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Series Summary!

Series Summary—Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #1 to #499. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. FROM THE NEW POWER TO GRUELFIN —Perry Rhodan Issues #1 to #499 The following plot synopsis of the Perry Rhodan series can of course only be a very general summary. Many details and events that aren't crucial to the overall storyline had to be omitted for reasons of space, and other themes can only be covered in abbreviated form. A much more detailed summary of the series can be found in the five-volume Perry Rhodan Lexicon, unfortunately available only in German. Hopefully, the following abstract will be sufficient for the interested new American fan. The beginning of the Perry Rhodan series is especially important, since it was there that the foundations were laid, as are the last 200 issues, since those were the basis of the current series. In this synopsis, the issue numbering follows the German series. The numbering of the old American series published by Ace Books differed somewhat because a few issues were skipped. Perry Rhodan was born on June 8, 1936 in Manchester, Connecticut, the son of Jakob Edgar Rhodan (a German who emigrated to the United States after World War I) and Mary Rhodan (nee Tibo). After graduating from the US Air Force Academy, he began a career as a pilot. On June 19, 1971, Perry Rhodan, now a major, took off as commander of the atomic-powered spaceship Stardust on the first manned Moon landing expedition. He reached the Moon with three other astronauts, among them his best friend Reginald Bell. On the far side of the Moon, the men discovered an extraterrestrial race's scientific research vessel that had made an emergency landing. Rhodan made contact with the aliens, who closely resembled human beings and called themselves Arkonides. He returned to the Earth with their superior technology, but decided not to land as planned in the United States. Instead, he touched down in the Gobi Desert in central Asia. Rhodan didn't want to hand the unimaginable power of Arkonide technology over to a single country or people. Despite great difficulties, in the following weeks he was able to prevent World War III, which had been threatening, and bring the Earth's political blocs closer together. Rhodan proclaimed the establishment of the New Power, which he envisioned as a neutral force that owed its allegiance to all of humanity. He declared that from now on he would consider himself to be a Terran (from the Latin Terra, meaning Earth), and thus a citizen of the planet Terra. He soon had a constantly growing number of allies, among them a group of parapsychologically gifted people called mutants, who became an important factor in his plans because of their astonishing abilities (telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc.). The Mutant Corps was born. Rhodan was able to unite humanity and establish a world government. The first extraterrestrial invasion from space came early in 1972 with the attack of the Mind Snatchers (M.S.), wasp-like creatures who could take over and control other bodies. The attack was fought off. Three years later, events shifted to the Vega System, 27 lightyears away. Rhodan helped the local Ferronians, who were being menaced by the lizard-like Topsiders. In so doing, he stumbled across the apparently very old Galactic Riddle. In the course of further exploration, the Terran landed on the planet Vagabond. There, the mousebeaver Pucky stowed away on his spaceship. A furry creature a meter high with a prominent incisor tooth and gifted with the psi-abilities of telepathy, teleportation, and telekinesis, Pucky became one of the most beloved characters in the PR-Universe. The following adventures led to the discovery of an artificially created world shaped like a disc, named Wanderer. There, the Terran met the Superintelligence called IT, a mysterious being of pure mind millions of years old, who had selected Rhodan and a few of his chosen companions for relative immortality. By means of a cell renewal process, normal aging was halted for precisely 62 years. Then another cell renewal was required, or else a rapid aging process would set in that would soon lead to senility and death. IT gave the human race a period of 20,000 years in which to prove its abilities. Accordingly, Perry Rhodan returned to the Earth in order to devote all his energies to leading Terra further in the direction of becoming a galactic power that had to be taken seriously. From the data banks in the Arkonide research ship that had landed on the Moon and from what the two Arkonides Crest (Khrest in the American edition) and Thora (later Perry Rhodan's first wife) told him, it was known that the Milky Way Galaxy was inhabited by numerous races and interest groups. Mankind was still too weak to move among them openly, however. In the years that followed, Perry Rhodan and his fellow warriors battled the Springers, a race of merchants descended from the Arkonides who wanted to turn the Earth into one of their colonial planets. Together with Crest and Thora, Rhodan made a voyage to Arkon, the homeworld of the Arkonides and the heart of the Great Imperium in Globular Cluster M13. There, an enormous computer called the Robot Regent ruled the empire. Over the centuries, the Arkonides had degenerated and grown weak, and were no longer able to rule over their mighty interstellar empire themselves. In 1984, Rhodan had to simulate the destruction of the Earth in order to get rid of the ever more intrusive Springers once and for all, and give humanity the time it needed to develop into a Galactic power. Believing it to be Earth, the Springers attacked the third planet of the giant star Betelgeuse and destroyed it. The first 49 novels of the Perry Rhodan series briefly summarized here originally appeared in the years 1961/62 and are known today as "The Third Power" Cycle in Germany. (In the American editions, the name of Rhodan's political entity was changed to "The New Power.") Of course, no one was calling groups of episodes in a common storyline "cycles" at the start of the series, since the publisher had originally projected only 30 issues (later a maximum of 50 due to the unexpected success). The now current structure of cycles, or the unfolding of a specific, carefully planned plotline within a predetermined timeframe (mostly 50 to 100 issues), appeared later. With this in mind, it's worth noting that the date of the first landing on the Moon, undertaken by Perry Rhodan on June 