88 - Der Fall Kolumbus
The Columbus Affair
K.H. Scheer

May 11, 2044: From Arkon, Rhodan sends a message to the Earth to inform it of the fall of the Regent and the seizure of power by Atlan. He asks that the DRUSUS, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Sikermann, arrives on Arkon after a stopover on Zalit to embark from it scientists and mutants. The DRUSUS leaves for Arkon the next day.

On Arkon III, Perry Rhodan attempts to make Atlan sign a treaty of mutual aid between the Solar Imperium and the Arkonide Imperium, but Atlan refuses to commit while assuring the Terran of his friendship. The DRUSUS arrives and Sikermann informs Rhodan of the aborted invasion attempt by the Druufs on Earth by way of a transmitter. Atlan, being better informed, affirms that he is nearly certain that the Druufs know the position of the Earth. Rhodan and the Terrans embark on the DRUSUS.

The solar fleet detects the emergence of space vessels forty-two year-light from the Earth, in the Capella system. Perry Rhodan, upon his return on Earth, believes that these space vessels are Druuf vessels. Khrest thinks that they are attempting to create a new passage into our universe. Rhodan organizes the defense of the Solar System. In spite of the precautionary measures taken by the Terran fleet, the Druufs localize the Solar System. They begin to accumulate gigantic numbers of troops and vessels in preparation for a direct attack on the Sol System.

Thousands of Druuf vessels attack the Solar System. In spite of their superior weapons, the numeric weakness of the solar fleet obliges Perry Rhodan to withdraw fleet formations positioned on the first line of defense at the orbit of Pluto. Before this situation, Rhodan solicits the help of the Arkonide Imperium.

In order to ask for the help of Ellert Ernst, who is always embodied in the scholarly Druuf Onot, Rhodan sends the CALIFORNIA, under the command of Julian Tifflor, with a group of mutants, into the universe of the Druufs. Once in the Siamed system, the mutants make contact with Ernst Ellert. He informs them that in orbit around Siamed XVI is the base that created the passage between the universe of the Druufs and ours. A daring action by the mutants permits the destruction of this base, thereby cutting off the Druuf fleet from its rear.

During this time, the solar fleet moves back gradually before the fleet of the Druufs. Suddenly the Arkonide fleet arrives accompanied by the fleet of the Springer Cokaze. These reinforcements and the closing of the door between universes seal the defeat of the fleet of the Druufs. Rhodan welcomes the Arkonides as allies, but demands that the Springers retire, suspecting them of subterfuge.

Now, the position of the Earth is known to all. A new era begins for the Solar Imperium.

Michael P. Mahoney 2007-08-29

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