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2475 - Opfergang
Self-sacrifice
Hubert Haensel


Shortly after the first appearance of an image of the Progress Keeper the shape appears a second time. Antakur von Bitvelt seems to be suffering terrible agonies. The psionic energy field produced by the psi-emitter causes chaos to break out in and around the CRULT. Roi Danton and its people, but above all the para-gifted Zerberoff, also have to suffer from the radiant emissions. The Dark Investigators make good on their promise and ensure the fact that the all-devouring darkness of the Dark District spreads over large areas of the Service Castle. What takes place in this darkness, the Terrans do not learn, but they see the effects: It comes to explosions deep inside the Service Castle, the surface breaks open, and whole lines of buildings collapse into themselves. A Source Clipper also shows up, which is not armed, but provides for further devastation. In addition the Laborat ends up released from its prison. Even the Effremi Jothadún is now no longer able to calm the beast down again. Altogether it is only a question of time, until the Service Castle will be destroyed.

Nevertheless the second psi-emitter must be used, because Antakur von Bitvelt would undoubtedly survive the end of the Service Castle itself. Danton is ready to sacrifice himself in order to kill the Progress Keeper. On the way to the anthracite sphere the task force, including micro-Beasts and Zerberoff, who was badly injured by falling rubble, view the devastation. Zerberoff’s hate for the Progress Keeper makes him refuse the suggestion of returning to the DARK GHOUL. In the fight against some crewmembers of the CRULT he renders valuable help, but is hit by an energy shot and is now close to death. There is a second attack shortly before they reach the silver tower. Elite fighters, who are accompanied by a Terminal Herald, badly injure some of Danton’s people. Some of the micro-beasts even die. Then the raving Laborat appears. The Chaos servants do not dare to shoot at this valuable animal and are thereby distracted so that they can finally be defeated. Meanwhile, Zerberoff shoots the Laborat, killing it.

Now Dantons hour finally comes, but Zerberoff interferes with this plan. He knows that he is dying anyway, and wants to ignite the psi-emitter in Danton’s place. The Terran is to continue the fight against TRAITOR, and Zerberoff also wants him to look for the original bodies of Zerbone and Aroff, which must be stored somewhere in a Skapalm bark. Danton agrees and flees with his people, but does not make it to safety immediately. When Zerberoff ignites the psionic impact emitter, whereby the Progress Keeper is actually killed and the Dual also finds death, the Service Castle begins to break apart. Just in time, the DARK GHOUL shows up and brings Danton’s team on board by tractor ray. The date is August 17, 1347 NGE, when a gigantic explosion tears the Service Castle CRULT to its final destruction. Two hundred fifty micro-Beasts were lost, among them Rinka Porol, whose recordings however, could be saved. Senego Trainz asks Danton to go through the partially illegible text of the dyslexic micro-Beast. Danton reacts annoyed, when he sees the illegible scribblings, but then realizes ashamed that he was more than just a leader for the small micro-Beast, who considered itself a female…

On Terra the hour of parting for Marc London and Fawn Suzuke approaches. The Nucleus knows that Antakur von Bitvelt does not exist any longer, and wants to now head out to Hangay. Fawn returns into the collective being, which is brought by the LEIF ERIKSSON II to the situation transmitter in Luna orbit. Only the BATTERY is now left to support Terra...

Jerry Schneiderman 2009-12-08

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