40 - Aktion gegen Unbekannt
Challenge of the Unknown
Clark Darlton

Perry Rhodan renames VEAST'ARK, the captured super battleship, to the TITAN.

It is true that the GANYMED has the new invention of the Springers, the structure compensator, which camouflage transitions to and from hyperspace, but the TITAN does not have this new technology. Therefore Rhodan performs transitions through places of the Empire where there are many spaceships. Thus he manages to outsmart the Robot Regent of Arkon by the fifth transition. He comes out of hyperspace near the planet Zalit, where he wants to hide from the Arkonide pursuers. His arrival is not hidden from the government of Zalit and it sends intercept ships. To find out what's coming, Rhodan uses a team of the Mutant Corps. Ralf Marten is to mentally enter a crew member of the approaching ships. He enters a Mooff. Ras Tschubai, Tako Kakuta and Gucky teleport to one of the ships and inadvertently cause a little chaos. There Gucky also discovered a Mooff and learns via his telepathic abilities that the Mooffs have telepathic and weak suggestor capabilities, so they can mentally affect other beings.

Rhodan ends up in Tagnor a city of 30 million inhabitants and immediately has an audience with the local ruler. The Zarlt explains that he is not too happy being under the rule of non-Arkonides and especially a robot brain. He wants to change this situation personally in his favor. Here Rhodan offers to help with his ship and its capabilities. In return, the Zarlt is willing to hide him on his planet from the positronic brain.

Initially Rhodan has the mistaken belief that the Mooffs are kept as polygraphs and pets, but soon it becomes crystal-clear that they control and dominate the entire ruling class of Arkonide descendants on Zalit. So it appears the current Zarlt Demesor is the murderer of his predecessor. Advantageously for Mooffs is that that the Demesor has similar objectives as the jellyfish-like Mooffs and minimal manipulation is needed.

Rhodan holds the Zarlt off with the release of the secret to the unrecognized landing on Arkon and decides to use the Mutant Corps to secretly kill the Mooffs. He wants the people free from the yoke of the present Zarlt and therefore also support the fast growing underground movement against the despot. The movement receives encouragement on the one hand with the absence of the suggestions of the dead Mooffs and other hand by the negative behavior of Zarlt Demesor. It turns out that there still must be at least another group behind the Mooffs, because they alone can physically have no interest in the control of the Empire. Also, it is neither in their nature nor their politics.

As a government takeover still militates against Rhodan’s future plans, he secretly prevents a revolution and waits with the rebels for their time.

John E McClure 2015-08-23

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