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43 - Rauschgifthändler der Galaxis
Dealers of the Galaxy
Kurt Mahr


Ace title: Beware the Microbots

The 700 affected crew members are replaced by 800 new crew members that the GANYMED brought from Terra. Originally, the newcomers were to bring the crew of the TITAN up to its target strength of 1,500 men, but now Perry Rhodan must again make do with an inexperienced skeleton crew. He decides to fly back to Honur to find the perpetrators of this artificially induced disease and to eventually find an antidote for it. The poison is based on the inert gas argon, and is referred to as Argono-hexylamine or Argonin. The disease known as Nonus plague causes a state of hyper-euphoria among those affected.

Landing again at the old location, Rhodan sends two teams via land and in the air in order to analyze the world in more detail and to find the suspected stronghold of the originator.

Ultimately four adversaries disguised as Honos lead the away team into a trap. It turns out that the Argonin is not only transmitted by the Nonus-bears, but also by five centimeter long robotic flies that can even pierce through the material of the protective suits. Only Lieutenant Julian Tifflor and the two sergeants, O'Keefe and Halligan, manage to escape infection. They then find the base, are captured, but free themselves and O'Keefe informs the TITAN by means of a radio message. Rhodan then overwhelms the base with 500 men, but they did not find a cure for the Nonus-plague.

Crest identifies the dead base personnel as Aras, a branch race of the Springers, who have specialized in medicine and disease and - as the Nonus plague proves - generate each to their advantage. So they not only produce 95% of all drugs, but also 99% of all drugs in the Milky Way.

Because Ganymede has also brought a structural compensator made for the TITAN, Rhodan has no objections to a flight to Arkon, hoping there to learn more about the Aras and possibly obtain from the Robot Regent an antidote.

John E McClure 2015-08-23

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