64 - Im Zeit-Gefängnis
Prisoner Of Time
Clark Darlton

January 2041. Perry Rhodan decides to send a team into the other universe. The location of the next interface between the two universes has been identified: the system of Morag whose main planet is Tats-Tor, the world of the Neo-Arkonides. A Gazelle under the command of lieutenant Rous lands in Akonar, the planet’s capital. Rous and Fritz Steiner go to see the Arkonide Administrator to warn him of the danger but he doesn't believe them. Biologist Ivan Ragow, who is part of the team, goes for a walk alone when he is taken by force to the palace. Some mysterious disappearances begin to occur but the Administrator suspects the Terrans of being the origin of them. Ragow escapes and reaches the Gazelle which immediately leaves for a city whose population has already disappeared. As foreseen, the analyses reveals that the inert matter has aged several millennia.

Some policemen arrive to stop them, the suburbs of Akonar itself now being touched by the temporal interface, but they also begin to disappear. The Lenticular Field Generator, which permits the opening of a window to the other universe, is activated. It generates a circle of light one meter in diameter. The six men go through it. They enter a world that seems petrified to them since the time is passing 72,000 times more slowly.

While exploring this world, the constituent light circle which is their tie with the normal world disappears. Nevertheless, they continue their exploration, leaving a man close to the site of the ring. They discover animals that look like gigantic caterpillars emitting a plunk and give them the name Druufs. They believe they have discovered the masters of this universe.

A foreign vessel is noticed then - an auxiliary vessel loaded with cameras. It has been sent from a mother vessel whose occupants worry about the presence of these strangers who place in danger their progress with the process of fusion of the two temporal planes. Making use of the advantage that procures them the temporal shift, the Terrans destroy the auxiliary vessel.

They then make an attempt to pull a caterpillar from its temporal rhythm. Ivan Ragow carries away a caterpillar and attempts to pass the speed of light of this world with the help of his arkonide battle suit. The attempt succeeds.

They then discover the auxiliary vessel (guppy) K-7, the one that had disappeared on Mirsal. They bring back the crew into their time plane with the same method that they had used for the caterpillar creature. For the crew of the K-7, hardly two minutes went by. In spite of the temporal shift, they emit a SOS from the auxiliary vessel and wait for help.

Michael Mahoney 2011-08-18

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