2274 - Motoklon Hundertneun
Moto-clone 109
Michael Marcus Thurner

The battle around Gray Foam is finished for now and both sides have innumerable deaths to mourn. Lyressea has the two potential Protectors, Perry and Atlan, given an initial examination by the Paragon Cross for their suitability. A consecration is not possible at the moment, because the other Sentries are not present. Atlan is tested for about half an hour by the consciousness fragment of ES, while Rhodan takes one and a half hours. The results come out positively for the two former Knights of the Depth, but there is still another problem. The Paragon Cross tells them that it is not able to modify the auras of the two Galactics without most likely killing the bearer.

The Medial Sentry is horrified, but Perry awards her courage by telling her that he wants to attempt it when they get back anyway. As he puts it, there is always hope.

Two days later, the cylinder disk INTUUL is flying in stealth mode near the Demyrtle system to check out the battlefield.

Suddenly the Kybb-ship, under the command of One-Plan Binne Mandel, picks up an emergency call. At first the Kybb-Giraxx wants to ignore the call, but it is an emergency call with a high ranking code, from a moto-clone. The One-Plan cannot ignore this emergency call.

Moto-clone 109 is bringing in an important prisoner; it is Lyressea. It tolerates no postponements and wants to be brought directly into the Kher system. The One-Plan is in a dilemma, for naturally he cannot contradict a moto-clone's order, but he cannot ignore his actual orders to check the battle zone. But 109 will tolerate no opposition, so the INTUUL takes course for the Kher diamond. Using its override code, the moto-clone gets the spaceship to Kherzesch.

As the cylinder disk makes its landing approach to Kherzesch, 109 calls the commander into the cell of its prisoner. When it arrives there, the moto-clone kills the One-Plan. Lyressea takes on Binne Mandel's form using her ability of Para-modulation and leaves the ship. She uses a glider to put distance between herself and the spaceship, because the next part of their plan involves 109 releasing a moto-shock and then destroying the ship. It goes according to plan, and the Medial Sentry manages to get into the old storage hall in order to find shelter before her energy leaves her and she changes back.

The moto-clone manipulates the energy generators of the ship and leaves it, leaving the crew dead from fear and fright generated by the moto-shock. Then it proceeds to the storage hall that the Sentry went to. The hall was affected by the powerful explosion of the ship, partially falling in and beginning to burn. However, the unconscious Lyressea was only lightly hurt by falling debris.

Melting girders must be moved out of the way so that they can get to an underground anti-grav shaft that goes further down. The moto- clone does this, but loses some of its body substance and much of its energy. The pair of very different companions manages to get into the shaft, but then need to take a break.

On the SWORD they prepare for takeoff. Zephyda and Perry Rhodan will fly with the bionic cruiser to the Kher system to observe whether the Sentry and moto-clone have had success. Atlan will stay behind on Gray Foam to wait with the Hyperdimos for the news of success and then join the others in the attack.

On Kherzesch the strange companions struggle their way forward through the seemingly endless tunnels of Castle Kherzesch. As expected the dark policemen have taken up their pursuit. Julcen, the Gagaothe and one of the ten leading dark policemen, is the one who has ordered the search. It is clear that a moto-clone is involved and has not been acting alone, but is still unclear which moto-clone it is. Therefore, all the moto-clones on Kherzesch are ordered to submit themselves to an examination.

109 informs Lyressea that it can probably not properly replace its loss of substance any longer and that it will die as its backup systems slowly fail. A positive side effect of this is that 109 thereby begins to have something like feelings, because it cannot just calculate for everything that will happen any more, but is forced to estimate and simplify its judgment processes.

At this point, Lyressea reveals their true target to 109: It is not the Palace of the Living, but SCREEN-ZERO, the control center of the SCREEN-forts. The moto-clone accepts it emotionlessly, as it has not had time to assimilate its new capability for feeling yet.

The dark policemen do their homework, and it turns out that only three moto-clones could be the traitor. The most likely candidate is 109. And the real target of the attack is fixed for the paranoid guards. They have fallen for Lyressea's plan and are sure that it must be the Stellar Hospital. Therefore they shift practically all their troops there.

The Sentry and the moto-clone have a heart to heart talk as they are on the move. She expresses her hatred towards it, because of its acts, but it gives her something to think about also. It would like to understand why one side is the good are and the others the bad people. The climax of their moral conversation is a dance, the Flagore, on the airy heights of the statue of Tagg Kharzani.

The SWORD reaches the Kher system and waits.

The dark policemen get a computer virus from Tagg Kharzani that is supposed to turn 109 back to their side. The attempt fails only because the infected backup system fails before the virus can spread to the other nodes. 109 recognizes what happened and sets up protection against it happening again. It is a heavy setback for Julcen and luck for the Alliance.

The two intruders manage to penetrate into SCREEN-ZERO, once again by having 109 take out the crew by a moto-shock while Lyressea waits out of distance. Using the machinery there they make new entrance lanes appear in the protecting layer of dust around the Kher system. As its time runs out, 109 sends away the Sentry. She tries to change its mind, but the moto-clone has accomplished all it could. It tells her that it had decided to work for the Lyressea because she could find it in her to finally forgive him and a Kybb would never have been able to!

While Lyressea becomes a Kybb-Giraxx by means of a Para-modulation and can flee the station, moto-clone 109 blows up SCREEN-ZERO, many other moto-clones, two leaders of the dark policemen and itself.

Beyond the system the SWORD recognizes what is happening and calls the fleet under the command of Atlan. The attack on the Kher system is about to start.


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