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2247 - Attentat auf Hayok
Terror Attack on Hayok
Uwe Anton


Ascari da Vivo receives a radio message from Imperator Bostich with which the Terrans are given a free hand in their departure preparations. The Mascant places only one condition to Bull: an Arkonide observer must join in the flight into the Greater Magellanic Cloud. Bull sends half of the PONTOON-Tenders ahead. They are to form a chain of space depot and repair stations in the 40,000 light years wide empty space between galaxies.

The RICHARD BURTON will be the first ship to attempt the complete journey into the Greater Magellanic Cloud, for there is not enough time remaining to convert the other DISCOVERERS completely yet. The spherical hull of the ship now "sticks" to a cube open at two sides with 3 kilometers of side length, whose walls are four hundred meters thick. This cube harbors additional Hawk-converters and can be ejected when done with. Together with the Hawks within thespherical ship, the converters will only be good for flight there and reconnaissance within the Greater Magellanic Cloud. If the bulk of the fleet should not make for some reason into the Greater Magellanic Cloud, the RICHARD BURTON will no longer have enough engine capacity to return to the Milky way …

While the Terrans continue busily tinkering with their ships, young Kantiran makes a sad example of himself in Vhalaum. He repeatedly gets drunk to the point of throwing up and passing out. Finally though, he finds some redemption with a girl, Scazada Toan, who falls in love with him, but toward whom he cannot generate deeper feelings, because he cannot forget Thereme (dead for a year now). He moves carefree around the city and even takes a job along with Mal Detair, although he very well knows that he continues to be sought by the Arkonides.

Scazada quickly begins to dream of a happy family life on Hayok, but nothing comes of it, for one day Gucky appears in Kantarin's in apartment in order to recruit him for the flight to the Greater Magellanic Cloud. Every available mutant is needed for the mission. Kantiran, of course, continues to be bull-headed and refuses. He continues to deny fate, when Bull comes personally a few days later to apologize for his actions with Shallowain and to try talking him into coming on the expedition. The starbastard rips into Bull for his behavior in the Shallowain affair, and moreover he still feels badly treated by his father Perry Rhodan. Still, it begins to become clear to Kantiran that a life shared with Sca is not in the stars for him, because the stars themselves call for him, especially because the woman is only a diversion for him, not true love. Finally, he decides to go on the expedition.

Meanwhile, Shallowain has been inciting young Arkonide gang members to physically attack non-Arkonides. Why, is never explained. Eventually, Shallowain tricks one to take the next step and bomb a bar that Kantiran and his friends frequent. (It is never indicated though, that Shallowain knows that Kantiran goes there). The bombing takes place on the night when Kantiran was going to break up with Ska in the bar. She is not hurt badly, but one of the fourteen victims dead is the bomber himself. It turns out that Shallowain tampered with the timing fuse so that it would explode immediately, wiping out the living connection to him.

After a rather perfunctory breakup scene between Kantiran and Ska, Kantiran and Mal Detair proceed onto the RICHARD BURTON. Kantiran is not at all delighted to see the Arkonide observers come aboard on the day of departure, May 8th 1332 NGE. They are the Zalite scientist Trerok, the Dron Qertan – and his mother Ascari da Vivo!

Jerry Schneiderman 2004-12-12

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