609 - Operation Sternstunde
Operation Star-Hour
H.G. Ewers

Dalaimoc Rorvic and Tatcher a Hainu land with the light cruiser PORTO CERVO on the planet Tsittok in order to bring back three crewmembers of the MARCO POLO to the earth. However as they return to the ship they find themselves locked out by some crew members who behave as if they are crazy. One thing is now certain: The PAD Epidemic is contagious. For the first time, it has also affected people, who didn't travel into the parallel universe. Eventually they regain control of the PORTO CERVO.

Due to a ship transmitter which is wrongly adjusted, instead of returning back to earth, Rorvic and a Hainu find themselves on a base of the Aras, who capture and want to examine them. However, Rorvic and Hainu succeed with the escape and in the second attempt with the transmitter finally return to Imperium-Alpha. There, Atlan gives them the command to seek out and bring back Roi Danton, who seemingly also suffers from the PAD Epidemic and presently resides in Versailles as the Sun King Louis XIV. Disguised as Molière and Tartuffe, they reach Roi Danton. After Tatcher discovers an appliance in Roi’s scepter, which obviously softens the mental resistance of the Terran, they also succeed with awakening Danton’s feelings of responsibility again. In the meantime, almost the entire Earth is affected by the PAD, with the exception of all the aliens to include the Arkonides, Springers, Akonides and Haluter.

Removed some light-years from the earth, representatives of the Springers, Antis, Akonides and Aras meet at the same time and decide to take advantage of the weakness of the earth in order to deliver a devastating blow against the Solar Imperium. With their so-called Operation Star Hour they plan to travel to earth and assassinate Perry Rhodan and Atlan. They succeed in landing on Mars and traveling by transmitter to earth. There, however, their plans are uncovered by Tatcher a Hainu who eavesdrops on them. Thus, he and Rorvic can intervene in the last moment and save Atlan and the Great Administrator. The assassins attempt an escape. However, the ship of the assassins is destroyed while still in the Sol System by the unusually aggressive Atlan. An evaluation by NATHAN yields that also all Lemurian descendants (i.e. Arkonides, Springers, Akonides) are now vulnerable to the PAD Epidemic. However, they show different symptoms which manifests themselves as an increase in their aggressive tendencies. Soon, the PAD Epidemic involves the entire Milky Way.

Michael Mahoney 2014-08-14

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