674 - Im Land der Dreemer
In the Land of the Dreamer
H.G. Francis

On Archi-Tritrans, Wadder Krermein, a hyper-physicist, is reading the latest analyses from the computers about what happened to the Earth. The estimations give a 92% chance that the Earth and the Moon were destroyed during the transfer. In such a situation, Krermein sees no point in trying to evade the Larens and decides to betray the Terrans in an attempt to receive a good treatment from them. He steals a shuttle and escapes with two coworkers.

However, Krermein doesn't know that the results he read are incorrect. The odds that the Earth survived the transportation are much higher. When Atlan learns about the physicist's betrayal, he asks Hetschic to chase him.

On board of the stolen shuttle, the three fugitives discover a mechanic called Emperor Karl, who tells them that the engines of the shuttle are under repair and won't take them further than a few thousand light-years. The hyper-radio is broken as well. He offers his services to the three men, who reluctantly accept. Karl fixes the hypercom but modifies it so that when Krermein tries to call the Larens, the Terrans will be notified as well.

When Hetschic receives the signal, he immediately tries to locate it. Meanwhile, the shuttle is approaching a planet called Clearwater and Karl decides to abandon the three fugitives. Wearing an atmospheric spacesuit, he leaves the shuttle and lands on the planet. Shortly thereafter, the spaceship crashes on Clearwater.

A group of small scientists is working on the planet. Their mission is to study a rodent called the Dreamer, who seems to have some intelligence. Krermein is the first to make contact with the researchers. The unsuspecting scientists give him assistance and food. Karl meets with the Dreamers, who reveal their intelligence to him. Using their support, he catches up with Krermein and together, they manage to kill the physicist before he can inform the Larens about Archi-Tritrans.

Cedric Beust

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