- Das Opfer
Perry Rhodan and Mondra Diamond find themselves at a remote end of the silver city side of the Dual Metropolis again. This city side is populated by humanoids, the Auper'como . And the whole city, Rhodan recognizes, is KOLTOROC’S anchor, which the super-intelligence needs in normal space. But the knowledge is useless, because nobody knows where in Hangay the Dual Metropolis is located, and no one can attack it. To hide or run away makes no sense. They need to stop KOLTOROC, and Perry Rhodan has a plan that could have success. But he must not think about it, in the event that KOLTOROC can read their thoughts.
KOLTOROC wants Rhodan’s Knight’s aura in exchange for everyone’s safety. Once again Perry Rhodan weighs between the interests of the Cosmocrats, between good and evil, between the destruction of the Sol system and the loss of his Knight’s aura. But then he realizes: He does not want to negotiate. He wants to kill KOLTOROC!
Mondra Diamond also carries a secret weapon with her – the fertilized eggs of Tarnii KOLTOROC. Suddenly she feels a mental pressure and seems transported to a different environment, which is simultaneously strange and yet familiar to her. The proportions do not seem correct. KOLTOROC wants to show her something and asks how she would feel losing someone precious to her…
Perry Rhodan pulls out the parts of a small hypertransmission radio, that he had brought along, and while he puts together the unit, which is reality only serves as a distraction, two finger long objects get shifted from the backpack into the pocket of his SERUN. Then a String Legate appears, and a little later KOLTOROC himself comes through a transmitter. This time there is no polite conversation with the Chaopressor. KOLTOROC grasps after Rhodan’s Knight aura. And again the threat comes: If Rhodan does not voluntarily release the Knight’s aura and KOLTOROC does not repeal his command, the Earth will be destroyed in a few hours. The String Legates show the attack by VULTAPHER on the crystal screen. And it is clear to Rhodan that it no feint. The greedy insectoid part of the superintelligence would destroy the Earth if its will is not fulfilled.
Once again KOLTOROC tries to persuade Rhodan. He speaks about the Knights order, which was neglected by the Cosmocrats, until the last active Knight died with Armadan of Harpoon. Of the Cosmocrats, that had banished Rhodan from his homeland. And he reminds Perry of the many children on the Earth, that will die, if Rhodan does not give in. Perry Rhodan has the Degraders in his pocket, a weapon that can only be effective, if KOLTOROC is distracted for some time, so that he can get within ten meters distance from the superintelligence. He needs a diversion - and there Mondra Diamond strikes, quick as lightning. She hurls a load of the Tarnii KOLTOROC onto the Dual body of the superintelligence, a second on Perry Rhodan, and a third on herself, in the hope that the superintelligence will not attack his own brood. Then she suddenly has a heavy weapon in hand and aims it at KOLTOROC. Yet the beamer is torn out of her hands, by either tractor rays or telekinetic powers used by KOLTOROC. For the moment, KOLTOROC is not distracted. He continues to speak about the billions of children on Terra, and of Delorian – he can create a fantasy world, on which Delorian is again there, where Mondra Diamond and Perry Rhodan can live happily for ever after. Perry Rhodan tries to provoke KOLTOROC. The answer to the Third Ultimate Question, he says, had not cost KOLTOROC his reason only because he had already gone insane seventy million years ago. He also says the pictures from the Sol system could be false. KOLTOROC becomes impatient. He keeps approaching more closely to Perry Rhodan. Perry Rhodan still needs a diversion. And there is only one thing that can distract KOLTOROC sufficiently: Perry Rhodan lets go of his Knight’s aura...
In the Sol system, the crystal screen stands in flames. And Reginald Bull has formed the impression that VULTAPHER is only playing with them. A counterattack is impossible, as the Traitanks around the Sol system would easily destroy any aggressor. Terrible pictures come in from the FILLING STATIONS showing Globists collapsing, but there are still more volunteers for the FILLING STATIONS. Reginald Bull leaves the Residence, feeling that his only way to help now is volunteering at a FILLING STATION.
Perry Rhodan feels, as if his soul was ripped out of his body. For the first time, he recognizes what power lays in the Knight’s aura and what power it can give to KOLTOROC. KOLTOROC no longer pays attention to his environment, for it is hard for even a superintelligence to harness an aura not meant for him. He is effectively distracted by it. Perry Rhodan opens the first of the two phials that he received from Nuskoginus and that are filled with On- and Noon quanta. At first nothing happens. Then the Biophores attack the essence of the superintelligence. They destroy the interface between the two halves of KOLTOROC, the humanoid half and the half made out of an immense number of insect bodies. KOLTOROC fights for his body, but then Perry Rhodan opens the second phial. The humanoid half of KOLTOROC shows weakness. The insect half is no longer able to subdue its aggressive temperament and literally eats the part of the Auper' como-half that does not simply decompose into dust. Only a myriad of insects remain. KOLTOROC has been defeated. Yet a superintelligence does not die so simply. A Psi-storm breaks out and blows away the Knight’s aura under the force of the storm. It takes some time before Perry and Mondra are able to recover.