19, 1971, is now well in the past from our viewpoint. In 1961, when the first PR novel appeared, that day lay in the distant future, of course. In the real world, Neil Armstrong was just two years ahead of Perry Rhodan, stepping onto the lunar surface on July 21, 1969. The fact that the first 49 issues of the PR series are set in the past -- as seen from today -- doesn't hurt their nostalgic appeal. On the contrary. the editors deliberately resisted changing the dating of the series when the first episodes were reprinted (in all, those early episodes have now been reprinted five times). The second cycle began with issue #50 in the year 2040 of the series. The old Third Power had now become the Solar Imperium. Mankind had not only conquered its own solar system and settled on all the suitable planets and moons, but now had a respectable and above all very powerful spacefleet. A new character then appeared who enjoyed great popularity with the readers from the beginning: the Arkonide Atlan. That popularity even led in February, 1969 to his own magazine novel series, which was published until January, 1988, when it was finally terminated at issue #850. Atlan had a cell activator (given to him by IT), an egg-shaped device worn on a chain around his neck, which had the same effect as the above-mentioned cell-renewal, and so made him potentially immortal. Some 10,000 years before, during a space battle against the Druufs (alien beings from a continuum in which time passed much more slowly than in the Normal Universe), Atlan was marooned on Earth. Without any possibility of being able to return to his home world, he spent most of the time that followed in suspended animation in a deepsea dome on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. When the conflict that erupted between him and Perry Rhodan was settled, the two men became close friends. After the victory over the Druufs, who had tried again to invade the Normal Universe, the Robot Regent on Arkon was about to reveal Earth's still secret location. Rhodan and his Terrans were able to place the Robot Regent under Atlan's control. As Imperator Gonozal VIII, Atlan took over the Great Imperium. Thora, Rhodan's wife, died. From the Druufs, the Terrans acquired the plans for constructing the Linear Drive, a technology far in advance of the Transition Drive used up to that time. The year 2045 saw the death of Crest, the great Arkonide scientist to whom Perry Rhodan and all of mankind owed so much. The following 50 issues (PR #100 to #149) took the reader to the years 2102 to 2114. The research cruiser Fantasy, the first Terran starship equipped with a now-improved Linear Drive lifted off. During its flight, the system of the blue sun Akon was discovered by accident. The Akons, a proud race with a nearly perfect matter-transmitter technology, were the forefathers of the Arkonides. They tried several times over the following years to obliterate Perry Rhodan and the human race, but failed. With the Antis, direct descendants of the Akons, another power came into play. Antis could defend themselves against the psi-powers of mutants and make their own para-mental attacks. Their attempt to seize power over the Galaxy using the fiendish drug Liquitiv was frustrated. In the year 2106, the Arkonide Robot Regent was destroyed. The Great Imperium no longer existed. Six years later, the Posbis (positronic-biological robots) appeared. With their gigantic fragment-spaceships, a terrible weapon -- the Transform Cannon, and their unquenchable hatred for all organic life, they used machines equipped with biological cell plasma to bring the Galaxy to the brink of disaster. The Terrans finally discovered the Hundred-Sun World, the home of the Posbis. They not only succeeded in freeing the robots and making them valuable allies of the still weak human race, but also acquiring the secret of the Transform Cannon. PR issue #150 began in the year 2326. Under Atlan's leadership, the United Stars Organization (USO) had been established as a sort of intervention squad of carefully trained specialists, which was closely allied with the Solar Imperium. The Superintelligence IT left the Galaxy, fleeing a danger that was unknown at first. Before leaving, however, IT hid 25 cell activators in different places around the Galaxy. An unprecedented hunt for immortality began, but most of the activators were found by Perry Rhodan and the USO. A new and deadly menace appeared in the form of the Hornterrors and the Terrorworms. In their feeding frenzy, the virtually invulnerable creatures turned entire planets into forever uninhabitable deserts of barren rock. A single egg producing indefinitely multiplying Hornterrors was enough to doom a world to destruction. During the course of their adventures, Perry Rhodan and the Terrans encountered the Blues, who had established a powerful empire on the Eastside of the Galaxy. The Blues used a substance secreted by Hornterrors, Molkex, as armor for their spaceships. Only when the Terrans developed a weapon effective against that substance could the Blues be defeated and a peace treaty signed. The Masters of the Island (PR #200 - #299) was the first cycle to run a hundred episodes. It's considered one of the undisputed high points of the PR story by fans of the series even today, more than 30 years after its first appearance. In the year 2400, while on board the new flagship of the Solar Fleet, the Khrest II, Perry Rhodan discovered a gigantic matter transmitter in the form of six stars arranged in a circle in the center of the Galaxy. The transmitter then sent him to the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.4 million lightyears away. The Terran learned that the Earth had already been inhabited 50,000 years before by the Lemurians, who were called the First Humanity. A terrible war with the Haluters (four-armed giants three meters tall, who could consciously give their bodies the strength of molecularly compressed steel) forced them to flee the Milky Way Galaxy for Andromeda, however. Millenia later, the survivors who remained on Earth became the Second Humanity, the Terrans. During their flight to Andromeda, seven Lemurians came into possession of cell activators and rose to become rulers of the new galaxy. As Factor VII through Factor I, they built up over the course of millennia a political system based on raw power and highlighted by inhumanity and brutality. Perry Rhodan and his allies gradually unraveled the mysteries of the Masters, who defended themselves by all possible means. With the death of Factor I, the