94 - Die flammende Sonne
Blazing Sun
Clark Darlton

The natural communication (temporal overlap zone) between the Druuf universe and the Einstein universe deteriorates from day to day. The incursions of the Druufs become rarer. On Rhodan's orders, Lieutenant Grenoble patrols with a Gazelle on the outskirts of the rift zone. About ten Druuf ships materialize close to the Gazelle and set course in the direction of a blue star. Five other Druuf ships suddenly appear but dissappear at the same time due to the disintegration of the temporal overlap zone in that sector of space. Perry Rhodan asks Grenoble to return to the DRUSUS which then sets coarse for the blue sun. He decides to attack the Druuf vessels in order to make a demonstration by force for the Aras and Springers who are watching from a distance. In fact, when he starts out to confront the Druufs two Springer vessels observe him from afar. Rhodan attacks the Druuf ships on a planet of the blue star and destroys seven of them. The remaining three Druuf vessels take off and flee. Two are destroyed in flight whereas the last is allowed to escape. Atlan calls Rhodan by hypercom to inform him that he lacks competent Arkonide collaborators and then asks him to recover the Ship of the Ancestors. Rhodan returns to Earth to consult with commander Lund who was the commanding officer of the ARCTIC at the time of its discovery of the Ship of the Ancestors. In Terrania Pucky is on vacation. He pushes Bell, who is bathing, into the center of Goshun Lake by telekinesis. They are interrupted by the return of Rhodan who asks for them on board the DRUSUS.

Lund recalls his men to the ARCTIC while wondering why he must abandon the retraining of his crew that has hardly just begun. He receives the order to dock the ARCTIC in the hangers of the DRUSUS and to join Perry Rhodan. Pucky informs Lund about what really happened on the Ship of the Ancestors. They leave to search for the ship but upon arriving at the last known position determine that it has disappeared without leaving a trace. Rhodan believes that it may have made a transition through hyperspace and, therefore, it will now be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But Lund recalls that all transitions are recorded and archived in Terrania. Back on Earth, they determine that there was only one transition in that particular sector of space. The transition was for a distance of 20.3 light-years and it took place on September 10, 2044, eighteen days earlier.

On the Ship of the Ancestors the robots continue to serve the members of the last generation. During a meeting O-1 (the First Officer) proposes that they make a transition. He is supported by M-7 and D-3. Although he disagrees at first, C-1 (The Commander) gives into the majority and gives his permission. The transition succeeds but the space drive subsequently breaks down. At the time of a daily inspection of the vessel, M-7 and M-4 meet D-3. D-3 states that he just saw a shadow disappearing toward the cryogenic rooms. He then sent a robot into the room of the sleepers but the robot had not returned. In the room of the sleepers, Alos and Commodore Ceshal, members of the first generation, as well as many of the other Sleepers begin to wake up. At the time of the arrival of the robot they detain it and make it explain the situation. Ceshal then leaves the cryogenic storage room and makes contact with M-4, M-7 and D-3. When he learns that more than one hundred thousand Arkonide Sleepers are waking up, D-3 accompanies Ceshal to C-1 while leaving M-7 and M-4 as sentries by the door to the cryogenics storage room. C-1 decides to provide supplies and clothing to the ancestors (Sleepers) but not to let them out of the cryogenic storage chamber. Unfortunately, thousands of Sleepers do break out and overcome M-7 and M-4. Ceshal returns to the ancestors but by that time the Sleepers have managed to capture the entire deck of the ship where the cryogenic chamber is located. To conquer the rest of the vessel, Ceshal decides to block the renewal of air throughout the ship.

Detecting the decreasing oxygen content of the air in the Control Center, C-1 makes contact with Ceshal and decides to open all bulkheads. He invites Ceshal to come to the control center with his specialists. Arriving in the Control Room, Ceshal is given back the command of the ship by C-1 but by this time it is a meaningless title since they have already lost control of the vessel, the intercom system having been cut. On the Ship of Ancestors anarchy now reigns. Alos puts together a group of seven heavily armed robots and programs them as a personal guard detail. Protected by this robot detail he travels to the machine room in order to attempt to repair the engines.

Meanwhile, a Terran Cruiser finally locates the Ship of the Ancestors on September 29, 2044. The Arkonide ship, lacking any form of effective propulsion, is drifting toward the center of a sun named Magnus. Rhodan arrives at the scene with the DRUSUS. Ras Tschubai and Pucky teleport onto the Ship of the Ancestors. Arriving in the Control Center and aware of the situation, Pucky decides to go to the engine room while Ras remains in the control center to act as link between the two groups.

In the engine room, Erkal, Tunuter and Alos succeed in getting three engines operational. In another area of the Ship of Ancestors, Unista and Talassi as well as a group of awakened ancestors attempt without success to get to the Control Center. As an alternative they take over the fire control center of the ship. Detecting the DRUSUS which they do not realize is actually attempting to pull the Ship of the Ancestors from the gravitational field of Magnus, they decide to attack the Terran flagship. The DRUSUS, with the Ship of Ancestors in tow, slowly moves away from Magnus. But then Rhodan sees the muzzles of thermo cannons preparing to fire on the DRUSUS. He orders the defense shields raised but, as a result, the DRUSUS is no longer able to pull the Ship of Ancestors away from Magnus. Pucky teleports to Erkal who decides to cut the energy supply to the fire control center. Once the shooting stops the DRUSUS gets back under way. To reestablish order on the Ship of Ancestors Rhodan decides to send narcotic gas into the air conditioning system. Pucky arrives in the Control Center of the Ship of the Ancestors with gasmasks for Ceshal, Erkal and their friends. With the Arkonide vesselís hyperdrive effectively out of order, Atlan sends five troop transport vessels to take the Arkonide ancestors back to Arkon for repatriation.

Michael Mahoney 2012-10-03

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