- Alarm im Sektor Morgenrot
Alarm in the Dawn Sector
The year is 2435. Twenty-nine years have gone by since the Terrans defeated the Masters of the Island. A new political and military force has emerged in the Milky Way : the League of Free Traders. Led by the enigmatic Roi Danton, who dresses up and talks like an aristocrat from the seventeenth century, this coalition is mainly focused on making profits. They don't seem to be hostile to Humanity and since they have never been caught doing anything illegal, Rhodan tolerates their activities in the Milky Way.
Mory Rhodan-Abro gave birth to two children in 2405 : Michael and Betty. Michael decided to disappear in order to lead his own life, afraid that the name of his father might be a burden. Betty is married to a hyper-physicist and is in contact with her brother. But she won't give any information about him to Rhodan.
The Blues are struggling in a civil war. The Gatasians are no longer the dominant race of the Eastern part of the Milky Way. Unrest has increased lately, so Rhodan has dispatched fleets of ships in the Dawn Sector in order to monitor the fights. One of these ships, the Kobe, is violently attacked by a Blue fleet. As it is about to be destroyed, the aggressors are destroyed by a foreign ship, which identifies itself as the Francis Drake. This is Roi Danton's flagship. Akanura, the commander of the Kobe, has noticed that the Francis Drake seems to be fitted with transform cannons, which is illegal by Terran laws.
A few hours later, Atlan arrives in the Dawn Sector and meets with Roi Danton for the first time, thanking him for rescuing the Kobe. The two men end up feeling respect for each other. Akanura tells Atlan about the transform cannons but the Arkonid decides to ignore the issue for now.
The reason for Roi Danton's presence in the Dawn Sector has nothing to do with the political situation. It just happens that he is exploiting a nearby planet, called Ruby, which holds a lot of howalgonium, a five-dimensional quartz which is highly valued. The Free Traders are spotted by a Terran exploration ship and within a few hours, a big Terran fleet circles Ruby and asks the Free Traders to leave the planet, now under Terran control.
A mysterious platform materializes near the Dawn Sector. The conversations between the main coordinator and its subordinates lead to think that they're some sort of gift destined to the human race. The platform has been traveling for more than fifty-thousand years and is now looking for evidence that the human race is still alive. When the coordinator detects movement in the Ruby system, it dispatches ten ships there. These ships are almost identical to the Terran galaxy class spaceships.
Rhodan decides to intimidate Roi Danton and drops harmless bombs on the planet. The Free Traders are unimpressed and try by all means to escape with their supply of howalgonium.
The foreign spaceships misinterpret the explosions on Ruby and start attacking the Terrans, wreaking havoc on the few ships gathered in the system. When the platform materializes in the system, sending nine hundred galaxy class spaceships into the fight, the Terrans are dumbfounded : they don't even have that many ships in the whole Galaxy. Yet, these are definitely of Terran construction. The platform itself is a 10km high, 50km big square.
Atlan and Rhodan are stranded on Ruby, so Don Redhorse tries to break through the foreign ships to rescue them. He fails : his ship is destroyed and only fifteen crew members survive. They crash on Ruby in an escape pod.
Roi Danton has managed to escape and as he is leaving the system, we understand that he is Michael, Rhodan's son.
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