651 - Die Rebellen von Hetossa
The Rebels of Hetossa
Ernst Vlcek

Three days later, Hotrenor-Taak comes to see the Terrans and takes themto a room where they will be given a training about the Hetos of the Seven.Hotrenor-Taak reaffirms his will to see a lasting peace established inthe Milky Way, even if this means confronting the Arkonids, Akonids, Blues,and all the other people of the Galaxy, who will surely object to beingsubmitted to a dictatorship. Rhodan then asks what the Larens are expectingfrom him in return.

Hotrenor-Taak explains that the command of the whole Solar Fleet mustbe given to the Larens. They will use it for the pacification of the MilkyWay first. Later, when things have settled, the Fleet will be incorporatedin the military forces of the Seven Galaxies. Rhodan says that it meansgiving up democracy, infuriating Hotrenor-Taak, for whom this concept ismeaningless. Rhodan still does not understand why the Larens named himFirst Hetran when they could use ther technological superiority to conquerthe Milky Way and have him, Hotrenor-Taak, nominated First Hetran. Hotrenor-Taaksays that this would go against their mentality.

Rhodan says that he suspects a greater chaos would ensue in the MilkyWay if someone other than him was nominated First Hetran, and that theLarens would have difficulties dealing with it, even with their technologicalsuperiority. Hotrenor-Taak is forced to agree, and then ends the discussion,drawing the attention of the Terrans to the monitors that are in frontof them, where a global overview of the Hetos of the Seven will be given.When Rhodan asks if this briefing will include armament, Hotrenor-Taakdoes not answer.

The screens then show how the Larens are able to manipulate energy andturn it into solid matter, but reveal nothing on the inner workings ofthe technology, leaving the Terranian scientists wanting for more. Hotrenor-Taakthen concludes saying that when the other members of the Council arriveon Hetossa, he will have to report to them, and he hopes that Rhodan willhave given his answer by then. Just before they are brought back to theirapartments, Gucky manages to read into the Laren's mind and sees that actually,Hotrenor-Taak intends to destroy their corvette so that they are left helplesson Hetossa. Rhodan then decides to act.

A teleporter is sent into the corvette in order to save as much as possible,while Tschubai and Gucky teleport into the mountains and start to dig ashelter for the Terrans. Meanwhile, the MC-8 is being taken out of Hotrenor-Taak'sship to be placed on orbit. It explodes shortly after. Unfortunately, IchoTolot is spotted by an SVE glider outside the cave. Lord Zwiebus and ToronarKasom open fire on the glider and destroy it, showing that Terranian weaponscan be effective against Laren technology.

Asked about the explosion of the MC-8, Hotrenor-Taak explains that amishap occurred while moving it. He offers an SVE glider in compensationfor the loss of the corvette and then tells Rhodan he will come to visitthem shortly for an important matter. Felmer Lloyd informs Rhodan thatthe Laren's concern is about the mutants, and not the destruction of theglider in the mountain. Rhodan is stunned to learn that Hotrenor-Taak isinformed of the capacities of the mutants, and fearing that the Laren mightswitch to a more aggressive behavior, he orders all of them to teleportin various places on Hetossa.

After scattering the team away, Rhodan and the few remaining membersof the expedition eventually make contact with Roctin-Par. They meet inthe underground of Mivtrav. There, Roctin-Par insists on the malevolenceof the Hetos Council and asks Rhodan what he intends to answer. Rhodandiscloses his intent to pretend he accepts Hotrenor-Taak's demands in orderto infiltrate the Council of the Seven. The two men eventually become allies.

Rhodan says he must fly back to the Milky Way to organize the resistance,but that it is not an option since Hotrenor-Taak will then nominate anotherHetran. Instead, Roctin-Paar suggests that he and his men shoud kidnapRhodan so that the Laren doesn't suspect they are actually allies.

At midnight, the rebels attack the buildings in which the Terrans reside.Rhodan and his team take advantage of the confusion to run away. Duringthe fight, Icho Tolot rescues a few injured rebels and this is enough forhe Larens to see through the stratagem. They now know that the rebels aretrying to free the Terrans. Gucky reads in their minds that their ordersare to capture the Terrans alive. Irmina Kotschistowa is captured duringthe fight.

