2200 - Der Sternenbastard
The Star Bastard
Robert Feldhoff

In the years after the end of the Tradom Imperium, relative peace rules in the Milky Way. In the LFT, they are preparing themselves under major exertions and costs for the still vague occurrence of what the Cosmocrat envoy Cairol had described as the coming „increase of the hyperphysical resistance". They work to make sure all the planets are capable of relying upon themselves. That walks hand in hand with heavy cuts in the economy of entire solar systems. Voices of opposition rise against the plan and means, so that the LFT gradually end up losing some respect in the dance of the galactic powers. The other races ignore Perry Rhodan's admonitions, which he repeatedly makes in the Galacticum. The Arkonides especially are interested exclusively in the extension of its position of power. The Terrans and specifically Perry Rhodan are the declared enemy at this time. On Arkon III, the defense industry runs at full speed. In June 1329 NGE Perry Rhodan and Reginald disappear during a flight to Mars for several weeks ( the story of their adventure during this time takes place in the Odyssey pocket book mini-series). Then, from the year 1331 NGE, inexplicable hyperstorms appear in the area of the Milky Way that lead to innumerable transmitter failures. The crystal screens in the solar system and Arkon fail as well.

The Terran-Arkonide hybrid Kantiran born on January 22, 1313 NGE wakes up on the backwoods planet Craiff in the Arkonide Crystal Empire. The world is an agricultural planet and Kantiran lives with his foster father, a farmer. He does not know who his parents, who died in an accident years ago were, but knows that he is a "bastard", based on his dark hair and water blue eyes. Because of this exterior „defect", he is at a disadvantage and mocked during his childhood, for the relations between Terra and Arkon are to say the least frosty. Kantiran however has a special ability: he can communicate with small animals, probably on an empathic level. Kantiran is visited in September 1326 NGE by Ascari da Vivo, the highest ranking personage on Craiff, who declares herself at first as an acquaintance of his parents. The eerie Kralasene Shallowain, who is known as the Hound, accompanies Ascari. In her long familiar manner, she ignores the objections of his foster parents and abruptly takes the boy on a day trip. She gives him some glasses in which special small optics are incorporated. They can record everything that is outside his visual field. A year later Kantiran is picked up by Shallowain and brought to the elite cadet training Paragetha on Arkon I. Normally, only the offspring of Arkonide nobles are instructed there for high-ranking military careers, and the school is directly subordinated to the Imperator. Here Kantiran naturally has it an especially hard time, but he does not give up and obtains the best results in all the classes. His high psi- values are also discovered there. Nevertheless, as a Terran- Arknoide hybrid, Kantiran would have been accepted to the school at all, if its leader had not been forced by order of the highest level to do so. Shallowain occasionally appears in the Paragetha in order to begin battle training Kantiran, who naturally has no chance against the Hound with the white eyeballs. In the year 1331 Kantiran is accepted for the ARK SUMMIA, with which his extra sense is supposed to be activated.

On Arkon I, Kantiran meets the girl who becomes his great love: the young colonial Arkonide Thereme, who works as a tailor for a Cel'Mascant of the Arkonide secret service. The two become a couple. The red haired, squarely built Mal Detair who runs an animal clinic becomes his best friend. Kantiran is able to repeatedly use his special abilities there, but most of all train and improve them. Detair gifts him with a Tarox. He carries this little carnivore that only he can tame, around his neck like a fur. Shortly before the ARK SUMMIA Thereme is murdered with the help of poisonous insects, that leave behind no traces. With Detair's aid, Kantiran learns out that Shallowain must have been involved with the murder. Kantiran takes part in the ARK SUMMIA on Iprasa, although nothing means anything to him anymore. He passes all the tests and thereby reaches the rank of a Tai-Laktrote. The activation of his extra sense fails however, and Kantiran falls into a coma, that continues for three months. His psi-values, which are responsible for the failure are now magnified. He now understands the whole instinctual mental world of all animals (although this type of telepathy stops at the level of creatures with conscious thought) and can mentally give them commands, which they cannot oppose. After he finally revives, he is called to Ascari da Vivo. She reveals to him that his skills were personally directed since his birth by her and the Imperator and that based on his outstanding achievements, he is to receive even without the completion of the ARK SUMMIA a command post in the fleet. His posting would be in the Hayok star archipelago. While Ascari speaks with Kantiran, he directs her lap pet with his thoughts to swallow a storage crystal that obviously contains personal data about him. Later he lures the animal to him and retrieves the crystal. What he learns from it, completely blows him away: he is the son of Perry Rhodan and Ascari da Vivo and was raised to birthing in a test tube. He is meant to be used as a weapon against the Terran, for Rhodan suspects nothing of Kantiran's existence and if he were to be confronted with his son at the correct moment, it might paralyze his ability to make a vital decision.

When Kantiran sees through these intentions, it also becomes clear why Thereme had to die. It could not be tolerated that Kantiran became hindered by romantic feelings for an „underprivileged" colonial. Kantiran now loses his former rock solid loyalty to the Arkonide Empire. Kantiran proceeds once again to Ascari in order to confront his mother with the truth. She admits that it she who gave the order for Thereme's assassination. She shows no feeling of any kind for her son, seeing only a tool for the annihilation of Terra in him. He thereupon has his marten attack her, for he has no other weapon and Ascari carries a protection screen anyway that protects her from energy weapons, but not simple matter. The dangerous animal rips up the beautiful Arkonide, but becomes mortally wounded. Ascari certainly survives the attack, but Kantiran knows nothing of that yet. Together with Detair, he escapes from Arkon II, taking passage on a rundown Springer ship that is to bring freight to the Traversan system. Bostich sends the Kralasene Shallowain after Rhodan's fleeing son, but he is to bring back Kantiran alive...

Cedric Beust 2005-10-06

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