859 - Ring der Gewalt
Ring of Violence
Hans Kneifel

Ninety-six years ago, the heavily damaged spaceship KARMA, on the run from the Laren and the Uberheavies, made an emergency landing on the planet Vorcher Pool, the second planet of a small, red sun, about 30,000 light-years away from the Sol system. There the small settlement of refugees in the jungle world is surrounded by the ring of violence, a five-kilometer-wide zone full of deadly plants and animals that kill everyone in the apparatus’ vicinity.

The only exception is the twenty-six year od Hytawath Borl. His mother had been bitten shortly before his birth by a tiny Spring snake and died during his birth from the venom of the snake - the same poison, equipped by thousands of different plants and animals in the ring of violence. Apparently Hytawath Borl has thus received a sort of immunity, and the beasts of the planet shy away from killing him. The 3,000 inhabitants of the settlement are dependent on him, because he is the only person that can penetrate the ring of violence and bring food to the settlement, which he procures from the primitive natives of the planet and their leader Rrussu.

But the road through the ring becomes more dangerous for Borl. On the way back to the settlement he is attacked by a new species, whose sole aim is to kill him. The massive animal is heavily armored and can withstand a direct radiator shot. Finally, the animal is killed by Rrussu with a spear. But now the settlement is attacked by the ring of violence. Mighty roots penetrate under the electric fence surrounding the settlement, and thousands of animals sacrifice themselves in order to penetrate the electric fence and a four-meter-wide acid moat. More than a hundred units of the new species can only be stopped by the last still-functioning ship guns, and in the end the attack is once again repulsed.

The settlement is at its end, and some of the settlers begin to fall into madness. Trubohn Cherkel believes Hytawath Borl can bring him through the ring of violence and to safety. At night he forces Borl to lead him through the ring. But Borl‘s immunity does not help Trubohn Cherkel and when it comes to more and more attacks against him the two just manage to  save themselve getting back to the settlement. On the other hand, Donar Welz imagines that Borl cooperates with the planet, and that one needs to kill only Borl to end the attacks against the settlement. Hytawath Borl is forced to leave the settlement.

Then a collector ship flies to the planet. The GRYZ had first taken on board 500 Terran from a small colony, but then followed a call for help to escape a colony on Tharok III where the crew was overwhelmed by 300 Ertrusers. The Ertrusers abandon the Terrans and decide to search for the KARMA and, if necessary, to destroy the Hyper station. But their plans are overheard by Hytawath Borl.

He returns to the settlement, and when the Ertrusers get there, they will be met. In a two-hour long battle the Ertrusers are overwhelmed. They are left in the settlement and the GRYZ takes the settlers. The original crew is picked up and then flies the GRYZ to Earth. On 20 February 3586 they arrive there and are greeted by Ronald Tekener. Now Hytawath Borl is waiting for new duties.

John E McClure 2015-08-15

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