2322 - Die Schläfer von Terra
The Sleepers of Earth
Horst Hoffmann

Harmony Woharm is a widow, a soap opera fan and alleged dog owner. Her favorite soap is “love on Olymp”, which she has never missed an episode of.

On October 17, 1344 NGE Mondra Diamond reports to Perry Rhodan on the LEIF ERIKSSON II about the current situation on Isla Bartolomé, where the Nucleus has set up house for itself. But there is little new going on. Before they can leave the room though, a red alert comes in, and they learn that sixty-four Traitanks have appeared outside the TERRANOVA screen. The second acid test of the system-wide protection screen is a success, but nobody can figure out for sure why only sixty-four Traitanks were used. After the attack ends, Mondra returns to the Earth with a sloop.

On the LORETTA Tender-02 Sunday Arlsson is having a meal at the same time as Mondra was on the LEIF ERIKSSON II. But he is surprised by the alarm and must let the meal fall by the wayside. But in the emergency shelter, he meets Shawnette Corks. He had already noticed the woman before and exchanged some words with her. He decides to make a “conquest” of his colleague, before he is scheduled to go back to Earth on leave in three days.

Meanwhile Fiona Arlings learns more about the Nucleus. Her son was one the Monochrome Mutants before the Nucleus originated in 1303 NGE. And now she and other parents, brothers and sisters see the chance to get back together with their supposedly lost loves. About five hundred of these people meet on the California coast.

On the Galapagos Islands nothing is going on, as neither Fawn Suzuke nor the Nucleus show any sign of communicating further information. The spirit being must apparently still collect itself, after the dangerous "journey" to the Earth.

In the former Pluto’s orbit, Perry Rhodan orders the dormant Project BACKDOOR prepared for reactivation, so that in the case of an emergency the transmitter connection to Ferrol will be ready. Outside of the screen meanwhile six Traitanks separate off and approach the screen. They proceed against the system protection screen with the most diverse weapon systems, but they do not obtain a success, even if the Dual Vice Captain Zarmaur is sure that it would not resist all sixty-four Traitanks. But the Dual Captain Zerberoff has ordered restraint used until November first. On the Earth the TRAITOR fifth column Koda Ariel family will meanwhile become active, in order to take down the protection screen.

The Koda Ariel family meets on October 18 for a short meeting in a nature park at the Sirius River. The Kalbaron of the Koda Ariel family, an imperfect shape shifter, appears as a gray shepherd. It is the "animal" owned by Harmony Woharm. It meets its three Daerbas in the park. They resemble ugly owls. Over the "Koda net” they stand in constant contact with each other, but for a detailed data exchange close physical proximity is necessary. The Kalbaron submits the plan to the three others. On October 25, at exactly 12 o'clock noon, they are to make TERRANOVA screen fail. To accomplish this, three LORETTA tenders are to be sabotaged.

On the tender LORETTA-02 meanwhile Malcolm S. Daellian arrives for an inspection, and decides that Ordnance Lieutenant Arlsson, who cannot stand the scientist at all, is to lead him through the ship - together with Corks. Arlsson continues to play his act of being more in the know than he is with the woman. He hints at various "highly secret" things, but may naturally not betray anything about them, for they are really "extremely secret"! Shawnette plays along. As a result of showing Daellian around, Arlsson gets a completely different picture of Daellian, who ends up being very complimentary towards him.

Meanwhile, on the Earth the problem continues to brew, as in Monterey the relatives of the Monochrome Mutants decide to take a steamer to Isla Bartolomé. The sensationalistic news media support this project, especially because the LFT had issued a five hundred kilometer prohibited zone around the islands in the Pacific. The relatives head out with the ship MONICA.

Perry Rhodan sets Mondra Diamond on the case, because she had lost Delorian Rhodan, their child, to a higher entity also.

