297 - Superfestung Tamanium
Super-fortress : Tamanium
H.G. Ewers

The mysterious Faktor I is talking with Faktor II, Trinar Molat. Faktor I wants him to go back 435 years in the past and destroy the stranded Arkonid space ship before Rhodan finds it, therefore altering the course of the future. Although opposed to such a plan because it would have repercussions on the galactic level, Molat is forced to comply if he wants to stay alive.

Molat is the commandant of Tamanium, the main planet of the Mastesr of the Island. He remembers his past : 20,000 years ago, thirteen of the best scientists and admirals created a coalition to take control of the Lemurian empire. 8,000 years later, this government was ruling the whole Andromeda galaxy. Nothing could stop them since they had uncovered the secret of biological immortality, but they had also received as a legacy an incredible technology. Six of them brutally disappeared, and Molat wonders if Faktor I wouldn't have killed them because they had discoverd the identity of their leader.

Still in Andromeda, Rhodan tries to find a way back home, but to do this, he needs the permission from the Maahks to use their deep space stations, which were freed by Terran forces a few weeks. After difficult negociations, the Maahks agree to help him out.

An isolated Terran space ship enters an undiscovered solar system and the commandant immediately identifies it as the possible host of the Masters of the Island main planet. Unsuspecting, Molat lets the ship go.

In 1971, Hakolin, a Tefrodian admiral, has received his orders from Faktor II. He goes through the giant transmitter and arrives on Earth. He quickly identifies the Terrans as harmless and decides to explore Sol I and Sol II. When he flies over Venus, the Arkonid brain (later to be conquered by Rhodan) awakens and destroys his ship.

In the present, Rhodan and Atlan have confirmed the identity of Tamanium and a gigantic fleet heads in its direction. The first offensive is ordered but the planet is heavily defended by antipolar cannons and timeshifting fields. Added to that, Tamanium is surrounded by a red field that resists all standard weapons and also prevents the teleporters from going through. Transform cannons are useless as well : the teleported bombs seem to never rematerialize in its proximity. The Terrans have no other choice but back off.

Strayed from the fight, Pucky and Saar find a mysterious metallic sphere, 30km big. They teleport inside and discover a being in some sort of a stasis.

Cedric Beust

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