2438 - Das Stardust-System
The Stardust System
Hubert Haensel

Timber Whistler Jr., founder and sole owner of Terrania Robotics Retrodesign, a multimulti-millionaire and the biggest competitor of the company of his own distantly related family, is deeply touched in his core by Lotho Keraete’s speech of August 19, 1346 NGE. Practically from one minute to the next he makes the decision to not only emigrate to the Stardust system, but to put up the whole property of TRR for sale to finance a private colonist's caravan. It is not for him about profits – he wants to bring as many people as possible to safety from TRAITOR. He succeeds even in moving Lotho Keraete to agree to a personal conversation. The messenger of ES recognizes Whistler’s good intentions and gives him a data crystal which contains information about the Stardust system and the Teletrans-Point.

Whistler immediately gets to work announcing his plan over Gobi-Trivid, which belongs to his company, prepares the company for sale and acquires a good number of SCARB spaceships. Already after a few days TRR can hardly deal with the onslaught of people wanting to emigrate. With the means of his company, which has achieved a book property of two hundred fifty million Galax by the construction of robots with Low level technology since the hypershock of 1331 NGE, it is possible to him to realize this ambitious plan. Homer G. Adams, who tries at first to prevent Whistler’s plans, finally offers his cooperation to him.

Meanwhile the investigation of the Stardust system continues. Because a permanent radio communication link through the Teletrans-Point could be constructed, Reginald Bull is kept informed of the developments in the Sol system and knows that the first settlers will soon arrive. Reporters are brought to the four inhabitable planets, so that they can prepare an extensive reporting on them.

Bull examines the supposed danger zone between the second planet Parga and the sun. The explanation of the strong 5D radiation ruling there is soon found: The space close to sun is a gigantic lode of high quality hypercrystals. The only few millimeters thick crystals embedded in an unknown substance are floating freely in space – for Bull it is clear that this is not a natural occurrence. He theorizes that ES had deposited the hypercrystals here. Bull’s SCARAB is attacked by a strange object which is identified by Marc London later as a life form. The ship surrounds the ship as a thin netlike structure and taps it for hyperenergy. The SCARAB is able to flee, but is pursued by the object and attacked once again. Bull takes the risk of deactivating the HU-screen. As a result of this the sphere departs – apparently it was simply drawn by the hyperenergy of the protective screen.

The married couple Jirinia and Franck Jarantin (reporters from Albion-3D), are part of the reporters on the move in the Stardust system. They are flying with the SK-PRAE-101. On August twenty-fourth, on the planet Zyx, the two observe a water being whose behavior shows intelligence. They do not go back aboard when the SCARAB lifts again, because they believe to have found their paradise with the planet. They are therefore the first Terran colonists in the Stardust system. Others soon follow, because after the first press reports have reached the Sol system through the Teletrans-Point, and the government has no choice but to give the approval for the settlement. To steer everything into the proper paths, Adams orders the Assistant Secretary Sigurd Echnatom to be the interim administrator of the new LFT colony, whose first aim after the extinction of the Teletrans-Point must consist of restoring contact with the Earth as quickly as possible.

Moreover, extensive raw materials and machine deliveries are prepared. This includes kits a total of one hundred spaceships of various size classes. All together one hundred million immigrants volunteer by the end of August. Whistler, who has disposed of his company for only ten percent of its value, leads the first relay of his private SCARABS personally. Fifteen million people will follow him at his expense – the flight is free for them. On September first he lands on Aveda. There he sets up the flag of the LFT and takes the Stardust system in possession for humanity. This gesture appears to have only symbolic value, because the real authority lies with Sigurd Echnatom, who has also landed on Aveda.

Jerry Schneiderman 2009-01-22

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