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"Battle for the World of a Hundred Suns"


Although, the Posbi book is now on hold, fans may still be interested in the original promo material.  Below is an excerpt from Perry Rhodan #149, Battle for the World of a Hundred Suns.


 

Rhodan looked at Major Mentor and said, “You’re right! The Invisibles have a new weapon available! The Laurins absorb more energy from our protective screens than we can produce! This doesn’t bode well.”

The X-1’s pilot had become the copilot; the chief, Perry Rhodan, had taken over the controls of the spherical spaceship like he had in the old days.

“Hello, friend”, he said to the weapons officer over the ship’s intercom, “don’t disappoint me. Try to adjust to my course. If you have any questions on your mind between individual attacks, don’t be afraid to ask. Okay?”

That was how, with only a few words, the First Administrator of the Solar Imperium was able to draw the men around him into his spell. He was rarely a dour superior. He could never forgive himself if he didn’t treat them as his equals. He remained unchanged, but everyone whom he addressed in this manner felt like one of his closest friends.

The man who usually flew the X-1 closed his eyes as the spherical spaceship dipped into normal space from semi-space, right on the heels of three teardrop ships, keeping them in range.

Against his will, the words were forced out of him. “Sir, we are on a collision course!”

“You don’t say!” replied Rhodan and smiled easily.

The weapons officer immediately adjusted to Rhodan’s tactic. He offered no further questions to his chief. He acted without thinking about the possible consequences.

From the polar gun turret of the X-1 and the ship’s broadside, he shot precision fire at the Laurin ship flying closest to him. He only had three seconds to do it. In the fourth second, Rhodan had drawn the X-1 back into semi-space.

“Well done, chief!” roared the enthusiastic chief weapons officer over the intercom.

The relief sensor showed normal space again. The restored Anti-Flex-detector made the invisible ships of the Laurins visible. Hal Mentor had not exaggerated in his estimate of about three to four thousand teardrop ships.

“Brazo, where are you?” asked Rhodan over the radio about the young weapons officer in his space jet.  The copilot couldn’t comprehend how one person could do so many things at once.

“One moment, chief!” sounded the receiver.

Perry Rhodan was patient. If Brazo Alkher requested time, then it must be necessary.

The screen provided the explanation of why Alkher could not answer. With his tiny space jet, he had fired upon a Laurin spaceship.

“Not too many risks, Brazo!” warned Rhodan over hypercom.

Alkher’s space jet appeared in the gap, beside the X-1.

“Chief, I am always careful. I . . .”

Once again, he was away into normal space. Seconds later the X-1 had also slipped into it. So far, Perry Rhodan had not allowed the Invisibles to put their dangerous tap-beam into play.

“You did it, my friend!” he called to the chief weapons officer who had used the two-second stay in regular space to eliminate another teardrop spaceship.

Pride and modesty were mingled in the answer of the responsible officer: “Sir, you fly the X-1 right at the target. With such an approach, hits are but child’s play.”

A slight uneasiness emerged among the Laurins. More than five hundred ships, each with a diameter of two hundred meters, had surrounded one of the artificial suns and organized precise shots upon it. They were trying to over-saturate the atomic process with this strong influx of energy and cause the sun to explode.

A good third of the teardrop spaceships, much larger ships than Rhodan had seen until now, took off. The lightning quick appearance and disappearance of the X-1 troubled them.

“Ah!” put in Rhodan firmly.

Between the artificial sun and the Laurin ship which had ventured out the farthest and shifted slightly to one side, he returned to normal space. But the chief weapons officer of the X-1 never fired a shot. A small space jet had fired a fraction of a second earlier and delivered a proper coup de gras to the teardrop spaceship. It exploded in a wild fount of energy.

In that same moment, the cabin of the X-1 trembled. The ship could thank its stable protective screens that the beam could not break through its spherical shell.

Rhodan calmly brought the ship safely back into semi-space. Linear flight allowed him to fly a complete circle and appear at the same place again, only from the opposite direction.

This time, the weapons officer did not fire. One of the three space jets had been shot down. Brazo Alkher reported it. In the middle of his update, the second space jet also exploded.

“Clear out!” commanded Rhodan. He had recognized that the Invisibles had adjusted to his tactic.

Major Mentor expressed his concern. “Sir, can’t we do anything else to prevent the Laurins from exploding one artificial sun after the other?”

“Of course, Major, but no longer in this manner. I am more concerned with human losses than I am about the space jets. We must come up with another attack tactic quickly.”

Accompanied by the space jet, the X-1 flew through the libration zone around the World of a Hundred Suns in order to come out a thousand kilometers above the continent on which the plasma central was located.

The com-supervisor of the X-1 picked up Van Moders’ futile attempts to raise communication with John Marshall.

Rhodan was informed of it. Turning around, the administrator noticed Tschubai and Kakuta lingering in the background.

“Ras, jump down to Van Moders!”

In the X-1, only one teleporter remained, for Tschubai had disappeared.

At the same moment, the magnetic shields of the panoramic screens shut down. At a height of one hundred thousand kilometers, an artificial sun had been forced to explode beneath the fire of the Laurin ships. Despite the shut down, too much blinding light entered the command central. The copilot pressed both hands over his blinded eyes. When he could finally see again, he was stunned to find out that in the interim, the chief had brought the X-1 down close to the ground in an emergency maneuver.

Did the chief possess different eyes than he did? This question was clearly written on the face of the man in the copilot seat.

Now the weapons officer also discovered the danger that Rhodan had seen beneath the ship. One of the brain’s many underground defense forts had been activated and its ray antenna was pointed directly at the small spherical spaceship.

The weapons officer had given the weapon positronic the order to shoot. In the middle of the antenna’s rising motion, a consolidated bundle of more than thirty beams from the X-1 smashed into the fort. From a distance of barely a thousand meters, these concentrated beams had the power of an atomic bomb. Rhodan could not pull the ship to the side fast enough as the sharply flashing explosive cloud struck. In a flash, fireworks had formed all around the protective screens. However, not only energy crashed against the screens, but lumps of metal weighing over a ton—former equipment of the Hypertronicon’s defense fort!

Seconds later, the site of devastation, with its gigantic mushroom cloud above, lay far behind the ship. On the very spot from which the X-1 had taken off toward the threatened artificial sun, it set down once more. Not even the slightest tremor passed through the ship as it settled the telescopic supports extended from its ring.

“Great heavens, Sir”, came from the lips of the man who usually flew the X-1. “You certainly know how to land!”



BEHIND THE WALL OF TIME    THE MACHINES RUN AMOK    LEAP INTO THE INTERCOSMOS


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