2205 - Das Blut der Veronis
Blood of the Veronis
Ernst Vlcek

After Perry Rhodan and Atlan awaken from being knocked out, they appear to be in a mine. They have collars around their necks that cannot be removed; the other captive mineworkers call the collars Krin Varidh. They are supposedly devices to keep anyone from escaping. The other captives are all manlike beings, who call themselves Motanas. They appear to be peace loving forest inhabitants. The Kybb Cranar subjugates them, those beings that reminded Perry and Atlan of upright walking 1.60 meter tall hedgehogs. Each Kybb Cranar possesses two arms where in each case one arm is an artificial prosthesis. The one that runs the mine is a certain Raphid-Kybb-Karter, who turns out to be a cruel, sadistic Kybb Cranar.

He demonstrates the effect of the collars on Atlan. It contains a Neuroshocker to make the prisoners obey orders, and in addition the collars will inject a poison that kills the bearer, if the timer in the band is not reset each morning. The task of the prisoners in the tunnels of the Holy Mountain is to mine the so-called foam opal. These slaves are supported only by the Zuukims, domesticated animals. The two immortals quickly determine that the Motanas possesses a certain affinity for this foam opal, which is also called the "blood of Veronis ", while the Galactics can find practically no foam opal. Because they cannot hold up their end of the daily quota, Perry Rhodan fears that it is only a question of time, until the death sentence is pronounced over them. But the Motanas help the two immortals, so that also they can fulfill the quota. As Atlan tells colorful stories from his adventurous past, Rhodan takes over the role of the supervisor and improves the work and life conditions of the slaves in the mine.

Because the Kybb Cranar are apparently also suffering under the increased hyperimpedance, the production quota is increased, but there is no longer enough to cover for the two immortals. When Atlan almost dies with a tunnel collapse and is buried in the mountain, he has a strange meeting with the mysterious Veronis.

They turn out to be Motanas who went missing in the mines, and ended up mutated by the radiation of the foam opal. They look like the living dead, and are able to squirm their bodies through the narrowest openings in the rock like snakes, and nourish themselves on the "life energy" of their former comrades.

With the pressure from the Kybb Cranar, Atlan and Rhodan decide to escape. The Motana Jadyel, who is dying anyway, wants to see the sky again before his death, so he accompanies and helps them. All he asks in return is that they try to get his personal effects to his relatives after he dies. They find a forgotten tunnel, which will lead to freedom and is not guarded. After they leave the abandoned tunnel into the open air and a new day breaks, the collars, which were not reset, inject their poison. Jadyel dies, but the two cell activator bearers survive under great pains as the activator chips fight off the poison.

Cedric Beust 2005-11-11

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