2544 - Gefangene des Handelssterns
Prisoners of the Trade Star
Leo Lukas

MIKRU-JON is caught in a huge hangar of the trade star FATICO. The ship was enclosed by energy fields and surrounded by armored vehicles. Atlan, who is stopped with the JULES VERNE and a 40,000-unit mixed fleet at a safe distance waits in vain for news. Perry Rhodan decides to take the initiative, and leaves the ship with his companions, and fighting robots - all in Darturka masks. Satwa, the Tefroder clone and Autochthonous-orderly of the Frequency Follower Vastrear , cannot be fooled by it, however. She sees through the disguise, calls the invaders to surrender, and opens a structural gap in the energy screen. Gucky and Tschubai/Lloyd to take this opportunity to teleport. But there is a second, broader energy shield that stops the teleporters. While Tschubai/Lloyd, who has taken Perry Rhodan’s hand, is thrown back to the starting point of the jump, and the Gucky is stuck with the Shadow Maahk Pral in the energy grid. Their paramental skills hinder each other, so that the teleportation process continues indefinitely. Gucky’s vital energy begins to wane as a result of this.

Rhodan and Tschubai/Lloyd are locked in a cell and interrogated. Rhodan manages to conceal from Satwa, that he bears a cell activator. Meanwhile, the Terran battle robots are being dismantled by Okrivar technicians. In one robot, the Posbi Jawna Togoya has kept hidden, but now she bursts forth like a fury. She takes the Okrivar Irdelph hostage and learns that the various regions of the trade star form self-contained mini-universes, which can be exited only by an inter-regional transportation system - and only high-ranking personalities like Satwa are allowed use of the system. The Posbi takes on the form of Satwa, so that she can fool the computer systems of the trade star. She hooks herself into the internal communications network on board and leaves secret messages to catch her companion's attention. These activities do not remain completely hidden to Vastrear’s Battle Orderly Bhustrin. Because he is jealous of his rival anyway, he believes this is really being done by Satwa and he informs the Frequency Follower immediately, so that Satwa ends up in an embarrassing situation and needs to defend herself.

Meanwhile, Pral is able to save Gucky and himself from the trap by temporarily swapping their Para-skills. They then worm their way into a Darturka combat unit. Gucky encounters Jawna’s messages and makes contact with her. The Posbi is also able to disable the energy fields that separate the areas of the trade star from each other, but a red alert is given. Satwa, who was just about to crack Tschubai/Lloyd’s mind with the help of her symbiotic partner S'Karbunc, must again go to Vastrear.

In the meantime, the Galactics reconvene in the MIKRU-JON and prepare for the next stage in their plan. Rhodan can finally get closer to the center of the trade star with his Class-B controller and initiate a reboot of all its systems. While the reboot takes place the trade star is helpless and no longer disguised as a sun, so that Atlan can begin the attack. As Vastrear sees the approaching fleet, he recognizes that he has lost. He sends the few lights battle and combat troops remaining to him, into a losing battle, covering his escape. He takes along Bhustrin and Satwa. As he leaves, he locks all the functions of the trade star with his Class-C controller.

The allies occupy FATICO on the same day, April 4, 1463 NGE. This victory is precisely the success that Atlan and Rhodan needed for the final consolidation of the Pact of Sicatemo. However, the allies must realize that they cannot do anything with the trade star because of the command blockage. They need to prepare for the expected counterattack from the Frequency Monarchy.

Jerry Schneiderman 2011-11-11

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