surpassingly beautiful Mirona Thetin, peace was finally brought to Andromeda. The Masters of the Island cycle gave the series a wealth of characters, some of whom have lived on into the current cycle, in particular the Haluter Icho Tolot. Also unforgotten are the adventures of the Cheyenne Indian, Don Redhorse, the odyssey of the Khrest through the hollow planet Horror, and the legendary romance between Mirona Thetin and Atlan the Arkonide. Over the years that followed, frequent reference was made to the events of the Masters of the Island cycle, and so there are a large number of paperback novels and short stories today that tie up loose ends of this undisputed classic or add new elaborations to the cycle. The next cycle (M87) also lasted a hundred issues, and took place thirty years after the victory over the Masters. The Free Trader Roi Danton stepped onto the galactic stage -- and was revealed to be Rhodan's son (the mother was Mory Rhodan-Abro, a Plophosian), Michael, who wanted to escape his father's overpowering shadow and stand on his own two feet. A gigantic robot space station dubbed "Old Man" was found somewhere in the Galaxy. Perry Rhodan later learned that the dome-shaped colossus some 100 kilometers in diameter stemmed from the time of the struggle against the Masters of the Island, and was them product of some courageous Terrans' rescue plan --though it reached its destination about thirty years too late. The next enemy appeared in the form of the Haluter-like Second Conditioned. These beings in their living spaceships, the Dolans, called themselves the Time Police and charged the Terrans with so-called "time crimes" (which were actually committed by the Masters of the Island). The Terrans' punishment was to be destruction. The aliens gained control of Old Man. In the ensuing space battle, a mysterious weapon used by the Second-Conditioned hurled the Terran flagship Khrest IV into the gigantic galaxy M87. There, Rhodan met the Constructors of the Center, the rulers of M87, and solved the riddle of the Haluters' origin and the complex connections with the Time Police. When Perry Rhodan and his companions returned to the Milky Way with the help of the Constructors of the Center, the Dolans' great offensive against the Earth was beginning. After massive losses, humanity stood on the brink of destruction. Only by emergency activation of Old Man, which then deployed an up to now unknown weapon, could the catastrophe be averted. The Cappin cycle also lasted 100 issues, beginning in the year 3430. Almost 1000 years had passed, and the situation in the Galaxy had fundamentally changed. Powerful stellar empires had grown out of various Terran colonies, and some now stood opposed to the motherworld. In order to avoid a terrible civil war, Perry Rhodan had the entire solar system displaced five minutes into the future in a colossal technological tour de force, so escaping an enemy that would find only empty space where the solar system should be. But now new problems were cropping up. A death satellite that had been orbiting the Sun unnoticed for thousands of years was somehow activated and threatened to turn the Sun nova. Perry Rhodan learned that about 200,000 years before, some members of the Cappin race carried out forbidden genetic experiments on the Earth. So they wouldn't be discovered, they set up a death satellite, which would be activated by the approach of beings of a certain cultural and technological level of development, and erase all traces of their work. Humanity had apparently reached that level of development. With a time machine, the Null Time Deformer, Rhodan and his team of specialists travelled into the past in order to prevent the construction of the satellite. There, they found a valuable ally in a Cappin named Ovaron, who wanted to bring the criminal genetic researchers among his people to justice. The death satellite could finally be destroyed. Ovaron accompanied Perry Rhodan into the present, and the Terran took him to his home galaxy, Gruelfin, on board the Marco Polo. In Gruelfin, however, Rhodan encountered a confused situation. The Takerians, an offshoot of the Cappins, had taken over and established an oppressive and brutal political system. Together, Perry Rhodan and Ovaron restored conditions to normal and fought off the Takerians' invasion of the Milky Way. Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #500 to #999. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. FROM THE SWARM TO PAN-THAU-RA —Perry Rhodan #500 - 999 In the year 3441, the Marco Polo home from Gruelfin-- and found indescribable chaos waiting. The Swarm, a kind of mobile small galaxy, was passing through the Milky Way, and its influence caused a drastic decrease of intelligence in almost all living intelligent beings. The Immortals around Perry Rhodan gathered the few immune individuals and took up the new challenge. They penetrated the Swarm and learned its history. The gigantic object had been built long before by parties unknown in order to spread intelligence through the universe under the guidance of the Cynos. Then, however, the Karduuhls, a race bred by the Cynos and which had gone out of control, took power, and perverted the Swarm's mission into promoting their own personal interests. The Cynos retook the Swarm with the help of the Terrans and left the Milky Way. The mystery of the Swarm's construction and its strange mission of spreading intelligence would be solved only much later. In a short interlude thirty issues long (PR #570 - 599), eight of the members of the Mutant Corps who had died in the year 2909 reappeared. Just before their deaths, they had been able to project their consciousnesses into hyperspace. Perry Rhodan helped his long-gone friends, who were later absorbed by the Superintelligence IT and integrated into its collective intelligence. In the year 3456, mankind was drawn into the conflict between the two Superintelligences IT and Anti-IT, which entered the history books as a cosmic chess game. After some adventures in a parallel universe in which the Milky Way was enslaved by a negative twin of Perry Rhodan, Anti-IT replaced the Terran's brain with a programmed duplicate and removed the original for some unknown purpose. After an incredible odyssey in the distant galaxy Naupaum, Rhodan's real brain returned home. Anti-IT was defeated, and because of its infractions of the rules of cosmic conflicts, it was banished by the Cosmocrats to the Nameless Zone, a sort of intermediate dimension. With PR #650, the Invasion of the Laren began. These beings