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They Came From The Void
|During the flight of the MARCO POLO from Gruelfin back to the Milky Way, Captain Terso Hospotschan damages the modification detector of the dimetrans (transdimensional) drive. This device prevents any time dilation effect from occuring while the dimetrans engines are operating and the MARCO POLO is traveling through the dakkar zone (space). Captain Hospotschan is a hyperphysician and, as an explanation for his actions that are responsible for this breakdown on 2 July 3438, presents himself as a new type of mentally superior human known as the species Homo Superior. He sees in Perry Rhodan a dictator. Through his act of sabotage, he had intended to delay the return of Rhodan to Earth so that his fellow two millions members of the species, Homo Superior, had time to disassemble all military and technical facilities and to bring back all Homo Sapiens to an agrarian and pacifist life style. The ally of Hospotschan, the dimetrans engineer Ricod Esmural, also a member of the new species, Homo Superior, destroys the five dakkarcoms on board the MARCO POLO thereby making impossible all contact with Gruelfin. The Dimetrans engine itself is saved in time but the dilation effects results in the MARCO POLO reaching the Milky Way three years later then intended - at the beginning of June 3441.
Eight thousand light-years from the edge of the Milky Way the crew of the MARCO POLO sees a small mobile galaxy, a stellar swarm of thirty eight thousand objects, which appears suddenly after an old-style transition. It surrounds itself with an energy shield and heads toward the center of the galaxy at half of the speed of light. One vessel, in the shape of a stripe provided with pikes, approaches the MARCO POLO and lowers the gravitational constant of 852 megakalups. This modification results in an immediate lack of concentration on the part of the crew who quickly begin acting confused and behaving like children - in effect they go crazy. Certain individuals are immunized against this effect: primarily those who have been mentally stabilized (both artificially and naturally), the mutants and the carriers of cell activators. They destroy the alien strip vessel and put an end to the manipulation of the gravitational constant. Later the MARCO POLO penetrates again into a zone of craziness - this time the zone appears to encompass the entire Milky Way. On June 4 the MARCO POLO finally reaches the Earth.
Roi Danton, Galbraith Deighton, Homer G. Adams and other immunized individuals try to fight against the chaos from their base of operations in “Imperium Alpha”, the gigantic installation in Terrania which constitutes the nervous center of the Solar Imperium (Empire). They let Rhodan know that the present mental craziness hit the galaxy on 29 November 3440.
Rhodan succeeds by diplomacy in dissuading the representatives of the Homo Superiors on Earth from committing any further acts of sabotage since these only accentuate the difficulties on the Earth and puts in danger the billions of Terrans who are now "idiots" and have been brought back to a primitive state of agriculture.
The light cruiser CMP-41 from the MARCO POLO is equipped for an expedition toward the swarm, the small vagabond galaxy. In remembrance of the Arkonide yawl from the first days of the Third Power, the CMP-41 is given the name GOOD HOPE II. It leaves Earth on 5 July 3441.
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