2300 - Vorboten des Chaos
Harbingers of Chaos
Robert Feldhoff

At the beginning of 1344 NGC (4931AD), a good 12 years after the "hypershock", the situation has stabilized in the Milky Way to a great extent; at least in the galactic Westside. In the Eastside however awful civil wars rave among the Blues people. On Terra and the other inhabited worlds of the Westside, peace and normality has remained, interstellar travel even takes place once more. Still, there is a lot to do, because the individual nations are far from creating a true galactic community. Perry Rhodan has recognized that the galactic nations must rise up once again and pursue a common path, mainly because of the still inestimable menace which could arise to the Milky Way from the Negasphere originating in Hangay. Therefore, Perry Rhodan invites delegates of all power groups of the Milky Way (of which he also counts the new USO) to "the construction conference of nations" which should take place on 4 January 1344 NGC in the Solar Residence on Terra. He promises them technical innovations and a galactic vision. Imperator Bostich promises his participation to Perry Rhodan, but one month later than planned, and so the conference must be postponed until the 4th of February.

Meanwhile the Dual Captain returns from a space battle which has ended in tremendous losses for him. Nevertheless, in the Nega Hall, the Progress-True announces not the expected death sentence for the captain with the maltreated body, but instead, gives him a new task which amounts to a demotion. The Dual Captain - who posseses two heads - gets command of the column fort TRAICOON 0098 and should take over the Milky Way, by robbing them of their political leadership.

On Terra, the preparations for the conference are in full swing. Rhodan together with Mondra Diamond personally checks all the safety measures. A part of his thoughts stays with Atlan who remains in Charon's cloud. As Rhodan checked Bostich's accommodation, the apparition of a young girl stabilizes there who introduces herself as Fawn Suzuke and wants to warn him. The fused consciousnesses of the monochrome mutants from which the "nucleus" resulted are taking up contact with Rhodan in the form of the body projection the girl. Rhodan is warned about the appearance of the Terminal-Convoy "TRAITOR", however, the contact breaks off after few minutes again and Rhodan could only understand fragments of the message. However, he does not have a lot of time to think about it, because at this moment Imperator Bostich arrives. While Perry flies to the space harbour to greet the guest personally, he catches up on information about Fawn Suzuke from NATHAN.

In the column fort, TRAICOON 0098 the Dual Captain orders the assassins of chaos to storm the conference in the Solar Residence and to eliminate the heads of state. The Halutian-like beings are only approximately 20 cms high however, are called microbeasts. A command of 27 assassins sets off to the Earth under the direction of Zon Facter. Thanks to their dark field-technology the invaders cannot be located.

Meanwhile on Terra more and more conference delegates arrive. The Aarus, Ertrusers, Springers, Swoons and many other nations whom even for a widely travelled man like Perry Rhodan sees for the first time. Only the Akons and the Haltuters, both pursing a policy of isolationism, and also the Blues, who are torturing themselves in civil wars are absent. The Siganese delegation is worryingly overdue. At a short moment of rest the First Terran Maurenzi Curtiz discloses to Perry Rhodan that this will be his last term of office. Among the cell activator bearers a discussion takes place whether it was right to wait so long for Bostich, and the political situation of the Crystal Empire is discussed. Many colonies of the once so proud star empire have seceeded. Rhodan is still convinced that a strong Bostich is better for the Milky Way than a weak one.

The time for the conference has come. Only the Siganese are still missing. Nevertheless, with the knowledge that a hyperstorm or other phenomena could have detained the delegation - travelling aboard a Springer ship - Rhodan decides to begin the conference. Without a long preamble he gets directly to the point: His vision is a galaxy-encompassing transmitter network. The technology necessary can be provided by the LFT - thanks to the cage-transmitter of Ferrol and the recently developed "sun tapping" technology. This "line 1" which bridges interstellar distances via transmitter can be put into operation soon. The price which the nations must pay in return is the signing of peace treaties, as well as the peaceful subdivision of the regions recently appeared from the hypercocoons. A heated discussion breaks out. Rhodans proposal encounters interest, but also some refusal. The Springers are anything but inspired, for example, because they have seen their economic power terrifically expanded since the hypershock threatened. However, Bostich has become simply dependent, because a transmitter-connection would enable to him to win back the control of his disintegrating empire. Hundreds of systems have already renounced from the empire and have formed sovereign power blocs - and the Arkonide fleet is unable, because of the raised hyperimpedance, to be everywhere in time to suppress such rebellions as they form.

