2313 - Das Goldene System
The Golden System
Hubert Haensel

After the Charonii Council gives permission to fly into the Golden system, the Terrans and Kempo Doll'Arym lose no time. Marc London is shifted back into deep sleep to rule out possible reciprocal effects with the psi-abilities of the structure pilots. The flight, nonetheless, runs into complications due to the chaotic conditions in the center of the Charon Cloud. To reduce the danger for the crews of the ships, speed is reduced. The VERACRUZ and the DORYNA, docked together, approach the Golden system in peace.

During the flight, there is an incident in a hangar of the VERACRUZ. The engine technician Mario Saats comes upon a stranger who is checking out the two SCARABS inside it. The sloops of the SCARAB class, which have received the scornful nickname of ‘dung beetles’ from the crew are small ships which, due to their durable and simple technology, can still operate under the most difficult hyperphysical conditions. Mario Saats tries to stop the intruder from leaving the hangar, when the VERACRUZ is torn violently from linear space. Saats crashes into a console and falls unconscious. The VERACRUZ continues its flight after a short rest and, finally, arrives at the Golden system.

The whole system is surrounded by a cloud of dust. A flight with the VERACRUZ or the DORYNA is impossible because of the hyperphysical conditions inside. Therefore, the group initially measures the system from outside. The Cantor sextant supplies important results. A sun is located, which receives the name Gold from Atlan. The system also contains thousands of asteroids, of which approximately twenty-six thousand are identified as strong SHF-hyperemitters. The Golden system paralyzes not only all higher level technology, but also psi-abilities. As a result the structure pilots must hold a safe distance from the system, and Gucky must run about the VERACRUZ on foot.

Mario Saats has awoken from his coma and carries out an investigation. The stranger whom he had met turns out to be a Dr. Gregorian. He is a descendant of Sato Ambush. The brilliant scientist from the staff of Malcolm S. Daellian turns out to be technically brilliant, but socially incompetent. He refuses any co-operation with the rest of the scientists, but supplies outstanding results solo.

Because the measurements from outside showa little usefull results, Atlan decides to penetrate with a SCARAB into the Golden system. He lands with his crew on one of the much less radiant asteroids. There he finds a small amount of the golden hypercrystal, Salkrit. The hypercrystal partially dissolves under the application of any mechanical energy. However, the Arkonide can, nevertheless, scrape out a small sample. Atlan also discovers the remains of what appears to be a Kybb Technite on the asteroid. The contents of the Technite’s memory chip can be only partly retrieved with the equipment on the SCARAB. So the Salkrit sample and the memory chip are brought back to the VERACRUZ.

Detailed examinations provide the first bits of knowledge about the Salkrit. The hypercrystal consists of psi-matter which has manifested itself around solid material clusters of gold atoms. However, this Einsteinian space anchor material makes up on average only 0.23% of the mass of Salkrit. Only the gold atoms can be shown to exist in conventional space. The remaining components are a projection of psi-matter in crystallized form. Treatment of the material seems possible only with Ynkelonium blades, because it limits the dissolution caused by touch to a very small area.

During the evaluation of the Technite memory chip, they discover a video in which a double-headed being similar to an octopus is shown. However, no other information can be retrieved. Therefore, Atlan decides to head once again into the Golden system with both SCARABS. This time Dr. Gregorian goes along with the party, because he cannot get quality information from outside the system.

The SCARABS land on a more strongly radiant asteroid and find a fossil there similar to a giant bird. It appears that the Salkrit is the fossilized heart of the creature. The big Salkrit find is brought aboard the SCARAB, but only after they are attacked by some still active Technites.

Shortly after the launch, the two SCARABS are approached by grid-shaped spaceships on an intercept course. The SCARAB, with Dr. Gregorian, manages to escape, but Atlan’s ship has no chance to reach escape velocity. The situation seems hopeless, until a white wedge-shaped spaceship emerges, radios Atlan and informs him that they know how to escape the Technite grid ships. The Arkonide must switch off all technology aboard.

Lacking alternatives, Atlan decides to trust the stranger. The trick works, and Atlan is led by the wedge spaceship to an asteroid hangar. There Ingal Fathen Aidon greets the Arkonide to GRAANWATAH, the Protectors’ final refuge. The octopus like being, who regards Atlan as an envoy of the Protectors introduces itself as the Eternal Chest of the Seecharan. But the security of the final refuge is deceitful, as thousands of Technite grid ships appear above the asteroid.

Jerry Schneiderman 2006-03-22

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