wanted to annex the Milky Way to the Hetos of Seven (or council), a federation of seven galaxies, and make Perry Rhodan the First Hetran, or governor. The Terran only pretended to go along with the invaders' demands, and secretly supported the activities of his companions working in the underground. When the Laren caught on, he was pursued by the unscrupulous Mounder Leticron. The situation became critical when the Laren recognized the Solar System as the source of resistance and attacked. In one of the most daring undertakings in human history, a gigantic matter transmitter was used to send the Earth and Moon to safety. The plan failed: while the transport went off as planned, the Earth and Moon materialized in a far distant maelstrom of stars, a sort of umbilical cord connecting two galaxies and containing a multitude of stars and planets. As the Earth slowly headed towards a star called Medallion, a conflict arose with the Ploohns, the leading civilization in the Maelstrom. Perry Rhodan was able to make peace with the aliens, and the Ploohns stabilized the Earth and Moon in an orbit around Medallion. After some decades passed, it was noticed that the star's radiation was changing human beings. They were losing the ability to feel emotions, and the age of Aphilia, or lovelessness, began. Only a few naturally immune individuals and the carriers of the cell activators were untouched by this development. But even in the ranks of the Immortals there was an exception: Reginald Bell's activator was apparently defective. It came to revolts and the banishing of the Immortals from Earth. They fled on the deepspace ship Sol, while on Earth the dark regime of the Aphiliacs began. A resistance organization called the GALCO (Galactic Coalition) comprised of all the races in the Galaxy rose against the invaders. On Gaia, a world in the dark nebula Provcon-Fist, the New Einstein Imperium (NEI) was established under Atlan's aegis as the center of free humanity. Meanwhile, Perry Rhodan went to the Balayndagar Galaxy in order to discover the aims and motives of the Hetos, found allies in the Keloskians, and finally returned in the year 3581 to the Milky Way. In the maelstrom of stars, Terra was about to fall into the Maw, a high-energy whirlpool in the thinnest part of the galactic umbilical cord. IT stepped in, freed the human race from Aphilia, and absorbed the twenty billion people. Rhodan and Atlan set off in the Sol in search of the Earth, which had vanished without a trace, transported by the Maw into an unknown region of the universe. The following odyssey put the friends in the middle of a conflict between two Superintelligences, the Empress of Therm and Bardioc. Rhodan was abducted by Bardioc and gained insight into grand-scale cosmic relationships. He learned of the Seven Powerful, who in the service of the Cosmocrats spread life and intelligence through the universe with their gigantic spore ships. It had been under their guidance that the Swarm had originated, which the Terran remembered only too well and none too fondly. But the powerful Bardioc became a traitor and evolved into a Superintelligence driven by a psychotic desire for expansion, which eventually threatened the the Empress of Therm's sphere of influence. After a bitter struggle, Bardioc was defeated and absorbed by the Empress. Meanwhile, IT intervened to restore Earth and Moon to their proper place, and they were resettled by the surviving remnants of humanity. With the help of the Keloskians, the Laren were driven out of the Milky Way after 126 years of oppression. Slowly, normal conditions returned to the Galaxy, but in PR #868, Perry Rhodan began a new adventure. The Superintelligence IT had given him a set of position data with the mission to go to the place indicated and neutralize a growing danger there. Soon after the departure of the deepspace ship Basis, a cry for help was received from IT, whose fate was at first unknown. In the Algstogermaht Galaxy, Rhodan confronted the mysterious robot Laire, which had been controlling Bardioc's forgotten spore ship Pan-Thau-Ra for millions of years. This was the danger that IT had sent Rhodan to deal with. The Cosmocrats tried to eliminate the danger by manipulating a Matter Source, but that manipulation had catastrophic effects on the Milky Way, and could mean the end of all races living there. Perry Rhodan set off on the search for the six other spore ships in order to recover the "keys" that had been placed on them. After many adventures, these keys allowed him to find the artificially altered Matter Source and fend off all dangers. Even IT, held prisoner in a Matter Sink, could be freed. With Atlan's disappearance behind the Matter Source as a chosen agent of the Cosmocrats, it was not just the end of the "Cosmic Fortresses" cycle, but also of a storyline that had stretched over no less than 350 issues and wound up in the year 3587. The plot elements described up to this point are undoubtably some of the most complicated that the PR series has featured in its long history. However, the newcomer should not give it all up as hopeless if he does not understand everything in the above -- admittedly very abbreviated -- summary. The Laren, the Seven Powerful, and the Cosmic Fortresses were just the foundation on which the next 300 issues would be built, but the essence of all these developments can be found in the article "The Cosmic Background." Considering the current direction of the series, a knowledge of the cosmic interconnections, the Cosmocrats, or the Moral Code are not vitally necessary in order to read -- and understand -- the issues now being published. Even so, we wanted to cover those developments that led to the great celebration issue #1000 (The Terran by William Voltz) and the grand scheme of the universe that at the time topped off the greatest space series of all. Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #1000 to #1399. