- THOREGON SECHS
|On board the Good Hope III, Perry Rhodan is headed toward Shabazza's main world, Century I. Rhodan must reconquer his former flagship, the Sol, in order to fulfill his assignment as the Sixth Messenger of Thoregon. As they approach the planet, the Terrans use a device that makes Shabazza believe that a whole fleet is coming to attack them. Using the confusion, they deploy two of their main weapons : they teleport four arkonid bombs to the surface of the planet and they drop mysterious buoys, whose purpose is still unknown. They identify the Sol on the surface of the planet. Shabazza is assumed to be on its board.|
The Good Hope III makes it through the defenses of the planet and a commando drops on the surface, led by Rhodan, Mondra Diamond and her bodyguard, the Oxtorner Monkey. The group is scattered away and Rhodan barely escapes a certain death after a failure of his advanced spacesuit (the gravity of Century I is 3.9G).
On board the Sol, Shabazza observes the Terran offensive. To his complete surprise, the defensive forts of the planets start failing one after the other. Out of the 22,000 bastions, 3,000 are no longer responding. He investigates this anomaly with Solhirn, the new computer of the Sol, which replaces Seneca. Solhirn eventually reaches the conclusion that a very specific computer virus is destroying their network, Solhirn itself avoids barely being inactivated. Shabazza understands that he underestimated Rhodan.
On the surface of the planet, the Terran commando must fight hords of Korrago's, but they eventually make their way to the ship. The atomic fire ignited by the Arkonid bombs is closing in and the resulting earthquakes cause the Sol to start leaning, threatening to kill the Terrans. But the ship comes to a stop.
Shabazza has spotted the atomic fire and understands that Century I is doomed. He decides to take off but the Sol will not comply. Solhirn diagnoses that the virus has found a way inside its main circuits and that the whole ship is now compromised. Before leaving, Shabazza programs one of the last Nano-Columns in his possession to kill Rhodan. Then he leaves on board the Shwoban and heads for Materia, the Cosmic Factory. He has to report to Torr Samaho and Cairol, the Cosmocrat.
The Terran commando has set foot on the Sol but they quickly find out that the ship is unable to operate. Solhirn stops functioning, victim of the virus, and Seneca is resurrected. The positronic computer collaborates with the Terrans to assess the situation. The atomic fire will reach the ship in eight hours but it will take at least ten hours before they can take off.
Rhodan has no intention of abandoning his flagship now that he finally reconquered it.
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- Das Reich der Puppen
The Empire of the Puppets
On Century I, the Terrans are thinking about a way to save the Sol before the atomic fire consuming the planet reaches it. They will use antigravs brought on the surface by the Good Hope III. This should allow the ship to at least leave the atmosphere.
In the Sol, a semi-dead Korrago is found but manages to escape before the Terrans can destroy it. Rhodan knows what these androids are capable of doing and asks Monkey, the Oxtorner, to find it and destroy it. The Korrago soon starts killing humans in the ship. It received the order from Shabazza to kill exactly fifty humans.
More dead bodies are found on board the ship and their corpses have been mutilated. Monkey spotted one of the creatures that did that, they're small androids and they seem to be controlled by the Korrago. In the same time, the Terrans find the deserted hideout of Shabazza and more importantly, learn the existence of a Nano-Column in the ship.
Because of increasingly frequent earthquakes, the Sol collapses a little more each time. The antigravs keep arriving on the Sol and the ambitious plan is beginning to take form. Meanwhile, Monkey has found and destroyed the Korrago, and he quickly tracks the small androids as well. Their connection to the Korrago and the Nano-Column remain unknown, though.
As the underground starts melting, the antigravs are started and the Sol victoriously takes off. It then proceeds to a low orbit.
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- Alarm für Alashan
Alarm on Alashan
On Thorrim, Eismer Stormengords, the vibration researcher, is receiving alarming readings from his detection devices. He quickly reaches the conclusion that the so called Cauldron, the point of intersection of the two twin galaxies, will soon emit a very powerful vibration that will eradicate their whole civilization. Eismer informs Gia de Moleon about the situation, which seems hopeless. They don't have enough resources to evacuate the 200,000 citizens of Nation Alashan, let alone the several millions of inhabitans of Thorrim.
On Century I, the Terran crew is actively trying to fix the engine of the Sol. The ship has been fitted with a new propulsion device, named Hyperakt, which is based on oscillating between the linear space and hyper space. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they eventually manage to activate the Hyperakt engine and head for Thorrim.
Arrived on Thorrim, Rhodan is received by Gia de Moleon and Stendal Navajo. They are rather hostile toward the immortal but since they need his ship to evacuate the population, they agree to compromise. Rhodan hasn't forgotten that not long ago, they had initially refused to support him in his fight against Shabazza. New information arrive from the ring of Zophengorn, the headquarters of the Vibration Researchers : new computations reveal that the next vibration will be much less violent than anticipated and consequently, Thorrim is no longer threatened.
Bound by their agreement, Gia de Moleon and Stendal Navajo have to let Rhodan make a public announcement in order to recruit crew members for his ship. He needs at least one thousand people. Even though he warns them that they will not return immediately to Earth, 1026 people volunteer to go on board with the Terrans.
Mondra Diamond breaks a incredible news to Rhodan : she is pregnant. The baby is ten weeks old and was conceived during their short encounter on the Glimmer. She asks a Telepath friend of hers to try and read the baby's thoughts. This turns out to be impossible. However, Mondra is in telepathic contact with her baby. It is telling her that she must absolutely go on board the Sol with Rhodan. However, she decides not too. Rhodan is struck with despair when he realizes he won't be able to convince the young woman.
Rhodan wants to meet with the Nonggos. He also intends to enter the Mushroom Cathedral in the Teuller system and cross the Bridge to Infinity, where he hopes the Heliots will accept to talk with him to hear the information he got from 1-Korrago. Hopefully, the energy creatures will give him some new information about Shabazza.
On August 21st, 1290, a broken-hearted Rhodan takes off on board the Sol and heads for the galaxy Gorhoon.
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- Kampf um Zophengorn
Fight on Zophengorn
On Alashan, Eismer Stormengord, the Goldian, decides that he needs to go back to Zophengorn and talk with the Vibration Researchers. He needs to let them know about the recent data they were able to retrieve from 1-Korrago. He also suspects that Shabazza has spies on Zophengorn. He asks Benjameen of Jacinta and Tess Qumish, the Paradreamer, to join him. They accept.
On Zophengorn, Uviald Marads is laying out a plot to take over the whole station. He is being helped by Kango, a small telepathic animal living in symbiosis with him.
Gia de Moleon first refuses to let the two mutants go with Stormengord but eventually accepts. The three Terrans leave on board the Glimmer and head for Zophengorn. When they arrive, Stormengord talks with Director #8, who accepts to let him talk inthe main conference room to the other Directors. There, he discloses his information about Shabazza.
Uviald Marads immediately perceives that Stormengord is his enemy and projects to kill him too and pretend he was the actual murderer of the Directors. Using Kango's telepathic abilities, he recruits Prolongids and sends them to kill all the board of Directors and Stormengord. The Goldian escapes thanks to Benjameen and Tess and then proceeds to chase Maralds.
The two men eventually confront and just as Maralds is about to kill Stormengord, his symbiot kills him and starts a new symbiosis with the Vibration Researcher. Stormengord cannot get rid of the animal but Tess paralyzes him and a quick surgery sets them apart again. The Kango will eventually reveal Marald's plan, thus innocenting Stormengord.
Stormengord is now in charge of Zophengorn. He uses his privilege to access the main computer and realizes that Shabazza has been tampering with it since years. All the analyses have been flawed. Stormengord reaches the conclusion that a massive vibration will occur in the Cauldron in the next year, and that it will destroy most of DaGlausch and Salmenghest.
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- Flugziel Chearth
Destination : Chear
The Chearth galaxy, home of the Gharrians, Mhogena's race, has recently been invaded by the Algiotic Hikers. These creatures conquered the Solar Prison, a group of several hundred suns that are imprisoning the Solar Worms, energetic creatures who feed upon stars. Should the Worms be unleashed, they would wreak havoc in Chearth and other galaxies.
On board the Gilgamesch, Atlan is heading for Chearth. Accompanying Atlan are Mhogena, the Fifth Messenger of Thoregon, Vincent Garron, the Deadly Mutant, also referred to as "hyperceptor" because he can see the hyperspace, and Tuyula Azik, the Blue Psi-Converter who maintains an unexplained connection with the mutant. Because of his recent deeds, Garron is safely kept in a coma.
As they arrive in Chearth, the Gilgamesch unexpectedly falls back into normal space. Garron is suspected to have caused this malfunction. The mutant awakens and Atlan can talk with him. Garron is wondering where his other personality, Quotor, is. Quotor is the being who ordered him to commit all these murders but nobody really knows if he is real or just a hallucination. Despite the protection field, Garron is able to activate his powers and disappears.
The Gilgamesch finds the remnants of a space battle. Algiotic Hikers have been fighting against some Chearth people, mostly Vlatschidians, Heivs and Amanits. They were trying to repossess the Solar Prison by cutting off the Hikers from their main supplies, but they failed. Atlan rescues the survivors and heads for one of their main planets. First greeted with suspicion by the Vlatschidians, the presence of Mhogena among the Terrans soothes the Chearthians and they welcome the Terrans.
Garron eventually surrenders to the Terrans and tries to convince them that he has no evil intentions.
Atlan learns that a Chearth fleet is gathering up on the sixth planet of the Raggan system, Ingars. Followed by the ten Maahk ships that have now caught up with them, the Gilgamesch sets course for this planet and, together with the Chearth people, they prepare to strike back at the Algiotic Hikers on Thagarum, where the Mushroom Cathedral is located.
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- Kampf um Thagarum
Fight on Thagarum
The attack fleet, led by Atlan on the Gilgamesch and Ganzetta on board the Dartana, arrives on Thagarum. An initial diversion has lured away most of the Algiotic ships, so the Terran force is able to strike Thagarum with much success, mostly thanks to the Gilgamesch's superior technology.
The Terrans decide to target the control station of the Solar Prison first, since they don't know that the Algiotic Hikers intend to do with it. On the Gilgamesch, Vincent Garron's status is degrading rapidly. It seems that the proximity of the Solar Prison is not doing any good to his condition. His body is showing scars and he complains about hearing voices he cannot shut down.
After violent fights against the Algiotic robots, Atlan and Mhogena finally set foot inside the control station. It is defended by Tazolans, a people serving the Hikers. Mhogena tries to take them under his mental control but fails. They seem to be immune to his parapsychic abilities. The Terrans have to conquer the station by force.
Out of the eighty Tazolans in the base, only three are captured alive. The Terrans eventually find out that they wear helms using an unknown technology, supposedly from the Algions, that shield them from the Garran's powers. Scoctore, the commandant of the base, has been able to escape and was spotted heading for the North Pole, where the Mushroom Dome is located.
Mhogena decides that he needs now to contact Nisaaru, the super-intelligence, if they want to find answers about the Algiotic Hikers and their intentions in Chearth. He will take Vincent Garron with him, in order to take the mutant away from the Solar Prison, which seems to be the cause of his recent pains.
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- Das Haus der Nisaaru
The House of Nisaaru
Mhogena, along with Tuyula Azyk and Vincent Garron, still in a critical condition, get on board the Anubis and leave Thagarum. The other thirteen modules of the Gilgamesch stay on Thagarum to protect the control station, violently attacked by the Algiotic Hikers who trying to reposess the base. Mhogena intends to meet Nisaaru, who can only be contacted by a Master of the Sand, the religious order Mhogena belongs to. As the Anubis gets further away from the Solar Prison, Garron's status improves.
They arrive in a region of space where Mhogena sends a call to the messengers of Nisaaru, beings known as the Accolens. Shortly after, the Accolens answer and say that Nisaaru cannot be contacted now. Mhogena insists and eventually obtains a set of new coordinates where the Anubis must go. They eventually reach the final location after several stops and Mhogena is teleported into Nisaaru's house.
As Garron is getting better, he convinces Tuyula to free him from the incapacitating field that keeps him prisoner. She finally agrees. As soon as he's free, he takes her and they teleport into a hyperspace bubble. Garron wants to return to the Solar Prison where he says he was at last feeling well, despite the dramatic decay of his body. In order to accelerate their return there, he teleports with Tuyula Azyk into the House of Nisaaru.
In the House, Mhogena is greeted by ethereal beings known as Saarians. They ask Mhogena the reason why he came. Mhogena explains the dire situation of the Chearth galaxy to the Saarians. In another part of the House, Vincent Garron and Tuyula Azyk are also greeted by Saarians who ask them to leave the House. Garron refuses and as the Saarians try to chase them with mental pressure. Garron fights back with his psy faculties and kill the Saarians. Then he teleports with the young woman.
The Saarians tell Mhogena that they are not a distinct race but are actually Nisaaru, the super-intelligence. Nisaaru is saddened by the current events in Chearth but tells Mhogena that It cannot help them now because It has to leave to attend more urgent matters of cosmical importance. Mhogena is despaired but he cannot convince the super-intelligence. He leaves and gets back to the Anubis where he learns about the disappearance of Garron and Azyk.
Tuyula Azyk is in mental contact with the Saarians. They tell her about their relationship with Nisaaru and the Blue is relieved to learn that Garron didn't actually kill anyone. She is teleported back into the Anubis with Vincent Garron. The Mutant explains to Mhogena that he had no evil intent and that right now, all he wants is to get back in the proximity of the Solar Prison. As the Anubis heads back to Thagarum, it occurs to Hermon of Ariga that a few centuries ago, something similar had happened in the Milky Way : a super-intelligence, IT, had fled from an unknown danger...