During a conference break, Perry Rhodan gets another visit from Fawn Suzuke; this time he understands more of her words. The Superintelligence IT has sent the nucleus as a messenger because IT himself can intervene no longer in Hangay where conflict has now broken out around the Negasphere. He himself is in great difficulty and cannot assist the Terrans. Also the Milky Way is in danger because an invasion threatens from the Terminal Convoy whose troop strength comes close to that of the Endless Armada. The Terminal Convoy is marching to secure the developing Negasphere in Hangay for the Chaotarchs. The Cosmocrats are otherwise bound by massive attacks from the chaos powers, but assistance to the Milky Way is on the move. Until this arrives, the Solar system must be held at all costs, because it is still "useful". The nucleus supposes the base of the invaders is in immediate proximity of the Solar system. The Terrans must repulse the attack; armies which are currently unknown to Terrans are on the move. After Perry has received this information, the contact breaks off. Luckily Mondra Diamond who was also present has recorded everything.

The conference is continued. Meanwhile the Siganese have also arrived. These were late because the scrap-worthy Springer cylinder ship needed much longer than normal to travel. The Siganese delegation consists of the minister for technological development, Ashlon Fogel who has apparently fallen in love with his travelling assistant, Dani Queenz. The young Siganesin has - unfortunately for him - only eyes for Fogel's long-standing friend, and the head of the government of Siga and former USO agent Demetrius Luke. However, for private problems there is no time, the conference is once again in full swing.

Rhodan does not know that the enemy is already in immediate proximity. The assassins of chaos were sent by the convoy fort TRAICOON 0098 which was stationed in the threshold of the Solar system and is invisible under the protection of a dark field for all detection devices of the Terrans. A troop of these assassins has landed near the Solar Residence in invisible "dark capsules" and has penetrated unseen into it. The troop immobilizes all active devices within the residence with a so-called "suprapulse-imponder", disables all security forces and attacks the unarmed conference members. The first victim is Maurenzi Curtiz, the First Terran. Bostich and Roi Danton become seriously injured, hundreds of representatives are killed. Gucky finds out by telepathic means from Luke that once again weapons can be used. Bit by bit he supplies the people present with weapons and protective suits, and only then can the attack of the invisible strangers be returned. In particular the environmental- conformists of Ertrus and Oxtorne ensure that the invaders are eliminated successively. Rhodan and the injured Bostich escape together but are followed. Working together they arrange a trap for their pursuer, Zon Facter. Astonishingly it transpires the being resembles a Haluter, but it is only approx. 20 centimeters high! Otherwise it has all qualities which one knows of the Haluters (or of their forefathers, the beasts). It is a horrific aggressive fighter and can harden his body up to the firmness of steel. Both heads of state take the assassin in a cross fire and see him fall into a shaft. Rhodan brings Bostich into safety.

The microbeasts have caused a bloodbath among the delegates but not the expected decapitation blow to the galaxy. In the conference hall the acting leader of the microbeasts, Rabozo, recognizes that he cannot fulfill his orders. Convinced of Zon Facter's death, he orders the retreat. The Siganese follow the microbeasts at a safe distance. Indeed, they encounter Zon Facter whose wounds are indeed severe but he is alive still. They follow the leader of the assassins unnoticed and so reach aboard his dark capsule. Behind them the bulkhead shuts, and Zon Facter initiates the start process. The destination of the dark capsule with the Siganese is aboard the column fort TRAICOON 0098.

Only 800 live out of 2400 delegates. From these only a few more than 400 have decided to attend Rhodan's call to a continuation of the conference. The vision of a transmitter-network moves into the background. First of all, it is a matter of facing the threat posed by the Terminal-Convoy. In a speech Bostich expresses his intention to meet this task together and his hope, to master it. In the last session Rhodan brings forward to the delegates Mondra's recordings. Now everyone knows with which adversary they have to act. Rhodan orders all available ships to search for the base of the Terminal-Convoy.

Later, gazing heavenward he wishes that the new TERRANOVA fleet was operational - since one thing is certain: There will be war.


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