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. From the Cosmic House to ESTARTU—Perry Rhodan Issues #1000 - 1399 A few days after the Base's return home to the Milky Way, an emissary for the Higher Powers, Carfesch the Sorgore, appeared and took Perry Rhodan to Eden II, the new home of the Superintelligence IT. There, the Terran gained new insights into the structure of the universe, which he had only superficially understood up to now. In short, the Cosmocrats had apparently intended many thousands of years before that he and the Arkonide Atlan were to have cell activators (even before Rhodan's birth). The High Powers went to great effort to have the universe searched for potential carriers of the devices. The search met with success on Earth -- as we have seen. IT gave the Terran the mission to start a Galaxy-wide trading organization, the Cosmic House. The House's actual task, however, would be the defense against the negative Superintelligence, Seth-Apophis, whose activities threatened IT's sphere of influence and thus the home of the human race. In the year 3588, Perry Rhodan replaced the old calendar with the New Galactic Era (NGE), in order to signal the beginning of a new era in the history of Mankind. In August, 424 NGE, the Cosmic House was finally established on a widespread basis and had to fight off the first attacks by Seth-Apophis. Rhodan learned of the three Ultimate Questions, whose answers the Cosmocrats had been seeking for millions of years and which were of supposedly overwhelming cosmic importance. (What is the Frost Ruby? Where does the Endless Armada begin and where does it end? Who initiated THE LAW and what does it accomplish?) The Terran, too, began to search for the answers. On the planet Khrat in the Norgan-Tur Galaxy 86 million light-years distant, Perry Rhodan was named a Knight of the Deep. This order was founded by the Cosmocrats more than two million years before, and its fundamental purpose was working to maintain a harmonic cosmic order. A very ancient legend said that the stars would go out when the last Knight of the Deep died. Searching further, Perry Rhodan encountered the Porleyters, once the precursor organization of the Knights. Some 2.2 million years before, they completed their last achievement, the anchoring of the Frost Ruby, before retreating from the cosmic stage. The Frost Ruby was later revealed to be a cosmic nucleotide that had left its place in the Moral Code (see "The Cosmic Background"). It was at first used by Seth-Apophis as a terrible weapon; then, after its anchoring, it was misused as a storage depot for consciousnesses. Perry Rhodan and his companions were then confronted by a gigantic spacefleet, which at first they thought to be the Endless Armada mentioned in the Second Ultimate Question. Actually, the Endless Armada was really another name for the as yet unknown Moral Code. The Dragon Fleet had started out millions of years before in the Behaynien galaxy, the original location of the Frost Ruby (also called TRIICLE-9), and was now searching for the Cosmic Nucleotide in order to return it to its proper place. The area once governed by TRIICLE-9 had now become the Negasphere, a gigantic region of space in which the laws of nature no longer applied and chaos reigned in its purest form. It was also the domain of the Master of the Elements, a Chaotarch who then sought to foil Perry Rhodan's plans by all possible means. In the galaxy M82, the Terran managed to gain a victory over Seth-Apophis. After numerous battles and many losses, the negative Superintelligence was defeated once and for all on its homeworld Aitheran. With Taurec, the incarnation of a Cosmocrat entered the picture. The mysterious humanoid was apparently expelled by his fellows from behind the Matter Source, since he feverishly sought for a chance to remake himself in the spirit of the High Powers and so force his way back to the realm of the Cosmocrats. The recovery of the Frost Ruby seemed to him the perfect opportunity for that. On the Earth in the meantime, another entity from the ranks of the High Powers was wreaking havoc. The renegade Cosmocrat Vishna, once brought to a fall by her own lust for power and now reconstituted in three incarnations (among them Gesil, Rhodan's later wife), sent seven plagues against the human race in order to subjugate it. She was defeated by Taurec at the last moment, and later she returned behind the Matter Source. Rhodan then gained command of the Endless Armada. Carfesch turned up again and announced that Rhodan would have to take the gigantic fleet to six places where he had accomplished great deeds, the so-called Chrono-fossils. The positive energy collected there would then be released and so gradually loosen the anchor of the Frost Ruby. In the year 429 NGE, TRIICLE-9 returned to Behaynien and was once more integrated with the Moral Code. The Master of the Elements was killed by Gesil. At the Mountain of Creation, the foundation of the Cosmic Nucleotide, Perry Rhodan had the chance to find the answer to the third ultimate question, the question pertaining to THE LAW. At the last moment, however, he realized that the knowledge burning into his brain would overwhelm his mind, and he pulled back. A break resulted with the Cosmocrats, who could not forgive the Terran for this retreat. Then Sotho Tal Ker (called "Stalker" for short) appeared in the Galaxy, an emissary of the Superintelligence Estartu. He told of the Third Way, a philosophy that rejected the polarization of Order and Chaos, and attempted to orient itself between the two extremes. Numerous Terrans headed enthusiastically for Estartu's sphere of influence, but there they learned that the Superintelligence had vanished without a trace long before and its governors had perverted the Third Way. Twelve Eternal Warriors ruled the territory and preached eternal conflict. Even the Milky Way, where the Galacticum, a galactic government with more than 400 member races, had evolved out of the Galactic Coalition (GALCO), had fallen for the doctrine. Meanwhile, Perry Rhodan had joined an organization called the Travelers of the Net (TN), which considered itself the guardian of the Cosmic Nucleotide Dorifer. Dorifer lay in Estartu's sphere of influence and was responsible for the Milky Way in its function as part of the Moral Code. With his fourth wife, Gesil, Rhodan had a daughter: Eirene, who was 16 years old in the year 445 NGE. The rule of the Warriors was gradually weakened and the first victories over the overpowering enemies were scored. In the process, the trail of the missing Estartu was stumbled on along with its incredibly vast rescue plan. By means of Dorifer, the Superintelligence had received a cry for help from another universe. This universe -- called Tarkan -- was very old and had already gone into its contraction phase. Thus all its inhabitants were condemned to death sooner or later. Accordingly, twenty-one races of the Hangay galaxy in Tarkan had devised a breathtakingly daring plan that now -- with Estartu's help -- was to be set in motion: Hangay would be transported into the standard universe in four sections. The Hexameron, the former Seven Powerful of Tarkan, attempted to block