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- Angriffsziel Pilzdom
Target : Mushroom Dome
A detailed analysis of the command center of the Solar Prison has revealed that the Algiotic Hikers have tampered with it. Their goal is clearly to disturb the gravitational balance of the Prison. Unfortunately, the Terrans have no influence over the other stations that constitute the ring around the Solar Prison. Also, the Algiotic Hikers can send a disruptive pulse from the other stations at any moment, so the Terrans have to keep the station under close surveillance.
The last attempt at disrupting the field came from a nearby planet called Conthikk. Atlan heads there with a small crew and finds out that the planet is heavily by an Algiotic fleet. The Hikers don't want to take any chance of losing more control stations. The Gilgamesch barely escapes and returns to Thagarum.
The Terrans have begun the attack of the Mushroom Dome. With the help of a Sigan commando, they are finally able to capture the commandant of the base who had found shelter here during the assault of the command center, but he won't reveal any interesting information.
The Terrans eventually find out that Conthikk was just a relay, and that the disruptive pulses are actually emitted from a planet called Kauhriom. Also, the Algiotic Hikers have nominated two new leaders to compensate for the loss of Scoctore, one of them being a Vlatschidian, something that Ganzetta refuses to believe.
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- Der Oxtorner und sein Okrill
The Oxtornian and his Okrill
In the Lhanzoo system, three light-years away from the Solar Prison, the Algiotic Hikers keep attacking Thagarum with a fleet of 22,000 ships led by Tazolans. Atlan is still worried about Vincent Garron, who represents a potential threat to the safety of the Gilgamesch. He asks the Oxtornian Dennor Massall to watch over the mutant using his okrill, Tarlan. Tarlan seems to be affected by the proximity of the Solar Prison and Atlan suspects that the animal might have some connection with Garron.
Terran scientists determine that the Solar Prison is getting more and more unstable because of the Algiots, who keep sending disruptive impulses to the stations. Mhogena questions Vil At Desch, who was in charge of the command station on Thagarum. First reluctant, the Scoctorian eventually confesses that he needs some elixir, called Elcoxol, to survive. If Mhogena is able to supply him with it, he will help the Terrans.
Atlan decides to launch an attack against the main station emitting these impulses, located on the planet Kauhriom. They quickly determine that the pulses come from a station in orbit around the planet and they begin to attack it. Meanwhile, Myles Kantor realizes that the Guan a Vars, the Solar Worms, are getting restless. They seem to feel that their prison is cracking up and the process now seems irreversible. The Terrans conquer the station on Kauhriom and destroy the impulse emitter, but this is most likely useless now.
Vincent Garron, accompanied by Massal and Tarlan on an excursion within the enemy fleet, seems to have gained new powers : he is now able to feel the Solar Prison and he sees it in color, just like he does with hyperspace. After revealing this to Atlan, the mutant teleports to some unknonwn location, presumably within the Prison itself.
Vil At Desch eventually decides to cooperate with the Terrans. He accepts to be the mediator between the Algiots and the peoples of Chearth. He says that Shabazza is the one who gave the Algiots the technology of the disruptive pulse and also the psi-helms that protected the Tazolans against the psychic powers of Mhogena. Mhogena decides to go on Trokan via the Mushroom Dome on Thagarum in order to report to the Terrans and let them know about the situation.
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- Im Hypertakt
The Sol is on its way to the Gorhoon galaxy but it is only flying at 40% of its capacity. The crew is busy fixing the wrecked sections of the ship and one of the engineers, Tautmo Aagenfelt, is able to build a prototype that should help them locate with precision where the Hypercadence flight is taking them. Shortly after the prototype is tested, it is stolen. Seneca is not able to give any meaningful information about the thief.
Using his mechanical eyes, Monkey, the Oxtornian, replays the stars as they were initially shown by Aagenfelt's Hypercadence orientation device. Comparing them with the current view, he reaches the conclusion that the Sol is not where it is supposed to be. He informs Ruud Servenking of his findings in a private cubicle, where Seneca cannot hear them, since he suspects the computer to be part of the plot. Monkey decides not to inform Rhodan or Bully because whatever is hijacking the Sol will most likely kill whoever knows their secret.
Monkey calculates that the Sol is actually headed towards the Milky Way. He hadn't recognized it earlier because the ship is coming from an unusual angle. The Sol is currently flying at 48 million times the speed of light but it is impossible that they already covered twelve million light-years in such a short time span, so they should not be so close to the Milky Way. Monkey is now persuaded that Seneca is their enemy.
He suspects that the board computer might have used a hidden transmitter or engine to speed up their journey back to the Milky Way but Servenking finds the answer : Seneca has been pretending that the engines were running at 40% of their capacity all the way while actually, they are fully repaired. The Sol has been traveling at 120 million times the speed of light ever since they left Alashan and Seneca has stolen the Hypercadence orientation prototypes so that the crew wouldn't find out about this.
Monkey and Servenking manage to hide bombs in some parts of the ship that Seneca controls but they can't tell whether Seneca saw them or not. Meanwhile, the Sol reaches the end of its journey. It emerges back into normal space near the Sphere-Wheels of the Nonggos, the fifth one being Kenteullen, where Rhodan wants to enter the Mushroom Dome. Suddenly the display changes and reveals the Solar System. Armies of robots invest the Sol and Seneca informs the crew that they must surrender immediately.
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- Gefangene des Bordgehirns
Prisoner of the Computer
On the Earth, Pucky and Icho Tolot ask Cistolo Khan's help. They relate him their adventures in the Fornax galaxy : they were captured by Shabazza and received an implant that turned them into slaves. So did Michael Rhodan, who became Torric, the Lord of Time. While Pucky and Tolot were able to eventually get rid of the implant, Michael's chip transformed into millions of cells that occupied his body. Pucky and Tolot were able to kidnap him and put him in a stasis. Now they are asking for Khan's authorization to take him to Mimas' clinic, where an operation could be attempted to remove all the micro-cells from his body. As Cistolo Khan accepts, the Sol materializes in the Solar System.
The ship is measured as eight kilometer long, which intrigues Tolot and Pucky since they know that the Sol was only six and a half kilometer last time they saw it. Perry Rhodan contacts the Earth and explains them the situation.
On board the Sol, a group of engineers informs Rhodan that they are able to spy the external communications and that Seneca is currently talking with Cistolo Khan using a virtual image of Rhodan. The fake Rhodan explains to Khan that the Hypercadence engine is unstable and that no ship should approach the Sol as long as he hasn't explicitly authorized it. Rhodan realizes that Seneca is probably under the control of the Nano-Column that Shabazza left before he abandoned the ship.
Monkey informs Rhodan that thanks to the bomb they hid near Seneca's surveillance node, the computer is no longer able to locate them. They have also found out that Seneca is downloading enormous amounts of information about the various defense systems of the Earth.
Pucky and Tolot are intrigued by Rhodan's refusal to let Terran engineers on board. They suspect he might not be speaking with his free will. Since the Sol isn't using its Paratron shield, they try to teleport on board but are violently repelled by an unknown force that aggresses Pucky and forces Tolot to switch to his crystalline form. The two immortals quickly recover.
Meanwhile on Trokan, Mhogena comes out of the Mushroom Dome. Cistolo Khan greets him and the Gharrian reports the latest events in Chearth : Shabazza abused the Algiot's religious beliefs and convinced them to destroy the Solar Prison, and thus unleash the Solar Worms. The Gilgamesch is helpless fighting the evergrowing ranks of the Hikers. Mhogena gives Khan data crystals containing all the relevant information about Chearth and then goes back into the Mushroom Dome, crossing the Bridge to Infinity to some unknown destination.
On board the Sol, the Terran crew is making its way to the central command of the Cell-1. They want to separate it from the rest of the ship. After numerous fights against robots sent out by Seneca, they reach the Center and detach the section from the rest of the ship. This turns out to be a trap laid out by Seneca, who reattaches the Cell-1 to the ship, locks all the Terrans behind Paratron shields and starts the Hypercadence engine toward an unknown destination.
On Terra, a Haluter ship lands near Calcutta-North. Its occupant is a white Haluter named Blo Rakane, who contacts the Nonggo Genhered and asks him about information the history of his race, and more precisely how they defeated the Solar Worms in the past.
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- Ein Sechstel SENECA
One sixth Seneca
|On board the Sol, the Terrans are busy trying to find a way to destroy the Nano-Column that is corrupting Seneca. The computer is locking them out of the vital parts of the ship. Seneca is made of six independent parts separating the positronic from the hyperimpotronic parts. They decide to try two strategies : damage the Hypercadence engines and severe the links between the different sections of Seneca, hoping that this will lessen the impact of the Nano-Column. Tautmo Aagenfelt is asked to resume working on his Hypercadence radar, so that they can know at least where the Sol is headed.|
The Terrans split in several groups and, communicating in Ayindi language so that the Nano-Column can't understand them, they proceed to execute their plans. Tautmo Aagenfelts completes the Hypercadence location device and finds out that the Sol is headed towards the center of the Milky Way. The commando in charge of destroying the Hyptertakt engine fails, and the Terrans have to deplore the first casualties. However, Monkey is successful in his attempt to isolate the six parts of Seneca. The explosion has made each part independent and all sections except number three now respond as the original Seneca. Section three is no longer responding and it turns out that the explosion destroyed the Nano-Column. Seneca informs Rhodan that if they had waited a few more hours, the Nano-Column would have infected the six sections.
The Terrans resume a normal discussion with Seneca and they try to understand why the ship is headed towards the Black Hole in the center of the Milky Way. First they assume that Shabazza wants the Sol to enter the Black Hole, as the Tolkandians did not long ago. As they are approaching the Black Hole, a gigantic structure of sixty on thirty-three kilometers emerges. Rhodan immediately suspects that it is Materia.
The Sol is attracted to Materia and Seneca is helpless trying to diverge its course. Muel-Chen, the emotionaut, cadences the command and turns on all the engines. The Sol hits the 50% light speed shortly before colliding with Materia and the ship disappears in Hypercadence space.
Asked about the intentions of the Nano-Column, Seneca tells Rhodan that first, it was supposed to transmit all the information it had stolen about the defenses of the Sol System to Materia. And then, the crew would have received implant chips that would have turned them into slaves of Shabazza. Moreover, a "high-rank" super-intelligence has found shelter in the Black Hole but Seneca doesn't know more about it.
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- Das Virtuelle Schiff
The Virtual Ship
In a distant past. In the Pharau galaxy, the planet Sphanka is doomed because of the imminent arrival of the Dorifer Pest. This plague will eventually gain the whole universe and so, Gabrel Gurh and his race, the Creators, have been trying to devise a way to flee to another universe. The Creators have the ability to teleport and reincarnate themselves into foreign bodies. They use this skill to explore the universes and learn about the other races. Sphanka, the planet he is visiting now, has only ten days to live before it is hit by the Dorifer Pest.
The present. Alaska Saedelaere is wandering through the Virtual Ship that kidnapped him. A beautiful woman appears to him and says that her name is Vaiyatha. The board computer inspected Alaska's memories and synthesized this hologram to establish contact with him. The ship is called Virtua/18 and the computer's name is Poran/18. The hologram refuses to disclose further information about their goal and their mission.
The past. The Creators are a small family of 322 people. They are now leaving Pharau and are heading towards the Karakhoum galaxy. As they are reaching it, one of them, Aba Ossaq, detects interesting psychic emissions from a nearby planet and invests the body of the emitter. They are furry bipedes called the Skaerhams, and they are at war with the Sharbanians. Another Creator dies in mysterious conditions and Gabrel Gurh orders Aba Ossaq to come back to the ship to be questioned.
The present. Vaiyatha explains that the Virtua/18 was the last ship that could escape the Baolin Delta Space before it was destroyed (the Delta Space was the home of the Baolin Ndas, the creators of the Thoregon coalition). Twenty ships were supposed to be built and each of them received the task to find its "K Factor", its pilot and master. Alaska and the ship have a task to accomplish in the DaGlausch galaxy, and more specifically in the so-called Cauldron region of space, where the two twin galaxies intersect. Right now, they must meet with the other Virtual Ships on the planet Duxic in Karakhoum.
Aba Ossaq is suspected of having murdered one of his race. He tries to defend himself but cannot convince his peers. He decides to leave the community. He teleports on board the Zatrium 235, a Truzenian ship navigating nearby and currently under attack by the Yac Reals, a lizard-like race. Exploring the memory of his host, Aba Ossaq gains insight about the current events in Kharakhoum and decides he wants to take an active part in them. But since the Truzenians are about to be destroyed, he leaves his current host and invests a Yac Real. The Yac Real fleet destroys the Truzenian war ship and vanishes into Kharakhoum.
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- Die Gestalter
The present. On Duxic, Alaska Saedelaere waits for the other Virtual Ships to land. The first one to arrive is Virtua/1 and is piloted by Toricelly, a female Laimacanian. More ships start arriving during the following days but no pilot has any idea about their mission and why they're here.
The past. Abba Ossaq, still in the body of a Yac Real officer, realizes that a member of the crew, who introduces himself as a Dark Master, is actually able to feel his presence. Abba Ossaq understands for the first time in his life that his life can be threatened. He decides to fight the Dark Master.
The present. The eighteen Virtual Ships have arrived on Duxic and one night, Vaiyatha explains to all the K Factors the purpose of their presence. The Galornians, the Baolin-Ndas, the Nonggos, the Gharrians and the Terranians are all member of the Thoregon coalition but they are all endangered or even, exterminated (there are only two Baolin-Ndas left alive). Vaiyatha says that now, they must find the Creators, who are the first people who joined the Thoregon coalition. The Heliots were supposed to staff each Virtual Ship with a K Factor and a Creator, but for some unknown reason, this didn't happen, so the Ships had to look for their K Factor themselves (Vaiyatha reveals that K stands for "Cosmic"). The K Factors must now search Kharakhoum for the asteroid swarm where the Creators are said to dwell.
