2275 - Finale for Arphonie
Finale for Arphonie
Hubert Haensel

After the death of the Moto-clone 109, Lyressea is in the park at the foot of Tagg Kharzani's statue. Two Kybb Giraxxs discover her there, and it comes to a fight. It ends as Lyressea notices that a disintegrator curtain is beginning to dissolve the trees and the soil of the park and she maneuvers the combatants into it. The curtain finishes its job and as it disappears, Lyressea discovers that in front of the statue there is now a bare, round surface of approximately one and a half kilometers of diameter. The top of the surface is several meters under the former park's ground level and is the cover of an enormous, underground facility. It must be the area, to which the Moto-clone had not had access. Suddenly the cover opens.

In the meantime on the SWORD, closes to the barrier of the Kher Diamond. Zephyda and Perry Rhodan speak about the forthcoming attack. The ELEBATO materializes and with it are several thousand Hyperdimos.

Tagg Kharzani, again becomes agitated, feeling cornered. He is afraid. It is fear of his own death and fear of the Hyperdimos, which have collected outside the system. Meanwhile ever more of the foam opal bricks are becoming "spoiled" and Kharzani turns to the fragment of Satrugar. It glows and new life flows into Kharzani.

Some spaceships scramble in the proximity of the park where Lyressea is. The cavity of the underground facility reveals a cylinder disc ship. The ship has to belong to Tagg Kharzani personally and the Medial Sentry believes that it is meant as an escape ship. It makes her concerns that Kharzani could still triumph in the end...

On board the SWORD Perry and Zephyda are concerned because the newest space quakes increase in intensity, signaling the imminent fall of the hypercocoon into normal space. Zephyda abruptly cramps, but nothing unusual is to be determined outside the ship. At this point the Kybbs are flying suicidal maneuvers with some of their ships, in order to find a weak point in the lines of the Alliance of Morality, but they are quickly eliminated by the Hyperdimos.

In Castle Kherzesch Kharzani dreams in the meantime about the immortality, which Satrugar and Gor-Orbohn assured him of, when it is communicated to him that fifty white cruisers are approaching the planet. He instructs the launching of the Kybb-RAMS. In his mind, a thought emerges: "I will protect you, Tagg Kharzani". He identifies this thought as a message from Gon Orbhon. He orders his escape ship made ready to be launched.

The alarm is given in the Metropolis at Court. The ground shakes and Lyressea figures that the cylinder disc had to have started, but the hurricane which would have thereby had to be provoked do not come. The single explanation: Kherzesch is falling back from the cocoon into normal space. Meanwhile the sun Kher has already fallen back. When Lyressea looks upwards, she discovers a white cruiser which approaches the planet in a daredevil maneuver. She believes that it is the ELEBATO. The cruiser shoots a Paramag torpedo, which was likely supposed to hit the underground hangar, but was probably deflected and missed its target. When the aftershocks of the shot abate, the cruiser has disappeared, and in its place the sun Kher once again stands in the sky. The Medial Sentry has no hint about whether or not Kherzesch has fallen into normal space.

Lyressea reaches the antigrav-shaft, which she had used previously with Moto-clone 109 in the base of Kharzani's statue. Lyressea joins, in the shadowed form of a Prim-director, a group of Kybb- Trakens which is on their way to their ships. Aboard their KYBB-RAM Lyressea's camouflage becomes spotty, so she must kill the Kybbs.

In space the space quakes get stronger. The hypercocoon is already beginning to dissolve. The first gravity distortions are to be observed, and the first solar systems disappear. Meanwhile, the gaps in the Kher diamond are big enough for the Hyperdimos to pass through.

Lyressea brings the two dead Kybbs from the ship and gathers her strength in the cabin of the ship. Chaos breaks out n the whole planet and she begins to feel a little strange, frightened. She must leave Kherzesch as fast as possible, so she prepares the ship for takeoff. However, she does not succeed in opening the hangar gates, so she must wait. The lugubrious, mental force grows and continues to make her concerned. It becomes much harder for her to concentrate.

The SWORD falls back in the normal space between the exterior planets of the system. Hundreds of cylinder discs and Battle Traponders, as well sixty-eight Kybb-Titans are located in the system. It falls to the Hyperdimos to take care of the mobile units of the Kybbs, while the white cruisers are to attack the planet.

Zephyda brings the SWORD closer to the planet Kherzesch while small, agile ships as well as honeycomb ships launch.

Tagg Kharzani, evidently standing more and more under the influence of Gon-Orbhon, discovers in a warehouse of full spoiled opal bricks that the bricks have melted, and are burning coldly.

Enkrine points out to Kharzani the cries which arose from the "dying" bricks. The cries of slowly dying life. He recognizes that the creeping release of the Psionic energy which had kept alive him so long would soon destroy the palace in a spontaneous explosion, and him with it, provided that he did not disappear as quickly as possible. The freed Psi-radiation created its own reality, placing Kharzani in the Montana's past. He ventures into a tunnel. He slips and falls into the depth. He lands back in the corridor, in his own reality. The whole palace is blazing in cold fire.