the plan, but finally had to give in. The Milky Way was freed from the warrior cult. Estartu returned to its sphere of influence and put an end to the perversion of the Third Way. Hangay finally materialized in the standard universe. Dorifer responded accordingly to this massive intervention in the cosmic regulating mechanism: the Cosmic Nucleotide closed up, in effect sealing itself off from the EinsteinUniverse. At this point there was a fundamental change in the series direction. The scale and complexity of the plot structure had reached a level that the authors could no longer handle, to say nothing of the readers. There was no longer any way to add more levels of complexity to the skyscraper of cosmic structure without running the danger of the whole thing collapsing. Thus the editorial staff decided to make a drastic cut, sending Cosmocrats and Cosmic Nucleotides to the bench for the time being and attempting to plot the next cycle with more comprehensible SF adventure. For old-time readers, for whom the PR cosmos had all but become a literary and philosophical view of the universe, the disappointment was naturally very great. On the other hand, new readers now had a chance to start reading and get acquainted with the characters and plot structure without having to have an extensive knowledge of what had gone before. All that began with Perry Rhodan #1400. Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #1400 to #1799. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. From the Cantaro to the Hamamesch—Perry Rhodan #1400 - 1799 When Perry Rhodan and a majority of the Immortals returned to normal space from the dying universe of Tarkan, their small fleet was caught in a stasis field created when Dorifer sealed up. For the people on board the fourteen ships, only a few seconds seemed to pass, but in actuality it was 695 years. When the stasis field finally dissolved, the year was 1143 NGE. The Galaxians (current designation for inhabitants of the Milky Way galaxy) now had to orient themselves to what was for them a strange era -- and their first steps led them straight into a nightmare. The entire galaxy was isolated from the rest of the universe by a mysterious forcefield called the Chronopulse Wall. Only gradually did the men and women around Perry Rhodan lift the veil of mystery surrounding the past. After the transport of Hangay, there were violent conflicts among different Tarkan races, whose effects were felt to some extent in other galaxies -- the Hundred Years War began. Perry Rhodan and the Immortals accompanying him were presumed dead. The Cantaros attracted attention when they began to isolate the Milky Way with the Chronopulse Wall. The Cantaros were mysterious cyborgs -- manlike creatures with technological implants -- who possessed superior technological resources. Later, it was learned that this was originally done out of honorable motives, but then the aliens came under the influence of Monos, a tyrant who appeared in different forms. For unknown reasons, this tyrant turned humanity's home galaxy into a nightmare of terror. On the Earth, the few remaining Terrans lived in Simu-sense, a kind of dream world that made them into physical wrecks. In the gene factories set up on many planets, the Cantaros committed indescribable crimes against morality and humanity. A gigantic army of clones was created, while millions of failed attempts, the so-called Bionts, were placed on different worlds and there scraped out miserable existences. Starship travel was largely crippled; many planets became prisons for their inhabitants. Hunger, fear, and death reigned everywhere. This era of indescribable misery entered galactic history as the Dark Centuries. Perry Rhodan and his friends were faced with the ruination of their lives' work, but they took up the battle against Monos and the Cantaros. Alongside the resistance organization ARIES, they scored their first successes. The final victory over the tyrant came in the year 1147, but it was combined with an enormous shock for Perry Rhodan. Monos turned out to be the son of his missing wife Gesil. Who the father was remained unknown at first. Nonetheless, the Terran found his wife, who had involuntarily spent the last centuries on a planet lying in a space-time fold. For her, only a few years had passed, and she knew nothing of any son. After the withdrawal of the Cantaros, a difficult period of reconstruction began. Monos had caused an endless amount of damage, and it could be predicted that it would take a long time before all traces of his regime of terror had been removed. PR #1500 began the next chapter of the varied history of the human race in the year 1169 NGE, 22 years after the liberation of the Galaxy. The Superintelligence IT appeared and unexpectedly demanded that all carriers of the cell activators give up their live-preserving devices. The 20,000-year probationary period that the human race had been granted seemed to be over. Instead of peace, the Terrans had only brought war and destruction to the Galaxy. Of course, the Immortals were convinced that this was all due to a misunderstanding, but the mental being remained firm in its judgment. Nonetheless, IT granted the fourteen individuals concerned one last cell-renewal -- and thus a 62-year reprieve. At the same time, the Linguids turned up in the Galaxy. Some of their representatives, the so-called Peacemakers, were apparently able to settle any conflict with just the strength of their words. Meanwhile, Gesil had been searching for the unknown father of Monos. She found the first clue by way of the Kontide Per-E-Kit of the Truillau Galaxy. There, a mysterious being ruled that called itself the Guardian, which Rhodan's wife believed had something to do with the conception of Monos. The Guardian had reformed the majority of races in its galaxy by means of a gigantic genetic program into a single species -- the parallels with the activation of the Cantaros by Monos were impossible to ignore. The Immortals went on a search for IT in order to convince the Superintelligence of its error regarding the cell activators. However, the super-being seemed to have disappeared without a trace, and there were increasing signs that IT suffered from some kind of mental disturbance. Moreover, there were agents for the Guardian of Truillau active in the Milky Way who were obviously interested in preventing any contact between the Immortals and the Superintelligence. In December, 1171, the seriousness of the situation increased: IT gave the fourteen free cell activators to the Peacemakers