The past. Abba Ossaq is now on a Yac-Real planet and, hopping from host to host, learns more about the political situation between the Yac-Reals and the Truzenians, who have been at war since ages. The Truzenians happen to have their counterpart to the Yac Real Dark Masters, who are called the Black Shadows. Feeling more and more threatened, Abba Ossaq decides to destroy the two races by all means.
In the asteroid swarm, the Creators have lost track of Abba Ossaq and decide to attend to more urgent matters : the war between the Yac-Reals and the Truzenians will plunge Kharakhoum in total chaos for centuries, so they must stop it at all costs. Jorim Azao and Gabrel Gurth incarnate into two Yac-Real leaders and start influencing the economy of their people. Their efforts eventually pay off and both races are brought to the brink of total bankrupcy. They can no longer sustain the war effort and are forced to conclude a peace treaty. Azao and Gurth find Abba Ossaq and capture him. When they realize what he has done, they decide to inflict him the maximum penalty, starting by losing his name (Light of the Stars) and rechristening him to Sha Bassa (Darkness of Stars). Sha Bassa is brought back into the asteroid swarm and imprisoned for several centuries.
The present. Alaska Saedelaere and Toricelly come to the conclusion that if the Creators are to be found in Kharakhoum, they will be where conflicts are about to break, since their mission is to secure peace. After reviewing the political situation of Kharakhoum, where Yac-Reals and Truzenians are still at war, they decide to investigate the Krimor System, where two massive fleets of both races are about to engage in a battle.
The Krimor System presents a cosmic anomaly : it is so close to the Assosso System that one planet orbits around both suns, going from one system to the other. This is the main reason for the current conflict as one system is controlled by the Truzenians and the other one by the Yac-Reals.
The past. On the planet Rumbiak-Awy, the Creators meet for the first time with a representative of the Heliots. It is a shining sphere that came out of a Mushroom Dome that the Creators found on this planet. Since the Creators had been spreading peace around them since so long ago, they have been chosen by the Heliots to be the first people to join Thoregon, a peaceful coalition of selected people known for being pacific. The center of Thoregon is a mysterious place known as Pulse.
Meanwhile, Sha Bassa has regained the confidence of his people and is allowed to travel again. At the first occasion, he escapes them and keeps working on his secret agenda : exterminating the Yac-Reals and the Truzenians. Sha Bassa is then contacted by a mysterious robot who calls himself Cairol the Second. Cairol says he works for Torr Samahos who thinks that war is a natural state for live beings, not peace. Therefore, he asks Sha Bassa to help him fight Thoregon. Sha Bassa refuses and engages in a fight with Cairol. He almost loses his life but manages to escape.
The present. Alaska Saedelaere and Toricelly arrive in the Krimor system and make contact with Jorim Azao. The Creator leader tells him the history of his people and mentions that his race is made of 319 beings. Alaska, informed by Vaiyatha, asks about the three missing Creators. Azao mentions the still unexplained death of two of them and also the disappearance of Sha Bassa. When he hears the name, Alaska immediately makes the connection with Shabazza and he is now persuaded that they are on the track of their deadly enemy. But he can't communicate his newly acquired information to the Terranians...
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- Ein weißer Haluter
A White Halutian
On Mimas, Icho Tolot and Pucky are discussing with Dr. Wojtyczeks, who is in charge of the treatment for Michael Rhodan. Wojtyczeks is considering exposing Michael to radiations in order to destroy the 3.3 million cells that invaded his body. He thinks that Michael's activator should be strong enough to regenerate the healthy cells that will be destroyed in the process.
In Calcutta North, Julkyan Ziriamber, an Arkonid agent, has been sent to find information about Blo Rakane, the White Halutian who arrived on Earth a few days ago and contacted Genhered, a Nonggo who lives in the Nonggo History museum. They are soon joined by Bré Tsinga, the cosmopsychologist sent out by the Earth government in order to assist Blo Rakane in his quest. The Halutian explains that since Terra won't send assistance to Chearth, in contradiction with the Thoregon agenda, his people have decided to get more involved in the conflict, so he is now looking for information about the Solar Worms and how the Nonggos defeated them in the past.
On Mimas, Michael Rhodan is exposed to X rays. The first results show that 80% of the foreign cells have been destroyed. Just as Pucky and Tolot are rejoicing by this encouraging result, the enemy cells start regenerating in Rhodan's body. Wojtyczeks suggests that another attempt should be made with a stronger dose of radiations. Pucky objects to the decision but eventually agrees, convinced by Tolot.
Ziriamber overhears discussions between Blo Rakane, Genhered and Bré Tsinga. He now knows why the Halutian came on Earth. However, the agent is soon tracked down by the TLD, the Earth secret services, who are also interested both in the Arkonid and Blo Rakane's agenda.
On Mimas, the next irradiation attempt successfully destroys all the foreign cells in Rhodan's body. However, a heavy damage has been inflicted on the Terran and even his cell activator might not be sufficient to recover. Still in a coma, Michael Rhodan is taken in a special room where everyone hopes that he will soon wake up.
Pucky is then contacted by Bré Tsinga who asks him help regarding Blo Rakane. Tolot tells her what he knows about the white Halutian : he is very famous on Halut both because of the unusual color of his skin and also for his remarkable astronomical expertise. Bré Tsinga is not satisfied with her progress and she wants to talk to Blo Rakane privately. Pucky teleports her on board the Halutian's ship, the Zhauritter.
Blo Rakane comes back into his ship and takes off. Bré Tsinga reveals herself to him and he does not seem surprised. Convinced that the young Terran wants to help him, he keeps her on board and they head for the Joel system, 30,000 light years away from the Earth. There, they rendezvous with a 4800 meter wide structure called She'Huan, formerly an arkonid ship that the Halutians modified. Bré Tsinga assumes that the She'Huan will somehow take them to Chearth.
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- Mission des Boten
The Mission of the Messenger
Perry Rhodan has taken the Sol to Camelot, where the ship will be analyzed so that its advanced technologies can be understood and reproduced by the Terran scientists. Of most interest to the Terrans is the Hypercadence engine and the Carit, the alloy the hull and most of the ship is now made of. Rhodan would also like to see how the Korra Vir, the computer virus he stole from Shabazza, could be put to a greater use. Rhodan asks Tifflor to go to Mirkandol and ask the representatives of the Galacticum to allow him to speak to their next meeting in three days, on January 15th, 1291 NGE.
In the Joel system, Blo Rakane unveils parts of their plan to Bré Tsinga. They are building a gigantic interval cannon and they will then take it to Chearth. The white Halutian will not reveal more to the young woman, except that he intends to speak in front of the Galacticum on January 15th.
Rhodan meets with Cistolo Khan in Terrania and explains him the situation about Materia. The cosmic factory is in Dengejaa Uveso, the black hole, and is looking for a super-intelligence whose identity hasn't been determined yet. Rhodan is persuaded that the factory of the Cosmocrats is ill-intended and he wants the people of the Milky Way to join forces for a preemptive strike.
Rhodan then goes on Trokan and enters the Mushroom Dome. He wants to meet with the Heliots and ask them for help. On the Bridge to Infinity, Rhodan finds a dead body. The corpse belongs to none of the last five races of Thoregon. It might be that of a Creator but Rhodan is not sure. When he tries to touch the decaying body, he is attacked by some unknown force. At a loss explaining the presence of this body on the Bridge, Rhodan decides to destroy it. He then crosses the bridge and tries to exit it a the so-called proto-gate, where the Heliots are said to live. First denied the access, Rhodan eventually finds his way through but he exits in an empty place. He assumes he has been denied the right to talk with the Heliots and heads back to Trokan. There, he realizes that a temporal anomaly has taken him three days in the future. It is now January 15th.
On Camelot, the scientists have disassembled the main parts of the Sol and realize that the Hypercadence! engine is mostly made of Carit, so they will be unable to reproduce or understand how it works. On top of that, Seneca refuses to be upgraded from biopositronics to syntronics.
Icho Tolot flies to the Joel system to join his people, who are busy working on the interval cannon and finishing preparing the She'Huan for its flight toward Chearth. He meets Blo Rakane for the first time and the white Halutian explains the reason for his strange anatomy. During the Monos reign, Blo Rakane's father was deported in an unnamed galaxy twenty million light years away from the Milky Way. There, he gave birth to Blo Rakane who was therefore exposed to a different environment, explaining his current metabolism. It took Blo Rakane several centuries before he could come back to the Milky Way.
The Sol arrives in the Arkonid empire and is greeted by a fleet of six thousand ships. It is then escorted to Mirkandol and the Galacticum assembly begins. Shortly thereafter, Rhodan is invited to speak. After describing the situation in Chearth, Rhodan discloses the coordinates of Camelot in a gesture of good will. He then asks officially the help of the Galacticum so that a powerful fleet can be sent there and assist the Chearthians in their fight against the Algiotic Hikers. Then Blo Rakane speaks. He tells them that the integrality of his people (about 100,000 Halutians) is about to fly to Chearth. The vote takes place, but the outcome is bad for Rhodan : 87% of the assembly decides against such a decision. Utterly despaired by this betrayal of his own people, Rhodan leaves the stage.
Rhodan talks with Blo Rakane for the first time and asks the white Halutian not to take part in the flight to Chearth. He estimates that as few scientists as possible should expose their lives because they will be needed in a near future here. Blo Rakane accepts but only because Rhodan is the Sixth Messenger and as such, he must have his own reasons.
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- Der Schattenbruder
The Shadow Brother
The present. In Chearth. Vil at Desch is still prisoner of the Terrans. Mhogena convinced him that the Algiotic Hikers have been deceived and that the Solar Prison does not detain their god, Gaintanu, but the Solar Worms. The Scoctorian accepted to act as a mediator between the Galactics and the Algiots but only if he can be assured that he will receive a regular supply of Elcoxol. Meanwhile, his physical condition is deteriorating.
Using videos taken during the conquest of the Thagarum Mushroom Dome, the Terrans learn more about this substance : Vil at Desch had a special room filled with insects, called Myrdens. When he entered the room, the insects came to him and restored his skin.
A hundred years in the past. We learn about Mhogena's childhood. He was part of a nine brother family and was raised by Phisagon, his mentor, who mentioned to him the existence of another brother. Mhogena never met this "Shadow Brother" but received hints of his existence during his life. Mhogena soon developed skills as a Psi Reflector and decided to become a Master of the Sand. He proved his ability by being able to assist the other Masters of the Sand erect a protection field around their whole solar system.
The present. Only one hundred and twenty Myrdens have survived the attack. When they are used on Vil at Desch, the physical condition of the Scoctorian improves, but all the insects die shortly thereafter. Vil at Desch knows that the Terrans are once again out of Elcoxol so he still won't cooperate. Atlan consider creating a fake video of the Scoctorian talking to his people and asking them to stop fighting.
The past. Mohogena talks with the Master of the Sand leader, Botagho, who instructs him about the universe. Mhogena learns about the onion model, the super-intelligences, the matter sinks and the matter wells. He also learns that Nisaaru is the super-intelligence in charge of the region where Chearth is. Six thousand years earlier, the Nonggos were sent by the Thoregon coalition to Chearth and they built the Solar Prison, which is made of sixty suns. The Nonggo Fourth Messenger, Urid, nominated a Gharrian as Fifth Messenger. The title was then transmitted throughout the generations.
Phisagon takes Mhogena on board his ship to meet with Nisaaru. They finally contact the super-intelligence and Phisagon asks It about the whereabouts of the current Fifth Messenger, who hasn't been seen in decades. Nisaaru refuses to answer but expresses interest in Mhogena.
The present. Vincent Garron makes a quick appearance on the Merlin, and talks briefly with Tuyula Azik. He says he can't stay long and he must return into the Solar Prison, the only place where he actually feels good. Before the young Arkonid can convince him to stay, he vanishes again.
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- Die List des Scoctoren
The List of the Scoctorian
The past. Twenty years after his first contact with Nisaaru, Mhogena is contacted by Botagho, who asks him to come on board his ship, the Thoregon Five. Their destination is a region of space that is forbidden to navigation because many ships never came back from it. Botagho explains that this area of space is littered with sixth-dimension radiations that turn it into an energetic maze. Thanks to his psi-reflection abilities, Botagho is able to open a tunnel through it.
The present. Atlan has contacted Dro ga Dremm, the new leader of the Algiotic Hikers, and tries to explain to him what the Solar Prison is actually. Dro ga Dremm accepts to meet Atlan in a neutral zone, and he promises that Vil at Desch will receive an Elcoxol treatment that will allow him to survive for some more time.
The past. Botagho explains to Mhogena the origin of this energetic formation. In ancient times, entities above super-intelligences hired Time Engineers to construct a cosmic structure called Triicle. To achieve that goal, the engineers had to create six-dimension tunnels. However, they made mistakes and were also submitted to numerous sabotages. One of these tunnels is in Chearth, where they are currently. Initially, the Gharrians were not able to enter the tunnel, but Nisaaru opened the access for them. Only the strongest Masters of the Sand are able to open the tunnel.
The present. Atlan, Vil at Desch and a small group of Terrans are invited on Dro ga Dremm ship. As Vil at Desch is taken away to receive his Elcoxol treatment, Atlan gives the Tazolan leader a data-crystal holding all the evidence that it's not the Tazolan god that is being kept prisoner in the Solar Prison, but the Solar Worms. On a video, the Terrans follow Vil at Desch receiving a shower of Elcoxol. His skin is rejuvenated when he comes out. Dro ga Dremm tries to persuade him that he is wrong and suddenly, he pulls out his gun and threatens him. The Terrans were prepared for such a betrayal. They rescue Vil at Desch and escape from the Tazolan ship.
