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2619 - Planet der Formatierer
Planet of the Formatters
Wim Vandemaan


On September 12, 1469 NGE, Shamsur Routh finds himself, like the other Terrans kidnapped by the Augurs, in the city Whya on Gadomenäa, one of the five planets of the world ring, circling the sun Banteira on the same orbit. Strangeness effects are confusing Routh, plus he had ordered the memo-implant Puc to partly download his memory to allow his passage through the transit parquet. His daughter Anicee is nowhere to be seen. All the newcomers are being cared for by squires and maids (which are possibly robots, but perhaps also living beings). Immediately after their arrival, they are assigned to "foster parents". Routh’s foster father is the old Sayporaner Chourtaird, who does not seem to care at all about the Terrans. In the following more or less uneventful days Puc gradually returns Routh’s memories.

Thus Routh recalls how he once went to check out a rumor on the planet Patralon with his fellow journalist Jaron Peppererg. During their not quite legal inquiries the two men come upon a group of Aras , Swoons and Terrans who were conducting secret experiments on animal cranes and turkeys. The aim of these experiments was to create an external memory, which should serve as a backup for the memory of the user. The saved awareness should allow one to recover from a brain injury or be imprinted with a new brain. In addition, new information should be able to be provided in the same manner, which the user would then "remember", as if he had always possessed it. Routh and Peppererg were madereluctant guinea pigs. They were the first humans to carry the storage method, partly created with their own brain tissue. Peppererg had not survived the procedure, but Routh had a won new companion with it: Puc.

Routh enjoys complete freedom of movement on Gadomenäa and can seek his daughter undisturbed. With Puc’s help he finds out that the kidnapped youths are being manipulated in a subtle manner and subjected to a kind of brainwashing. Oxytocin, a hormone that affects behavior is used to reinforce their confidence in the Sayporaners. All the newcomers get access to the Spainkon, which is also used by the Sayporaners as an online encyclopedia, story teller, etc. The youths are shown the atrocities committed by humans in the past. At the same time a history of Sayporaner is conveyed to them, like a parallel version of Terran history starting from Perry Rhodan's landing on the moon and is used highlight the supposed high ethics of the Sayporaners. Above all, the Sayporaners are influencing the development of the young human brains. Their myelination is reversed, so that the students learn all the knowledge that is imparted to them by the Sayporanern like they are the formative first impressions of newborns. The youngsters are thus - at least where it concerns their memories - practically turned into Sayporaners.

When Routh learns that Anicee is in the city Cherayba, he goes there with the several kilometer long, mobile structure called a fog canyon. These vertical landscapes, the Onuudoy , help to shape the image of cities on Gadomenäa. Anicee recognizes her father, but is already alienated from him. Routh has to realize that the manipulation of the Sayporaners does not leave him untouched, even though he is protected by Puc. Everything around him happens in a friendly atmosphere. People are clearly satisfied with their new situation. But it is clear to Routh that all is not as peaceful as it seems, as is shown by the recording of his final spy probe. He sees how Anicee’s friend Benat Achiary is stabbed by a maid after they had talked to Anicee. Benat was one of the few Terrans, who objected to the indoctrination of the Sayporaners, and he had quarreled with Anicee shortly before the murder. Routh fears his daughter could be involved in the murder, but Anicee denies knowing anything about it.

On one of his walks through the city Routh feels a powerful alien presence. Maybe there are in fact enemies of the Augurs around. On the night of October third, Routh admits the whole truth to his foster father. To his surprise, Chourtaird agrees to help him rescue his daughter. Routh learns from Puc that not only Peppererg had been damaged by the operation. Routh had also shown the start of mental damage. Luckily, Puc could stop the decay - at least until now. The partial brain wipe has made the damage worse. Routh begins to wonder whether the events of the last days were perhaps only his imagination, as a result of a mental disorder...

Jerry Schneiderman 2015-02-21

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