of the Linguids and declared them to be the new chosen ones. In Truillau, the Guardian had Rhodan's wife Gesil and his daughter Eirene in its power, and turned out to be the fallen Cosmocrat Taurec. He then revealed some incredible facts. In his effort to return behind the Matter Source, Taurec had the intention of first absorbing the largest possible amount of Cosmocratic genetic material, then forcing IT to evolve prematurely into a Matter Source. The resulting Matter Source would serve as the entranceway to the realm of the High Powers, while the cosmocratic genetic material would be the passkey. But Taurec made a mistake. He attempted to force IT into metamorphosis by manipulating Dorifer, but while he was doing that, the Hangay Galaxy materialized in the normal universe. The Cosmic Nucleotide reacted as described earlier, sealing itself off and ejecting the Psiqs that the Cosmocrat was manipulating. These collided with IT and led to its mental disturbance. The tyranny of Monos, which had been at Taurec's instigation, was really only intended to attract Perry Rhodan, who had suddenly vanished, and thus other substance close to the Cosmocrats. The Cosmocrat had known nothing of the stasis field. After these revelations, Gesil and Eirene voluntarily declared themselves ready to help Taurec in his attempt to find his way through another Matter Source. Gesil's bodyguard, the Cyberclone Votago that Taurec had artificially created and put at her disposal, remained behind and was later presented to Perry Rhodan as a gift of the fallen Cosmocrat. For the Terran and his friends, the situation was more than unfavorable. Since the Superintelligence's perception of time had fallen apart, the effect of the cell renewal could cease at any moment, which would mean a quick death by accelerated aging. Because of Taurec's interference, IT was threatening to evolve into a Matter Sink. Meanwhile, the 14 Peacemakers outfitted with cell activators were showing signs of mental disturbance. The fifth-dimensional impulses of the life-prolonging devices apparently attacked the complicated psyches of the Linguids. Using their uncanny ability of persuasion, they convinced more and more colonial worlds to break off from their mother planets and join the newly established Linguid empire. This development escalated to the point that the Galacticum was forced to intervene militarily. The cell activators were taken away from the Peacemakers by force. When Perry Rhodan realized that IT -- and thus the Milky Way -- could be saved only with the help of the fourteen egg-shaped objects, he and the other former Immortals renounced their rightful property. The activators were destroyed in the following campaign that saved the Galaxy, but just before the effects of the cell renewal finally wore off, the healed Superintelligence appeared and furnished the near-death Galaxians with new and improved devices. They were no longer a device worn on a chain around the neck, but now a chip implanted in the left arm. Then Philip appeared, an eccentric humanoid of the unknown race of the Ennox. Although Perry Rhodan didn't learn the reason why, Philip also received a cell activator. IT further announced that two future Immortals had already been born, though they were not yet mature enough for an activator. Their discovery was reserved for Pucky, since they had abilities something like his. The grand cycle that now followed, the 200-issue arc called "The Great Cosmic Riddle," consisted of four partial cycles: The Ennox (#1600 - 1649), The Great Void (#1650 - 1699), The Ayindi (#1700 - 1749), and The Hamamesch (#1750 -1799). PR #1600 began on New Year's Eve, 1199 NGE. In the years previous, some Immortals, among them Perry Rhodan and Reginald Bell, had been on expeditions to various parts of the Universe. Bell encountered a mysterious race of Arachnoids, spider-like beings, whose trail led him to the galaxy NGC 1400. There he found only very ancient relics of that race, but he also discovered an unusually high number of 73 supernovas no more than about 40 years old. Perry Rhodan's course took him by way of Truillau and Estartu's sphere of influence to Norgan-Tur on the planet Khrat. There he learned that despite his break with the Cosmocrats, he was still considered a Knight of the Deep. He also learned that future developments in the Milky Way and its surrounding area would be part of the solution to a great cosmic riddle, whose meaning could be on a par with the third Ultimate Question. In the first days of the year 1200 NGE, there were inexplicable disturbances in hyperspace. A large part of the Galaxy's highly advanced technology was based on the fifth-dimensional continuum. When the first devices showed irregularities, no one was unduly concerned, but on January 10, 1200 NGE, the unthinkable happened: hyperspace's known structure collapsed and every bit of 5-D technology failed. The term Hyperspace-Paralysis was coined. The paralysis of the fifth-dimensional continuum was only limited to a sphere 10,000 light-years in diameter, but for the civilizations within that area, the Dead Zone meant disaster. On Earth alone, the failure of the gigantic Moon syntronic computer Nathan caused financial losses in the billions. When Philip the Ennox unexpectedly appeared, the situation eased a little. Philip and the fellow members of his race accompanying him were persistently curious and drove many Galaxians up the wall, but they had the ability to take what was called the Short Cut, which was something like teleportation -- transporting themselves from one place to another by mental power -- but independent of a functioning hyperspace. As a result, an exchange of information between the Dead Zone and the outer universe was possible. Meanwhile, Pucky had been searching for the two Immortals who had not appeared as yet. He followed the vague clues given him by the Superintelligence IT, which had described the chosen ones as being "mirror-born." Only much later were the twin sisters Mila and Nadja Vandemar identified as the ones Pucky sought. It turned out that the two women had a mutant power that at first was called "mirror seeing"; IT had deliberately planted the power in them with foreknowledge of future events in mind. Together, the sisters were able to perceive the atomic structure of their surroundings and alter it within certain limits. A new danger appeared in the form of Sinta, a mysterious entity that had apparently originated in another dimension. The being, whose power was reminiscent of a Superintelligence, attempted to force its