The past. Botagho reveals to Mhogena that he is the Fifth Messenger of Thoregon, and that he is going to need a successor. But before that, Mhogena needs a Passantum, and the bracelet can only be adapted to his frequency in the galaxy Shaogen-Himmelreich, eleven million light-years away from Chearth. This is where they are now headed. Their ship reaches its destination and approaches the Baolin Delta-Space, an area made of psi-matter. There, Mhogena receives his own Passantum. Botagho tells him he will be contacted by a Heliot shortly to receive more information about his mission as Fifth Messenger of Thoregon.
The present. Vincent Garron teleports back into the Merlin and this time, Tuyula Azik is able to turn on the protection field before he can go again. Trapped on board, Garron explains that the only place where he feels well is in the Solar Prison, which he calls his "Elysium".
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- Ketzer der Tazolen
The Heretics from Tazolar
The Algiotic Hikers intensify their attacks against the Solar Prison. After destabilizing the pulsar Vlaschos, they are now sending disrupting pulses from the control stations ten and eleven (Huscoot and Thuraghur). The Terrans barely manage to counterbalance these attacks. They ask Vincent Garron if he can help them sabotage these stations but the mutant refuses.
On the Merlin, Vil at Desch tells the Terrans that before Thagarum was conquered, he had put away a large supply of Elcoxol. He didn't tell the Terrans earlier because he didn't trust them. His ship is hidden on the planet Gantusch, a water-world which was one of the very first worlds destroyed by the Algiots. With a small group of Terrans, Vil at Desch sets off for this planet on board the Dolamo. During the flight, Vil at Desch tells Mhogena about the past of his race.
Two thousand years in the past on Tazolar. Ver to Nisch, an archeologist, discovers ancient writings in a cave that lead him to believe that in the past, his race was dominated by women. Currently, females have a very minor role in their civilization and this discovery puzzles Ver to Nisch. When he reveals his findings, he is accused of heresy by his people, but this doesn't stop him from investigating further.
The ancient text was written by a high-priestess. She was the one who found out about the curative properties of a mud for the skin of Tazolans. Enriched by insects called Myrdens, the mud became an elixir which she called Elcoxol. At this time, women only lived half the time males did, but with the Elcoxol, they were able to extend their lifetime. The secret of the Elcoxol was carefully kept away from the male population.
The women eventually had to collaborate with the men because their population was decreasing. From that day, the males took over their civilization and eventually reduced the females to a minimal role.
The present. The Dolamo is attacked by the natives of Gantusch, who think that they are Algiots. The Terrans easily repel them and locate Vil at Desch's ship, with its shipment of precious elixir. Vil at Desch now has supplies for many years.
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- Grausame Götter
As Vincent Garron is evolving through his Elysium filled with bright colors, everything suddenly becomes dark. He senses a presence, who identifies himself as Soboth. He is the reason why the colors disappeared.
Myles Kantor is worried : not only do the Algiots keep destabilizing the neutron star Vlaschos, one of the sixty-one suns that make the Solar Prison, they are now trying to destroy Huscoot, one of the eleven command stations.
On the Merlin, the mysterious Soboth takes control of Oliver Dermont, a crew member, and starts looking for Vincent Garron. The mutant knows now that Soboth is responsible for his color blindness, but he cannot explain why.
Meanwhile, Vil at Desch keeps relating the past of his people to Mhogena. The Gharrian tells him that the Tazolans were manipulated by Shabazza, who took the identity of Xion, a prophet, to mislead them.
The past. As the Tazolans send their first rocket in orbit, the Urungabians, a race of extraterrestrials, make contact with them and inform them that they will help them through their evolution. Their goal is actually to use the Tazolans as mercenaries for their own purpose. The Tazolans are both a scientific and a religious people and they worship many different gods, the main one being Gaintanu, said to be held prisoner in a distant star.
As the pressure from the Urungabians becomes stronger, the Tazolans revolt against them and eventually destroy them. The Tazolans conquer their galaxy, Algion, and create the Clannach Imperium.
Xion, the prophet, appears to the Tazolans and tells them that their god, Gaintanu, must be freed from his prison in the Chearth galaxy. For that purpose, Xion offers them two devices : one that will make them immune to the psi faculties of the Gharrians and the other that will help them disrupt the control stations maintaining the stability of the prison. Having assimilated these technologies, the Tazolans gather a fleet of 200,000 ships and head for Chearth. Since Chearth is four million light years away, the Tazolans build three stations equally spaced in the void.
The present. On the Merlin, Vincent Garron is about to disappear again. Before he vanishes, Tuyula Azik asks him if he thinks that Soboth might actually be a Guan a Var, to which the mutant answers that it is quite possible.
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In the DaGlausch galaxy, the spaceship Alvarez is looking for Korrago bases in the Kurryan system. After the termination virus was emitted by Rhodan when he attacked Century, all the Korragos are assumed to be deactivated. As the Alvarez detects an underground base on the tenth planet, they are attacked by the Hamaradans, three-legged beings living in a nearby system.
In Alashan, Gia de Moleon, Stendal Navajo and other members of the government are trying to find a solution to evacuate the 200,000 citizens of the city before the super-vibration reaches them. Tess Quyamin and Benjameen Jacinta take on themselves to inform the whole population and panic ensues. The closest safe galaxy is Rokantara, 1.4 million light-years away from DaGlausch, but the Alashanians only have two ships capable of intergalactic travel, and they won't hold the whole population.
Several solutions are considered : enhance the Good Hope III with additional space, send it to Rokantara to get help, erect a Paratron-shield over Thorrimer, but none of them is workable.
Underarmed, the Alvarez is forced to elude the Hamaradan ships but cannot leave Kurryan X before the small commando they dispatched on the planet comes back. As it is about to surrender, the Alvarez is rescued by the Good Hope III, which quickly gets rid of the Hamaradan ships. The commando on Kurryan X discovers two abandoned Korrago spaceships, big enough to hold the whole Alashan population after some remodeling. The Hamaradans come back into Kurryan with a fleet of six hundred ships. Using the VI Creator, a weapon formerly used by Rhodan on Century that allows to create virtual clones of spaceships, the Good Hope III is able to keep them away while the Alvarez safely escapes.
The two ships return to Thorrimer and inform Gia de Moleon and Stendal Navajo of their finding.
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- Rätselhaftes Sarkamanth
The Enigmatic Sarkaman
The Alvarez and the Good Hope III have been sent back to Kurryan with 1500 people on board in order to retrieve the two Korrago spaceships. They return to Thorrimer four days later. Meanwhile, a disk-shaped space ship has appeared on Thorrimer and lands on an island close to Nation Alashan.
Around the mysterious space ship, a small city appears that covers the whole island. It looks like a village from the Earth middle-age, dominated by a big tower. Robots are sent to the village to investigate but they are held back by some unknown force field.
Using his paradreamer ability, Benjameen is able to break through the defense field and he explores the village. The little town seems to be made of representatives of the several people in DaGlausch. They are very cooperative and answer to all his questions. When asked about their purpose here, they all say they work for a being called Metamorf (Wechselbalg).
Unaware of Benjameen's findings, The Alashan government is busy devising a way to use the two Korrago ships to evacuate the population. They need to remove all the weapons and other unnecessary equipment from the space ships. Mondra Diamond, now seven months pregnant, interrupts one of their sessions and tells them that Metamorf is here to help them and that He shouldn't be considered as an enemy.
Mysterious creatures start appearing everywhere in Nation Alashan. They are dressed as clowns and seem to be immaterial. They won't answer to questions and cannot be caught. Suddenly, they attack. They don't seem to be actually willing to hurt the Terrans but they focus their attacks on equipment, and more precisely, on the two Korrago ships. The Alashanians are helpless fighting these immaterial beings, yet able to cause great damage around them. Soon, irreparable harm is done to both ships and the last hope for Alashan is gone.
In the city, which he called Sarkamanth, Benjameen has come into one of the small houses. When he comes out, the population has changed. They call themselves Toraabians and seem to think that they are living in a distant past. Benjameen tries the experience again and when he comes out, another people has taken their place. This time, they are Galornians and to Benjameen's great surprise, they have no knowledge about Thoregon or Terra. Benjameen begins to think he is now prisoner of some time machine that makes him travel each time he enters and comes out of one of the houses.
Desperate, he heads for the tower where he is finally introduced to Metamorf. He is a four-meter tall being constantly changing shape, thus his name. He introduces himself as a super-intelligence and tells Benjameen that Sarkamanth is his own encyclopedia, gathering all sorts of information about DaGlausch and its history. Metamorf he has come to Thorrimer to prevent the Alashanians from leaving the DaGlausch galaxy because they have to accomplish something together. When Benjameen mentions the forthcoming super-vibration, Metamorf says he will protect them, with the help of some other mysterious entity.
Benjameen is then sent back to Alashan where he tells Gia de Moleon and Stendal Navajo about the super-intelligence. They decide to cancel their attack on Sarkamanth. At this very moment, Thorrtimer, the sun, goes into some transformation. Gia de Moleon first thinks that the super-vibration has already reached them but Tess tells her it's something different. She has just mentally heard that another super-intelligence by the name of Nisaaru has just arrived. Benjameen now knows where Metamorf will get his help from.
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- Die Kosmische Fabrik
The Cosmic Factory
After the Galacticum's refusal to assist him in his fight against Shabazza, Rhodan has decided to attack Materia with the Sol. He hopes that the super-intelligence hiding in the Black Hole will help them, otherwise they don't stand a chance. The Sol reaches Dengejaa Uveso and after some searching, they locate Materia. The factory is making regular incursions into the Black Hole, obviously looking for the super-intelligence.
Pucky attempts to teleport inside the factory but he fails. As soon as Materia detects the Sol, it rushes toward them and almost catches up with them. The Sol barely manages to escape in Hypercadence. Blo Rakane devises a plan involving the Virtual Creator, hoping to confuse the cosmic factory.
A delegation of the LFT led by Paola Daschmagan arrives and contacts the Sol. The Terran administrator realized how important Rhodan's fight was and decided she would help him unoficially. The Terrans also receive the support of a lonely ship, the Perlamarin V, which makes an attempt at contacting Materia. At first, it seems Materia is letting the Perlamarin approach but just as it is about to reach the factory, the ship is mercilessly destroyed.
Pucky, Blo Rakane and the Oxtornian go on a small space ship, the Piccolo, and will take advantage of the forthcoming big offensive to sneak through Materia's defensive shield. The Terran fleet attacks but is severely hit by the factory, which is not fooled by the virtual echoes. Pucky and his two teammates teleport out of the Piccolo just before it is destroyed. They manage to set foot on Materia.
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The Errands are a race derived from the Porleyters and later on, from the Cosmic Engineers which Rhodan met in Andromeda during the fight against the Masters of the Island. Their ancestors were in good terms with the Hathors, the Guardians of the Light (see episode 298). When the Errands noticed that the Hathors were degenerating, they decided to go on their way. They joined with thirty five other people and undertook the construction of a Swarm. Then, they set off to distant galaxies.
After fighting a supraheterodynamic being, the Errands gained the power to control energies, and therefore to master stars in order to build defensive barriers. From Cosmic Engineers, they became Solar Engineers. They were asked by the Knight of the Deep to build various facilities. The Hathors then had to face an enemy from another continuum and only two of them survived : Yuga and Marduk Lethos. Some time later, the Solar Engineers were called upon once more as Cosmic Factories began to appear in the galaxy.
Materia traveled through thousands of galaxy, manufacturing carit, the Ultimate Material. One day, a new commandant by the name of Torr Samaho took control of the factory. He was joined by Cairol the Second. The two new leaders started replacing parts in Materia, pushing the Engineers away in a restricted area where they eventually got nothing left to do. Probably because of the carit hull, the Engineers realized that they were no longer able to have children. Most of their people had been slaughtered by the Masters of the Island, but now, what was left of their race was inexorably dying.
Then the Sol was brought to Materia to be re-engineered. However, once again, Cairol's robots, the Korragos, took care of the work, and the Engineers were confined to meaningless tasks. They considered rebelling at this point and use the Sol to escape, but this didn't happen.
Pucky, Blo Rakane and Monkey are trying to find they way inside Materia. They notice that somehow, the performances of the Cosmic Factory are not optimal, probably because of the interferences caused by the black hole. Pucky tries to teleport inside Materia but is violently bounced off by the carit protection. He senses three presences in Materia : Cairol the Second, Shabazza and Torr Samaho.
Ki thaRao is one of the two-hundred Cosmic Engineer who live on Materia. He is worried about the future of his race. He has been sabotaging various parts of Materia but now, he is being chased by robots. Only his ability to dissolve and travel through solid structures saved him so far, but they are closing in. Alerted by his thought impulses, Pucky teleports in front of the Errand and rescues him. Pucky explains the situation to the engineer, how he previously met likes of his race in Andromeda, previously called Hathorjan. Pucky is stunned to see that the engineer knows about the Hathors.
The Engineer tells the Galactics about the antennas, one of the few weak points of Materia. Maybe the bombs they brought with them might damage the factory. Pucky considers going to the Ultimate Material stores and steal some of it but is quickly discouraged by Ki thaRao. The Engineer confers with his people to decide if they are going to help the Terrans in their fight. The three Galactics are not invited to the meeting. Shortly after, Ki thaRao tells them that they will cooperate and that the two-hundred Cosmic Engineers left on Materia will make the Sol their new home.
Sixteen hours have gone by since the last time Materia dived into the Black Hole. Pucky thinks it might mean that the Cosmic Factory is about to find the super-intelligence. Materia dives and Blo Rakane shivers when he recognizes the round-shaped landscape that appears on the screens : it's Wanderer.
