2471 - Das Geschenk der Metaläufer
The Gift of the Meta-runners
Arndt Ellmer

After altogether fourteen months Operation Tempus approaches its final end. CHEOS-TAI reaches the close environment of the Milky Way after a good two months flight since its reconquest by the crew of the JULES VERNE. On the way back further changes made by the Meta-runners are discovered: Altogether three hundred sixty black balls with a diameter of 21.81 centimeters are distributed everywhere about the inner surface of the outer hull of the barbell ship. It is clear to all that the modifications and additions determined so far are only the tip of the iceberg, but nobody can figure out what the Meta-runners intended with them.

Icho Tolot, the Algorrians and two hundred volunteers stay in the LAW-Giver, while the JULES VERNE continues to approach its homeland. CHEOS-TAI goes into the detection protection of a nameless sun two thousand four hundred light-years removed from the Sol system. The date is September 25, 1347 NGE shipboard time, when the JULES VERNE flies into the range of the southwest quadrant of the Milky Way, but the clocks must be reset. According to captured radiograms the TERRANOVA Screen is about to be attacked again by forty thousand Traitanks – and the proper date is June 27, 1347 NGE. The MOTRANS platform is not in the Rigel system where it should be, but it left an automatic probe. This points the way to the Polaris system, where MOTRANS-OC1 is now stationed. The Sol system is to be easily reached over this transmitter platform, but first the JULES VERNE must prove itself real. That is not a completely simple venture, because the existence of this ship as well as its mission were kept top secret. Finally the barbell ship is transmitted into the Sol system. Reginald Bull insists on precautionary measures, despite all the joy of seeing his friends again. Soon everything is cleared up, but before an information exchange can be carried out, there is a reunification of father and son: Perry Rhodan is more than relieved, as he learns that the genuine Roi Danton was never transformed into a Dual being. Later on the public is informed about Rhodan’s return.

The fact that the precautionary measures are unfortunately ineffective and only too justified, is revealed all too soon. The Evolux balls in the JULES VERNE emit UHF hyperradiation, which is only a side effect of their incomprehensible activities. Apparently something in the barbell ship is the same time scanning the Nucleus on Terra. Suddenly the JULES VERNE moves with unbelievable values and races into the corona of the sun. Three blue shining control desks appear, but nobody can operate them. Then a hologram activates itself: The Meta-runner Nox Hauthorn announces proudly, that it is now possible to hand over a spaceship, which is worthy of the Knight over of the Depth. It was not possible to convert the JULES VERNE to a genuine Light Cell, but it does now have a Trafitron drive, just like these legendary Knight ships. The Evolux balls are energy supplies for this system, which can be used for various purposes, and they pull their energy from any UHF potential, or if necessary also from the Psionic net. The Trafitron drive was only activated for safety reasons with the reaching of the Sol system (to prove that Rhodan’s story was true). With the words that the Terrans must find the exact achievement parameters out of their” new “ship, the Meta-runner says good-bye.

However it comes to problems with the battery filling process because of the corpse of ARCHETIM resting in the sun, so that the JULES VERNE now approaches the TERRANOVA Screen, which represents the next possible energy source. Since neither Istorico nor Rhodan can get the control desks under control, a gap is switched open in the screen, which the barbell ship can pass through safely. Immediately several hundred Traitanks penetrate the gap. Reginald Bull’s armed forces are however are on the spot and destroy the opponents. Finally Rhodan succeeds with a desperate effort in deactivating the Trafitron drive. The JULES VERNE can return to the Sol system through a new gap. It is now overhauled completely in the Posy Poos shipyards on Luna for their next mission: The flight to Hangay is coming up. Meanwhile Rhodan visits the Nucleus. This communicates, that it already sent ahead an agent (ESCHER), but wants to follow the JULES VERNE in three months time. The Globists are in the meantime able to stabilize the TERRANOVA screen alone and he will leave a fragment - a BATTERY – for their support on Terra. In a motivating speech Perry Rhodan informs the Terrans as far as possible about the past events and announces that mankind will now give up its defensive attitude and go on the attack.

Perry Rhodan will lead this attack. He will lead the ARCHETIM mission squadron consisting of the JULES VERNE, one PONTOON Tender, three Ultra-battleships, 12 LFT BOXES and the LAW-Giver CHEOS-TAI to Hangay, in order to introduce the Retroversion of the Negasphere. In the meantime he has mastered the controls of the Meta-runner changes found so far, but is clear that one show oneself worthy of the gift. On July 6, 1347 NGE the ARCHETIM mission squadron heads out. It carries along the eggs of the Tarnii KOLTOROC. Meanwhile, Roi Danton gets ready to prepare the attack for CRULT. He has a new tool for it, which he receives from his father - the Atrentus procedure, which can be used to neutralize the Claw of the Labroten.

Jerry Schneiderman 2009-11-09

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