- Aufbruch der LEUCHTKRAFT
Departure of the ILLUMINATING POWER
It is April tenth and Alaska Saedelaere is once again wandering about Terrania. In the evening light he notes a pursuer and must think immediately of the event which he is waiting for (it was not the Akon beacon). The mask bearer stops his pursuer who introduces himself as the Commo'Dyr Eroin Blitzer. He commands the ROTOR-G, a sloop of the ILLUMINATING POWER. At present the big ship is parked in the Dengejaa Uveso, but Mistress Samburi Yura is not aboard. She has been missing for some years now, not having returned from an important mission. The androids of the ILLUMINATING POWER have looked for the last Enthone female, but remained unsuccessful. Now the ship’s control brain has remembered Saedelaere - and sent Blitzer here. Incidentally, he pronounces Alaska’s first name as Alraska.
Using a so-called UHF-window the two board the camouflaged sloop which is parked about the Waringer Academy. It is one hundred twenty meters long and thirty-eight meters wide. Aboard are two other androids, the officers Fallun Vierauf and N'tur Lind, and the sloop is now located on account of the emissions of the UHF-window by the Terran space monitors. Cruisers and space jets appear, but the ROTOR-G can nonetheless withdraw from the Sol system unquestioned. First, however, it makes a stopover at Saedelaere’s apartment where he a message for NATHAN and takes a SERUN with himself.
Twenty hours later the ROTOR-G reaches the Dengejaa Uveso and infiltrates the ILLUMINATING POWER by another UHF window. There the androids at first seem to want to put Saedelaere to the test, until they finally leave him alone. However, the cell activator bearer cannot be disturbed by this, for after all, they want something from him. Meanwhile he walks about the ILLUMINATING POWER whose inside presents itself as a stony landscape.
Later the three androids appear again and Saedelaere finds himself in a stone filled, pulsating labyrinth which reminds him of basalt and sandstone. It represents the control brain DAN which shows a hologram of the Mistress Samburi to the Terran. Saedelaere is once again fascinated by her appearance. The Enthone speaks only one sentence, then the Holo is done: " QIN SHI has awoken. The BOTNETZ is ready ". This happened in the galaxy Totemhain, the next destination of the ILLUMINATING POWER. Alaska supposes on account of the available information that the BOTNETZ and QIN SHI are two opposing parties and the BOTNETZ - possibly on the side of the Cosmocrats – so that the great danger emanates from QIN SHI.
The flight lasts weeks, but Saedelaere who wanders through the ship (as far as this is possible for him) also comes across temporal effects and loses his sense of time. Arriving in the target area, Sector One Hundred-Eighteen of Totemhain, DAN is not ready to oblige Alaska and calculate a Terra date. The mask bearer begins to check the incoming data from the space sector. He bumps into the avian race of the Lokopter (which remind him of ostriches or emu) which inhabit the planet Kopter’s Aerie. Although technically and culturally high-standing, the Lokopters do not seem to know other races. Their world becomes the destination of the ROTOR-G.
Kopter’s Aerie runs around the red sun Lo, as do seven other worlds. The surprising thing is that at a height of ninety-eight kilometers above the planet over the equator are circulating forty-eight round objects, two hundred meters wide (instead of a ring bulge, flanges exist which remind Saedelaere of cannons). The objects, spaceships or satellites, are extremely well hidden, so that the Lokopters likely know nothing about them. And the ROTOR-G cannot keep them under surveillance.
There are also forty-eight big cities located along the equator which remind one of nests and float over the surface. They are, in each case, eight hundred forty-three kilometers removed from each other, no matter whether on land over the sea. Saedelaere sees a causal connection between the metropolises and the satellites. Afterwards the language of the Lokopter is deciphered and their capital Lokop’s Nest is found. Some dozen kilometers away from it the three androids find the trace of an evidently fading away stray emissions in the extremely high UHF area. Saedelaere wants to examine this on the spot and the ROTOR-G starts to land.
Saedelaere leaves the ship alone and shortly afterward stands before a shut down time well. Thoughts of the past haunt his head, as do speculations with regard to the time wells which may one day be completely available again. The mask bearer is so deep in his thought that he only notes the approach of another person when he is addressed in the language of the Seven Mighty. It is a humanoid with pitch-black skin, and his body is covered by a greenish-blue outfit. The cell activator bearer who was more than often called a cosmic being in the past sees another one in the black-skinned man.
The black man introduces himself as Ennerhahl and claims to be on Kopter’s Aerie because of a ceremony that takes place only every one hundred planetary years (twenty-three Terran years). He also states that the period of an old Mighty is drawing to a close and that of a new one is approaching. And he also says that forty-eight Shrines of Eternity are being renewed. As soon as he finishes speaking, he vanishes from one to the next moment!
Returning to the ROTOR-G, Saedelaere finds out that the androids have observed him, but seen nothing of Ennerhahl. However, Saedelaere is not content with this and orders all the recordings evaluated several times. It is finally discovered that Ennerhahl was absolutely there and using a camouflage system that approaches the level of Cosmocrat technology.
At night back on the ILLUMINATING POWER, Saedelaere has a vision with Mistress Samburi who asks him urgently to help her. The cell activator bearer is not that sure yet whether he actually wants to. After all, Mistress Samburi took the Suit of Destruction from him during their first meeting and saddled him again with a Cappin fragment - because it supposedly makes him a whole person. The androids have meanwhile found the Shrines of Eternity. However, the Lokopters speak not of the Mighty, but of guardians or guards. In addition the term Forty-eight Petals of the Time Rose circulates in the planetary communication system. The mask bearer wants to have a look at everything from up close and gets a device from Blitzer for camouflage – it works like the diffuser field of the ILLUMINATING POWER. It makes one believe that the bearer is a Lokopter.
In Lokop’s Nest Saedelaere visits a market place to eavesdrop on conversations of the Lokopters. In one stall he comes upon an object he would never have expected to seen there, a controller for Polyport-courts. Because he received local money from the androids placed at his disposal, Saedelaere acquires the Class-A controller from the trader - who then reveals himself to be Ennerhahl. He says that he had found the controller on another planet in Totemhain (for which he has another name).
The two cosmic beings decide to visit the local Shrine of Eternity in secret. When they finally manage to enter the building, it strikes them immediately that the technology inside was not made with local technology for sensitive avian beings, but for beings with coarser gripping appendages. Nevertheless, they locate three hundred forty-three Lokopters in the shrine (seven times seven times seven!) with their individual trackers. Shortly after this they are discovered.
Saedelaere and Ennerhahl are quickly surrounded by three meter tall humanoid shaped battle robots. Then a Lokopter enters and introduces himself as a guard Sikkel Snisedne Ghern. He accuses them of trespassing in the shrine and intimates that the punishment will be death. Ennerhahl appears unimpressed by it - and claims to be an incarnation of the Time Rose; one of the BOTNETZ that the Lokopters guard. Then he demands their submission…
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