613 - Geißel der Menschheit
Scourge Of Mankind
Kurt Mahr

The protoplasm portion (Biocomplex) of Nathan is contaminated by the PAD illness. As a result, it becomes crazy and develops a will of its own. The subsequent misinformation and erroneous orders given out by Nathan provoke dangerous situations. For example, on 13 March 3457 Nathan issues a false order which results in the destruction of the USO station-241. Geoffrey Abel Waringer penetrates inside the biopositronic computer in order to rectify the problem. In spite of the counter-measures taken by Nathan, Waringer is able to separate the Balpirol semiconductors which connect the protoplasm portion of Nathan to its positronic portion. Once this is accompished, Nathan stops sending out nonsensical orders and causing confusion throughout the Solar Imperium (and the galaxy). Waringer is helped by two technicians.

Meanwhile, the Akonides once again ask Rhodan to help them in their attack against the Halutians (Haluter). They withdraw from the Terran colonies and head toward the Star Cluster M-13, home of the old Arkonide Imperium as well as the New Arkonide world, Turass-Neo.

After a difficult journey, Atlan, Ras Tschubaï and Takvorian arrive on the New Arkonide world Turass-Neo in the Heycron-Nat System. They are there in order to investigate a report that the New Arkonides have discovered a possible cure to the PAD illness. They learn that the extra-brain of the Arkonides, while still developing, emits a hypnotic radiation when subjected to the effects of a machine called a Hyper-Biologicaal Constant Loader. This hypnotic radiation acts against the PAD epidemic and, therefore, it is seen as a possible cure for this devastating illness. However, Thring Malok, the President of the Ruling Council of Turass-Neo, is not willing to cooperate with Atlan. He doesn't hesitate from murdering innocent people in order to deceive Atlan. Eight hundred Halutian vessels approach Turass-Neo. Malok then puts the Hyper-Biological Constant Loader into action. The Halutians are brought to believe that the Lémurians - to include the Arkonides and Akonides - are not their enemies. Instead, they now believe that the Terrans are their enemies and they must be annihilated. In order to save the Earth, Atlan damages the Constant Loader. Torn by his own conflicting emotions, he directs the destructive will of the Halutians back to the New Arkonides, the product of his own long term project to reverse the degeneration of the Arkonides. Afterwards, he flees with Ras Tschubai and Takvorian from Turass-Neo as the Halutians are completing the destruction of the planet.

Michael Mahoney 2015-09-23

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