801 - Sirenen des Alls
Sirens of the Universe
William Voltz

The Sol arrives in the Yoxa Sant system, in the galaxy Nypasor Xon. The Terrans realize that the third planet, Drackrioch, is surrounded by a crystalline network which is nothing else than the Empress of Therm. The network exposes gaps that allow access to the planet, and the network contains thicker nodes, which turn out to be Comps. Dobrak tells Rhodan that the time has come for the Keloskians to leave the Sol, and to take the Shetanmargt with them. The Keloskian computer dissociates itself from Seneca and soon, all of them have left the Sol.

Bjo tells Rhodan about his suspicion: Joscan Hellmut has a crystal engraved in his neck, and he's therefore under the control of the Empress. Confronted about it, Hellmut accepts to have the crystal removed. As time goes by, the mutants start perceiving a soothing and constant psychic call coming from the planet, emitted by the Kelsirens.

Perry sends the three researchers of the Empress as a delegation on the planet, and two days later, the central section of the Sol lands on the main continent, where Rhodan makes contact with the Mother of the Kelsirens. While the Kelsirens seem to share a symbiotic relationship with the super-intelligence, they provide Rhodan with dry leaves that block the psychic calls the fish creatures emit, hence allowing the mutants to explore the planet freely. Rhodan and Atlan wonder if the Empress doesn't intend to turn the Sol into a new Module, since the original one is now prisoner of Bardioc's cosmic trap.

The Empress of Therm finally meets with Rhodan. The coordinates of the Earth and Medallion are delivered to the Terrans, but the super-intelligence still demands two favors from the Terrans. They must explore a continent called Troltungh and also the fourth planet, called Lugh Pure. Their mission is to break off the symbiotic relation that binds the super-intelligence to the Kelsirens, but the Empress refuses to give hints as to how to reach that goal. Rhodan accepts the mission and receives a crystal necklace as a gift from the Empress. When he puts it on, he feels some renewed energy flow through him.

Rhodan reports his conversation to Atlan and Bull, who don't hide their defiance of the Empress of Therm, and also their disagreement about Rhodan wearing the crystal. Rhodan sends Pucky, Tolot and a Kelsiren guide on Lugh Pure.

Cedric Beust

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