2567 - Duell an der Schneise
Duel in the Lane
Marc A. Herren

Five ships of the Tryonian Alliance have circled the MIKRU-JON and caught it with chain fields. The foreigners, however, act friendly. Adentoco Porvistar, their spokesman and Commander of the globe ship PACADEMO, makes personal contact with Perry Rhodan. He is exclusively interested in the Psi-matter in the probe still stuck like a wart to the hull of the MIKRU-JON.

The obelisk ship is brought into the PACADEMO and Rhodan, Fellmer Lloyd/Ras Tschubai and Scotty Sutter meet with Porvistar and some other humanoid beings in the PACADEMO. Rhodan reveals as little as possible about himself and his intentions. He learns that the Psi-matter has been materializing again and again in the field of the so-called Lane and that the Tryonian Alliance considers it to its property. The Lane, a sector in the area of the remaining core of the galaxy Anthuresta which measures ten thousand light years long and five hundred light years wide, is flown by regular patrols because of the danger of pirates. There are almost no stars there, but very much interstellar dust - perhaps remains of burned out Psi-matter. The age of the swath is estimated to be several million years. As Rhodan learns the names of the four member nations of the Tryonian Alliance and takes their appearance into account, he makes an important discovery, because Porvistar, an Arki, resembles a Barkonide, the Ashen resemble the Shuwashen, the Ator look like Hathors and the Ana appear to be Motanas. For Rhodan, it is clear that ES must have had a hand in the settlement of these races in Anthuresta. The Tryonian Alliance seems to know nothing of TALIN ANTHURESTA and it is initially unclear what relation the four races have to the Frequency Monarchy , because Lloyd/Tschubai cannot properly read their thoughts.

As Rhodan does not know the relationship, he refuses to release the Psi-matter and instead delivers a carefully metered threat in the flow of conversation in order to move Porvistar to release the MIKRU-JON (he even portrays himself as the envoy of a higher power), resulting in a stand-off. Rhodan forces movement by having Lloyd/Tschubai teleport him and Scotty Stutter around PACADEMO to distribute micro-bombs. Mikru, in the meantime, takes on Rhodan’s shape and distracts Porvistar. The Young Boy encounters a creature from a fifth race while on the move: it is humanoid, but has a hairless head in the form of a fleshy oval and without a face - but with entirely human eyes. The Terrans are discovered and arrested. Scotty Sutter releases a micro robot named Freddy, which brings him information about the path and the destination of the PACADEMO: The Globe ship is on the path to the Trade Star JERGALL. Then the bombs are exploded. Lloyd/Tschubai brings his companions back to MIKRU JON. The chain field generators were destroyed, but the hangar bulkhead grenades do not go off. Soldiers of the Tryonian Alliance attack.

Scotty Sutter affixes new bombs to the hangar bulkhead and thereby risks his life, because he is kicked by the blast into space and threatens to be left behind as MIKRU-JON flees. The obelisk ship is pursued not only by the PACADEMO and its escort, but also by five suddenly emerging battle lights of the Frequency Monarchy. Lloyd/Tschubai manages to telepathically locate Sutter and save him via teleportation. Rhodan directs MIKRU-JON directly to one of those networks observed in TALIN ANTHURESTA that was responsible for the involuntary transition by MIKRU-JON. This network has already earlier followed the PACADEMO. As expected the net transports MIKRU-JON again this time. Rhodan does not lose consciousness this time, despite the equalization pains, but has the impression of losing something – as if something floated out of his mind…

Jerry Schneiderman 2012-08-28

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