There is no possible doubt, Materia is hunting It.
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- Hetzjagd am Black Hole
Hunt in the Black Hole
As Wanderer comes in range of Materia, it activates a powerful tractor beam and attempts to pull the island out of the black hole. However, limited by the time it can stay in the proximity of the black hole, it has to retreat before it gets a chance of actually budging the artificial planet. Ki thaRao tells Pucky that the only way they have to damage Materia is to place the bombs at strategic places. However, to achieve this effect, some Errands will have to stay on Materia and sacrifice themselves detonating them.
Shabazza asks Cairol the permission to return among his family in the asteroid swarm. The robot accepts. As Shabazza reintegrates the body of the Director in his asteroid, he remembers how Torr Samaho and Cairol the Second defeated him in the past. He is forced to obey them but he hopes he can shake this enslavement one day.
Pucky tries to spy the thoughts of Torr Samaho but all he gets is vague images. When he recognizes a swarm of asteroids, he begins to suspect that Shabazza is a Creator, which would explain all the insider information he seems to have about the Thoregon coalition. The mutant foils a plan devised by an Errand who wanted to betray them. The bombs are finally in place and are detonated.
The impact on Materia is not as big as they expected but still, it will cause a major delay in Samaho's plans. First dumbfounded by the Errand's betrayal, Cairol quickly reacts and starts chasing them. He destroys the ship in which they were trying to escape.
Pucky manages to immobilize Shabazza thanks to the constraints that Cairol had already put on him. He kidnaps him and the four of them teleport in open space. where they are quickly rescued by the Sol.
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In Chearth, the Scoctorian Norgo ro Yong takes the lead of a small fleet and heads for the Solar Prison in order to free their god, Gaintanu. Norgi ro Yong is sick and about to die. He hopes that in reward for his dedication, his god will grant him immortality.
On Thagarum, Myles Cantor asks Ronald Tekener to head for the center of the Solar Prison, the sun Skoghal, in order to look for Vincent Garron. He will take on board four human clones so that the deincarnated mutant can find a new home for his body. Their ship is fitted with a hyperzone detector that should help them locate the mutant.
Atlan learns that the Mhogena, the Fifth Messenger, has just emerged from the Mushroom Dome on Thagarum. The Gharrian explains that his demands for help were received coldly by the Galacticum and that there was little point for him to stay any longer on Earth. Then Atlan receives a message from Blo Rakane, the White Halutian, who informs him about the will of all his people to travel to Chearth to assist them in their fight against the Solar Worms. A fleet of eight-hundred ships will be boarded on the She'Huan and they will then undertake the trip over fourteen million light-years, expecting to reach Chearth in seventy days.
The fleet led by Norgo ro Yong is decimated by the violent conditions that reign in the Solar Prison. Many ships are destroyed, and others are considering giving up, worried by Norgo ro Yong's fanatism.
Thanks to the hyperzone detector and Tuyula Azik's perception, the Terrans manage to sense Vincent Garron in the proximity, but they cannot locate him exactly. They also detect what they suspect is communication between the Solar Worms, but they can't make sense of it, although it seems that Vincent Garron is talking with them.
Tuyula Azik is then invested by a foreign personality. It's not Vincent Garron, but Soboth, his evil personality which everyone thought had been destroyed. The ship is suddenly attacked by the Scoctorians, who have arrived in the vicinity. The Terrans try to escape but they are no match for the Scoctorian fleet. They receive an ultimatum to surrender. They dive into the atmosphere of Skoghal to gain a reprieve.
Soboth says that Vincent Garron is dead and threatens to kill Tuyula Azik if a clone is not made available to him. Vincent Garron intervenes and chases Soboth from Tuyula Azik. He invests the clone's body and says he thinks he should be able to get used to that new host. He also carries bad news : the Solar Worms have sensed that their prison is weakening. Even though they are able to communicate, depleting suns is their only means of survival, and they will stop at nothing...
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- Die Sonnenwürmer
The Solar Worms
100,000 years ago, in the Louipaz galaxy.
120 years later.
40,000 years ago.
The nuclear fire that is starting on the planet makes Rhaabeth lose its reason. It tells the commandant that the time has come for the Guanas (the current name of the Solar Worms) to break free of their creators. Then, Rhaabeth kills its crew.
20,000 years ago.
Koolaas finds the dead body of the Solar Worm and salvages the syntronic computer of the now dead organic ship. Then Koolaas learns about the history of the Solar Worms, how they were discovered 70,000 years ago, genetically manipulated. Eventually, the Joridans gave intelligence to the worms and started to rely extensively on their symbiosis capacity.
Throughout the manipulations, the Guan a Vars evolved and turned into hyperdimensional creatures. They stopped perceiving the normal space at all and lost their intelligence, becoming animals led by instinct only. Shortly after, Yoba'a'te's turn comes. The worm kills Koolaas, sealing the fate of the Joridans and starting the era of the Guan a Vars.
The present, in Chearth.
Vincent Garron, now in the body of a clone, speaks for So'o'Both, the Solar Worm he is in contact with. The worm explains to the terrans its origin, from the very start, 100,000 years ago. He is the only Solar Worm left with intelligence but he knows it is about to lose it as well. Soon, he will become a purely five-dimensional animal with which any communications will be impossible.
After they decimated the Louipaz galaxy, the Solar Worms realized that the nearest galaxy was too distant for them to attempt a jump. Suddenly, a new and very powerful source of energy appeared. They seized their last chance of survival and jumped there only to realize that it was actually a trap. Only twenty-five thousand worms survived and the population stabilized in the Solar Prison. As So'o'Both was getting desperate to find anybody to communicate with, Vincent Garron appeared and started talking with him. As mindless creatures, the Solar Worms are completely unaware of the chaos they are causing and So'o'Both understands that they appear as monsters for four-dimensional beings, but there is nothing they can do. Then, the communication with So'o'Both stops.
Out of the nine Solar Worms escaped, six have lost track and returned to the Solar Prison. But the other three have successfully escaped and have dematerialized for some unknown destination...
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January 2512. The Humboldt, a Terran ship, is patrolling in Eastside, the Blue sector. They are attacked by a Blue fleet and their ship is destroyed. Just as the last survivor, Lotho Keraete, is about to die too, he is rescued by an unknown ship.
He wakes up thirty days later in a base, orbiting a lonely sun called Goppler. A robot, which he calls James, explains to him that they are now in a double galaxy called Whirlpool. Lotho has been chosen for a mission but before he can ask more questions, he is put into a cryogenic sleep.
Lotho wakes up one hundred years later. James explains to him that Whirlpool is made of two twin galaxies, DaGlausch and Himmelreich, and that the super-intelligence IT has a special mission for him in the future. Meanwhile, a fleet of four hundred space ships has entered the system and they seem to be willing to establish themselves here. They are the last survivors of their race, which was exterminated by a vibration coming from the intersection of the two galaxies, an area referred to as "The Cauldron". They look like spiders and call themselves CawCadds.
The CawCadds notice the presence of the stellar base but they quickly realize they cannot get in. They start building an orbital city around it.
Lotho is put to sleep again. He is awakened several centuries later and he notices that his arm has been replaced by a prosthesis. James explains that the recycling device is not working optimally and that they had to make that replacement. They used an extremely resistant material for the operation. Future cryogenic sleeps will most likely result in more parts of his body being replaced this way.
Further observations of the CawCadds reveal that they are a hostile race : they make repeated incursions into DaGlausch and bring back prisoners, which they eat.
Several centuries later, Lotho is awakened again : the CawCadds are breeding some kind of moss on the hull of the base and it is beginning to erode it. Lotho investigates the matter and almost gets killed by the plants that are growing there, despite half of his body being now made of a reputedly indestructible material.
More centuries go by. This time, observations show that Whirlpool is being shaken by increasingly powerful vibrations from the Cauldron. IT eventually manifests itself. He says He will be needing Lotho soon in the Milky Way. The coordinates are in the center of the galaxy, in the middle of the big black hole.
The aggressivity of the CawCadds has increased because they can no longer find enough nourishment from the nearby planets. They start attacking the station. Using the moss, they breach into the hull and start destroying everything inside. Lotho has now almost completely turned into a robot. He manages to send a message to IT before the whole station is destroyed. Then he escapes in open space.
A huge (more than one hundred kilometers long) ship materializes and rescues him.
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- Schlacht um Wanderer
Attack on Wanderer
Talking with Shabazza, carefully locked behind a Paratron protection field, Rhodan realizes that Torr Samaho is actually blackmailing the Creator by detaining his body. Rhodan spots a bird observing them. It's a Lamuuni, a teleporting bird that Shabazza used to have around him. Before Rhodan can react, the bird vanishes. More birds are spotted aboard the Sol but they can always escape before they get caught.
Lotho Keraete has been teleported on Wandered by It. He finds himself on the artificial planet, witnessing what looks like the Little Big Horn battle. He teams up with a soldier who was part of the Andromeda campaign before his conscience was absorbed by It.
Rhodan tries to conclude a pact with Shabazza : they will try to retrieve his body and in exchange, Shabazza will give them all the information they need about Materia. Shabazza hesitates and then accepts. A fake trial is set up, where Shabazza is found guilty and then executed. Rhodan hopes that Torr Samaho will release the body of the Creator and not destroy it.
On Materia, Robots join the battle and Lotho realizes that It is under attack by some external entity. As he arrives in the main city, he is greeted by Ernst Ellert, who introduces himself as It's messenger. Ellert takes Keraete to It. The Immortal tells Keraete that He needs a new messenger, a material one, as opposed to Ernst Ellert who is only a spirit.
Keraete hesitates as he blames It for assigning him without asking him first and turning him into a cyborg. It then shows Keraete what destiny awaited him and his crew in the past : they would have landed on a planet and they would have been contaminated by a virus. They would have all died in horrible ways. Convinced, Keraete becomes It's new messenger. His first assignment is to go on the Sol and let Rhodan know that he should be ready to attack Materia on March 28th, 1291 at 3:45pm exactly.
On Materia, thanks to his Lamuuni spies, Torr Samaho is not fooled by the stratagem and he understands that Shabazza is no longer fighting on their side. He has the body of the Creator destroyed. Shabazza feels it and suddenly realizes that he only has three days left to live...
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- Shabazzas Kampf
After discussing the matter with Blo Rakane and Bre Tsinga, Perry Rhodan decides that Shabazza should die in dignity. They pick a planet devoid of intelligence life and start organizing the transfer of the creator there. Shabazza will remain at all time behind a Paratron field. They take him on board of a shuttle, the Nesta, and land on the planet. As soon as Shabazza is freed, a hoard of animals starts attacking the Terrans but they are easily repelled by the shield. Then the Nesta heads back for the Sol.
Lotho Keraete materializes on the Sol and says he is the messenger of It and that he has an important message for Rhodan. He is told that the Administrator is not on board but will be back soon.
On his way back to the Sol, Rhodan says he just had a new idea about how to fight Materia, but they need to go to Arkon and get some supply. The small crew is disconcerted but complies. As soon as they are headed for the Crystal Empire, Rhodan pulls out his gun and kills two of the three women. Only Kranna Theyres barely escapes and runs for her life, eventually passing out in a closet. Rhodan starts chasing her but loses her track. He lands on a planet and programs the auto-pilot. When Kranna awakens, she realizes that the Nesta is headed straight into a sun. She modifies the course of the small ship and directs it toward the Sol.
When she reports her adventures to Blo Rakane, the Halutian first doesn't believe her but the syntronic computer confirms her story. There can be only one conclusion : Shabazza escaped and is now in possession of Rhodan's body. It turns out that an insect found its way through the Paratron shield when Rhodan dropped Shabazza on the planet, and that the Creator used it to escape.
Shabazza's plan is to find the asteroid swarm of his race, kill a member of his family and use his corpse as a new host. He finds his way into a cruising spaceship, the Waveshape, and waits for it to depart. He considers entering the Mushroom Dome on Trokan, which is shortest route to Kharakhoum. When he touches Rhodan's Passantum to see if it is working, an unknown force starts attacking him. Shabazza gets rid of the bracelet in haste, feeling very threatened by this unkown being.
Blo Rakane, Bre Tsinga and Lotho Keraete are chasing Rhodan on board the Zhauritter, the Halutian's spaceship. They locate the Waveshape on and start following it. Shabazza notices them and sabotages the Waveshape. He enters the onboard transmitter shortly before the ship starts accelerating.
As the Zhauritter is closing in on the cruise ship, the Waveshape explodes.
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- Shabazzas Todesspur
Shabazza's Deadly Trail
Shabazza emerges from the transmitter on a spaceship called the Creation, owned by a movie star who was cruising on the Waveshape. He possesses the unsuspecting crew of the Creation and kills them. Then he heads for the closest planet where he is likely to find a spaceship fitted for intergalactic travel : the planet Cross in the Cokk system. Meanwhile, Rhodan keeps attacking him and the forces of the Creator slowly decay. Afraid that he might have to explain why the crew is missing, Shabazza sabotages the Creation, which crashes on Cross. Unfortunately, the spaceship destroys a big part of a major city on the planet, killing thousands of people.
Alerted by the news coverage of what happened on Cross, Blo Rakane, Bré Tsinga and Lotho Keraete quickly make the connection with Shabazza and head for the Cokk system.
As the only survivor of the crash, Shabazza is received with a lot of suspicion by the inhabitants of Cross and arrested for further interrogation. Angry to see mortals get in the way of his plans, he retalliates by igniting an atomic fire on the planet, sealing its fate. Then he boards another ship, the Puritan, and heads for another planet where he located an intergalactic ship : Lepso.
