686 - Die Flotte der Toten
The Fleet of the Dead
William Voltz

In Gercksvira, four scientists are working on the wrecked Lemurian spaceship which is about to be hurled into the giant transmitter when the operation is started. The spaceship rematerializes in an unknown region of space. The four scientists only have a few hours worth of oxygen left, so they decide to leave the spaceship and explore their surroundings. They discover the lost fleet of 22-the-Lemurians,000 spaceships that disappeared centuries ago.

On the Earth, Zeus says he wants to help the Terrans. He tells Rhodan that somewhere in the maelstrom, there is a lost fleet of Lemurian spaceships which might be of interest to the Terrans. Rhodan doesn't trust Zeus but he decides to give it a try : Alaska Saedelaere is assigned the mission to locate the Lemurian fleet.

The scientists board one of the spaceships, which turns out to have a breathable atmosphere. They soon discover clues indicating that live beings were on board recently. They also discover an alien in cryogenic sleep. The creature is identified as a Mahsak, a race that used to serve Lemurians. The Terrans reanimate him. First hostile, the Mahsak, called Fonchie, becomes more friendly towards the Terrans when he realizes that the crew must have died of the shock of going through the transmitter. Why the four Terrans survived the transition, they can't explain.

The Lemurian fleet has become the realm of caterpillar-like creatures called the Artmacs. They only possess seventeen ships, though, but they are extremely aggressive. When they find out that four unknown creatures have entered one of their spaceships, they immediately look for them. They finally capture them. As the Artmacs start questioning them, the Terrans decide to pretend that they are Lemurians.

Cedric Beust

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