- Der Sturmplanet
The Storm Planet
A stalemate has appeared at Holoin Pentagon. Hundreds of battle lights and three thousand Gaid cylinder ships besiege the system, but the fleet of the Galactics is still secure behind the space time labyrinth. Even the ships of the Frequency Monarchy cannot overcome this trap system as it turns out, when ten battle lights which were sent on ahead as a test on February 24, 1463 NGE get lost in it. Enough reinforcements eventually arrive that time would still remain for the Galactics even in the most unfavorable case to flee through the Sun Transmitter, so Atlan can permit himself to draw off a part of his own armed forces to investigate the Hades-dark cloud. The arrivals have also delivered Atlan a A-class controller, with greets from Blo Rakane. With the JULES VERNE, one thousand five hundred Posbi Fragment ships, one hundred LFT BOXES, two PONTON tenders, two LFT-Explorer ships and ten ultra-giants, Atlan flies first to the planet Multika on which the base Multika Alpha has been constructed. The JULES VERNE flies on from out of there alone via Coffoy and the Atrun system in the direction of Hades.
Aboard is the scientist Iris Shettle from the Charon Cloud. Atlan is glad to have her aboard because she comes up with the theory that back in the day, the CREST III had been able to move with ten percent of the speed of light in the area of Hades' because microscopically small hypercrystals are embedded in the dust masses of the dark cloud, by which the structure of hyperspace is affected. He also wants her t keep an eye on Gucky, who he has been worried about since the affair with the star eavesdroppers of Thirdal. However, the mousebeaver seems completely his old self again and requires no nanny.
As it turns out, Coffoy (where a Maahk base should be) has apparently been hastily evacuated. In the Atrun system settled by the Tefroders the Galactics have more luck. An attack of the Gaids was recently beaten off there. Atlan and Gucky are asked to a banquet by the Tefroder Admiral Meruv Tatur. The Arkonide and the mousebeaver get not only some boxes with Tefrodian delicacies, but also information. The Tefrodian empire was weakened, according to Tatur’s opinion, by fragmentation, and the Virth Jarron Thabaron reacts only hesitantly to the attacks of the Frequency Monarchy and the Gaids. The Maahks have withdrawn decades ago from the galactic stage of Andromeda because of internal problems. In the sphere of influence of the Gaids new suns have supposedly appeared and passed again in the shortest time.
On the 26th of February the JULES VERNE arrives at the Hades-dark cloud. Hostile ships are on the way everywhere. Iris Shettl’s theories are confirmed, but the JULES VERNE nevertheless reaches a speed of twenty-five percent of light, so that it can make hyperlight stages. Its destination is an area of particularly strong hyperactivities around which the hyperenergetically loaded dust masses of the dark cloud circle. When the JULES VERNE appears on the fourth of March near this area, it bumps into a hornet’s nest. At least five thousand battle lights are protecting a planet which the JULES VERNE cannot even reach using the ATG drive: the enemy can locate the "backwash" of swirling hypercrystals which the barbell pulls after itself. With the help of the Meta-runner technology the JULES VERNE is able to shake off its pursuers.
Then the Galactics fly to hyperactivity-abnormality three hundred seventy-three light years away which is evidently either being ignored by the Frequency Monarchy or was not discovered yet - the scientists of the JULES VERNE only became attentive of it due to the use of the Meta-sensors with this zone. The values cause them to suppose that there are large amounts of hypercrystals similar to Salkrit there, which would be of inestimable value for the Galactics. Iris Shettle discovers a violently storm tossed, faintly Earthlike world in their destination, which she christens with the name Eurydice. Gucky esperts the primitive intelligent beings, which use the storms as a form of locomotion, and whose religion forces a pilgrimage to a certain location upon them.
The Galactics decide to land just there. They find hundreds meter of high ruins and innumerable plant beings which resemble tumbleweeds. These beings, the Gurmaer, virtually consist of psi-material saturated air and live on crystallized Psi-matter (comparable with Salkrit or Altrit) in the atmosphere of Eurydice. Their pilgrimage goal is the mummy of a being from which they believe to all be descended. This being has the form of a fifty meter tall, upright going whale (possibly of the same race as the statue found on Cataract in issue 2508).
The scientists take a sample from the mummy. Then the JULES VERNE must flee, because ships of the Gaids appear by Eurydice. They do not pursue the barbell ship.
On the eleventh of March, with the first orientation stop outside of Hades, the scientists present their results from their examinations. The whale mummy is approximately ten million years old, and psionically loaded gold molecules are a component of the basic structure of this being – similar to the Inyodur from the Gold system of Charon whose remnants are the single known source of Salkrit. Suddenly the alarm is given: eighteen enormous Gaid cylinders have emerged and encircled the JULES VERNE, but do not immediately attack…
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