90 - Atlan in Not
Atlan In Danger
Kurt Brand

The attention of the Solar Defense is attracted to Rabindranah Hindu. A physicist, he wrote an article recently on the linear propulsion of the Druufs that proved to be a hoax. Yet, the man still seems to be a genius and he is recruited by Rhodan to work on the scientific team studying the linear propulsion.

Perry Rhodan is informed that Thomas Cardif is now in the Rusuma System on the planet Archetz, the central world of the Springers. Cardif reveals to the whole galaxy that Atlan now hides behind the Regent. On 1 July 2044, Atlan confides his concerns over the latest developments to Perry Rhodan.

Some unexplained developments occur in the linear propulsion research department. Reginald Bell suspects Rabindranah, which awakens the suspicions of Rhodan since Bell usually does not display such suspicions about anybody without irrefutable proof. It turns out that Bell has been put under a hypnotic bloc. Three individuals in the research department are stopped and it is discovered that they used an Ara drug which temporarily gave them some psi powers. All three are linked to the C.H.G. Company located in Cape Town, South Africa. A search of the Company offices in Cape Town results in the discovery of a telecom connecting it to Cokaze.

Cokazes, Cardif and some other Springers meet with Ortece, president of the main bank of the Springers, in order to forge an alliance which will act against Atlan. Ortece refuses and Cokaze announces that he will then be forced to deal with the Aras. He also announces that his clan is going to withdraw all its accounts. Thomas Cardif is gaining greater influence over Cokaze and counsels him to stir up revolts on the worlds of the Arkonide Imperium.

Atlan appears worried about the number of seditious movements within the Arkonide Imperium and threatens the rebellious planets with the withdrawal of all Arkonide vessels from the Druuf Front.

The moons of one seditious system are brutally destroyed, but for Thomas Cardif it is proof that Atlan hides behind the Regent. The Robot Brain would have destroyed the seditious planet itself. Atual and Ortece, the heads of the "the Bank ", finally accept Cokaze’s offer. They must trigger a general inflation throughout the Arkonide Imperium.

The team of Bradley and Rabindranah finally complete a linear propulsion detector. Rhodan triggers Operation "Flyswatter ". Atlan places some robot units in the Rusuma System.

The CALIFORNIA, equipped with the detector, is able to detect the three thousand Druuf vessels in flight. The detector is transferred onto the DRUSUS which leaves in order to meet the Druuf fleet. Atlan informs Rhodan that confusion reigns in the Arkonide Imperium: inflation is rising, the Aras sell no more medications and a part of the fleet rebels. And when Atlan asks for the person's responsible the Robot Regent gives only one answer: "Rhodan". It does not specify if it is the father or the son.

The DRUSUS makes contact with the Druuf fleet and Perry Rhodan proposes a trade: he will indicate to the Druufs the path toward their own universe and in exchange their fleet must appear above a specific planet in an intimidation maneuver. Two hostages go voluntarily on board of a Druuf reconnaissance vessel: the teleporter, Tako Kakuta, and Doctor Brigonne. The Druuf vessel leaves in the direction of Archetz. The two Terrans place a miniature transmitter in an airlock so that Atlan can track them (since he does not have a linear propulsion detector on Arkon). The Druufs notice the transmitters presence but the teleporter intervenes and welds shut the access to the airlock. Nevertheless, the two hostages are still the primary suspects and are locked up.

Arkon withdraws its heavy units from the vicinity of Archetz. Thomas Cardif tracks the movements of the Arkonide fleet and advises Cokaze to withdraw from the Rusuma System as well. When the Druuf reconnaissance vessel comes back from the Rusuma System, Pucky exchanges the transmitter with another harmless device which diverts the Druuf suspicion away from the Terrans.

The Druuf Fleet then attacks Archetz, and contrary to the foreseen agreement, ravages the planet. The Druuf Fleet is, in turn, annihilated completely by the robot cruisers of Arkon. The two hostages can be rescued in time. Perry Rhodan believes that his son died on Archetz at the time of the attack. All rebellions within the Empire cease since it is realized that the Arkonide Fleet, controlled by Atlan, is still needed to protect all planets of the Arkonide Imperium from the ongoing Druuf threat.

Michael Mahoney 2012-09-05

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