2659 - Toufec
Richard Dübell

In the era of the Regent Belshazzar of Babylonia, more than five hundred years before Christ's birth, the oasis city of Tiamat on the edge of the Nefud desert is a haven of thieves. A young man named Toufec, who considers himself the cleverest caravan robber of Tiamat lives there. He works for the mighty " Uncle " who holds his protective hand over Toufec - Toufec suspects he is the illegitimate son of the Uncle. One day, a robbery goes awry due to a mistake by Toufec's younger brother Asincommits. Toufec's spies die and the entire booty is lost. Toufec and Asin barely get away alive. To make up for his failure, Asin walks out into the desert and approaches a sandstorm. He believes in the legend told by Toufec that, according to him, djinns dwell in the sandstorms, fulfilling the wishes of those who succeed in catching them. Toufec must commit treason towards his Uncle to follow Asin, but he cannot find his brother. It is Toufec's fate to die in the sandstorm. But Delorian Rhodan, who knows the course of his life, has other plans for the desert son and saves his life.

Delorian brings Toufec, who believes he is in the hands of a wizard, to the planet Sanhaba in the dwarf galaxy Ecloos with the spaceship TOLBA. On the planet is the city of Aures, a structure that juts into the sixth dimension and is very ill, as it has to feed on peoples’ mental life. Delorian provides this life by procuring new residents for Aures. In return, Delorian is allowed access to the superior technology of the city. It takes a long time and requires some hypno-training until Toufec understands what Delorian is talking about. He will live in Aures from now on. The stay does not hurt him and Aures adapts itself to his wishes. The "genie" Pazuzu (an autonomous conglomerate of microscopic nano-agent robots ), who helps acclimate Toufec, keeps him company. Toufec never gives up the hope of finding Asin one day, who is lost in time, according to Delorian. Toufec spends a long time in cryostasis whenever Delorian is absent.

Two thousand one hundred eighty-two years later, when the year is 1631 AD on the Earth, Toufec learns what his task is. Delorian plans to rescue a few dozen people from the Earth whose death is already determined. For this he needs someone with Toufec's special skills. Toufec brings the doomed people to safety with Pazuzu's help. If necessary, they are replaced by dummies, so-called "imagos". Toufec's first target is Clara Esleve, who is to be burned as a witch at the behest of the Witch Commissar Franz Buirmann in Rheinbach. Toufec travels to Germany during the Thirty Years War and frees the beautiful young woman from the dungeon. He falls in love with her, but ignorantly, Clara considers him a demon.

Centuries later, in December 1960, Toufec has brought a total of fifty-four people to Aures. Toufec receives a companion for his last, particularly difficult assignment: Delorian awakens Clara Esleve from deep sleep. She is now "enlightened" and meets Toufec as a friend. The two are to portray themselves as Americans. Duncan Talbot, a physicist and colleague of Richard Feynman, the father of nanotechnology, must be saved from a falling plane. Contrary to Delorian's instructions, Toufec also saves Caspar Obadiah, a child who reminds him of his missing brother. However, Toufec leaves Caspar on the Earth. Toufec's is sad to see that Clara Esleve is romantically interested in Talbot.

Thus, the Alliance of the Star-Worthy is complete. Further rescues are not possible, because soon the superintelligence ES will intervene in the fortunes of humanity and prevent such manipulations. The Star-Worthy stay in the Slow House in cryo-stasis until Delorian wakes them up for their last mission. This time they are to save the whole Earth...

Jerry Schneiderman 2018-05-26

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