Later, a strange event occurs in the Waringer Academy, as Harmony Woharm arrives with her dog at the office of Nathan DeMoin, who knew her very well in former times, but the scientist acts very peculiarly in the presence of the dog. Completely against his habits, he chats about everything he knows about the TERRANOVA screen. When the two visitors leave again, he can remember nothing about the visit occurring.

In the park at the Sirius River the Koda Arial exchanges their final information. The sabotage plan still stands.

On October 19th, Sunday meets Shawnette, but somehow it is different than with other women; it des not feel like a conquest, in which a woman falls in love with her hero. And Shawnette surprises him, by jumping his gun, telling him that she knew he was playing her along. She played along to see how far he would go. A strange feeling grows within Arlsson as she says good-bye; he has fallen in love with her. They way she says farewell confuses him. It is more like a final farewell, than a goodnight. But he is leaving for Earth tomorrow, so he lets it lay for now.

Meanwhile, Mondra tries to stop the MONICA and its passengers by appealing to them with her own experiences, but she does not have success. The media wants to see, what happens if the ship crosses the five hundred kilometer security zone, and so do the relatives. Mondra sees only one possibility, and calls Perry for assistance. But, until he arrives the ship must be held back several times with tractor rays – fresh food for the gossip press.

In the late evening the Resident lands on Earth and, together with Gucky, goes to the relatives of the Monochrome Mutants. At first Perry does not succeed in convincing the crowd from turning back, but Gucky exposes one of the members as a media man of the gossip networks, who has been egging on the relatives the whole time. With this turn of events, the relatives give in, but extract the promise from the Resident that he not do anything prevent it, if the Nucleus wants to take up contact with them itself. Rhodan naturally gives in, and waits for some action by the spirit being.

On October 22, Sunday Arlsson is back on Terra, but he can think only of Shawnette. He gets drunk and is about to go to bed, when he has a strange meeting. An unfamiliar man rings the door to his apartment, carrying an ugly owl and he says he is one of Arlsson’s neighbors. He requests that Arlsson take care of his owl for a few days. When Sunday happens to look into the owl’s eyes, he suddenly believes that he knows the man and is happy to take care of the owl. He quickly gets the desire to rush back to the tender, for he now feels all alone on Earth.

The next day, he arranges to return to the tender. It already is October 23rd. In his backpack is his respirator, which is actually the owl, who makes everyone believe Sunday has bronchitis and it is the respirator. Arriving on his tender, Arlsson takes a trip around the various departments and inquires everywhere about a way to cause an emergency shut-down. Everyone readily gives him the information.

On October 24th Lieutenant Colonel Shire, the highest ranked security officer on LORETTA-02 gets the message that an act of sabotage is in progress. A coincidence brought it to the attention of a crew member. Sunday Arlsson did everything, so that it would come to an emergency shut-down, at exactly noon on October 25th. But an error occurred, due to his confusing a combination of keys because of a rare disease where he mixes up blue and yellow.

After trying in vain to find Shawnette, he finds her cabin almost empty. All he finds is a crumpled writing foil in the shower. After reading the marking and schematic representations on it, he leaves the accommodation crying. He returns to his cabin

Arlsson is picked up a bit later by a troop of TLS agents in his cabin. It clear that a suggestive influence had been used on a massive scale, causing everyone to act strangely. Meanwhile of the Koda Ariel triggers the Claw of the Laboraten, committing suicide to avoid being captured by the mental-stabilized agents who will certainly be sent to the cabin, and they are not to be influenced by its suggestive ability. The same process is observed on two other tenders. The two "owls" there also die.

On Earth the Kalbaron sees the first mission fail. It registers the death of the Daerbas. Thus it must change sex to provide for a new generation, but this will take a half year, until they mature in its body. Until then, it must act alone, going after individual targets. It has one in mind.

Later, Mondra returns to her cabin on the spaceship sitting on Isla Bartolomé, to find a wild flower sitting before her door…

Jerry Schneiderman 2006-05-24

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