFE CLAUDRIN commanded by Harun al Kharud receives the message and heads toward the system of the Zinedas. Benjameen da Jacinta and Tess Qumishas descend to its surface with a Gazelle and make contact with Liktus Boi. They penetrate into the mine in order to familiarize themselves with the situation and discover that the E'Valenter are the same beings as those who escorted Trah Rogue at the time of his arrival on Earth. They also see that the slaves endure a deadly infection. The two Galactics learn also that a transport vessel must leave soon.

The next day, Queen Scharanay launches an attack which is wiped out. However, eventually, helped by the Galactics, the Zinedas kill all E'Valenters. The Terrans then try to find an antidote to the infection but they can only produce a serum immunizing the healthy insectoids. To efface all trace of the fight, Tess has the mine destroyed. In the company of two Etrusians, Tess and Benjameen infiltrate into the transport vessel that leaves for an unknown goal.

Michael P. Mahoney

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