Lepso has a particularity : it is a primitive world covered by a living forest that is in communication with all the animals. When Shabazza lands on Lepso, Rhodan strikes again and this time, the Creator is helpless. He is forced to leave Rhodan's body and to posess that of a scientist who is studying the forest.
Rhodan chases the Creator in the forest. He finds the scientist, who has regained his consciousnesss. He suggests to Rhodan to burn the whole forest, arguing that it will not destroy it but that it might kill Shabazza. The two men are aggressively attacked by different animals, leading them to think that Shabazza has taken control of the forest. They head for the "brain" of the forest and set it on fire. Shabazza dies in the flames. Then Rhodan is picked up by the Zhauritter.
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- Offensive der Algioten
Offensive of the Algiots
In Chearth, a Vlatschidian admiral has been captured by the Algiots. After some negociations, an agreement is reached : admiral Anschoruk will be exchanged against another prisoner. The two races meet in the Raggan system and the exchange is performed. Admiral Anschoruk seems to have been very seriously shocked by the questionings but the doctors believe he should get better.
Meanwhile, a fleet of fifteen thousand Algiotic ships is spotted, headed for Thagarum. The Algiots obviously want to reconquer the switch station. The Terrans organize the defense of the planet.
On board the Anubis, admiral Anschoruk is being examined to find out how many secrets he confessed to the Algiots when a fleet of eight thousand Algio space ships materialize in the Raggan system. As they are about to be destroyed, Ganzetta's flagship, the Ganirana, appears and helps them escape. The Ganirana is fitted with the latest Galactic technology : transform cannon, virtual creator and a paratron field. It is the first space ship taking advantage of the treaty between the Terrans and the peoples of Chearth. However, all the equipment is locked and will be taken away from the Tazolans once the conflict is over.
The construction site is located on Chattago, the sixth planet of the Rodekir system. They land there and find out that Anschoruk has actually been converted to the Algiotic faith. The admiral is placed under close scrutiny but manages to escape. He contacts the Algiots and informs them about Chattago.
Shortly thereafter, a huge Algiotic fleet appears in the Rodekir system and starts pounding on Chattago. The odds are too uneven, the Galactics have to surrender, including the Anubis, Atlan's ship. Only the Urania is able to escape. As it is about to leave the system, it detects a huge explosion. No doubt is permitted : the Algiots have just destroyed the Anubis, a galactic-class ship.
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- Gefangene der Algioten
Prisoner of the Algiots
Rinaher is a young Arkonide woman who was part of the crew of the Anubis. She wakes up in a Algiot cell. She has no idea if there are other survivors and she is fed food that turns out to be drugged. The drugs make her feel weak and depressed, but she manages to eat very little from it and therefore, keep a clear mind.
In the Solar Prison, the scientists are working on the Psi Helms. These devices were given to the Tazolans by Shabazza and they make them immune to the Gharrans psychological influences. The Terran scientists are beginning to understand how they work but they welcome the help of Vincent Garron, who is still discovering his new host body.
Rinaher is taken out of her cell to be interrogated. The Algiots use a lie detector on her and she is forced to answer their questions. Uniboref, the commandant of the Algiot spaceship, seems to be very interested in immortality and is puzzled by people such as Atlan, who is not treated as a god in the Milky Way. But any attempt from Rinaher to rationalize is met with total hostility from the religious leader. Some time later, the prisoners are transfered on a barren planet under a pale-red sun.
Myles Cantor has finally located one of the three solar worms that escaped from the Solar Prison. The creature is basking in the main star of the Eleprysi system. The Algiots have a base on the fourth planet of this system, Kappan. The scientists predict that the small star only has one month left before it turns into a nova. Myles Cantor heads for Eleprysi in order to observe the phenomenon.
On the planet, Rinaher is put into a cell with other Terran survivors. They observe that the sun is changing color but they are not sure if they can trust their senses. The planet turns out to be Kappan and as the prisoners are put on board of the Algiot spaceship, which then takes off, they are quickly spotted by Cantor's spaceship. Dro ga Dremm, now on board of the Algiot ship, is contacted by Myles Cantor who tries to warn him about what is happening in the sun. The Terran also asks him to free the prisoners but the Tazolan leader refuses.
The prisoners manage to escape, using the moment when Tazolans take their Elcoxol bath. They capture Dro ga Dremm and steal a shuttle. However, the escape pod is protected with a code that only Dro ga Dremm knows and it starts falling on Holter, the nearby planet. The Terrans are forced to let Dro ga Dremm take care of the emergency landing.
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- Der Sonnentod
The Dying Sun
Atlan and his crew are running away from the wreckage of the Anubis : the Tazolans will undoubtedly chase them in an attempt to retrieve Dro ga Dremm. The fanatic leader still refuses to believe in the Solar Worms and blames the Terrans for what is currently happening to the sun.
Terrans and Vlatschidians meet in a safe place near Eleprysi and try to understand why the Algiots have gathered a fleet of three thousand ships in the system. They still think that Atlan is held prisoner on board of Dro ga Dremm's flagship. Ganzetta decides to land on Holter with a fast shuttle in order to contact their base on this planet. Meanwhile, the sun is slowly consumed by the three Solar Worms and the whole system has two weeks left before Eleprysi turns into a red giant.
The Terran crew on Holter fights a hostile environment and eventually meets Holterians. They are a primitive race but they mention the presence of Vlatschidians on the planet. Atlan understands that there must be a friendly base somewhere and asks the Holterians to take them there. From his shuttle, Ganzetta understands that the Terrans have escaped and are now on Holter.
Myles Cantor is busy trying to understand how the Solar Worms work. He hypothesizes that they are attracted not only to suns but also to the radiations emitted by all intelligent live beings, as they learned from the Cappins many centuries ago.
Atlan and his crew, still chased by the Tazolans, reach the Vlatschidian base and take off with a shuttle. They are rescued just in time by the Ganirana, Ganzetta's cruiser. Shortly thereafter, Eleprysi turns into a red giant and the whole system is destroyed. The three solar worms are nowhere to be found.
Atlan is contacted by Icho Tolot, on board of the She'Huan with the entirety of his race, 100,000 Halutians. They have finally arrived after a twenty million light year trip. Now they need to find the Solar Worms in order to try out the Nonggo weapon they brought with them.
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100,000 Halutians are on their way to Chearth, on board the She'Huan, a 4.5 km big cargo ship. They carry on board the Yaronag, a weapon used by the Nonggos in the past against the Solar Worms, according to Baolin Nda's plans. In the void between the galaxies, the She'Huan is forced out of linear drive and comes to a halt. The detectors spot an unknown object coming in their direction. It's a very small egg-shaped spaceship which first stops right by the Halutian ship. Suddenly, the alien vessel teleports into the She'Huan.
A few Halutians try to analyze the odd-looking ship but they suddenly disappear as they get close to it. The egg seems to be attracted by energy sources, but all attempts to get rid of it fail. The egg eventually teleports in the room of the Yaronag and sits there. Shortly after, the disappeared Halutians turn up and attack the crew. Somehow, their size has been reduced and they recklessly harass their former teammates. Icho Tolot barely escapes them. The Halutians have no other choice but continue their journey to Chearth with the intruder on board. They reach the distant galaxy a few days later.
In Chearth, the Terrans are busy trying to find the three Solar Worms that caused the destruction of the Eleprysi system. Myles Cantor believes they must be hiding in hyperspace. He is terrified at the thought that the other 25,000 Solar Worms still locked in the Solar Safe might escape as well. Atlan asks Vincent Garron for help. The mutant is quickly able to locate one Solar Worm resting in hyperspace. The creature seems to be dividing. Since they can't find the other two, Atlan decides not to use the weapon right away in order not to scare them away. The search continues.
Cantor asks Vil at Desch if he would agree to share his supply of Elcoxol with the Tazolan prisoners. The former leader of the Algiots reluctantly agrees. He goes to talk with them and tries to explain to them what is really happening in the Solar Safe. Shocked, the Tazolans won't listen to him and eventually attack him because of his heretic words. Vil at Desch now knows that he can never return among his people.
Garron eventually locates the other two Solar Worms, also busy dividing themselves. Atlan decides to try the weapon. The Yaronag is fired but nothing happens : the alien spaceship seems to be absorbing all the energy. The Terrans eventually find a way of getting rid of the intruder by kicking it into hyperspace. The Yaronag is fired again and the experiment is a success : the three Solar Worms are killed.
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- Ein Köder für MATERIA
A bait for Materia
A month ago, on the 18th of February, 1291, the Terrans were contacted by Yorgan Pittker, a member of the Galactic Guardians. Pittker said he wanted to defect from the Galactic Guardians and join the ranks of the Terrans. He was picked up by Dennor Massal and then taken to the leaders of the Terran government.
It's at this time that Rhodan had the idea to create a replica of the Sol in an attempt to lure Materia. The Terrans already owned spaceships that could mimick the two "Cells" of the barbell-like spaceship, but they lacked a ship big enough to represent its central structure. The only spaceship readily available is called the Pantani and it belongs to the Galactic Guardians. Using information supplied by Pittker, the Terrans launch a commando to capture the spaceship while the shipyards on the Moon are put to work to manufacture the missing pieces.
Meanwhile, the Terran scientists are still trying to understand the nature of the Ultimate Material stolen from Materia a few weeks ago. They find out that the metal is actually connected to an enormous structure hidden in hyperspace. The unknown artifact is approximately the same size as the Pan Thau Ra, the spore ship, and even bigger than the Moon. There is no doubt that it is a Cosmocrat technology, but its purpose remains unknown.
The commando, led by Pucky, quickly conquers the Pantani, which turns out to be really old. A self-destruction mechanism is started but it is successfully deactivated by Dennor Massal, the Oxtornian, who has to defeat the commander of the ship, an Oxtornian as well.
In an attempt to receive help from them in their imminent assault on Materia, Rhodan requests an audience with Bostich, the Arkonid Imperator. The Arkonid leader will cooperate if Rhodan accepts two conditions : stop building spaceships on Camelot and turn in the Gilgamesch to the Arkonids as soon as it is back in the Milky Way. Rhodan accepts the first condition but offers a compromise for the Gilgamesch : the flagship will be handed out to the Galacticum, where it can be guaranteed not to be misused. Bostich accepts.
As Rhodan reports the good news to Bully, spaceships from all the races in the Milky Way start arriving on the Earth. They have all agreed to take part in the offensive against Materia. Rhodan is now in charge of a fleet of more than 55,000 ships.
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- Kampf der Giganten
Fight of the Giants
The Terrans are busy readying the fake Sol for the rendezvous with Materia, set by It for March 28, 1291 at 15:45. The spaceship is finally assembled and taken to Dengeja Uveso, where it joins the whole Galactic fleet. Rhodan has also received support from the Posbis, who sent twenty thousand Fragment ships. The Posbis are still using their relativity field, which is very similar to the ATF technology that the Terrans used to use in the past. However, Rhodan is surprised by the importance of the Posbi fleet, he didn't suspect they had so many ships.
A few hours before the rendezvous, the fight starts. Rhodan orders simultaneous attacks on the cosmic factory, helped by a group of Antis who try to destabilize its protection field. In the same time, the fake Sol is luring Materia towards the rendezvous point.
The first blows are a disappointment : Materia is hardly affected by the attack and fights back mercilessly. Thousands of galactic ships are destroyed. Materia is eventually brought to the rendezvous point and at the scheduled time, It attacks. Hyperspace tentacles appear around Materia and try to emprison it. It seems to work at first but the cosmic factory suddenly breaks free with a hypertakt transition. Humiliated, the Terrans are forced to retreat.
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- Der Mörderprinz
The Murderer Prince
I never received this issue, probably because of Floyd, the hurricane raging over North Carolina... Bummer.
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- Die Diener der Materie
The Servants of the Matter
The present, Dengejaa Uveso
Many centuries later, Cairol shows up again. He introduces Torr Samaho to Paradyn Smonker, one of his eight future colleagues. The nine Servants of the Matter will each be in charge of a cosmic factory. Samaho will take care of Materia while Smonker will live in Nar Sarenna. Cairol says he receives orders from Hismoom, a Cosmocrat, who will take possession of the tenth cyclop body. The factories are designed to collect the ultimate material and also to create swarms in order to spread intelligence throughout the universe. However powerful the Servants of the Matter are, they cannot leave the standard universe or penetrate the cosmonucleotids such as Dorifer or Triicle-9.
With Materia, Torr Samaho takes part in the creation of the Knights of the Deep on the planet Khrat and he also supervises the Porleyters and the construction of the Frost Ruby. However, these tasks don't interest him : his passion is music and he intends to pursue it. With the help of the Errands, a group of people living on Materia, he builds a special spaceship in order to escape Hismoom's attention.
One day, Parr Fiorano, the commandant of the cosmic factory Kymbrium, offers him a special spacesuit : the suit of annihilation, which gives its bearer mental powers sufficient to attack a super-intelligence. During the next centuries, Torr Samaho is busy putting together an intergalactic orchestra, kidnapping the best musicians throughout galaxies. One day, Cairol the Second lands on Materia. The robot is not happy with Samaho's latest results and takes over Materia. Samaho accepts, glad to be finally able to focus on his passion.
Shortly thereafter, Materia is attacked by the Terran fleet. First unimpressed, Samaho finally realizes that Materia is not invincible. When the Terrans eventually hit the cosmic factory with their improvised weapon, Samaho has barely the time to escape in a small capsule, while his orchestra and former master, Cairol, perish in the explosion. Mad with anger, Samaho tries to attack the Sol but Rhodan manages to escape. Samaho heads back home, firmly determined to come back and make the Terrans pay for what they did to his life achievement.