KOLTOROC is dead, but his String Legates live, and they still show the attack of VULTAPHER on the Sol system. Without a command to stop, VULTAPHER will destroy the Earth. How can VULTAPHER be controlled? Not over radio, but rather directly over the String Legates. Only KOLTOROC can command VULTAPHER, and a part of KOLTOROC still lives. Perry Rhodan steps into the middle in the swarm of insects, that surround his protection suit as quick as lightning and try to penetrate into his spirit. Perry Rhodan becomes one with the remainders of the superintelligence. Rhodan-KOLTOROC lets his spirit search, and finds access to the String Legates. He then sends a command to VULTAPHER.
Meanwhile, Reginald Bull is at the end of his rope. The crystal screen is pulsating more strongly than ever before. The BATTERY is approaching its end and can only deliver a small stream of energy to the Globists. It cannot be more than another minute until the screen collapses. Yet everyone fights against it to the end. For a short time Bull feels something like a cool breeze, then it is all over. He asks himself whether he is dead. But if so, then why can he still see the field of Magellan Stadium? He is still alive. Around him thousands lie totally exhausted on the ground. All of a sudden, security forces arrive to take him back to the Solar Residence.
Perry Rhodan is still in danger. The insects attack his SERUN, but above all they grasp after his spirit. Only Mondra can help him. With his last bit of power, he turns off the protection screen of his SERUN. Mondra uses first the eggs of the Tarnii KOLTOROC. Althought they had been of no use in the battle with KOLTOROC, they do distract the insects that fall greedily on this prey and release Perry Rhodan. Then she combines the fields of both SERUNS, and they climb into the air with their Antigravs. The insects of the Kollogom let go of Perry and in the end they eat each other up in their avarice. The mirror of one String Legate shows how VULTAPHER turns away from the crystal screen and leaves with an escort of Traitanks. The picture of the String Legates then become fuzzy. And in this moment, the breakdown of the Dual Metropolis begins.
He and Mondra make it back to Contact Forest One Hundred Twenty-six and are transported back to their own forest. The next day, of November 22, 1347 NGE, Perry Rhodan is enthusiastically received back on board the JULES VERNE by Gucky. Yet there is much to do. First he proceeds back to the planet Vatucym and again takes up communication with the Contact Forest. He makes it an offer: Because conditions in Hangay will continue to be unsettled for a long time, Alomendris should find a new homeland with the surviving Contact Forests in the Milky Way. Alomendris considers the offer. Shortly afterwards, the Contact Forests leave for the Milky Way. They will keep their location there secret for the time being.
A bad surprise is waiting for Mondra Diamond. She finds out, what KOLTOROC meant by his threat against her. He had in fact taken a life. In her cabin, she finds the stiffened corpse of Norman, the clone elephant.
Then another surprise appears: Doctor Laurence Savoire comes on board, or at least a projection of him. They finally learn of how WORLD-SAGE and ESCHER infiltrated GLOIN TRAITOR and what they did for the Retroversion. Twenty surviving Processors of ESCHER joined with WORLD-SAGE, and the entity now has an offer for the Peace Drivers. A little later, there is a discussion between Perry Rhodan, Kantiran, General Kamuko, and Ekatus Atimoss, the former Dual and leader of the Pressor Guard. The Peace Drivers have made a decision. They will continue to fight in the future against TRAITOR. WORLD-SAGE wants to take on the role of LIGHT OF ANCESTOR to aid them in this. It knows the Terminal Column and hopes to be able to help the Peace Drivers with the technology they will need for it. Ekatus Atimoss also wants to accompany the Peace Drivers. For Perry Rhodan, the departure of his son Kantiran means he may never see him again.
On December first, Reginald Bull finally orders the crystal screen shut down. After four years, the true starry sky is to be seen again over the Earth. Reports arrive from many planets, but most are cries for help. It will be many years or even decades before the damage caused by the Terminal Column are all erased. He suddenly receives word that a gigantic object has arrived in the Sol system: The LAW giver CHEOS-TAI. Perry Rhodan has returned, together with the SOL, the JULES VERNE, the RICHARD BURTON and the other ships. Perry Rhodan’s other son, Roi Danton, is on his way back from the hundred suns world and will arrive in some months.
On the Galapagos Islands, the BATTERY of the Nucleus flares up for the last time. Innumerable points of light climb from the BATTERY into the sky, like some fireworks. They wrap first the Earth, then expand to cover the entire Sol system, and in the end touch millions of Globists. Then the BATTERY goes out. Perry says they will have to eventually investigate the occurrence.
There is one last set of departures to go through. The Algorrians, Curcaryen Varantir and Le Anyante leave to fly with the LAW-Giver back to Evolux, forty-five million light years away, where their children wait for them. And there is the departure of Nuskoginus and the rest of the seven Mightys from the universe Eud' y-Asor-Jaroso. They are going to also fly to Evolux; there they hope to receive absolution by the Cosmocrats and be taken back into their service. Yet one group will not leave the Milky Way: Commander Pothawk and his Laosoors. Stranded twenty million years in the future, they want to find a new homeland on the Earth.
When he is finally alone with Mondra Diamond, Perry Rhodan wishes for only one thing now: Peace, for at least a hundred years.
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