2293 - Ein Held für alle Fälle
A Hero for all cases

The effects of the hypershock wave running along the jet ray are also noticeable within the Temple of the Gradual Decline. The sect members there are exposed to an unbelievable mental pressure, and many of them cannot extract themselves from it. They react with an inhuman amount of aggression against others and even kill. Carlosch Imberlock is also affected, being shortly released from Gon-O's control, but he is quickly taken back under control. He leaves the temple and cannot believe his eyes. The obelisk relay is shining like a lightshow in all the colors of the rainbow.

On Luna things are far from running their usual course. Cleaning technician Jack C. Reuter, a passionate hamster breeder, French connoisseur and less successful attractor of women, is trying his luck with the Technician Mardi Dice. But during his amorous attempts they are interrupted by the planetary disaster alarm. Various high level personnel and agents of the TLS have been taken over by Gon-O and now take over control of Luna. Some uninfluenced humans had armed themselves and tried to offer resistance. However they did not have enough to oppose the militarily trained armed forces. Jack adheres to the slogan: better a living coward than a dead hero.

Over the next days the new ruling powers consolidate their power and soon carry out public executions, like had occurred on the Earth. Everyone not arrested is forced to participate as spectators. Jack cannot bear the psychological pressure and faints from his disgust and abhorrence of this. His friend Brad Hinx manages to get him home.

Meanwhile production is started up in a mothballed shipyard facility in the Mare Crisium. The technical engineers working there make sure not to ask any questions about what they are making, because they regard the newly arrive head there, Raphael, as a disciple of Gon-O.

The newly formed agency "Eye on NATHAN" is interested in the proceedings at the old shipyard. They have the task of keeping a constant eye on all suspicious activities and preventing any opposition by the lunar grand computer. It turns out that Raphael has nothing to do with Gon-O and had appeared out of thin air.

Jack finally gets back to his normal life, until he receives a message. NATHAN has contacted him with a secret mission. He is to use a particular terminal at a certain time. He passes the time with a rendezvous with Mardi, whom he inadvertently reveals some of this to. He has to leave her and reaches the terminal right on time. He fills up a data crystal and receives his next instructions there.

His next order leads him to a remote hypercom station. Here he follows his instructions and ends up contacting Perry Rhodan in Wega. After the transmission of some data, which he received from NATHAN, he is sent back more data in a data record named CRYSTAL STORM II that he is to deliver to NATHAN in two days time.

Waiting for May 10th drives Jack to distraction. He avoids any contact with Mardi and shuts himself in his cabin. At the deadline, he is rerouted to the Thora Shipyard. Under the eyes of Mardi, who works there, he starts the program. The machinery there changes what they are producing and where it is delivered. The new goal is a technical complex within the Zwiebus Crater. Jack is very nervous after the fulfillment of his orders and brought by Mardi to her place. The confession of their affection brings them upon other thoughts get caught up in them. Later on though, Jack receives new orders for one last task.

The activities at the Mare Crisium shake up the agency watching over NATHAN. Some unknown kind of apparatus is being built there. The agents occupy the shipyard and take Raphael prisoner. A questioning of the technician does not result in any new hints, for nobody has any idea of what they were working on. When Raphael refuses any co- operation, he is shot. After his death, it turns out that he had been a Daniel robot, a perfect imitation of a human. The machine that was being built also provides not information because as soon as Raphael was shot, it exploded. The last trail for the agency to follow now is a cleaning technician who has been behaving strangely for the last few days.

Jack is taken captive by a group of TLS agents. They do not appreciate his gallows humor, and carry out a full body cavity inspection with painful probes. After the useless procedure his head is shaven bald before he is released. No reason is given for it. All it accomplishes is cementing Jack's cooperation with NATHAN, in order to revenge his humiliation at the hands of Gon-O's agents.

His last task leads him back to a hypercom unit. He conveys the confirmation signal to Wega. CRYSTAL STORM II has been successfully begun.

The situation in the Temple of the Gradual Decline on Terra has calmed down. However, the disciples are still suffering from the silence of their god, and the obelisk relay still resembles a fireworks display. Whether Gon-O will recover soon, lies in the stars.

Jerry Schneiderman 2005-10-30

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