2623 - Die zweite Anomalie
The Second Anomaly
Uwe Anton

It was not the Peaner being shot at, but Alaska Saedelaere. Swift is the only possibility for the perpetrator. As the Terran reaches a settlement of Peaners, the suspicion is confirmed. Swift appears there and wants to attack, but is incapacitated by the mental powers of the tree beings. Saedelaere seeks peaceful contact and learns that the Peaners are Suggestors that can cure his amnesia. They also possess the ability to "implant" other creatures with foreign memories. Saedelaere has a vision in which he met Samburi Yura. She claims that he and she would have to "kill the gods". Saedelaere loses consciousness. He finds himself brought back to the SHEYAR. Apparently the Peaners have helped him, because he regains his self-confidence and more of his memories. Therefore, he now knows that Swift is a traitor: The man was at his interrogations and Saedelaere was probably on Crepoin to keep him under observation. However Saedelaere conceals this realization from his supposed friend.

With Eroin Blitzer's help Saedelaere penetrates the on-board computer of the SHEYAR and learns more about the Empire of Harmony. It is a kind of monarchy with a decentralized management structure under TANEDRARíS graces. The Dukes rule from their mobile Palace ships. At the time each Duke was set aside a Sholoubwa-robot. Every ten years the ritual of arrival and departure takes place. The anomaly appeared during a period of openness. The SHEYAR and RHYLINE fly to the anomaly. It is in disarray. The RHYLINE flies into the anomaly, but accomplishes nothing there and barely escapes it when the structure collapses. Carmydea Yukk is not pleased with this failure (the snooping around by her guests does not remain hidden to her) and orders the flight continued to a second anomaly Ė that which Rizinze Baro allegedly exploited as a tourist attraction. This anomaly measures just over one hundred kilometers wide, is older than the first one, but obviously much more stable. Inside it has a diameter of almost one million kilometers. For Eroin Blitzer it is certain: someone is "building" miniature universes. The first anomaly was a trial run, while in the second the stranger had more success.

Inside the anomaly countless shipwrecks drive through space. It is clear that Rizinze Baro wanted to cannibalize these ships for profit. One of the ships is very familiar to Saedelaere. On closer examination it turns out that it is a Terran space jet of the VENUS-class. It carries the serial number B-SJ-031. The ship is a tender from the BASIS! Inside Alaska finds only corpses. He retrieves the data memory of the space jet for later analysis. In the center of the anomaly is an enormous organic mass. Saedelaere, Blitzer, Carmydea Yukk and other companions penetrate into the interior of the huge being. It wakes up and communicates with them over mental paths. The name of the system is SIL. It may be the remnant of a once larger entity and considers the visitor as its "children". The entity was abused by QIN SHI in Chanda as a guinea pig for a process by which the mental essence of the being was devoured by a machine. It appears clear that QIN SHI was behind the creation of the miniature universes and requires entities - or their bodies - in order to stabilize the anomalies.

SIL does not want to let his "children" leave, because only by their presence, can the entity remain conscious. Saedelaere programs the protective suits of the group so that they are all are simultaneously anesthetized. In this way, SIL is also stunned for a short time. Although the whole thing has to be repeated several times, the companions are able to escape in this manner. The Firibirim does not survive SILís mental attacks. Back in the RHYLINE Swift tries to shoot Saedelaere again. However, the Terran is able to paralyze him first. As the RHYLINE leaves the anomaly, it is surrounded by a cordon of ships of the Imperial troops and trapped...

Jerry Schneiderman 2015-06-07

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