294 - Die Eroberer
The Conqueror
Clark Darlton

Central-Station is no more, the base collapsed under massive nuclear explosions. Rhodan is now heading toward Midway, the second Maahk base, halfway between the Milky Way and Andromeda.

A cursory examination reveals no anti-psychic field and no special protection. The Terrans easily conquer the station and capture its commandant, a Tefrodian called Montra Matite. Impressed by how the Terrans treat their prisoners, Matite turns out to be a resistant to the Masters of the Island.

He informs Rhodan of one of the Masters of the Island's best kept secret : the existence of a planet called Multidon, used as a home base by his masters. This planet holds several thousands of multiduplicators and is the heart of the Masters invasion force. Unfortunately, a hidden system within Midway detects that Matite has betrayed his masters and instantly kills him, along with all the duplicates still alive.

On Earth, Bull and Atlan receive a messenger from Rhodan, who traveled all the distance on board a special ship equipped with extra kalups to cross the 800,000 light years that separate Central-Station from the Milky Way. Bull learns that Central-Station is now in Terrans hands and that he should head for Lookout, the third Maahk base, 400,00 light years away from Earth.

Lookout is headed by Faktor III, named Proht Meyhet. He knows about the demise of Central-Station but not yet about Midway. He expects the Terrans to show up any moment. Bull's fleet materializes nearby and intercepts a Tefrodian ship. The crew is quickly captured and hypnotized by Andre Lenoir. A small crew of mutants led by Ras Tschubai and Gucky sets foot on the base, which turns out to be protected by an anti-psychic field, incapacitating the mutants. The intervention team scatters in the base, looking for the anti-psy generators.

Meanwhile, Bull dispatches some of his ships and attacks the station. Proht Meyhet suspects this attack to be a diversion but fights back with 400 of his ships. They are lured into a trap and immobilized by Terran narco-radiants.

Gucky eventually destroys the anti-psychic generators and, now fully capable of teleportation, wreaks havoc on the base, which quickly falls into Terran hands. Carefully protected in the central command, Proht Meyhet meets with Gucky, who gives him a ultimatum. The two characters find some sympathy for each other but the Master of the Island declines the ultimatum and informs Gucky that he is going to escape. As soon as Gucky has left, the Master of the Island uses a hidden door and flies away in a small ship. He sets a bomb to destroy the station before leaving, but Gucky finds it and the Terrans then deactivate it.

Rhodan arrives on Lookout from Midway with a limited fleet and the Terrans celebrate their conquest of all Maahk bases.

Cedric Beust

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