2252 - Welt der Ursuppe
The World of the Primordial Soup
Arndt Ellmer

The Sentry Catiaane knows the planets on which the four still missing Sentries were hidden. While Rhodan and Lyressea fly with the bionic cruiser GREEN MOON to the Tan Jamondi system, Atlan, Catiaane and Zephyda proceed with the SWORD to the Ortiz system, where the male Sentry Hytath should be. Unfortunately, this area is set down in the star catalogue of the Besch as a forbidden zone. Arriving at their goal, Zephyda discovers that the Ortiz system is a weapon laden fortress. Thousands of Traken ships, including many heavy units, guard the planets. It is difficult for Catiaane to locate her brother by her low threshold telepathy. Some kind of disturbing influence hinders her in it. Finally, she feels that Hytath must be on the planet Etabe. This world is covered for the most part by an ocean of concentrated organic materials – a kind of primordial soup.

The SWORD cannot get to the planets of the Ortiz system. The Besch turn out to bring supplies to the system, so Atlan, Catiaane and some companions wait for one that is going to Etabe and plan to talk the ship into taking them along. They do not know that the king of the Besch recently sent a message to all Besch ships telling them about the re-emergence the Motana bionic cruisers and that they should provide any aid they can to the Motana if asked to. Thus, it is easy of switch to the freighter. The reason for this insubordination towards the ruling powers of the star ocean is the aggravation of the conditions under which the Besch may still drive their trading business. Up to now they could comfortably live with it, but since the hypershock the Kybb oppression has become unbearable. When Egh Larini, the head price driver of the Besch ship, meets the Sentry face to face, he even agrees to help them free of charge (which is actually, unknown of for a Besch). The amphibian beings evidently have an immense amount of respect for the Sentries, just like the Motana do.

The Besch spaceship lands on Etabe and is searched by Kybb-Traken, but Atlan and most of his people have long ago gone on their search for Hyta's eternal asylum under the protection of deflector screens. Epasaar, the Motana Support, on the other hand, is hidden in a secret compartment on the Besch ship and monitors the Kybb transmissions on the plant. Atlan's group take few measures to protect themselves, but still manage to go undiscovered. As they search, they learn that Etabe so important for the Kybb due to its rich occurrences of red hypercrystal. A massive amount of the red Khalumvatt crystal is dissolved on a massive scale in the primordial soup, practically becoming a part of the planet's food chain. With swimming factories the valuable substance is filtered and stored from the primordial soup. The radiant emissions of the crystals are also the reason for the disturbance of the telepathic connection between the Sentries. Hytath is found, in spite of all the difficulties, and is aroused as his asylum capsule destroys itself. Unfortunately, it was hidden in the middle of the biggest hypercrystal-refinery of Etabe and the meltdown of the capsule releases a deflagration of the hypercrystals. In all the resulting chaos the companions manage to get back to the Besch ship with Hytath– now half of the Sentries are back together.

Analyzing the messages that Epasaar caught, it is learned that a large shipment of crystals is being sent to Tan Jamondi II. With it, Atlan nad Zephayda know the Motana's next target.

Jerry Schneiderman 2005-01-28

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