57 - Der Attentäter
Solar Assassins
Kurt Mahr

Horace O. Mullon is the chief of the "True Democrats" (also known as "the Anti-Social Free Settlers"), a small political group which regards Perry Rhodan as a dictator. He travels to Terrania where he makes the acquaintance of Fraudy Nicholson, a student in exobiology. At the hotel where he is staying, he is paralyzed by an intruder in his room, but when he awakens the next day, he finds that, while his personal belongings have been ransacked, nothing has been stolen. He meets again with Fraudy who recognizes the bluish tint of his cornea indicating that he has been given a drug, céphéidine. They both visit the city and Mullon expresses his wish to see Rhodan in person. He learns that Rhodan sometimes attends public discussions in the assembly.

While they sail in the evening on Goshun Lake, some unknowns attackers capture them after having attacked them with darts smeared with céphéidine. Their captor is Walter S. Hollander, chief of the "Nature Philosophers", another small political group. Hollander and Mullon end up becoming allies in their common objective, to kill Rhodan, but Mullon mistrusts his new ally who looks to take power for his own profit.

When Rhodan arrives at the public assembly, Mullon, Fraudy and Feable, another member of the "Nature Philosophers", are present. The two men create an explosion. However, Rhodan was in fact an android. The conspirators run away. Fraudy misleads them and they are soon captured by the Terran security forces.

Upon awakening, Mullon is brought to Rhodan who tells him that he has been under surveillance since his arrival in Terrania. Mullon learns that Fraudy works for the security services. The twenty thousand "True Democrats" and five thousand "Nature Philosophers" have been stopped. At the time of the judgment, most conspirators are freed on the basis of no grounds for prosecution but eight thousand are condemned to exile. They will be deported to the virgin world, Rigel III.

The ADVENTUROUS departs for Rigel III with the deportees. Fraudy falls in love with Mullon and joins him. They are married by a registrar. The groups of Hollander and Mullon don't mix themselves. Hollander has Fraudy, who he considers as a secret agent in the pay of Rhodan, kidnaped. Mullon and some of his men free her. Hollander makes the commander of the ADVENTUROUS, Flagellan, believe that Mullon is planning a mutiny. Mullon is incarcerated and in fact it is the "Nature Philosophers" who seize the spaceship. During the ongoing fighting, a phase transformer is damaged. While the two group face off against each other, Hollander triggers a transition in spite of the danger, because a patrol cruiser is approaching.

The ADVENTUROUS materializes in an unknown region of the space. The "True Democrats" manage to take over the ship and Hollander is wounded severely. The spaceship succeeds in landing on a planet. By then it is only useless wreckage. The only device left on the ship that is still operational is a helicopter. The hypercom has been destroyed after Mullon succeeded in sending a message. The planet is named Grautier because the animals living there are a mixture of elephants and giraffes. They also construct a village, Greenwich.

The message sent by Mullon has been received by a patrol cruiser. Perry Rhodan decides not to intervene and will, for the time being, only observe the evolution of the settlers in the their new home.

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-09-12

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