2674 - Das Reich der Angst
The Empire of Fear
Uwe Anton

There is a weak point in the space monitoring of the World Wreath system. All incoming information about the Thauta Theann (the information Cabinet) is forwarded to the Academy of Logistics on Druh. A team headed by Shanda Sarmotte, consisting of the agents Odo Ollowa and Daniil Veriaso, the TARA combat robot Stainless Stan and Toufec, is to take out the Thauta Theann. They will be transferred to the World Wreath system via the transit parquet in the TLS Tower. The counter station is a parquet in a Taychour (a meditation center) on Druh. The mission is hampered by the mobility of the Information Cabinet. It never stays in the same place and must be found first. In the search, the team encounters several huge mechanopods. These robots seem to be able to absorb and amplify emotions. When Odo Ollowa wants to examine a mechanopod more closely, he literally dies of fear. Veriaso and Shanda are also influenced. Stainless Stan is gradually dissolved by enemy nanomachines in the constant rain on this world. Only Toufec remains unimpressed by it all.

The Thauta Theann turns out to be a biomechanical brain housed in a cuboid eighty meters long. Stainless Stan is steered close to the cuboid. There, the robot triggers its self-destruction, which also destroys the Information Cabinet. Several combat gliders promptly appear. Maid Irriv comes out of one of them and addresses the intruders. Veriaso tries to escape and is shot down. Shanda and Toufec go into captivity. On December 4, 1469 NGE they face Paichander, the Dean of the Academy of Logistics. That Sayporaner has controlled the fate of his people for some time for the worse and works for QIN SHI. The ancient Sayporaner consists of body parts of various beings and must permanently reside in a life support system he calls his uterus. He is very interested in the bodies of his prisoners, especially their brains. He would like to incorporate parts of them in him. Shanda is not very enthusiastic about this and refuses.

Shanda and Toufec try to escape but are quickly captured and taken to Paichander again. He indicates that he has managed to manipulate QIN SHI so that the superintelligence has become almost his henchman. He offers to work together with his prisoners, whose special skills he has recognized. They are to help the expedition leader Choursterc in the recovery of a superintelligence corpse. The corpus is then to be brought to the Ephemeral Gate, a black hole through which the corpus can enter the matrix of the anomaly. Only then can the anomaly be stabilized and that would be in the mutual interest of them all. Shanda and Toufec agree and start with a star galleon to Zyorin Zopai. Shanda cannot shake off the unpleasant feeling that Delorian Rhodan and Toufec had planned this seemingly unexpected mission…

Jerry Schneiderman 2018-11-28

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