2297 - Unter dem Kondensator-Dom
Under the Condenser Cathedral
Leo Lukas

The voice, which Filana Karonadse hears, turns out to be the Specter. The "electronic incarnation" of Maykie Molinas had left the RICHARD BURTON with the GREEN MOON, in order to hurry to the assistance of its friend Gucky. The GREEN MOON’S Biotronic fought it with security programs all the way to the Tan Jamondi system, so that it barely managed to survive the trip.

The Specter was surprised to recognize that some of its old technology was on board the LEIF in Filana Karonadse’s implants. But this enabled it to slowly but surely make contact with her. The Specter’s immediate problem is that it is running out of energy. Filana solves the problem, by arranging a new supply of energy from a battery pack that she then constantly carries around in a backpack, along with the containers of the Specter’s UBSEF-Constant matter. In return the Specter improves her implants.

Together they go through the data captured from the Kybbs and find an amazing instruction, which forbids the use of Kyber-Neutros in the proximity of Kybb-Titans. The logical conclusion is clear: The K/Neutro is the secret weapon they are looking for. There is only one problem. All the Kyber-Neutros were supposedly destroyed in the battle around Tan Jamondi. Only the captured and now lost Iant Letoxx can help them further.

Iant Letoxx is in the clutches of the terrorist organization TREATISE, which is led by Cende Terken, an earlier lover of Letoxx's. TREATISE wants to use Letoxx as a figurehead, in order to incite more Kybbs against the Terrans. Letoxx is therefore to be used by the organization, but not really recognized. He is not very happy with his situation.

Meanwhile the "delegation for cultural exchange" visits a school of the Kybb-Traken. There they discover an old computer with the label TREATISE. Filana and the Specter succeed in transfer the Specter into the old hybrid network and retrieving information about TREATISE and the current location of Iant Letoxx. In addition it finds out, why the Kybb-Titans do not get along with the Kyber Neutros: The K/Neutros sets the Biodim Block network, which represents the main drive of the Titans after the hyperimpedance shock, out of operation, since it consists of Motana genetic material. TREATISE has meanwhile formed an enormous network. An ever growing number of computers are being activated and integrated. A quantum leap is said to be approaching briefly.

A Terran commando team succeeds in releasing Iant Letoxx from the power of TREATISE. The Kybb-Trake now appears to be amazingly cooperative. The mission overall succeeded, but failed on one point: Prominent TREATISE members escaped, and it does not help that Letoxx is able to supply their names.

Together with Letoxx, a Terran commando team under the leadership of Hajmo Siderip goes into the underground city, in which Iant Letoxx discovered the Kyber Neutros, back then. When it penetrates into the network there, the Specter finds not only information that another five hundred K/Neutros exist, but also senses that the network is expanding and incorporating ever more computers. Thus the defense possibilities of the network, which calls itself TREATISE increases and obviously represents the origination of the terrorist organization, which now uses its resources. The Specter can only barely manage to escape a deadly attack. TREATISE is, however, not limited to a "digital" defense, but causes the underground city to collapse. The Terrans and Iant Letoxx barely manage to escape.

Filana passes on the data that the Specter, which still keeps its identity secret, retrieved from the network. It lets them determine their next target. Geront Detrakk, a legendary warrior of the Kybbs, was responsible for the transfer of the five hundred searched for Kyber Neutros. It is clear that they have to therefore search his collected and passed on belongings for a clue to their location. However this presents a problem: Detrakk’s belongings are underneath the condenser cathedral. The very thought of foreign intelligences entering the holy sanctuary in which every young Kybb-Trake has its arms amputated to receive its prostheses, would be anathema to any Kybb and would destroy all the Terrans’ attempts for peaceful communication with them in the future. Even Iant Letoxx is so angry at the thought that foreigners might enter the cathedral that he initially refuses to help the Terrans. With Atlan’s ultimatum of either agreeing to help and then receiving his Space Jet and free passage or refusing and being left as a sacrificial lamb in the cathedral, Letoxx gives in.

In the protection of deflectors Filana Karonadse and Gorm Goya enter the holy cathedral behind Iant Letoxx, who enters the cathedral visible to all. Under the cathedral, the Specter enters the network and uncovers a secret shaft. The backpack with the Specter’s soul anchor is left hooked in above, as the others take the sinking floor down the shaft. At the bottom of the shaft, a high-energy scanner prevents further penetrating with deflectors, so they take off the devices and then follow the passage. At its end is the ‘solar plexus’, the central junction of TREATISE. Waiting for the intruders are resistance fighters led by Cende Terken, who orders that Letoxx’s arm prostheses be removed as punishment for his betrayal. While Letoxx’s prostheses are removed, the Specter looks around inside the network of TREATISE’S ‘solar plexus’. The network turns out to have reached self-awareness as a digital intelligence and requests the Specter to merge with it, in order to gain what it is missing: A soul. The alternative for the Specter is extremely unpleasant: destruction. The fact that it does not come to this, the Specter owes to the stouthearted intervention of Gorm Goya, who grabs up Letoxx's detached prostheses as weapons and uses them to attack the resistance fighters. In the confusion, while Goya loses his life to give Iant Letoxx and Filana Karonadse a chance to flee, the Specter jumps from the computer network into Filana’s implant and at least partially takes over control of her body.

When the two beings of flesh and the Specter reach their sloop, TREATISE is at least badly damaged by a massive assault on the ‘solar plexus’. Filana supplies the position data and security codes for the space station over Whocain where the five hundred Kyber Neutros were hidden to Atlan. While the Kyber Neutros are retrieved, Filana/Spex asks Atlan asks to be allowed to leave the Tan Jamondi system together with Iant Letoxx on board the Space Jet he is given. Atlan grants the request, although he is a bit concerned with her appearance.

As the Space Jet leaves range of the detectors, the bionic cruiser from Mykronoer arrives. On board is Lotho Keraete. The ES’ messenger brings Atlan a good pieces of news. He succeeded in persuading Ka Than, aka the Autonomous Gray, the mental remnant of the second Nocturnen obelisk, to actively fight against Gon-O. Ka Than has left Mykronoer. Atlan and the Terrans still have one problem: None of their ships is fast enough to fly the five hundred K/Neutros to the Sol system quickly enough. Atlan goes to Tan Jamondi, in order to have a conversation with Zephyda…

Jerry Schneiderman 2005-10-30

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