The present, Dengejaa Uveso
Worried by It's last words, Rhodan tries to contact the Earth but cannot get any response. Faced with the most difficult decision in his life, Rhodan decides to part with his crew and to head for the Earth.
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- Countdown für Chearth
Countdown for Chear
A prisoner's exchange is taking place in Chearth : twelve Maahks formerly captured by the Algiots are returned to the Terrans. Myles Cantor is stunned when he realizes that the Maahks have been converted to the Tazolan religion. They seem to have a very advanced technology to alter people's thoughts.
A Tazolan, Corr re Venth, is not pleased with Dro ga Dremm's leadership. He thinks their commandant is blinded by his faith and that he should be removed. The recent events in the Eleprysi system as they were explained do not make sense : why would the Terrans have destroyed a full solar system, including its star ? Corr re Venth conspires in order to get Dro ga Dremm killed.
On the Pyxis, Tuyula Azik and Vincent Garron are chatting when suddenly, the multimutant has a vision. It is different from his usual contacts with the Solar Worms, but he cannot explain what he saw, except that it was like a dark silhouette. Suddenly the alarms sounds off: the Algiots are launching a massive attack against Thagarum. There are more than sixty thousand ships involved.
First outnumbered threefold, the Terrans start losing ground but when the She'Huan comes into play, its interval cannon wreaks havoc on the Tazolans. However the Terrans do not want to slaughter them, so they eventually back off. The Tazolans mistakenly interpret this as a victory.
As Dro ga Dremm is celebrating their success, a hooded silhouette appears in the hall and whispers one word : Gangrangoranka. Dro ga Dremm is reinforced in his faith and kills one of the conspirors, as a warning to the others. Corr re Venh understands the message but even though he knows the Terrans were far from being defeated on Thagarum, his hands are tied.
On the Pyxis, Vincent Garron is suddenly possessed by an unknown being who introduces himself as Sirku-Rizz. The strange being adds "Gan Grango Ranka".
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- Der Silberwolf
The Silver Wolf
In Chearth, the mysterious immaterial entity known as Sirku is traveling through the Pyxis. As Vincent Garron tries to contact it, it disappears. Meanwhile, a team of Siganese scientists are trying to create a device that would cancel the effects of the Psi-Net, the device that was given to the Algiots by Shabazza and that protects them from the Gharrian psychic attacks. They eventually manage to build a prototype, called the Net Neutralisator.
Vincent Garron perceives the presence of Sirku again. The entity seems to be neutral and looking for a body that could host it. Meanwhile, the Halutians decide that they need to explore the Gomrabianic Hills, the instable area of hyperspace near Nisaaru's home. Mhogena opposes to the decision but the H alutians decide to go anyway.
Ganzetta suggests that Gunjar should be the first planet that they should try to free. It is the home planet of the Vlatschidians where Nisaaru contacted them in a place called the Crystal Desert. Reconquering this planet would bring a lot of hope to the people of Chearth. Atlan agrees and the Quanthuz and three other Halutian ships depart for the hyperspace hills.
The Terrans arrive on Gunjar and Five Masters of the Sand start using their Psy-Reflectivity skills to incapacitate the Algiots. The experience is a success and Gunjar is freed with a few days. However, the 400,000 Vlatschians living on the planet have suffered a lot under the Algiot command, and most of them have been brainwashed. Ganzetta estimates that at least two more months will be necessary before the Net Neutralisator can be used on all the planets lost to the Algiots.
Sirku contacts Vincent Garron briefly and tells him that he was sent by a higher power to introduce Gan Granko Ranka. The communication breaks up before Garron can ask more questions.
Atlan manages to convince Vil at Desch that he should go back to his people and take their lead before they get slaughered by the Vlatschidians. The ex-leader reluctantly complies. After they realize where Dro ga Dremm has led them, the Algiots welcome Vil at Desch as their new leader.
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- Mhogenas Entscheidung
Alan and his fleet of four spaceships arrive in the area of the Gomrabianic Hyperspace Hills. Mhogena seems uncomfortable and is reluctant to answer Atlan's questions about the history of this region of space. As a matter of fact, the Gharrian doesn't know that Atlan and the Halutians have an ulterior motive for bringing him there. Mhogena activates the guardian of the Hills, an entity called Reasdot. Mhogena confesses that the Hills were not exactly sealed by the Gharrians. Twelve Gharrians turned into cyborgs take turn in cryogenic sleep and use their psy-reflection skills to keep everybody away from this area. The guardian opens up the Hills and a Halutian ship ventures inside.
While Mhogena is persuaded that the Halutians are lost, they reappear twenty minutes later. They explain that they turned their board-computers off, relying only on they plan-brains to find their way. Therefore, they were no longer subject to external influences. Mhogena then asks Atlan what the purpose of this experimentation is.
Atlan explains that despite the recent discovery of the Net Neutralisator, it will take a lot of time to free Chearth, and in the meantime, millions of people are being brainwashed and killed by the Algiotic Hikers. Atlan doesn't intend to wait that long : he wants to lure the Algiots into the Hyperspace Hills. First appalled by this decision, Mhogena is forced to come to the conclusion that it's the only solution. They will use several Virtual Creators which, combined, will materialize the image of Xion, the Algiot God, in the Hyperspace Hills. The Arkonide is persuaded that the Algiots will rush toward this illusion.
The two enemy fleets meet near the Hills. The Virtuals Creators are activated and a gigantic image of Xion appears. At that precise moment, Sirku materializes on board of Mhogena's ship. The Gharrian knows about this mysterious entity that has appeared on Terran ships lately, but he is puzzled. Is this a hint from Nisaaru that he should prevent the Terrans from slaughtering the Algiots ? But if he does that, then the Algiots will outnumber his friends and will most likely kill them all.
The battle starts and the unsuspecting Algiots rush into the trap. After seeing two thousand Algiot ships destroyed, Mhogena decides to call the fight off, but it's already too late. It's only after ten thousand of their spaceships have vanished into the Hills that the Algiots start to realize that something is wrong and decide to retreat.
In the Solar Safe, Vlatschos, the neutron star, is finally collapsing. It turns into a black hole and several Solar Worms immediately start feasting on it. The Terran scientists manage to restablish the balance of the Safe but their correction will only last for fifteen minutes or so. The Halutians modify the Yaronag, their weapon, in a way that neutralizes the Solar Worms without killing them.
On the Pyxis, Sirku finally takes a concrete shape. He is half a Maakh (or Gharrian) and half human. But as soon as he has appeared, he vanishes again with Vincent Garron. He appears on the She'Huan where the Halutians are getting ready to kill the now harmless Solar Worms. Sirku asks the Halutians not to kill them because they have been chosen by Thoregon for an important mission.
Mhogena goes meditating in his psychic shelter. He feels responsible for the death of the ten million Algiots and he feels he failed his mission as Fifth Messenger of Thoregon. He considers committing suicide...
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- Aufmarsch über Thorrim
Procession over Thorrim
On Thorrim, in the DaGlausch galaxy, all attempts to contact the two super-intelligences that recently arrived there, Nisaaru and Metamorph (Wechselbalg) have failed. Mondra Diamond keeps having hints from her unborn baby about the imminent events. She says that the danger for the Alashanians is not so much the super-vibration, due in April, but other events that she cannot identify.
Another super-intelligence materializes in the Thorrtimer system. He introduces itself as Baikolt, from the Ghoroon galaxy. Benjameen Jacinta remembers that Ghoroon is the home of the Nonggos, the fourth people of Thoregon. He begins to suspect that all the super-intelligences whose sphere of influence includes a people from Thoregon are going to meet there, in DaGlausch.
Nissaru eventually accepts the contact from Tess. The super-intelligence tells her that he has split his personality and that a part of himself, called Sirku, is busy in another galaxy for now. He also tells her that the super-intelligences are here to protect the DaGlausch people from the super-vibration.
Another super-intelligence appears over Thorrim in the shape of a bright sphere. Raindrops start falling on the planet, which turn out to be parapsychically charged but harmless. This super-intelligence is Baolin-Nda, and he reached Thorrim through a canal opened by the Aeolentorians, back in his home galaxy. The psionic rain is a side effect of the contact of Baolin-Nda and the einstein Universe.
Meanwhile, DaGlausch is increasingly shaken by premises of the forthcoming super-vibration. More stars turn into novae every hour and whole races are driven away from their home systems. The word has spread that Thorrim is a safe haven for now so all the races converge there. Soon, more than 300,000 spaceships are seeking shelter in the Thorrtimer system. Fights almost break out but the super-intelligences prevent them.
The super-intelligence of the Creators, the first people of Thoregon, materializes in the system. The only one missing now is It and as the Terrans are beginning to think that something terrible happened, Wanderer materializes at the border of the system, with the Sol on its surface.
Stendal Navajo immediately contacts the flagship and asks Bull to transfer the 200,000 Alashanians on board. Bull refuses, saying that It will only let them accept one person on board : Mondra Diamond. The young woman, now overdue for her child, is transfered on the Sol but she is despaired when she learns that Perry Rhodan is not on board.
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- Vorstoß in den Kessel
First Steps in the Cauldron
Alaska Saedalere arrives in the vicinity of the Cauldron on board his Virtual Ship, the Kytoma. He is followed by seventeen other Virtual Ships. He spots an unknown object but cannot identify it.
On Wanderer, Bully is busy preparing the Sol for the trip into the Cauldron. He is contacted by the collective conscience of the dead mutants, who merged with It several centuries ago. John Marshall tells him that once they are in the Cauldron, the Paratron shields should never be activated. The five other super-intelligences have settled on Wanderer, big enough to host them all. Mondra Diamond explains to Bully that the six super-intelligences will form the Council of Thoregon. It then becomes clear to Bully that Pulse, the central place where Thoregon will exist, is actually the Cauldron of DaGlausch. The multitude of races that have converged towards the Thorrtimer system for shelter will become the multi-racial nation representing Thoregon.
It contacts Alaska and tells him about his mission : the eighteen Virtual Ships are needed by the super-intelligences to penetrate the Cauldron. They must be taken in the exact center of the maelstrom within ten days, or Thoregon will never be born. Each Virtual Ship will receive the spirit of a dead mutant as co-pilot, except Alaska who is assigned Harno, the mysterious black sphere that Perry Rhodan met several times over the past centuries.
While talking with Pucky, Alaska mentions the dimensions of the unidentified object he spotted earlier -- sixty kilometers -- and the mouse-beaver immediately realizes that it must have been a Cosmic Factory. Pucky is contacted by the spirit of Iltu, his former wife, who reassures him about the fate of the other Ilts : they all live safely within It's conscience.
The Sol penetrates inside the Cauldron and is submitted to extremely harsh conditions, which get worse as they get closer to the center. As the situation is getting desperate, Bully decides to activate the Paratron shield. The burst of energy sends them through the last barrier and they penetrate into the heart of the disturbance. Inside, they discover a colossal Mushroom Dome. Except for its twenty-three kilometers of diameter and almost niney kilometers in height, the Dome is exactly similar to those they have been using in the past.
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- Der letzte General
The Last General
On the Earth, all hyper-communications suddenly stop working. A gigantic object materializes outside the Sol system. It is quickly identified as a Cosmic Factory. Its pilot calls the Earth and introduces himself as Ramihyn, commandant of the cosmocrat factory Wave. The Servant of the Matter demands an absolute capitulation of all solar forces. As a warning, twenty-four Terran spaceships are destroyed.
Zorn Jynthasso, a Terran general, is in charge of the defense fleet. He immediately gathers more than seven hundred cruisers and heads towards the enemy. After the Tolkandian crisis and then the Dscherro attacks, the Earth no longer has the protection of the ATG field ; the space forts and the fleet commanded by Jynthasso are their only hope. The ultimatum sent by Ramahyn expires in one day.
Civil unrest grows on the Earth. Paola Daschmagan, who recommends an immediate capitulation, is threatened to be voted down. The Terrans manage to sneak a spaceship out of the solar system before Wave can intercept it. A negociation shuttle approaches Wave but it is mercilessly destroyed by Ramahyn.
The offensive begins against the Factory : a colossal firepower is thrown at Wave, which is not even harmed. The raging fight has dramatic consequences on the surface of the Earth : earthquakes and typhoons sweep the land, causing a lot of damages. The First Terran orders Jynthasso to break the attack but the general refuses. Shortly after, the main headquarters are destroyed by a massive shot from the Factory. Paola Daschmagan dies in the explosion. The 18,000 defense forts have been destroyed and Jynthasso's fleet is decimated.
The Earth surrenders on April 6, 1291. Shortly thereafter, the Papermoon arrives in the Solar system, with Cistolo Khan and Perry Rhodan on board.
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- Der Tod auf Terra
Death on Terra
The Papermoon enters the Solar system and tries to contact the Earth or Nathan. None of them respond. Trokan is also under siege : Ramihyn has dispatched spaceships over the Mushroom Dome to make sure that the Terrans cannot receive any help from there. Rhodan contacts a ship that took part in the attack and learns about Ramihyn. Rhodan explains to Khan that even if they could reproduce what happened in Dengejaa Uveso, the whole Solar system would be completely destabilized by the ensuing disturbances.
Ramihyn decides to examine the Earth. He teleports on the surface and, unseen, observes the Terrans. He is surrounded by a death field that kills people as he wanders by. Ramihyn is surprised by the peacefulness of the Terrans and wonders how such a people could justify a Cosmic factory being sent against them.
Rhodan learns about the destruction of the headquarters of the Cosmic House, and the death of Paola Daschmagan. He goes there and helps out LFT agents to clear the rubbles, rescuing a teenager, Startac, who disappears shortly thereafter. Rhodan is informed that the cyclop has been located and locked inside a Paratron field. Rhodan decides to confront him.
