505 - Im Schwarm gefangen
Caught In The Swarm
William Voltz

The immune crew of the INTERSOLAR witnesses several of the Manipulators (the sting-ray shaped vessels of the Swarm) as they seize the space yacht ANNIOK which had inadvertently strayed into the path of the Swarm. The Manipulators take the yacht into tow and enter the Swarm, in the process passing through the Swarm’s protective shield without difficulty. The owner of the ANNIOK, the Terran physician Powee Froud-Crofton, who had lost the ability to operate his vessel due to the stultification radiation produced by the Swarm, recovers his intellectual faculties once his vessel crosses through the shield and enters the Swarm. In a sphere of five thousand meters of diameter surrounded by artificial suns is a cubic structure. Within this structure Froud-Crofton is integrated with parts of his body into a mental collective. He has been chosen to serve as the “Selector” for the collective. This collective serves the Yellow Idol Y'Xanthomrier and the particular section of the collective which Froud-Crofton has been chosen to become a part of constitutes a radio station. Froud-Crofton learns that several races live in the swarm. Slaves of the Yellow Idol, these races are under way to the city of Aclar. Gathering his remaining strength, Froud-Crofton rebels against the collective and temporarily seizes power in order to send a message. Afterwards, he finally surrenders to the collective and is absorbed by the system thereby losing his individuality.

The INTERSOLAR receives Froud-Crofton’s coded message which states: "Protect yourselves from Y'Xanthomrier!".

Michael Mahoney 2013-03-03

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