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2453 - In der Steilen Stadt
In the Steep City
Christian Montillon


Before Mondra Diamond and Ekatus Atimoss are fetched by the Yakonto after the bomb explosion, they see how a Sathox policeman questions some Nyahays and makes a remark which awakens Mondra’s curiosity. Back in their base of operations she begins to investigate and finds out that these people entrusted today with administrative tasks were one day responsible for a civil war that nearly brought Evolux to the brink of destruction and led to the extinction of the people of the Sinanit.

While waiting to see if her plan works, she learns that the Meta-runners have already finished Object Hephaistos, an energy tap that has twice the performance characteristics of the JULES VERNES melted hypertap machinery under the conditions of the raised hyperimpedance.

Her plan does work: the Meta-runners repair the gate transmitter, so that the commando team from the JULES VERNE can reach the robot guard station of the Sinanit. However, this quickly turns out to be a deathtrap. It is hidden from the standard universe and cannot be left again. Innumerable robots as well as insidious traps are activated by the arrival of the strangers. Several Terrans and Laosoors die, before at least a stable front can be established.

Gucky catches the mental impulses of a being which has only just awoken from cryostasis. It is Rgartilas, the last Sinanit. He also cannot stop the robots, because they had turned against their makers on account of sabotage by a Nyahay agent all those years ago and now regards anyone that stops in the station, as an enemy who must be destroyed. Rgartilas is, however, able to help Mondra’s team leave the station by opening a transmitter passage to the PENDULUM. HE however, stays in the station, t return to cryostasis in the hope that the Nyahay will one day show up there.

It turns out that the Terrans and Laosoors find themselves after the transmitter passage not within the completed cobalt blue cylinder, but in an empty hull where they are promptly arrested by Sathoxs. The Terrans were betrayed: Vanta Aquinto, one of their Yakonto helpers, had informed Dyramesch about everything. In this way he wanted to take out his former leader Do Taptargo, because he was his rival for the favor of Siso Dirios. However, the woman decided to instead accept the shipyard penalty, rather than to live on at Aquinto’s side. As a result Vant’s companions are turned into Cyno obelisks.

Dyramesch thanks Mondra because she has unintentionally made it possible for him to identify all his potential weak spots - all those people who were secretly ready to help the Terrans. It was easy for him to manipulate the transmitter by remote control and divert the transport into the cobalt blue cylinder ANTALUCA, whose hull had just been completed. Mondra must admit to herself that her daring plan has not only failed, but caused more damage than expected, because now the Terrans may no longer hope for the secret support of their sympathizers once Dyramesch spreads the word that the TErrans tried to steal a cobalt blue cylinder.

Jerry Schneiderman 2009-06-01

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