694 - Die Anti-Molkex-bomben
The Anti-Molkex Bombs
Hans Kneifel

A Ploohn ship approaches the Marco Polo and tells the Terrans that they are here to negotiate. Rhodan meets with them on board his spaceship. The Ploohns say that they captured three Terrans and give Rhodan Tschubai's gun as a proof. The Ploohns want the Terrans to kill Zeus and in return, they will sign a peace treaty.

Rhodan says he needs time to make a decision and the meeting is adjourned. The scientists examine Tschubai's weapon and identify a morse message encoded in it. It only contains one word : molkex. Pucky makes the connection with the mysterious golden alloy he saw on Onyx. The Psaltasians mentioned a planet called Grag Schanath, located beyond the Pharynx, and supposed to hold tons of this metal. Rhodan doesn't understand why the molkex disintegrated when it was taken to the Earth, though, but he decides to investigate the matter. First, he receives confirmation that the Marco Polo has one hundred and twenty anti-molkex bombs on board, and second, he sends a spaceship through the Pharynx to try and locate Grag Schanath.

The cruiser Nathan goes through the Pharynx and once in the galaxy of the Ploohns, starts looking for huge quantities of molkex. The detection soon spots a system made of six planets, which they call the Horror Worm system, in memory of the conflict against the Blues.

On the Marco Polo, the Ploohn ambassadors are getting impatient but Rhodan asks them for more time. The Ploohn queen, Jaymadahr Conzentryn, comes on Rhodan's ship to lead the negotiations. Rhodan tells her that he found Grag Schanath and that he has a weapon to destroy the molkex, which the Ploohns calls Teyme. The queen is schocked and asks for proof.

In the Ploohn galaxy, Pucky is sent on Grag Schanath with several anti-molkex bombs. One hour later, the bombs are detonated and the effect is spectacular : first, the drive effect occurs and the samples of molkex fly in the sky at unbelievable speeds. Shortly thereater, a breach in the hyperspace opens and engulfs the material. The queen is horrified. Rhodan tells her that he is not going to kill Zeus but that he is not going to help him either. The queen reluctantly agrees to sign a peace treaty.

Cedric Beust

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