286 - Jagd auf die Teleporterkugel
Hunt For The Teleportation Sphere
H.G. Ewers


In Terrania, Rhodan is listening to a report from his chief financial officers. The situation is grim : the Terrans must give up Andromeda, or their economy will collapse. The discovery of a way to identify authentic bills from counterfeited ones is not enough to cover the expenses caused by the fleets patrolling in Andro-Alpha and Andro-Beta. An urgent message is then announced to Rhodan, coming from Kahalo, the planet that controls the main transmitter to the other galaxy. Despite the oscillating field the Terrans put in place to close the access from Andromeda, a sphere has suddenly materialized within the transmitter.

Rhodan immediately leaves for Kahalo. The sphere is less than ten meters big, and it has moved a distance of ten million kilometers since it was spotted. Rhodan dispatches five thousand ships and starts to hunt the sphere. But each time they close in, it suddenly departs and moves away.

It quickly turns out that the sphere is not using engines, but teleportation to move, a discovery that stuns the Terrans.

A small ship, with Baar-Lun the Modul on board, is part of the hunting raid. They anticipate the movement of the sphere and are able to dock their ship to it before it dematerializes again. Baar-Lun uses his paranormal abilities to fight against the teleporters inside the sphere. They eventually crash on a planet, and three shiny red small spheres escape from the ship before the Terrans can react. They quickly disappear out of sight.

The Terran fleet quickly joins and the mutants proceed with the hunt. To the general surprise, the spheres eventually teleport back into space. Two of them then commit suicide by flying into the nearby sun while the third one keeps running away, although obviously getting weaker and weaker.

The runaway sphere eventually materializes inside a Terran ship. It immediately teleports away but when doing so, takes the commander of the ship with it. When he regains consciousness, he is astray in space, but spots a wrecked Maahk ship and gets on board it. There, he finds the sphere, too weak to go any further. He then communicates with it.

Rhodan and the officers quickly join him and learn about the sphere. It explains that the three of them were working on reactivating the "Six Mothers" (the six planets that constitute the Andromedan part of the transmitter) when suddenly, they were teleported here. When asked about their ability to reactivate the transmitter, the sphere says that they are the Solar Engineers, who created the Great Transmitters that bridge the Milky Way and Andromeda. Unlike what the Terrans thought, the Lemurians did not create those transmitters, but asked the Solar Engineers to do it. Naturally inclined to that kind of challenge, they complied and are now being used by the Masters of the Island to break through the Terran blockade. The sphere suddenly disappears and kills itself by flying into the sun.

Rhodan knows that the Masters of the Island will eventually break through the transmitter and will then launch a massive invasion onto the Milky Way. Therefore, he decides to take the conflict directly onto their ground: in Andromeda.

*Note - found this summary several years ago on an old internet site - http://www.ed.ac.uk/~geas?CYCLO/P/PR-286.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 2007-09-11

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