673 - Raumschiff Erde
Spaceship Earth
Kurt Mahr

The journey of the Earth and the Moon toward the Twin Sol transmitter is slated for February 2, 3460. In the meantime, the Earth government is faced with unrest from a minority of the population that is opposed to this audacious plan. However, when a fleet made of Heavy and SVE-spaceships break through the ATG field thanks to the Time Ripper technology, all the opposition wears off. The Terrans manage to destroy the intruders with the recent supports they received, but Rhodan knows that it's only a reprieve, and that the Larens will eventually resume the mass production of Time Rippers.

A small ship seems to have escaped the Terran strike. It is equipped with a stealth technology that makes it hard to detect when it's not using its engines. Bully tries to chase it but eventually loses its trace.

As the deadline closes in, the Earth welcomes more than five billion Terrans from the outer planets. On top of that, a Paratron shield is erected in order to protect the Earth from the sun when it starts moving closer to the transmitter.

On the planned date, a fleet of more than ten thousand galaxy class spaceships start tracting the Earth and the Moon, hurling them toward the transmitter. The experiment succeeds : the two planets start moving towards their goal, which they are supposed to reach within two weeks.

Meanwhile, the undetected spaceship is spotted again : it is headed straight towards Mercury. As it is about to be destroyed, it vanishes. Bully suddenly realizes that the Heavy must have used a technology similar to the fictive transmitters. As a matter of fact, the spaceship materializes on Mercury and crashes on the suerface. However, the crash point is far from the ATF generator. A Terran commando starts chasing the Heavies on the surface of Mercury.

Before the Terrans can intervene, a massive explosion shakes Mercury and destroys the ATF generator. The field collapses and Larens and Heavies invade the solar system massively. It's too late, though : the Earth and the Moon are now in the transmitter and they cross it as the enemy ships are closing in. Once the two planets have disappeared in the transmitter, Goblin leaves its orbit and takes the Ear's place in order to maintain the gravitational balance of the solar system.

In Archi-Tritrans, Atlan detects the impulse indicating that the transmitter has been activated. However, nothing appears. The scientists quickly review the films and while it seems that the Earth and the Moon appeared for a fraction of a second in the middle of the transmitter, they suddenly vanished.

The Earth has disappeared.

Michael Mahoney

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