2331 - Die Eisstadt von Vaccao
The Ice City of Vaccao
Uwe Anton

On July 17, 1342 NGE the crew of the SOL begins the investigations of the fallen TRAI-servicer on Rothger. It quickly becomes clear that the ship is mostly wrecked and the technical plants are all black boxes, which are provided with explosive charges. In the containers of the ship are raw materials, hypercrystals and a safe, in which a special material is found, whose hyperactivity is not measurable, but since the gold colored material cannot be assigned to the periodic table and behaves like hypercrystal, it must be something special (Note: Although the crew does not know it, the material is probably Salkrit.) Blo Rakane, who recovers from his injuries, recognizes a chance quickly get the hypertact engines back in operation. They also succeed in saving a piece of technical equipment. It concerns a makeshift radio, with which the fallen crew of the servicer sent out their final distress signal. The work on the wreck must therefore be sped up, because at any time an enemy ship might come and search out the wreck.

Meanwhile Dao Lin H'ay returns to the ice city of Vaccao to examine it again - with a new scientific team. It turns out again and again that the crewmembers resent her for the fact that she had left Ronald Tekener. But she is still an expedition chief, and her private life is not their concern. Just as they are about to give up the search, Dao Lin Hay uncovers the entryway to a station similar to Sunlight 18.

On Rothger the recovery of the containers contents is completed and Tek has the scene set up to look like the crew killed itself.

On the SOL Blo Rakane is able to fix the radio. It works in super-UHF bands. And a crystal containing the last log of the commander Fartyze is also decoded. Thus the SOL learns about TRAITOR.

After this, Rakane goes to Dao Lin, in order to examine the station under the ice. Apparently she has discovered the master station. Here in former times the messages of the other 25 Sunlight stations were gathered, in order to then be transmitted to another galaxy in the Hangay universe. But since its transfer into the standard universe no more messages were sent.

The researchers find frightening proof that Hangay is teeming with ships of the Terminal Column. And by way a radiogram, which was sent by Sunlight 9, they receive a frightening view of history. The message tells the fact that the first proto-chaotic cells have formed and that greater danger exists now that a Negasphere is developing. This Negasphere also turns out to be passage between multiple universes. It was triggered eons ago by one of the first artificially produced messengers of THOREGON. There is also talk of the Hexameron, Xpomul, Lord Heptamer and the Lord of the Elements, which clarifies how old the message really is.

At the same time the modified Ultra-giraffe in the SOL discovers a ship approaching under a dark screen. Tek has the instruction spread to act as if nothing had been registered. In particular, no protection screens are to be raised. With the stolen radio a message is intercepted, which says that the TRAI-servicer is to be removed, in order to blur the traces of the Column. In addition, Awour ships are to be sent to Ultrablue to investigate a ship with a golden hull that was discovered. The golden material might be of interest to the Column. Tek immediately realizes that the SOL must disappear. Within one hour the SOL leaves the planet of the Gray Kartanes. Dao Lin H'ay is the last to come board. Six hundred seventy-three Solaners choose to remain on Ultrablau, among them Arlo, the son of Fee Kellind.

As the SOL is building up speed to enter linear space, eight TRAITOR disks emerge in the system, but the SOL succeeds escaping them. It is July 23, 1342 NGE. The ships do not pursue the SOL, but go to examine Ultrablue. After doing so, they appear to leave. On August 1, 1342 NGE, Ron Sha R'itt thinks of the past twelve years and still desperately misses Dao Lin.

jerry schneiderman 2006-07-24

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