56 - Die Toten leben
The Dead Live
Clark Darlton

While Perry Rhodan, Reginald Bell and Pucky are meeting to discuss the problem of the dissident group, “the Anti-Social Free Settlers”, the Administrator is warned about the arrival of the LOTUS. Jim Markus gives his report on events on Volat and Rhodan decides to act at once. The LOTUS leaves with Rhodan, Pucky and Andre Noir. While en route, they are informed that the mutant Gregor Tropnow had returned to the Earth in March in order to carry away Thora.

Once in the Hesparais system, a gazelle is ejected but it is destroyed before landing on Volat. The passengers, Rhodan, Noir and Pucky, are tracked by the Katanians, felines under hypnotic control and utilized by the Springers. The Volatians intervene and with the exception of one, all the Katanians are killed. The survivor is freed from the hypnosis and, baptized “Kittikat”, it becomes Pucky's friend. The Volatians bring the shipwrecked victims into their city where they recover Fellmer Lloyd.

Disguised, Pucky goes to the central trading post of the city of Kuklon. He is intercepted by a Springer and is brought before Gregor Tropnow, but Tropnow doesn't recognize him and he lets him slip away. The Springer who had stopped Pucky attempts to strangle him but the mousebeaver teleports into the village of the Volatians. He reveals Thora’s location.

Rhodan, Noir and Pucky go to the palace of the arkonide administrator, Mansrin. Rhodan calls the Regent, passing himself off as Mansrin. He declares that a rebellion is in progress and that he needs an arkonide battle squadron. Shortly afterwards, the real arkonide administrator realizes that something isn’t right with the hypercom reception station but the radio has disappeared. It has been hidden by Pucky.

Rhodan and his men search the trading post looking for Thora. The Solar Administrator presents himself directly to Tropnow who refuses to tell him where she is. This is, however, only a formality since, meanwhile, Pucky is successful in rescuing her. The men of Tropnow intervene then in strength.

While he is being correctly informed of what happened utilizing the radio which was just discovered, Mansrin learns that a gunfight is taking place at the central trading post. It is at this moment that the arkonide commander, Arona, announces the arrival of the seventh squadron of Arkon.

Lloyd kills Tropnow to save Rhodan. Pucky teleports Nomo Yatuhin to the summit of a rocky needle but the mutant prefers to commit suicide by throwing himself into the abyss.

In the confusion of the central trading post where Rhodan faces the Springers and the disembarked arkonide troops, the Mounder Talamon recognizes Rhodan just before Pucky teleports Rhodan to safety. Stunned, Talomon informs the Regent about what he has seen. The Regent verifies the message that has been sent to him and confirms that Talamon was right about Perry Rhodan who was supposed to have died fifty-six years earlier.

Rhodan and his friends recover their gazelle and return to the Volatian village. There, Rhodan is informed by the LOTUS that the Regent emits a hypercom message non-stop, asking to enter into contact with him. Later, on the Earth, Doctor Gertz determines that the Regent has some problems and that he needs the help of the Earth.

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-09-11

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