The Distance Trail
Uwe Anton

On the FRIDTJOF NANSEN, a Type II DISCOVERER of the Hayok fleet,Julian Tifflor observes as an unfamiliar ship falls out from theJamondi star ocean hypercocoon and is attacked by three Kybb Cranarcube ships that have also fallen into normal space. The manta rayshaped ship destroys the cube ships in battle, but then stops in itstracks as a solar system drops into normal space in its closevicinity. A Terran boarding party boards the ship, a bionic cruiser,and finds unconscious Motana. The intact ship's computer reboots andtakes offense at the Terrans presence, but when the Motana commanderawakens and Julian Tifflor intervenes personally by holo, it doesnot take long before they sit down peacefully at the table andexchange information. Tifflor thus learns all about the currentconditions in the star ocean and the background of recent events.They separate friends - the Motana on the SHADOW PLAY want tocontinue to hunt down more Kybb-Cranar with their bionic cruiser.

In the meantime, there are new difficulties on board the SWORD. TheMotanas, especially Zephyda, suffer from debilitating headaches andlose their Psi-forces. Atlan supposes that there must be a Kyber-Neutro near the cathedral. He and Lyressea search for it and find asubterranean facility manned by robots, which had failed after theactivation of the DISTANCE TRAIL and now, after the conditions inthe Tan Jamondi system have returned to normal, reactivated. Thisfacility has presumably already been in operation since soon afterthe Blood Night of Barinx, to guard the cathedral from any access byMotanas. Lyressea takes on her second shape, which Altan perceivesas a metallic body, similar to a Cosmocrat robot, instead of adragon like Perry Rhodan had seen, and destroys the robot crew andthe Kyber-Neutro by herself. After a little while, the space quakesin the whole star ocean massively increase in strength. All the Kybb-Titans are drawn off to the third planet, Tan-Ice. Therefore thepath is free for the SWORD to lift off and she rushes into theDISTANCE TRAIL, in order to try retrieving the Paragon Cross.

On September 8, 1332 NGE, the star ocean of Jamondi is finallycompletely thrown back into Einstein space. Hyper-hurricanes ofnever before seen strength rage, producing space quakes anddistortions of the space time structure. After two days theseeffects fade away, and the hypercocoon has completely dissolved. Nowthe LFT ships can penetrate into the star ocean and go on the searchfor the Rhodan and Atlan. But at the same time, Julian Tifflor canonly wonder what dangers have now been released, that ES hadpresumably locked away in the hypercocoon.

Jerry Schneiderman 2005-02-09

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