83 - Hallo Topsid, bitte melden!
Planet Topide, Please Reply
Kurt Brand

On New Years Eve 2044, Reginald Bell cuts his thumb while breaking a glass of cognac, an incident that he considers a bad sign or omen for the coming year.

The Regent's activities worry the leading personalities of the Solar Imperium. In one year, the rift zone with the universe of the Druufs will become unstable and the Robot Regent will then be able to dedicate all its attention (and military strength) on the Earth. More and more robot-ships are being handed over to organic commanders, to include Aras and Springers. When Rhodan is informed that even some Topides are taking command of Arkonide units, he is seized by a quick concern. Indeed, since the Vega campaign, the reptilian beings have know the position of the Earth to within twenty-seven light-years.

Rhodan decides to mount an operation on their home world, the planet Topide. All mutants are convened. The battleship KUBLAI KHAN is prepared. Some spies are unmasked in time by Pucky and the entire group of conspirators is stopped. The Terran plan against the Topides includes using field generators of very high frequency to cut off all hypercom communication between the planet Topide and the rest of the galaxy. The KUBLAI KHAN is disguised as an Arkonide ship, and the crewmembers are also disguised to appear as Arkonides.

Just before departing, Rhodan is informed that his son, Thomas Cardif, made a subversive speech against him. He orders to the commander of the garrison on Pluto to treat his son like any other officer. Cardiff will be court martialed.

On 6 January 2044, Operation Kamikaze begins. Accompanied by about ten other ships, the KUBLAI KHAN arrives at the Topide System. The hypercom ionization field is erected around the system and Rhodan announces his arrival. A Topide squadron attempts to intercept the KUBLAI KHAN but it is forced to retreat.

The KUBLIA KHAN lands. Rhodan appears extremely distant and arrogant towards a delegation that comes to welcome him. He is informed that two Arkonide cruisers have arrived to embark some Topides. Pucky goes into action to eliminate all danger on this side.

Rhodan gets information on all Topides who participated seventy years earlier in the Vega campaign or who possessed reports regarding this operation. The mutants spread out to erase everywhere where possible the information on Vega. Ultimately, the communications blockade does not stop the Arkonides from becoming suspicious and intervening. At least two thousand Arkonide ships emerge in the system. The KUBLAI KHAN takes off at the last moment, having to wait for the return of the last mutants.

Seriously damaged, the KUBLAI KHAN is finally destroyed, and with it the fictiv transmitter that had been installed on board. The survivors flee on board of a lifeboat.

Michael Mahoney 2012-08-24

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