- Die Gespenster von Gleam
The Ghosts of Gleam
The battle cruiser JESSE OWEN is sent by the RICHARD BURTON III to fly ahead of the Galactic fleet and reaches the planet Gleam in Andro-beta on February 28, 1463 NGE. Gleam was an important base in the Terran Andromeda campaign of the 25th Century. The huge naval base Power Center was also maintained by the LFT and been left with a permanent garrison of three hundred people, and now to be used in Operation Hathorjan. However, Power Station does not respond to the cruiser’s calls. Therefore, landing troops are deployed, which will test the waters. Major Lethem Shettle, who selects the young, inexperienced soldier Anais Berkoff as a personal aide, leads them. He has noticed the potential slumbering inside her and requires high performances from her to see if he should mentor her. In this way he wants to prepare her for bigger tasks.
The landing troops find the station partially reclaimed by nature. It was also recently the scene of fierce battles and looted. The station’s crew cannot be found. After some problems with the aggressive wildlife of Gleam, Anais finds a dead Maahk and feels, just like Shettle, a ghostly presence. The message from Perry Rhodan, who left it only a few minutes earlier, is found. The soldiers encounter fighting Maahks and pursue them, but the hydrogen breathers suddenly disappear without a trace. Instead, the Terrans come across "The Murderous Youth of the Seventh Prayer" - Twonosers that give a martial impression, but who reveal their inferiority as soon as any pressure is applied against them. They are quickly subdued. Since the hyper-impedance rise their race has been on the decline. They were plundering Power Center, but were not responsible for the destruction and the disappearance of the station crew. They just used a window of opportunity that they had found. The Terrans take them into custody and transport them out of the station.
Finally, backup systems of the station can be brought back into operation and the Maahks relocated. It turns out that they are chasing two other Maahks. The Terrans trap the Maahks in a hall, but one of the two pursued Maahks mysteriously dies. The second asks for asylum and offers important information about Perry Rhodan. Shettle is ready to protect him, but the other Maahks demand the surrender of the fugitive. Supposedly, the Maahks have "evacuated the station, " to save the people from the "dangerous renegades. " In fact, they are using the three hundred Terran hostages to gain free passage, after they ruthlessly shot and killed the last fugitive. In the process they almost kill Shettle. The Maahks leave the Tri-system with their ship hidden in the solar corona and without returning the hostages.
Power Center can now be taken over and repaired by the Galactics. The investigation of the three dead Maahks reveals nothing special, but the chief physician of the JESSE OWENS, suspects they could be Shadow Maahks. That would explain the uncompromising hostility of the other Maahks.
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