2647 - Der Umbrische Gong
The Umbrian Gong
Leo Lukas

With the help of the Shadow Sharoun Beffegor, Barisch Ghada, the Matten Willy Snacco and the Fagesy Oachono Fydor escape Riordan's agents. Toufec meets with Sharoun and announces that he is working for Rhodan. The guerrillas cannot return to Ghada’s apartment. That is why Sharoun gets in contact with Undine Comerell, a colleague who, unlike her, had remained with the TSD. The two were not girlfriends - actually, they had a real catfight during an exercise mission in 1466 NGE - but Undine has lost confidence in Fydor Riordan since after Chakt-Vachtor's death. The Topsider was Sharoun's and Undine's instructor. Undine rightly assumes that Riordan murdered him. That's why she is helping Sharoun's group escape.

After the media covered attack of the Shadow on the transit parquet at Dolan Memorial Park, Riordan is making every effort to get Toufec into his hands. The mysterious man is declared state enemy number one. This does not bother Toufec much, as his fans begin to imitate him. He continues to deliberately attract attention. With his superior equipment, which even allows him to walk like a structural runner through solid matter, he thumbs his nose at the TLS and the police again and again. Riodan needs to find the right bait to put pressure on Toufec. He believes Sharoun and her companions would be appropriate hostages. He quickly finds that there is a link between Sharoun and Undine. The latter had disappeared since November 5, 1469 NGE, allegedly moving under the cover of a Unither woman into a witness protection program. The security measures of this program are so sophisticated that even the new TLS chief must come up with something special to find his victims.

The first meeting of the Umbrian Council, however, is scheduled to meet. It will take place on November 18th in front of three thousand spectators in the Cosmopolitan Opera House. There are numerous journalists present, but interviews are not welcome. The whole event is a farce. Anicee Ybarri is officially appointed Councilor. She announces the founding of a new state for Humanity called Formatted Terra Umbra (FTU), in which the older non-Formatted Terrans and beings from other races will be simply tolerated until they die off of old age. The first measures to be taken by the new government will be to set up a large number of transit parquets, which can be used to send further youths to the Weltkranz system. The artificial suns will also be darkened some for the comfort of the Sayterranians. The Umbrian Gong is also to be delivered as a gift for the Council. This eleven meter-thick, light pink film is installed at a height of twenty meters above the Solar Residence . The gong hits for the first time at exactly 10PM local time. The audible sound makes all Terrans (even Toufec) fall into a pleasant trance for a few minutes. According to Pazuzu, Toufec's technical jinn, simple ear plugs are sufficient to protect oneself against it.

On November20th, Riordan and Ve Kekolor, head of the Residence Ministry for Mutant Questions, visit the TIPI. The para-gifted Terran Ofner Kiwanika is to help in the tracking of the guerrillas. The twenty-two-year-old man has been traumatized and is mentally retarded, but has an ability similar to the sensor gift of the mutant Fellmer Lloyd. Kiwanika can only find people who mean something to him. But he does not have to know them personally. Therefore, in the TLS Tower, he is shown how two arms are separated from a Fagesy (Oachono had the same thing happen), while Kiwanika's para-ability is enhanced by an experimental hyper-drug. He feels Oachono in the space habit Nuevo Quito Orbital. Riordan personally directs the attack there on the next day, but Sharoun's group can escape in time by a cage transmitter. Undine had already contacted an agent of the Society of Absent Friends. The refugees meet at Heathrow Spaceport with Homer G. Adams, who invites them to the fort in New Ganymede. The refugees fly out with the LADY LAVERNA .

On the same day, the Umbrian Gong beats for the second time. However, it is then destroyed by falcons - the "animals" consist of nano-machines and were sent by Toufec. Marrghiz takes the setback smiling. He believes that by this action, Toufec had lost a lot of his popularity. In addition, new gongs are to be installed. Toufec, however, is fine. He gives Phaemonoe Eghoo (who publicly takes this occasion to quit her public office) a new interview, which is broadcast on all channels. Toufec warns against QIN SHI and the imminent fall of the anomaly. He proclaims again that salvation by his master, who is already in the Sol system, is approaching. The name of Toufec's master is Rhodan! After the end of the transmission, Pazuzu creates a small spaceship. Toufec and Phaemonoe set off to meet Rhodan.

All the events on Terra are watched carefully from the fort. In this well-equipped and shielded station in the middle of the construction site of the emerging moon New-Ganymede, in which Reginald Bull is hiding, the twenty-three sleeping crew members of the BOMBAY are also quarantined. Kirte Otorongo, Chief Medic of the fortress, is trying to wake them up. Nachtaugs Beisohn, one of the crew members, is monitored by Geronimo Abb and DayScha. He is on the road to recovery. Meanwhile, Morse code signals are received on November 22nd. Someone is asking for permission to enter the TOLBA - signed: Rhodan! Bull gives the permission, but when he sees the TOLBA - a one hundred and ten meter transparent sphere with a seventy-five meter diameter sphere embedded in it, he is doubtful ...

Jerry Schneiderman 2017-07-18

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