305 - Die Stunde der Hypnokristalle
The Hour of the Hypno-Crystals
Kurt Mahr

Roi Danton confesses to Rhodan that before they left Old Man, he had set atomic bombs on the giant base to explode after sixty minutes. Since the bombs didn't go off, Rhodan begins to suspect that another intelligence is on board Old Man, which could explain why it was targeted by the hypno-crystals, always trying to expand their control on intelligent creatures.

In the Dawn sector, a drop-shaped spaceship is spotted and soon destroyed by the Solar forces. Out of the cloud of the blast, a four-hundred meter crystal appears and heads for the center of the Galaxy. The crystal seems to come from the Magellanic Clouds.

The Terrans receive a radio message coming from Old Man. Once reconstituted, the message is identified as coming from Rog Fanther, who was the commandant of the Good Hope. Sent in the past to rescue Rhodan and his crew, the Good Hope missed the rendezvous by five hundred years. The crew decided to set on a relativistic trip and was supposed to be back exactly five hundred years later. It was never to be seen again. Rhodan is puzzled and wonders how Fanther could ever be on Old Man. Shortly thereafter, Old Man disappears and dives into linear space, thus respecting the content of the message in which Fanther said he would move away from the Earth.

Old Man appears near a Terran base, New Luna, commanded by Linus Caldwell. Caldwell calls for help as almost all of his fleet has just been destroyed and everyone around him is acting insanely. A commando is sent on the planet, protected by an experimental antidote to the hypno-crystals called the heterocen-B. As they try to rescue Caldwell, the commandant turns out to be under the control of the Crystals even though he was acting normally. His goal is clear : to transport crystals on board the Khrest through the transmitter.

The Terrans manage to kill Caldwell at the last minute and make it back into the Khrest as the effects of the heterocen-B are wearing off.

Cedric Beust

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