288 - Das Sonneninferno
The Inferno Of Stars
K.H. Scheer


The recent discovery of the existence of the Solar Engineers convinced Rhodan that the giant transmitters are no longer safe. Even though the Engineers went through it purely by accident, it is only a matter of time before the Masters of the Island are able to breach the blockade set by the Terrans, and thus gain a direct access to the very heart of the Milky Way. Rhodan has therefore decided that the Andromeda transmitter should be destroyed, but the task looks daunting. However, Arno Kalup, the hyper-physicist, has an idea on how they could do it.

On July 9th, 2405, a fleet of more than 100,000 ships leaves Andro-Beta and rematerializes at the very heart of Andromeda. As soon as they have arrived, one of' them -- the RAWANA -- leaves the ranks of the fleet, which goes on its way to strike a tactical planet owned by the Masters of the Island. On board, Arno Kalup is supervising the latest details in the preparation of his new weapon, based on the Wiezold effect.

Standard transform cannons are useless since whatever bomb they will teleport, the charge will immediately be vaporized when it reaches one of the six stars that form the transmitter. The Wiezold effect, which has already been tested with success in the Milky Way, consists in creating a mini-sun by mixing conventional weapons and transform cannons. This mini-sun must then be exposed to hyperinmestron waves (the name of the weapon) that will turn its particles into their opposites. The resulting anti-matter fire ball will then be hurled into the star using the acceleration of the ship.

The Maahk fleet begins its attack on the targets that were assigned to them. T'he Tefrodians fight back and inflict heavy losses in the Methanian ranks, but the diversion works, and the RAWANA can then proceed to doing its work.

On a desertic planet. Miras-Etrin, also known as Faktor IV as Master of the Island, joins two of his colleagues: Faktor III (Proht Meyet) and Faktor II (Trinar Molat). Faktor I soon joins them but on a screen, its identity still unknown. During this conference, the Masters of the Islands decide on the elimination of the Maahk race and invent a plan against the Terrans that rely on a detail that nobody ever thought of: the fact that multi-duplicators can replicate not only live beings, but ships and weapons...

The operation near the transmitter begins, and it quickly draws the attention of the Masters of the Islands, who call upon all their ships to stop the Terran offensive. The RAWANA manages to conduct the irradiation of the mini-sun until its completion. The resulting anti-matter sphere is then thrown into the third star of the transmitter. The RAWANA escapes into linear space.

The star in the transmitter collapses, quickly followed by the other five. But the Terrans had understimated the side effect of such a reaction. In no time, more than two thousand stars in the vicinity of the transmitter have turned into novae.

Unable for now to assess the exact consequences of what he has done. Rhodan flies away from the center of the galaxy.

*Note - found this summary several years ago on an old internet site - http://www.ed.ac.uk/~geas?CYCLO/P/PR-288.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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