- Menschen für Stardust
People For Stardust
By November 13, 1346 NGE - the day on which the Teletrans Point shuts as announced - 804 million people altogether move into the Stardust system and begin to raise several cities from the ground on four habitable planets. Stardust City on Aveda is the first and biggest of them. Up till the closing of the Point the LFT accomplishes some true masterly logistical achievements.
Several million people as well as masses of equipment, raw materials and machinery are transported weekly in enormous standard container shipments - so-called Stardust Arks - through the dimensional tunnel. On the 7th of September the first Stardust Ark launches with the ARK 001 on the platform of a naval tender of the GANYMEDE Class to MOTRANS-1, where it is radiated with the Situations transmitter into the Teletrans Point and is then received on the other side at a makeshift space station by the name of SOLAR SYSTEM.
During this time Reginald Bull gets to the bottom of the secret of the hypercrystals floating in free space. They are actually the eliminations of the unusual spheroid shaped form of life that is named ’Howanets’ by Marc London. These beings fly constantly back and forth between the planet Parga and the sun. On the planet they graze matter, while at the sun they fill up with hyperenergy. On the way they excrete, as Bull finds out slightly disgusted, various hypercrystals.
Timber F. Whistler Jr. acquires the license from Temporary Administrator Sigurd Echnatom for exploitation of the hypercrystal deposits. In exchange for it he gives most of his SCARABS and other equipment and material that his settler’s caravan had brought to Stardust. The fact that the Howanets are not as innocent as was originally assumed, Whistler finds out when he begins to attract these beings with the hyperenergy of activated HÜ screens to move them to eliminate their hypercrystals where one can easily collect them. A Howanet destroys one of his SCARABS, and there are two casualties to mourn. However, Whistler cannot be thrown for long by this rebound and creates a new company together with the crews of his TRR SCARABS: Whistler-Stardust and Co.
Echnatom, whose strongly bureaucratic manners get on Whistler’s nerves receives a special shipment from the Sol system: three Vario-1000 robots which can use a variety of chrysalis coverings to mix in with the humans, by order of the TLS. A control of this kind seems to be required, because The LFT by no means intends on shirking their responsibility for the colonists, even if they will be cut off from the local group for an indeterminate amount of time, if not forever.
While Stardust City and the other cities quickly grow, some new discoveries are made. The Terrans settling on Zyx receive contact with intelligent amphibious living beings, which live in the oceans there. These beings call themselves the Indochimi, and can communicate with the settlers over translators. They wish to be friends. Furthermore it is found out that the Stardust system lies in the center region of a two hundred light year wide star cluster, which gets the name Far Away and apparently accommodates no other space-traveling people.
On November thirteenth the Teletrans Point goes out. In the Stardust system the settlers who now call themselves Stardust mankind are dependent upon themselves. Before the Point goes out, Lotho Keraete announces that his task is now fulfilled. ES will not make contact again with Stardust mankind. But as a farewell present, the Second Galactic Puzzle is begun: ES has hidden two cell activator chips in the Stardust system, for whoever proves himself worthy by finding them. Lotho Keraete disappears with his silver ball after making this announcement.
Reginald Bull, the immortal, considers all these developments with mixed feelings. When he arrives back home in the Sol system, the news that Roi Danton has arrived safely in Quinto-Center with an army of some sort and soon wants to travel to Terra, brings some cheer.
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