280 - Die Weltraumdetektive greifen ein
The Space Detectives Intervene
H.G. Ewers


Perry is back home in Andro-Beta after successfully destroying the time station that had cast them back in time on Vario/Lemuria. He is getting ready to see his wife, the Plophosian Mory Abro, who announced her arrival to see him after such a long time. She is not coming alone, though: Homer G. Adams is accompanying her, and Rhodan knows that there must be a good reason if he decided to leave Terrania.

At the same time, the Galactic Engineer Kalak unexpectedly materializes in Andro-Beta. Kalak had been asked by Rhodan to roam the fringe of Andromeda and let them know if any move from the Masters of the Island is detected. All sensors indicate that a precipitate hyperjump forced him to leave his assigned mission. When he reaches Andro-Beta, Kalak tells Rhodan that he was forced to flee because the Tefrodians were massing a huge fleet of ships on the verge of the galaxy.

In the Milky Way, two private investigators, McKay and Marat land on planet Oyun, where they must contact one of their agents. They found him dead and are both kidnapped separately shortly after.

In Andro-Beta, Homer G. Adams speaks in front of the Terranian leaders. He draws their attention on the fact that the Andromeda campaign is costing a lot of money to the government. However, this is not the reason why he traveled to Andro-Beta. Recently, fake money has been flooding through the thousand worlds that are part of the Terranian empire. The Terranian money is made of a metal extracted from a planet whose location is kept secret, and which is fiercely guarded by robots and ships. Perry Rhodan is stunned to see that the fake money is indeed indistinguishable from the original one. The Empire is on the edge of financial breakdown.

Back on Oyun, McKay and Marat manage to capture one of their kidnappers but the building blows up and they barely escape. Their prisoner dies in the explosion. They were able to pick a clue, though, that indicates that the plot is originating from Yales Inc, a financial organization based in the capital. This company seems to be involved somehow in the fake money.

Meanwhile, Rhodan left Gleam and is back on Terrania through the Lost World giant transmitter. Terranian's experts are at a loss understanding how the money could be counterfeited. However, one of them gives the key to the riddle to Rhodan by mentioning that all the fake bank notes are similar as far as their imperfections. It then occurs to Rhodan that the Tefrodian's multiduplicator device might be at work, although he never considered it could be used on something else than live beings. Reginald Bell then contacts Rhodan to let him know he will be shortly joining him with two investigators that might have valuable information regarding the affair.

On their way to Terra, Bell, McKay and Marat are attacked by four humans bearing the uniform of the Galactic Defense, in the very heart of the Terranian administration. They manage to get rid of them and the subsequent discovery of the dead bodies of the "original" guards will confirm that the Tefrodans have a foothold in the very heart of the empire, and worse, that they brought a multiduplicator with them. The economy of the Empire is collapsing, the solar is no longer considered as valuable money and people, led by Rusumans (aka Springers), are resorting to the swapping of goods to buy things.

Rhodan has all the mutants, currently on Kahalo, sent back to Terra in order to secure his surroundings. They are the only ones who can detect duplicates, and still, it is a long process. An extraordinary session of the Terranian worlds is set up, and Rhodan is very close to being voted down, but after explaining exactly what forces are at work and how dangerous the threat posed by the Masters of the Island is, he is finally maintained at the head of the Empire. At the very last moment of his speech, he barely escapes being shot, thanks to Pucky and Baar Lun, the Modul. The author of the attempt is a well-known member of the Galactic Intelligence Agency (successor organisation of the SIA), and there is but one conclusion to draw: he was duplicated and the mutants were not able to detect him. The head council of Terra is now most likely infested with Andromedan clones, and Rhodan has no way to find them.

*Note - found this summary several years ago on an old internet site - http://www.ed.ac.uk/~geas?CYCLO/P/PR-280.sub.html - that no longer exists (same site that the previous short summaries in the "Master of the Island" cycle that Cedric had obtained came from).

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-09-09

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