- Im Labyrinth des Todes
In the Labyrinth of the Dead
Roi Danton, alias Michael Rhodan, meets in secret with Suzan, his sister. She tells him that her and her husband, the physicist Abel Waringer, have been investigating Old Man and the latest findings about the giant base. The picture found by Pucky on III-696, the captured spaceship, has been identified : his name is Rog Fanther and he was on board the Dino III, a cargo spaceship that entered Vario, the time transmitter, during the fight against the Masters of the Island. Their goal was to rescue Rhodan in the past.
They ended up stranded 50,000 years in the past and the commandant ordered a subliminic round trip flight of 250 light years in order to catch up the 500 year difference with Rhodan's actual position in time. Since then, nobody ever heard from the Dino III again. They must have received the support of some unknown people who helped them build Old Man. Then they sent the giant platform towards Earth in order to help them in the future. Something went wrong and Old Man started attacking the Terrans instead of helping them.
Danton informs Rhodan of his findings, and the Administrator invites him on board the Francis Drake. A commando is put together and heads for Old Man on board the III-696. The Terrans are using frequency annihilators, devices that they used during the posbi war and which hide their organic radiations. Old Man does not seem to suspect anything and lets the spaceship in.
Old Man activates its linear engines and emerges in the Vega sector, where it starts attacking Terran units. Rhodan suspects that the platform is puzzled by the recent events and is trying to investigate from the point where it left (Pigell, the station that holds the time transmitter, used to be on Vega VI).
On Old Man, since they are 150km away from their goal, Pucky decides to try to teleport in the central command with Kaiman, an Oxtornian. This turns out to be a trap : they end up in a maze filled with deadly traps and Pucky is almost killed. The maze seems to be existing on another plane of reality. They manage to escape and come back with the commando.
Their first attempt at conquering Old Man has failed.
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