2379 - ESCHERS Liste
Arndt Ellmer

The storming of ESCHER fails because the building is protected by a force screen. However, ESCHER renounces the application of deadly means of defense; for example, it does not activate the HU screen which is available to it. Rhodan orders three battle ships to go to position above the grounds of the ESCHER building. The district is evacuated as a precaution. Rhodan plans, if necessary, to tear the whole building out of the ground and transport it into space, where it can be isolated. ESCHER appears little impressed by all this and appears to be warned ahead of time by NATHAN. Its two avatars Pal Astuin and Merlin Myhr industriously recruit new Processors from ESCHERíS "shopping list". One of them is Baldwin Carapol, but the scientist is mental stabilized and can thereby resist the hypnotic influencing by ESCHER.

Gucky, who tries to penetrate into the building by teleportation finds himself for a short time within the Hyperdim matrix and comes to make contact with some of the Processor consciousnesses there. It appears to him that the people are absolutely happy with their new existence and that they are cooperating with great efficiency. Then he must flee from Myhr and Astuin. Rhodan confronts Fawn Suzuke with the occurrences within the ESCHER Building. The Monochrome Mutant assures him that the Nucleus would never position itself against the Terrans and would have no idea of what has become of ESCHER. However, at the moment he is not accessible, because he is in a growth period and may not be disturbed.

Rhodan is not content with that. He orders the Globists to temporarily stop their activity and the TERRANOVA Screen to be put into a weakened condition. The Traitanks stationed beyond the Sol system misinterpret the flickering of the screen and begin a new non-stop bombardment. Now the Nucleus, which has grown enormously, cannot stay silent anymore and speaks to Rhodan. The Sol system may not fall, because an important contribution to the retroversion of the Negasphere in Hangay is being prepared here. The Nucleus states that ESCHER has only been temporarily out of whack - a disturbance which the Nucleus repairs, as he sends his whole essence into the building for a few moments.

Now ESCHER lets in the Terrans, so that Carapol can be freed before he would be killed. Rhodan finds out that the Para-Positronic is supposed to eventually be inserted into the RICHARD BURTON, because the ship which is intended for the flight to Hangay cannot reach its destination without ESCHER. Because the consciousnesses caught in the Hyperdim matrix declare themselves as wishing to continue working as Processors for ESCHER, Rhodan permits it to continue its activity. But only volunteers may be recruited, and ESCHER must undergo a severe control process. This is to be guaranteed by Dr. Savoire, to whom ESCHER should grant free access to the Hyperdim matrix and must have the possibility to switch off the Para-Positronic at any time.

Therefore the lines are now clearly drawn. However, Rhodan and Gucky continue to brood over why NATHAN seems to have helped ESCHER while it was out of control. Is there additional programming about which the Terrans have known nothing till present? Is ES possibly once again working behind the scenes?

Jerry Schneiderman 2007-09-03

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