Ramihyn senses the presence of the Sixth Messenger of Thoregon. He breaks free from the Paratron field and captures Rhodan. As he is about to get killed by the cyclop, thereby dooming the whole Thoregon coalition, Rhodan is rescued by Startac. The young man turns out to be a weak teleporter. He can only achieve small jumps and for a limited amount of time. Rhodan decides to try and reach the Mushroom Dome on Trokan in order to make contact with the Heliots.
Using Startac's weakening abilities, Rhodan approaches the transmitter towards Trokan, with Ramihyn hot on their tail. He enters it at the last second. Ramihyn immediately orders his spaceships on orbit above Trokan to look for him and kill him.
Cistolo Khan receives the news of what has just happened : as Rhodan was on his way to the Mushroom Dome on Trokan, a whole fleet of Ramihyn's spaceships located him and opened a deadly fire on the whole area. Only the Dome has remained intact, and Rhodan is nowhere to be found. Khan records in his log that the Sixth Messenger of Thoregon was killed on April 10, 1291.
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- Wenn Tazolen meutern
When the Tazolans rebel
In Chearth, the Algiots are incurring more and more defeats because of the Net Neutralisator. A growing number of Algiots want to give up the war and return to their home galaxy. They start fighting against each other. The Algio leader, Corr Re Venth, is contacted by the main priest of their religion, Rochkothem, who tells him that he has been convinced by Vil a Desch. The Solar Worms are real and the whole war is a mistake.
Icho Tolot explains to Tuyula Azik that Sirku, Vincent Garron's latest incarnation, is actually the split personality of Nisaaru. Sirku appears again and explains the story of the Solar Worms.
The Baolin-Ndas used the Yaronag, a technology discovered by the Nonggos, in order to lure the Solar Worms into an energetic trap, the Solar Prison. 100,000 worms were captured this way. Short of having enough energy inside the prison, most of them died and the few remaining lost their intelligence. Sirku repeats that the Solar Worms must not be harmed because they will be used by the Thoregon coalition for some unknown purpose.
Sirku tells the immortals that Gan Grango Ranka, which has been roughly translated as the "big jump into the void", must happen exactly on the 29th of April at midnight, or Thoregon will never exist. On the 26th of April, the She'huan, the Taucoon and fifty-nine Halutian spaceships leave for the Solar Prison in order to achieve Gan Granko Ranka. Daolin-Hay is the only activator bearer left on Thagarum.
Corr Re Venth is eventually convinced and he agrees to end the war. He heads for Thagarum and a peace treaty is quickly agreed upon. The Algiots must turn in all their Psi-Nets and retire from Chearth.
As the treaty is signed, Daolin learns that the Solar Prison is collapsing and that the Taucoon has been destroyed. He departs for the Solar Prison on board the Pyxis, firmly decided to rescue Atlan and the other immortals.
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- Das Ende des Sonnentresors
The End of the Solar Prison
The Taucoon is caught in the middle of the Solar Prison, which becomes unstable every minute. A breach opens in front of them, giving a glimpse on a foreign universe. Myles Cantor wonders if this could be the universe of the Drufs, or Tarkan, the contracting universe, but he cannot answer.
On Gunjar, where Nisaaru first contacted the Vlatschidians in the Crystal Desert, a master thief called Veldenhovv becomes the new guardian of the Crystal Flower. Sirku/Nisaaru speaks to him through this crystal and asks him to find Vil an Desch. Veldenhovv meets Ganzetta, who accepts to take him to the former leader of the Scoctorians. On their way, they are attacked by Algiots but thanks to the Net Neutralisators, they are easily destroyed. During the fight, the Crystal Flower becomes burning hot. Ganzetta thinks that the crystal reacts to the radiations emitted by the Net Neutralisators.
Veldenhovv finally meets Vil an Desch and then receives the order to go to the Crystal Desert. When he gets there, he is contacted by Nisaaru who tells him he is now the new guardian of the Vlatschidians.
Meanwhile, the Chearthian fleet, commanded by Vil an Desch and Corr re Venth, is inflicting more and more defeats to Dro ga Dremm. The Algiots eventually retire from the galaxy.
In the Solar Safe, Vlatschos and Skoghal are now two full blown black holes. The scientists predict that they will merge and will become the main center of this area of space, attracting all the suns of the Solar Prison toward them.
On the Taucoon, Sirku has been able to prevent the destruction of the spaceship but the conditions are becoming extermely chaotic. Sirku tells the crew that the Solar Worms will be used to regulate the production of energy in Thoregon's center. Before the Terrans can ask any more questions, the Taucoon is hurled into the new universe and they all pass out.
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- Am Proto-Tor
At the Proto-Gate
Perry Rhodan was rescued at the last moment by the Mushroom Dome. As soon as he is in, he crosses the Bridge to Infinity and stops in front of the Proto-Gate, hoping to contact a Heliot. Nobody answers, so Rhodan decides to go to the Galorn galaxy to look for Kaif Chiriatha, the Second Messenger. He quickly finds the young woman, who is upset. She explains to him that a few days ago, the Cosmic Factory Suvari materialized over their home planet and declared all the Galornians hostages.
Rhodan decides to find the Creators, the first people of Thoregon. The two Messengers cross the Bridge to Infinity but when they arrive in the main city, Rumbiak-Awy, Jorim Azao is nowhere not to be found. Rhodan ignores that the First Messenger is thousands of light-years away, in a Virtual Ship. Besides, Rumbiak-Awy is also besieged by the Cosmic Factory Noktua.
Rhodan and Chiriatha Kaif then head for the Delta-Space, the home of the Baolin N'Das. They are greeted by the last two survivors of the Baolin N'Das, Tautanbryk and his wife, who tell him that they are preoccupied : the Aeole, the resting place where all the dead spirits of their now defunct people rests, has disappeared. This disappearance coincides with the arrival of the Cosmic Factory Jorgon, piloted by Mkammer. Tautanbryk says he has to watch over his wife, now pregnant, and declines Rhodan's invitation to join them.
The two Messengers then head for the Teuller system, home of the Nonggos. Then again, a Cosmic Factory piloted by Parr Fiorano appeared recently and disrupted the fragile gravitational balance that holds the giant wheels together. The Neuron, the paraphysical commonality that links the Nonggos together, is severed and both the Nonggos and the Terrans of Calcutta-North are getting hopeless to survive the catastrophe.
Rhodan and Kaif cross the Bridge to Infinity again and arrive in Thagarum, where Rhodan hopes to contact Mhogena. As soon as they exit the Mushroom Dome, they are hit by an extremely violent shock wave that plunges them into a sleep filled with nightmares. The dreams are caused by a Servant of the Matter called Tommjago, on board the Cosmic Factory Roa Kerena, who has the ability to uncover people's worst nightmares and make them feel like real. Rhodan and Kaif manage to wake up and retreat into the Mushroom Dome.
With each of the incursion, the Bridge to Infinity seems to decay a little more. Before Rhodan can decide their next direction, the Bridge takes them in front of a dark city. Black robots run toward them and shoot at them with knives and arrows that manage to pierce through their protection suits. Kaif is severely wounded by a knife and Rhodan has to carry her across the Bridge. The Galornian asks Rhodan to bring her back to her home planet before she dies. Despite the emergency, Rhodan accepts and Kaif dies in his arms as he reaches Gaalo.
Despaired, Rhodan returns in front of the Proto Gate, which opens before him. He enters it and reappears in a gigantic Mushroom Dome. He doesn't know where he is but he soon notices a familiar spaceship approaching the Dome : it is New Eden II, It's artificial world.
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- Der Puls
Scanning the ambient space, the crew of the Sol determines that the area surrounding the Mega-Dome is a perfect vacuum. The Pulse seems to be its own universe, 0.8 light years big. Obviously, the six super-intelligences intend to create a third force which would be neither with the Cosmocrats nor the Chaotarks, since they cannot reach this area of space and can obvisouly not transfer matter from it into the Matter Sources.
On the Taucoon, Atlan realizes that the Solar Prison actually contains a solar transmitter, which they crossed. Most likely, Maahks went through this transmitter in the past and once in Chearth, they evolved into Gharrians. The trip is interrupted and the Taucoon emerges in the normal space. Two threatening spaceships are closing in. They are huge, sixty kilometers big, and Atlan remembers seeing such a structure during the Laire era. He doesn't know yet that they are Cosmic Factories. Vincent Garron, helped by Sirku, teleports the Taucoon and its cohort of Solar Worms into the Pulse.
On the Sol, Mondra Diamond is about to give birth but she knows that her child won't appear until after Thoregon has been created. Her unborn son shows her images of what is currently happening near the Mega-Dome : the six super-intelligences keep sending impulses toward the Mushroom Dome but they receive no answer.
On board the Virtua/18, Alaska Saedelaere is surprised to see Icho Tolot float in his direction. The Halutian is let in, carrying Atlan, Myles Cantor and Vincent Garron. They exchange their stories. Alaska tells him about the Virtual Ships, how there were supposed to be twenty of them but only eighteen had been made when Shabazza destroyed the Delta Space of the Baolin Ndas with a Nano-Column.
Alaska is interruped by Vayiathas, the computer of his Virtual Ship, who tells him that a new mission awaits him. Alaska is told that Jorim Azao, the First Messenger of Thoregon, has received a message from Sirku. The Virtual Ships and the Creators must now take care of the Solar Worms and watch over their evolution. They must maintain the same population and regulate the extra energy that the Pulse will be emitting. Jorim Azao invests So'o'Both body, the Solar Worm who lost its intelligence last, and starts giving him directions about where to direct its hunger.
Perry Rhodan appears on a balcony at the top of the Mega-Dome. He is picked up by Lotho Keraete, It's messenger, who explains to him the motives behind Thoregon, and how the Pulse represents a neutral area of space that challenges both Cosmocrats and Chaotarks. There are other similar empty areas of space in the Multiverse, Rhodan learns, and none of these areas can be influenced by Cosmonucleotids such as Dorifer. The intersection of these areas with the standard universes generates a lot of energy, which will be regulated by the Solar Worms.
Lotho Keraete tells Rhodan that despite their incredible powers, the Cosmocrats still have to use middlemen to accomplish their goals, and these middlemen often make mistakes, like for example some Servants of the Matter who were more interested in pursuing personal hobbies than creating Swarms, or Shabazza underestimating the Terrans in the fight against Goedda.
The Bridge over Infinity was not constructed by It, and nobody knows who built it actually. Similarly, It doesn't know who the Heliots are and what they represent, just that they serve Thoregon. Right now, the six Super-Intelligences are trying to make contact with a Mega-Dome in a distant galaxy called Segafrendo. If they don't make that contact in the next ten hours, Thoregon will not be created and chaos will ensue, including the destruction of the six spheres of influences of the Super-Intelligences. Rhodan also learns that the Mega-Dome in the Pulse holds a city on its top called Port Erevintage.
Then Keraete tells Rhodan that Hismoom, the spokesperson for the Cosmocrats, has arrived outside the Pulse and that Rhodan has been designated to negociate with him. Rhodan meets Hismoon outside the Pulse on the Cosmic Factory Nar Sarenna. The Cosmocrat uses the body of a Servant of the Matter called Paradyn Smonker to talk with Perry Rhodan.
Hismoom threatens to destroy the central worlds of the six races that form the Council of Thoregon if the coalition is not dissolved right away. Rhodan, helped by Lotho Keraete in his argumentation, says that if the Cosmocrats do that, Thoregon will see to it that many more Pulses will be created in the forthcoming years, thus undermining the power of the Cosmocrats and the Chaotarks in the Multiverse. Hismoom is frightened by the perspective and eventually agrees on a compromise.
The Cosmocrats will withdraw the Cosmic Factories from the central worlds of Thoregon and will promise never to interfere again with them. Nor will they be allowed to use Dorifer, the Virtual Matter or Servants of the Matter to attack Thoregon. In exchange, Thoregon guarantees that no other Pulses will be created. Before Hismoom disappears, he gives a terrible warning : Rhodan has no idea of what he has just negociated, and once the Cosmocrats have retired, a chaos of unseen precedence will take place in those galaxies. The Cosmocrat predicts that a war of thousand years will erupt.
On his way back, still shocked by the last words of the Cosmocrat, Perry Rhodan and Lotho Keraete are shaken by vibrations coming from the Pulse. Inside the Pulse, a gigantic energy ray is being cast by the Mega-Dome. The ray is quickly shrunk to a smaller size by the Solar Worms, led by the Creators, and turns into a pulsation. The pulsation happens every thirty two minutes and the whole area is now stabilized. Mondra Diamond has now given birth to a son and everyone in the Sol is asked to gather to receive an important communication from Lotho Keraete.
It's messenger tells them that the energy ray has opened the passageway toward a distant galaxy, called Segafrendo, where the Sol must now go in order to fill an important task. Keraete gives them an energy cocoon that will act as a Passantum, allowing them to enter the Mega-Dome and then use the transmitter inside toward Segafrendo. This is why the Sol was brought into the Pulse : no positronic computer will survive the flight, but since the Sol is based on Syntronics, it will go unharmed through the transmitter. For this same reason, Pucky cannot take part in the trip or his brain will be destroyed. Rhodan won't be able to make it back to the Sol in time either. When she hears that, Mondra Diamond feels an intense despair.
Bull decides to stay as well, to help Rhodan and Pucky in their future tasks. When Rhodan makes it back into the Pulse, Bully breaks the bad news to him. He gives him a video message recorded by his wife before they entered the Mega-Dome. She tells him that she baptized their son Delorian and that according to Lotho Keraete, it is unlikely that the Sol will return before another ten or twenty years.
Perry Rhodan has never felt so lonely in his life and he wonders if he made the right choice by deciding to support Thoregon after all...
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