2265 - Die Krone von Roewis
The Crown of Roewis
Michael Marcus Thurner

The RICHARD BURTON goes into orbit around the planet Roewis, which is the center of the Gurrad Empire, in order to have the necessary repair work done there and to acquire new hypercrystals. Reginald Bull receives permission to speak at the Crown of Roewis, which is a kind of meeting place for all the races of the Greater Magellanic Cloud and consists a mélange of buildings of all the conceivable architectural styles of these races. He takes along Kantiran, Mal Detair, Gucky and Icho Tolot.

The news that the Gurrads are descended from the Cortezen spreads like a brush fire through the planetary net after a press interview. However, everything does not run smoothly for Bully. Be tried, on the one hand to make the best deal possible with the Terran's trading partner, the patriarch of the so-called Syndicate of 22, who in turn tried to pull the greatest possible profit from the predicament of the Terrans. Bull's appeal to the people of the Greater Magellanic Cloud to stand together united against Gon-Orbhon bumps into little requited love. The Gurrads believe, that Gon- Orbhon has his sight set upon only the Terrans and that they themselves are not in danger.

While Bully deals with the political situation, Kantiran and Mal Detair befriend some Gurrad children to help them explore the underground warrens of the Crown of Roewis. Kantiran has been feeling a bit claustrophobic on the RICHARD BURTON. He also wants to practice his low threshold telepathy on the local animal life. They come upon the rat like beings called Tentzen, which are worshipped as reincarnated Gurrad doing penance before moving onto the afterlife. Kantiran is able to control one of them, but notes that there is a kind of king Tentze that is much more intelligent, cunning and strong-willed. He is unable to be influenced by Kantiran.

The Gurrads are busy meanwhile in dealing with internal squabbles and intrigues. The situation escalates when two diplomats from the Roewis and the Mantoll Empire's are murdered. A presently taking place conference with which a trading alliance is to be closed between these two Gurrad realms is thereby presumably torpedoed. It is to be owed only to the intervention of Gucky that it does not come to a bloodbath. Then the system alarm is suddenly given. An unknown disk shaped ship approaches Roewis, does not react to any radio message and cannot stopped by the planet's defensive fire.

The disk ship sets down two objects on Roewis and disappears again. Crystal lumps of 5D-frequency quartz are found by the Gurrads, who examine the objects and then begin to behave very strangely. After a short time, many of the other Gurrads on the planet also succumb to the peculiar influencing. In the end, an accommodation is made between the races, but not the kind desired by Bully: They all begin to give honor together to Gon-Orbhon!

It is clear that the Gurrads are being influenced mentally by Gon- Orbhon. Bull and his companions end up in danger of being captured and can flee only because Kantiran provides a distraction. He brings masses of the dangerous Tentzen under his control and rushes them at the lion people. In the process though, the king Tentze attacks and wounds Kantiran before Gucky is able to teleport him out. The RICHARD BURTON is meanwhile fit to fly again and once the party returns it escapes back to the Parrakhon star cluster where the cruiser EAGLE left behind under Daellian's command to observe the system waits for them.

Cedric Beust 2005-04-18

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