2201 - Der Arkonidenjäger
The Arkonide Hunter
Hans Kneifel

Kantiran and the animal healer Mal Detair are on the run. The two escape from Arkn II in the old Springer ship GELTAN XIII, which is on the way to Traversan. Kantiran, who believes he has killed his mother Ascari da Vivo, feels no remorse. For him it was revenge for the death of his beloved Thereme. The universe seems to be acting up these days and the flight of the old Springer ship feels like a ride on a volcano. The Springer patriarch Geltan cannot remember when such strong hyperstorms had ever so complicated space travel in the area of Thantur Lok. Kantiran is tormented for the moment though, by other concerns. Without a doubt the Hound Shallowain has picked up his trail. Kantiran estimates his chance to escape as slight. Shallowain will quickly find out the goal of the Springer ship and then hunt him down. Therefore, Kantiran who still disposes of enough finances, tries to convince the Springer patriarch to change course.

Kantiran's goal is the free trade world Taloris, twenty thousand light years away from Arkon. The young half-blood must pay expensively for this course change. Because he has disclosed about his finances he is attacked, as the Springers boldly come after Kantiran and Mal Detair in their cabin. The impoverished Springer kinship is obviously ready to come into some money. The attempt ends lethally for the Springers. Mal Detair, former officer of the Arkon fleet, takes firm action. From that point on the Springer patriarch promises to hold to the made agreement. After a short orientation fall the Springer cylinder continues its flight. In spite of all efforts to raise the performance of the Metagrav, their speed in hyperspace constantly decreases. Kantiran remembers the warnings of the Terrans, particularly Perry Rhodan, who had announced that the Cosmocrats would be raising the hyperphysical resistance in the universe. Was this the first sign that the effects of it would soon be taking place?

Shallowain is already after Kantiran. With the Arkon battleship LEOTARD he has taken up pursuit of the Springer cylinder. The Kralasene knows how Kantiran's mind works and does not believe that Kantiran will really go to the planet Traversan. For Shallowain it is clear that Kantiran will choose another goal, which will offer him more possibilities for flight. The LEOTARD, which is also shaken by the unbelievably strong hyperstorms uses all its means for detection to find the trail of the GELTAN XIII. After a short time, the detectors pick up a signature radiation which points clearly to the Springer cylinder. As expected the Springer has changed course and now heads for another sector. On the basis of the course data Shallowain does not need long to guess Kantiran's target. It is the free trade world Taloris! The LEOTARD also changes course and races after the Springer ship. The modern Arkonide ship also loses speed in hyperspace. Nobody has an explanation for it. In the increasing chaos, hyperradio communication is also disturbed. Therefore, Shallowain has a message repeatedly sent to the Celistas on Taloris immediately.

After the GELTAN XII has thankfully landed on Taloris, Kantiran and Mal Detair leave it immediately. Chaos rules on the planet. The big transmitter station has not been functioning correctly for days now and many containers and people get lost in hyperspace. The radio is also impaired and great concern spreads. Kantiran and Mal Detair take a room at a third-class hotel and try to exchange Arkonide Chronners for Galax. When Kantiran and Mal Detair meet on the edge of the space harbor, they observe a big spherical spaceship without any markings of origin. Mal Detair had filmed the crew as it got off. Kantiran could swear they are Celistas. Then at the end he sees his archenemy! Shallowain the Hound really has arrived on Taloris!

The Springer patriarch Geltan experiences a disagreeable surprise shortly afterward. Just before he is able to leave Taloris, an elite Arkonide military unit storms his ship. The short resistance of the Springers is crushed. Whoever resists, dies. Geltan answers the questions of the Arkonides as best he can and delivers a description of his former passangers. The hunt continues and Shallowain uses every imaginable aid to hunt down the two men quickly. Finally, he lays waste to the bank, in which Kantiran is exchanging his currency. Driven into a corner, Kantiran and Mal Detair have only one possible way left to leave Taloris alive. The container transmitter network! The risk of getting lost in hyperspace due to the hyperspace disturbances is considerably high. However, Kantiran also knows that his life on Taloris is not worth a Chronner, as long as Shallowain the Hound is after him. Mal Detair contributes the escape vehicle, a glider, just as the archway of a transmitter is aimed at the slave station in the Quovan system, five thousand and one light years away from Taloris. Shallowain who pursues the two fugitives hesitates to follow them at the last moment. Transmitter passage is too insecure for his taste and therefore, he prefers to take the conventional way to Quovan. The LEOTARD launches immediately and takes course for the Quovan system. The Kralasene swears that he will hunt Kantiran down at the end no matter what condition he came out of the transmitter in on Quovan Seven. When the LEOTARD starts the jump into hyperspace, the attempt fails. The Metagrav engine no longer seems to function and the ship remains in normal space!

Cedric Beust

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