Kempo Doll'Arym is a ten year old young Charonii and lives on the space habitat Aram Tachady. Mentally, he towers over his peers, but physically he lags behind them. His intellect ensures that he looks upon the history he is indoctrinated with at school with doubt. He searches for the truth. In the planetarium he is caught by Sheerdurn, a former structure pilot whose gift has become unusable due to a structure storm. The old Charonii tells the true history of Charon to him.
Over ten thousand years ago, Charon subjective time, the Protectors Order existed in Jamondi. They wanted to mine the rare material Salkrit in the center of the Charon Cloud. Penetration into the Charon Cloud surrounded by the structural drift was not possible, so the Motanas settled in space habitats surrounding the star cluster.
The Protectors hoped that the psi-gifted people would succeed in adapting themselves to the conditions of the Charon Cloud and they did. The Motanas developed the pilot's sense and the pilot's force. These abilities made it possible for the structure-pilots to form and stabilize structure-eyes around the structure-dolbes, as the Charonii called their one hundred seventy-five meter long, fifty meter wide ships, and the ability to navigate in the structural drift.
In the meantime, the Motana descendants, who called themselves Charonii, emancipated themselves from the Protectors. They were still supplied with Salkrit, but apart from that, contact was limited to the most necessary only.
The Charonii flew their habitats into the Charon Cloud. After that, the structure-pilots lived on them. The Charonii that do not dispose of the Psi-gifts live on planets because their vicinity to the structural drift would severely damage their minds.
The inhabitants of Charon were hit by the hypercocoon set up by IT completely unexpectedly. The Charon Cloud was isolated from the normal universe. After a disaster, the Gold system was declared a taboo zone. Among the Charonii, a system was established which placed priority, above all else, on stability.
It was this extremely conservative society that disturbs Kempo. He would like to change the world, and take a look outside of Charon to disprove the thesis that there is nothing out there. But the system slows him down because no Charonii under the age of twelve is allowed to take the Charon Test, in which their talent as a structure pilot is determined.
The returning of the Charon Cloud into normal space without consequences, only makes Kempo more impatient. He reaches puberty, which causes all sorts of hassles for Sheerdurn. Shortly before the Charon Test, the boy leaves home after arguing with his father, whom, in Kempo’s opinion, shows too little emotion toward him. Sheerdurn gives him shelter, under the condition that when his father returns from his next flight, they will meet to clear the air.
At the festivities taking place before the Charon Test, Kempo quickly falls in love forever with the attractive Auhara Mey'Deran. However, he cannot dedicate his full attention to her, because she is guarded by her - in contrast to her - very masculine governess. Following a talk between Kempo and his father Danoit, who is extremely relieved seeing his son safe again, they come to terms.
Thanks to Sheerdurn’s contacts, Kempo can quickly find out everything necessary about Auhara. His beloved is the daughter of Khal Pif'Deran, a high-ranking diplomat from the planet Bocyn. But it is not his origin that stands like a wall between Kempo and Auhara, but rather the governess which protects her ward against every admirer.
When Kempo finds out that Auhara wants to visit an event in the planetarium, he asks Sheerdurn for help. The older man, who knows the place better than anyone else, agrees.
While Sheerdurn, who normally avoids social contacts, distracts the governess, Kempo pulls Auhara into a hidden chamber. When the two come out again, it is unmistakably that there is a spark between them. Auhara makes her guard make a choice. Either she lets them have two hours in peace together – or she will simply sneak out to see Kempo. The governess agrees in the end, but puts a condition to it: Sheerdurn should spend the time that the two are together with her. He is not exactly inspired by the appearance of the governess, however, agrees when he sees the mute begging in the eyes of the young lovers.
The weeks up to the Charon Test fly by for him. Kempo and Auhara are overjoyed, and Sheerdurn also recognizes that the governess is a very pleasant and intelligent person. The day of the test finally arrives. When Kempo must take the scanning with the Psi-generator with which one’s capability as a structure pilot, he is checked two times. When the results are revealed during the Day of the Tears, the tears flow massively. First, from joy because Auhara has passed the test, then from sorrow because Kempo does not belong to the appointed.
While Auhara finds a place with the Doll'Arym’s, Kempo finds shelter with her parents. Completely frustrated, he breaks off all relations with his old life. After some weeks Kempo falls seriously ill. Sheerdurn visits his former protégé who is close to death, and recognizes the truth. Khal Pif'Deran had manipulated the results of the test and thereby prevented Kempo’s appointment as a structure pilot.
However, the motivation of the diplomat is not that he wanted to get rid of a disagreeable son-in-law, but rather in the fact that inside Kempo was an excessive potential of the explosive force, the third pilot’s gift. It is an ability that rarely appears. It enables the affected person to control the structural drift. But it usually backlashes destructively against the Charonii.
Sheerdurn and the governess succeed in saving Kempo and making possible his admission to the academy of the structure pilots. Kempo learns quickly and seems to be able to make up for his lost time with Auhara. His only problem is with aggression control training, because the explosive force appears as increased aggressiveness in its bearer. However, thanks to the help of his father, who shows him a meditative technique based on singing, Kempo can master his problem and the difficult test he faces with Yllay Hor'Boran. Soon, the time for the final exam arrives. Auhara, Kempo and their fellow students master it without difficulty and may henceforth be called structure pilots.
Right after the test, the structure-dolbe, under the command of Kempo’s father Danoit, ends up in a structure storm. The linear flight of the CELOWEZ must be interrupted. It turns out that Kempo and his companions are in the direct vicinity of the Gold system.
Meanwhile, aboard the VERACRUZ, Marc London breaks down because of the efforts of recent days. After a short break he is operational again, but shows no better results with his psi-abilities. Everyday life remains monotonous, for they do not succeed in producing contact with the Charonii.
The monotony aboard the VERACRUZ is interrupted when the BUENOS AIRES arrives with Reginald Bull and Gucky. They bring a data crystal that the Cynos on a planet in Jamondi gave them. It contains coordinates which point to a place right in the middle to the Charon Cloud. During a discussion of the situation Marc London asks to be allowed to return to Terra. However, his request is denied. Hajmo Siderip reads the riot act to him and forces the boy to gather new courage. Deciding to raise the stakes, a plan matures inside Marc to make contact with the Charonii.
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