The SWORD is attacked by the Kybb units and approaches the planet. They discover the palace as well as the hangar shaft. Suddenly a cry goes through the crew: a Hyperdimo has died! Perry speaks to Atlan, and the Arkonide reports that a Kybb-Titan has shot two Hyperdimos.

In the Kybb-RAM Lyressea observes how a gate opens above her, which brings to light only a shiny void. She cannot control the ship yet, and the ship suddenly gives maximum thrust. The ship shoots into the sky above Kherzesch and Lyressea locates the Hyperdimos. The ship does not react to her inputs and attacks a white cruiser, which is almost destroyed. At last, she succeeds in tearing the ship off its course. Now it obeys her commands. She destroys two KYBB-RAMS. She discovers the SWORD, which disappears immediately again, and then a battle Traponder takes course for Lyressea. With a short hyperlight stage she escapes and dives back into normal space in the hypercocoon far from the nearest ships. Then some Hyperdimos emerge with a white cruiser which draws her in by means of a tractor ray. Then the surroundings changed.

Kharzani has left the planet. The Kybb in the bridge of his escape ship note the deaths of the two Hyperdimos. Kharzani observes the death of one of the two, and soon afterwards his ship is attacked, but they manage to continue their journey to the Nocturnen obelisk Satrugar. He longs for the eternal life, but is constantly warned by Enkrine about this. In a fit of rage he tears off Enkirne and tramples the scraps. Then he becomes quiet, and the fear disappears more and more.

Meanwhile the SWORD takes course on Kherzesch, while a so-called ditch, an energy depression in the space time structure limits the freedom of movement of the Hyperdimos hunted by Titans. The cylinder disc has disappeared from its hangar and Perry Rhodan orders all the energy manifestations recorded, for he has recognized that it must be foam opal stored in Kherzesch. Shortly after, the opal bricks in the tower are all destroyed. The Kybb-Titans and the Hyperdimos leave the areas within the cloud of dust of the Kher Diamond.

Zephyda waits for a beacon signal from 109 and Lyressea, while the tower is completely destroyed and a Psi-Storm develops. The SWORD and the remaining white cruisers flee from the system.

Meanwhile, Lyressea's KYBB-RAM is already almost anchored in the ELEBATO when Atlan announces himself. After a short time his picture disappears and almost all the controls of the ship are going dark. Shortly after the docking maneuver is concluded and Atlan and Lyressea are making their way to the bridge when the gravity changes. When the surroundings return to normal, General Traver informs everyone that they had lost a whole hour and that all the Kyb-Titans have left the system. He gives the order to go to the planet Kherzesch, but the Sentry explains that an enormous Psi explosion is about to occur on Kherzesch, and that the chances of survival would be very bad in the system. Atlan talks with Perry, while Lyressea breaks down under the Psi-pressure.

Kharzani's escape ship docks inside the Titan-02. The Titans withdraw from the system, and there are only forty-eight of the original sixty-eight. He longs again for Gon-Orbhon, and notes too late that Enkrine was right with its warnings when it said that Gon- Orbhon would control him. The fragment of Satrugar takes control over him. The fragment informs him of coordinates to go to, which he passes onto the Prim-director Deitz Duarto.

The silent message to Kharzani is understood clearly by Lyressea, and recognizes that the broadcasting station is just in the process of leaving the Kher Diamond. Atlan gives her a stimulant and she notes that the ELEBATO is being attacked. She explains to Atlan that the foam opal bricks will destroy everything in its surroundings at the moment in which the planet falls from the cocoon. Suddenly she freezes and Atlan orders an emergency transition.

The SWORD is in a geostationary orbit around Kherzesch. Perry Rhodan thinks about a possible evacuation when Atlan announces himself and informs Perry that the foam opal is about to explode and recommends the quickest retreat possible. The sword accelerates with maximum values and pushes through the Kher Diamond. Space has changed in an alarming way. They locate forty-eight Titans and know that Kharzani is on one of them.

Massive confusion rules on the ELEBATO. After some unknown period the ship falls from hyperspace and races towards Kherzesch.

Evidently the ELEBATO had undertaken a short time journey, because the castle still stood there. Traver orders the ship to attack the hangar in the ground, but Lyressea recognizes that she is - or was - down there herself. But the torpedoes miss their target. Then the ship makes another involuntary time jump again. They come out in Ammandul, but back in the normal universe; the hypercocoon does not exist any more...

The SWORD is stuck in an enormous hyperstorm which accompanies the dissolving of the cocoon. Perry just gets the evaluation of the course vectors of the Titans, before he loses consciousness just like the others in the ship. The Titans are heading for Terra!

Cedric Beust

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