2330 - Spur ins Nichts
Trail in the Void
Arndt Ellmer

The ship that has fallen on Rothger belongs to the Terminal Column TRAITOR. However, it is no Traitank, but an only lightly armed TRAI-Servicer. The cargo ship was reequipped like all of TRAITOR’S units for the conditions of increased hyperimpedance, but someone made an error – and this led to the crash. The ship is now a wreck and lies on Rothger, but could still be moved from the crash location and camouflaged. Some of the survivors use cryo-tanks on the ship, in order to wait for the others to build a new hyper-radio and call for another ship from the Terminal Column. But due to a malfunctioning timer, Fartyze, the last surviving officer of the ship, and his men spend not only a few months in cryogenic sleep, but eleven years. When he awakes again, the crew he had left awake, as well as half the cryogenic sleepers is dead.

Meanwhile, in these eleven years there have been some changes with the Solaners stranded on Ultrablue. Several more attempts were undertaken to find the ship fallen on Rothger but they remain unsuccessful. Benjameen Jacinta had only received a weak Zero-dream contact with one of the survivors there. Nevertheless, they know now that the strange ship must actually still be on Rothger. On Ultrablue the remnants of an age-old city sunk into the ice are examined. Fay Vani D’au, an old Gray Kartarnin, who knows the planet like her vest pocket, takes the Solaners there. The ice city is on the continent Vaccao. It seems to be completely abandoned. No clues to the whereabouts of its former inhabitants or its intended purpose are found, other than a few decorative inscriptions.

Blo Rakane advances the re-equipping and repair work on the SOL. The UHF extreme measuring instrument is improved, and the anti-gravs are finally put back into working order, so that the generation spaceship is safely anchored on its landing spot. On June 20, 1332 NGE, the separation of the SOL-Cell-1 from the parent ship succeeds for the first time. The SZ-1 accomplishes a short linear flight and returns to Ultrablue, but it is clear that they cannot return with the ship under the current conditions to the Milky Way or even to the main part of Hangay. The engines and hypercrystals cannot stand the strain. Dao Lin H'ay is still living with Ron Sha R'itt . Ever more Solaners follow her example and settle in U'Hartu. Arlo Kellind opens a flourishing business, manufacturing and selling skis and ice skates...

On July 12, 1342 NGE the SOL registers a hyper-radiogram being sent on an unusual frequency. It turns out that the signal comes from Rothger. Fartyze was finally able to send out his emergency call. With the cruiser SUSHI Ronald Tekener follows the signal. Fartyze tries to blow up the TRAI-Servicer because no matter what the cost, it may not be allowed to fall into foreign hands. Blo Rakane manages to prevent this at the last moment, but is critically wounded by Fartyze, before he is killed himself by another Solaner.

jerry schneiderman 2006-07-13

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