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728 - Jahrtausendschläfer
The Millennium Sleepers
H.G. Francis


Olw and his companions are awakened again 50,000 years later.The Zgmahkonians are ruled by two dictators, Arautymen and Mheyrakz. Once again, they need help from the Specialists of the Night : the Larens have developed robots with which they intend to break free from the influence of the Council. Arautymen want the Specialists to search for a new race in order to pacify the Larens again.

As Olw and the Specialists decide to refuse to help the dictators this time, Qwogg, one of them, accepts and leaves the Inter-Zone on an exploration mission. He eventually discovers the Greikos, who have the ability to pacify people with an emission from their brain. Several years later, the eleven Specialists left on Grojocko have gained the trust of the dictators and take advantage of it to flee. They go after Qwogg, hoping they can convince him to stop working on the side of the Council.

They locate him in the galaxy of the Greikos and have to fight their way before they eventually find him. Olw is wounded during the battle and the doctor who examines him makes a surprising discovery : he posseses an artificial kidney, leading the Specialists to believe that he has been awakened independently of his companions in the past. Olw doesn't remember anything about the operation.

Qwogg tells them that Arautyren no longer needs them to go through the interdimensional tunnels, and they are already looking for a fourth race to add to the Council. As Olw finally convinces Qwogg to give up his work, the Zgmahkonians capture them again. They are brought back into the Inter-Zone and put to sleep.

When Olw is awakened again, a new race has joined the Council : the Mastibeks. They were discovered by the Larens, who found out that they have the ability to improve the resistance of their spaceships. The Zgmahkonians are concerned about this and they want to force the Mastibeks to obey them instead. To achieve this, Arautymen intends to hurl four planets through the tunnels into the galaxy of the Mastibeks. The planets will turn into black holes and should avoid an upcoming catastrophe in their galaxy. Arautymen hopes to win the Mastibeks' trust this way.

Everything goes as planned and Arautymen takes Olw in the Mastibek galaxy to meet them. They are bodyless creatures who live in pyramids. As Olw starts talking with them, one of them penetrates his body and overpowers him.

The intruder explains that he has already used Olw's body in the past, in the Inter-Zone. In a distant past, he awakened him and used him to fly in an unknown galaxy in order to enjoy a body after such a long time. When he arrived in the Keloskian galaxy for the first time, their spaceship nearly got destroyed by its inhabitants and he developed an abolute hatred towards them. He decided to punish them by creating an artificial black hole that would eventually engulf their whole galaxy. Olw's body got injured during the operation and that's when he got his kidney replaced. Once he had accomplished his deed, the Mastibek erased Olw's memory and returned him to his cryogenic sleep.

Olw breaks free from the Mastibek's influence and returns to the Inter-Zone, where he informs his companions of what happened in the Keloskian galaxy. They decide to help them and fly there. First suspicious, the Keloskians eventually accept to talk with them and they come up with a solution : they create the Altrakulfth, a device that will reduce and contain the black hole. The experiment is a success and when the Specialists realize that the Keloskians are even brighter mathematicians than they are, they offer them to join the Council.

Thirty years later, the Specialists return into the Inter-Zone and are greeted by an aging and bitter Arautymen. The dictator, now assisted in his reign by six compatriots called the Guardians of the Void, informs them that they are going to be put to sleep again, but each on a separate world, to avoid further disobedience.

Olw is awakened by panicked Zgmahkonians some time later. Before he can explain what is happening, the people who awakened him are killed by other Zgmahkonians, which force him back to sleep.

This is where Olw's story ends. Rhodan is puzzled, since there was no mention of the seventh race of the Council. Olw is stunned : he has no knowledge of a seventh people, and for him, the Council is still called "Hetos of the Six".

Rhodan decides to awaken the other Specialists of the Night, in an attempt to gain them to their side. He knows that without them, they won't be able to leave the Inter-Zone. At the moment where he starts thinking about a plan, It manifests himself and mocks him for being so presomptuous.

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