2554 - Die lodernden Himmel
The Blazing Skies
Leo Lukas

from Clun'stal Nobody Perry Rhodan finds out that Fogudare was an Anthurianer. Clun'stal itself is a crystal engineer, an assistant of Fogudare’s. His body mass has grown a little bit, in the meantime, and now he also has two arms. However, his memories do not return completely. He says, they are "stored" with his people, the Esnur. He asks Rhodan to act as his chronicler, as he keeps losing memories. In the meantime, the Galactics believe that TALIN ANTHURESTA is an almost 230 million kilometer wide hollow ball with the oversized trade star in the center and 20,000 disc worlds in the inside edge, making a sort of Dyson sphere. Because they can no longer make contact with the JULES VERNE and, moreover, is wrapped by an energy field that emanates from a quill of the trade star, Rhodan splits his group. Mondra Diamond should try to reach the field projector. Rhodan, Fellmer Lloyd/Ras Tschubai, Clun'stal and a troop of space landing soldiers with fighter robots under the direction of Captain Curi Fecen use an active transfer chimney to reach one of the disc worlds. Rhodan’s choice falls on one of seven worlds which are designated as threatened by the control systems. The team reaches Frerino, the native land of the Frerin.

The Frerin are three-sexed races with bodies made up of three oval bodies, three brains, three arms, three legs and three senses. They have reached a level of development which corresponds to the early twentieth century. Their social structure is a conservative, totalitarian theocracy. They believe that a being called Anthun once brought them to safety before Chaon, a god of chaos, on Frerino. They keep a holy relic which supposedly comes from that time. The reactionary Pontifical Retreat holds all power in its hands; the Pontiff, the head of church and state, has not appeared anymore for many years. The Frerin are indoctrinated from childhood and must submit to stiff religious rules. Dissenters are pursued and cruelly destroyed. Still there is a small group of insurgents.

These "disbelieving Gnostics" have found out that something is not right with Frerino. The dome which covers the disc world is being penetrated by destructive energy which threatens to destroy the whole world. The Gnostics use the unimportant court assessor Orcizu to publicize the truth. Although he was hypnotized, Orcizu is able to resist the compulsion: in spite of the hypnosis he has still enough power over his speech organs and orders the guards present to shoot at his data pad before he can activate it. Although he is thereby badly mutilated and disfigured, he is now acknowledged as a martyr for the cause and is a welcome instrument for the Pontifical Retreat for the manipulation of the masses. He is raised up to an Apostul of the clergy.

After an arranged marriage to the secret agent Sebyri and the haggard actor Fortela, Orcizu heads out with a retinue on a proselytizing trip to the edge areas of the world. The General Vicar gives Sebyri the confidential order to get in touch with the Gnostics. The clergy has recognized that the menace to the world is real. Cooperation with the Gnostics is unavoidable, but may under no circumstance become known to the general public. Sebyri succeeds in tracking down the Gnostic Licafa, who has already undertaken an expedition to the edge of the world with his group of researchers and found out that chaos rules there. When Orcizu sees Licafa, he recognizes him: He is one of the Gnostics to which he has to owe his disfigurement. Orcizu goes through an astonishing change and is now no longer the inane puppet. He tears the control of the expedition to himself and requests the relic from the capital to use it against the chaos. When he holds the approximately twenty-five centimeter cone with the spherical head which seems to consist of gold in his hands, he is flowed through by new energy and wins hypnotic forces.

Meanwhile, Rhodan’s team has found out about the conditions on Frerino and received the hyperenergetic impulses emanating from the relic on their sensors. Degenerated Psi-matter seems to be responsible for the chaos ruling on the edge of the world, and the relic also apparently consists of Psi-matter. Rhodan invisibly gets in touch with Licafa, who does not yet stand under Orcizu’s spell. When Rhodan and Lloyd/Tschubai, as well as two TARA robots deactivate their deflectors, the sight is almost too much for the Frerin, because the battle robots look like giant copies of the holy relic…

Jerry Schneiderman 2012-03-08

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