79 - Die Atomhölle von Gray Beast
The Atom Hell Of Grautier
Kurt Mahr

On 23 October 2043, Rhodan gets ready to initiate an attack against Arkon in order to depose the Regent. The fleet is waiting, under the command of General Deringhouse, parked five hundred light-years from Grautier. The frequency damper of the cruiser RIGEL loaded with provisions for the base on Hades breaks down, and its transition near Grautier is detected by a large Arkonide fleet. The cruiser is immediately ordered by Rhodan to make another transition jump in order to mislead the Arkonides. He gives up this idea, however, when some Arkonide robot ships arrive in orbit around Grautier. The Terran base on Grautier is quickly detected and is attacked. Struck by five Arkon bombs, the planet is ravaged by a nuclear fire.

Trapped on the planet, Rhodan, Bell, Atlan and Fellmer Lloyd leave the Grautier base and head toward the city of Greenwich, in search of a vehicle to move them away from the nuclear fire so that they have more time to wait for help. They fight against the violent storm caused by the fire and against robots disembarked by the Arkonide vessels with the mission to capture some Terrans. They succeed in recovering a glider.

Sheltered on an island, Rhodan, Bell, Atlan and Lloyd escape the certainty of death in the fire, but it is an Arkonide robot cruiser which takes them out of the flames of Grautier. Meanwhile, after having attempted to help the survivors, General Deringhouse aborts the planned attack on Arkon, and decides to bring the fleet back into the Solar System. The planet Grautier explodes.

Handed over to Ekhonides who will deliver them to Arkon, Rhodan and his three friends attempt to escape from the Ekhonide cruiser. They succeed in capturing the control center of the Ekhonide cruiser but it is then attacked by the Druufs who defeat the Ekhonides, capture their vessel and take the four Terrans as prisoners into their universe.

Michael Mahoney 2011-08-25

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