As Rhodan and Atlan join Roctin-Par in his glider, Atlan suddenly decidesnot to leave. Since the plan has failed, Hotrenor-Taak will know the Terransbetrayed him. The only way out of this is to pretend they escaped fromthe rebels and came back to the Larens. Rhodan immediately agrees and theyboth leave, to Roctin-Par's great dismay.

Hotrenor-Taak then comes to the battle field and asks Rhodan and Atlanhow come they are wearing battle suits. Expecting the question, Rhodanexplains that the mutants had warned them about the forthcoming attack.Reluctant first, the Laren is eventually convinced by the two Terrans.He asks Rhodan not to put himself in peril in order to rescue his companions,and assures him the Larens will do everything they can to save them fromthe rebels.

Back in his bunker through a transmitter, Hotrenor-Taak directs histroops through the battle. Suddenly, the building where he left Atlan andRhodan is under attack and before he can react, his whole troops fall undera heavy fire. A few seconds later, hiw own bunker is shaken by an explosionand its protection shield suddenly collapses.

Outside, a rebel spaceship is landing and wreaking havoc on the Larens.Hotrenor-Taak is caught unaware and orders the whole fleet of Hetossa tocome to the rescue. The enemy ship then contacts him and affirms that Rhodanand the Terrans are on board. They will be executed unless the Larens letthe ship go. Hotrenor-Taak is forced to comply, but orders his ships tofollow the intruder in space. He cannot know that Rhodan and his companionsare not on board.

A few minutes before, Rhodan and Atlan were with the four guards Hotrenor-Taakhad left for them. As soon as the Laren leaves, the Terrans point theirweapons at the guards and disarm them. Rhodan then throws a bomb throughthe transmitter that the Laren had just used, and another one toward themain panel that controls the protection field. Then they run away and stumbleupon Gucky, who informs them that all of the Terrans are now safe withRoctin-Par in another part of Mivtrav, and that he must take them therenow. Gucky tells them about the ship that is supposed to be leaving withthem on board. Reassured, Rhodan and Atlan teleport with him, leaving onelast bomb behind them. The commando, along with Roctin-Par and a few otherrebels, is standing by a transmitter. As soon as the ship is reported tobe taking off, Roctin-Par switches the transmitter on, as its energy isnow covered by the departure of the ship. He tells Rhodan that they areheaded toward Peyntepor, the first planet of the Hartzon system, wherethey will learn all they need about the means used by the Larens to enslavewhole races.

Peyntepor is an ammoniac-methan world, whose native inhabitants arethree-meter tall cyclops. Roctin-Par explains their story to Rhodan : theywere contacted by the Hetos of Seven and, seduced by promises of freedomand power, decided to join. However, the Larens quickly took over theirgovernment, and then their fleet. All resistants were quickly disposedof and the Peynteporn soldiers were sent to distant planets.

Roctin-Par tells the Terrans he intends to send them back to the MilkyWay in a few days, but in the meantime, he must take care of an importantmatter. One of his agents was recently uncovered by the Larens. He is nowhiding on Peyntepor, but the Larens have located him. They are now searchingthe whole colony, and will soon find him out, which will have dramaticconsequences for both the natives and the resistance movement. Rhodan offershis help, and together with the mutants, they head for the small colony.

Thanks to Gucky, the Terrans rescue Wohlan-Pol just before the Larenscan find him. However, the Larens retaliate on the cyclop colony, killingdozens of them, but not being able to have any of them turn the rebel in.Rhodan sees for the first time the Larens in action, and is more than everdetermined to fight them.

One week later, Roctin-Par decides that the time for the journey homehas come. Seventeen small and stealth energy ships are prepared, each ofthem being able to carry two people. Each Terran boards a ship with a rebelas the pilot. Three hundred light years further, they dock with an SVE-Cruiserand head for the Earth, twelve million light years away. They reach theEarth several days later and after the initial surprise of seeing his friendback, Bull informs Rhodan that things have not been so quiet during hisabsence.

Cedric Beust

Back to the cycle