2665 - Geheimnis der Zirkuswelt
Secret of the Circus World
Marc A. Herren

Thea, a former Free Trader world in the Southside on the doorstep of the Jülziish, was settled a long time ago by the predominantly Terran crew of a circus ship in distress. The renowned Theas Circus Academy has produced several tamers and other artists known throughout the galaxy. The main economic factor there is the trading of goods, but the planet itself is considered insignificant. This could change if the Theatrum system were to join the LFT. Arun Joschannan, who visits the circus world on February 9, 1470 NGE, is there to promote this idea. First, the First Terrian is led through the capital Dolina Salamonski by Nuggnugg, an old native Topsider. The Topsider bodyguards Tork-Trak and Onttril-Gukzz are not the only protection Joschannan relies on. The JULES VERNE orbits the system, protected from sensors, and ten Posbi-BOXES are in a waiting position a few light years away. Ronald Tekener has learned during the interrogation of the Sayporan Marrnuur that the First Terran is to be kidnapped on a circus world. When the Smiler also receives the news that Sayporans are on Thea, he goes to Dolina Salamonski in a bioplast mask to warn Joschannan.

The kidnapping takes place during a speech by Joschannan on February10. The attackers have high-quality shields and weapons at their disposal. The LFT bodyguards have nothing to oppose this. There are dead and injured, and Tekener is paralyzed. Joschannan, his secretary Henar Maltczyk, the two Topsider bodyguards and other people are brought to the island of Osa Mariga, as it is soon discovered. Tekener follows the kidnappers with the hunting cruiser NAUTILUS III, but a folk festival is taking place on Osa Mariga, so that Tekener cannot use heavy weapons. A commando team led by him arrives too late. The kidnapped were already received by the Sayporaner Stradsoider and transported by means of a transit parquet to another location. The Terrans capture and evacuate a village inhabited by several hundred Sayporans and Badakks in pagoda style tents on the island. There are also at least forty Earth children, who apparently voluntarily stayed with the Augurs. Two three hundred meter spaceships, which were reported stolen seventeen years ago and now contain genesis plasma basins, are being examined. A flight recorder can be read on February11. Tekener figures out from it that the Sayporans maintain another base on the moon of the seventh planet.

In fact, Tork-Trak and Onttril-Gukzz are already being interrogated there by the Sayporan Chourweydes, who is much more aggressive than Stradsoider. As the JULES VERNE approaches the base, some of the spaceships parked there - including two Spenta nail ships - attempt to escape. One nail ship is shot down, while the others escape. Landing troops penetrate the base and quickly take out any resistance. While Chourweydes cooperates, Stradsoider fights to the last and is stabbed. Despite everything, Tekener seems to be too late again: Joschannan is already in a basin with genesis plasma...

Jerry Schneiderman 2018-09-13

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