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574 - Das Himmelsmetall
The Heaven Metal
Clark Darlton


During the return trip to the Rattley System, the TIMOR meets a generation vessel with which the Asporcos are trying to reach a neighboring solar system. A peaceful contact takes place between the Asporcos and the Terrans. The Terrans learn that the metal the Asporcos wear in their crests is of a gray and malleable origin. At thirteen years of age, it is surgically attached to a young Asporc in a rite of passage and, at that time, it takes on a hard shape and a turquoise color due to the influence of the quintidimensionnel mental impulses of its bearer. The Crest Metal receives the name “Para-emotional Changing Metal” - PEW Metal for short.

After arriving at Asporc, the fourth planet of the Rattley System, the positronic technicians begins to study the computer records of the OSSATA. Meanwhile, the TIMOR also discovers a strange meteoroid which has crashed into the planet surface sometime in the distant past. Atlan, Pucky, Ras Tschubai, Icho Tolot, Ribald Corello and Takvorian penetrate a system of galleries dug into the meteoroid which is seventy kilometers high and shaped like a horse-shoe. The priests of the Asporcos get their PEW-metal, which they call the “heaven metal”, solely from this meteorioid. In order to avoid detection by the Asporcos, Atlan and his companions hide in a cave. The unusually strong mental impulses of the mutants modify the PEW-metal surrounding them in the walls of the cave, transforming the metal into its hard and turquoise form. As a result, the cave becomes a para-jail preventing all flight by teleportation or the use of a transmitter.

Michael Mahoney 2012-09-07

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