2366 - Unter dem Kristallgitter
Under The Crystal Lattice
Arndt Ellmer

The Combi-Trans squadron does not end up at the Nagigal Trio Sun Transmitter as planned. The ships appear at the Tellox Duo, a Sun Transmitter consisting of two red dwarfs in Omega Centaurus. The Tellox Duo serves as a trapping system, if somebody tries to penetrate to one of the forbidden transmitters by use of the Kharag Sun Dodecahedron. The squadron is then moved by a Lemurian Situation transmitter into a spherical arrangement of twenty-four planetoids.

The ships are held there with chain fields fed by a sun tapping network. The ancient control computer of the desolate world Tellox 1, similar to Mars, asks Atlan to identify himself as an authorized person. But even the high level rank authorization, which he holds is of no use. The control facility transmits the whole Combi-Trans squadron by a so-called ‘invalid transmission’ into hyperspace, in order to destroy the ships in this manner.

Atlan awakens on a grass-covered, hilly plain, on which several primitive villages and cities are grouped around a mountain massif. They are connected by a simple rail line, called the Ligne, and are mainly inhabited by Lemurer descendants. In addition, there is a Mograk village on this world, which is called Anghur Al-Tare by the inhabitants. Atlan is given a friendly welcome by the Lemurers. He is informed that they are the descendants of spacemen, who had been stranded in hyperspace emergencies and somehow ended up here. Since surviving the emergencies in space had to have been impossible, the Lemurers are convinced to be in a kind realm of the dead. A mysterious entity, the Convergence Philosopher, seems to have protected all these beings from permanently dying in hyperspace. An energy field, which reminds one of a crystal lattice, seems to surround the planet. Numerous spaceships also appear to be in orbit of the planet. Atlan hopes therefore that his people could still be alive.

He goes on the search for his comrades and finds the pregnant Haluter Elfah Komo, who is so weakened that the imminent birth might not be possible to carry out. Atlan helps, wherever he can. The two meet a Lemurian adventurer named Kirkazon, who helps them with their search for the Convergence Philosopher. Everyplace that Komo is seen, it causes an atmosphere of fright and aggression - the Lemurers seem to still be possessed by the old fear of their race before the Beasts. More than once the situation becomes critical. But each time insectoid beings, the convergence teachers, appear and calm the Lemurers in a psionically suggestive manner. The convergence teachers seem to be energy projections, which the Convergence Philosopher sends. Atlan eventually realizes that Kirkazon is in truth also such a projection.

During the journey with the Ligne, Komo gives birth to the child. Arriving at Convergence Mountain, Atlan and Kirkazon make their way alone to the mountain of the Convergence Philosopher. Kirkazon reveals that the being had recognized that Atlan carries a Knight’s aura. Therefore it is distrustful towards the Arkonide - apparently the Convergence Philosopher has had some bad experience with the forces of Order. Atlan is nevertheless convinced of the fact that the Convergence Philosopher must be a positively aligned being. With the A-COM, a fragile looking thing made of glass and energy fields, Atlan and Kirkazon make themselves on the way to the "world beyond the fog wall", the actual seat of the Convergence Philosopher…

Meanwhile, twelve days have passed in Omega Centauri and Cornor Lerz, who is waiting in vain for a message from Atlan, begins to consider sending a rescue party, which is to hurry to the assistance of the Combi-Trans squadron.

jerry schneiderman 2007-05-17

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