way into the normal universe with all its might, but was driven back for the time being. In May, 1200 NGE, the Dead Zone suddenly dissolved. The scientists discovered that the Hyperspace-Paralysis was not a natural event. Moreover, there was a probability bordering on certainty that a new Dead Zone would arise in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Reginald Bell had been successful in his examination of the Arachnoid artifacts he had brought back from his expedition and learned the history of the spider-beings, the Arcoana. Many thousands of years before, the Arachnoids had roamed their home galaxy of Noheyrasa murdering and plundering, leaving behind one devastated world after another. Then, however, they evolved to a level of maturity where they recognized their lack of respect for life and creation. From then on, their efforts were aimed at making up for the damage they had caused. Their natural talent for comprenending fifth-dimensional processes led to the rise of a highly advanced civilization, but also to the appearance of the Riin, a race driven to satisfy its extreme curiosity. The sensitive Arcoana found it more and more difficult to put up with the Riin's insistence. Finally, they simulated a collective suicide by igniting 73 stars into supernovas and fleeing to the distant galaxy of Aemelonga. There they laid the foundations of their new life on the planet Dadusharne in the Sheokor System. But the Riin, whom Bell realized were identical with the eccentric Ennox, did not give up. They were able to pick up the trail of the Arachnoids once more. This time, the spider-creatures defended themselves by a different means. The Macciunensor (also called the Stepmaker) came into being. Under the influence of this device, the Ennox could no longer use their Short Cut. The Riin problem seemed to be solved. In the Milky Way, meanwhile, a second Dead Zone had manifested itself, this one about 5000 light-years in diameter with its center in the Arkon System. In spite of massive resistance on the part of the Ennox, the Immortals around Perry Rhodan were able to learn the position of that mysterious race's home world. On the planet Mystery in the Enno System, it was learned that the Ennox were really energy beings who just assumed a physical form. Their talent for the Short Cut was accomplished with a so-called Step-Organ. After about six or seven leaps, this organ had to be recharged, which could be done only on Mystery. The Ennox, who called themselves Veegos, were working on a gigantic model of the Universe that could always be seen in the night sky of their home world. During their explorations, however, they stumbled one day on a region of space that was closed to the Short Cut. That was the reason they made contact with the Arcoana, whose comprehension of the fifth dimension they believed could solve the problem. In the closing months of the year 1201 NGE, more loose threads were tied up. The model of the Universe made by the Ennox (also called the Cosmic Cartographers) had a connection with the third Ultimate Question. The issuing of a cell activator to Philip brought them in contact with the Galaxians. Apparently IT was interested for as yet unknown reasons in cooperation between the two races. The region of space that the Veego could not reach, the Coma Berenices sector about 225 million light-years from the Milky Way, turned out to be a starless area 150 light-years in diameter, which was named the Great Void. Philip spoke of a great cosmic mystery that was allegedly hidden inside, and he was able to convince Perry Rhodan to mount an expedition there. The secret of the two Dead Zones was revealed. The Hyperspace-Paralysis was caused by the operation of the Macciunensor. When it was turned off, the situation quickly returned to normal. On August 1, 1202 NGE, the Base finally began its three and a half year journey to the Great Void. In PR #1650, the three and a half years of the journey were described in condensed form. On their way, the Galaxians set up ten bridgeheads (Coma 1 through Coma 10), which were constructed by Androgynous Robots (learning, self-reproducing machines). In February, 1204, Philip unexpectedly appeared on the Base and urged Perry Rhodan to greater haste. According to his exaggeratedly dramatic words, some danger was emerging from the Great Void that was capable of upsetting the entire universe. At the end of May 1204, they reached the galaxy NGC4793 and its satellite galaxy Queeneroch. In the latter, an offshoot of the Arcoana had once gone on a rampage and destroyed a large percentage of the planets there. Some 500 crewmembers, among them Harold Nyman, commander of the Base, returned from a reconnaissance flight into NGC 4793, and took ill from a mysterious infection. Thirty-seven Galaxians died, and the rest strongly suspected that they had come into contact with an alien power that was manipulating them in some unknown fashion. For lack of time, Perry Rhodan was not able to investigate the matter any further. On January 14, 1206, they reached the edge of the Great Void. The Base took up position near a pulsar that was named Borgia. The first explorations turned up some astonishing information: About two million years before, a violent war had raged between, on the one hand, the races settling the edge of the Great Void and which had formed an alliance called Tanxtuunra, and on the other, an unknown and terrible enemy. Only after thousands of years of grinding battles was the Alliance able to beat back the enemy. The focal point of the events was the 21 planets that Philip the Ennox termed Samplers and on which he and his fellow Ennox always materialized when they attempted to teleport into the Great Void using their Short Cut. Expeditions to the Samplers scattered around the edge of the Great Void, some of them a great distance away, showed that each planed exhibited a physical impossibility. On the planet Shaft, for example, a shaft had been driven into the ground that was far deeper than the diameter of the planet itself. On Knapsack, the sun always stood at the zenith, no matter what time of day it was, and no matter where one was on the planet. On Sloughar, a field of ruins was discovered that was older than the planet itself. These and other wonders were found on all Samplers, and could not be explained scientifically despite vigorous efforts. With the Gish-Vatachh and the Theans, who functioned as judges, a kind of police had emerged among the long-split Tanxtuunra. They watched jealously over the past, which was laid over with many taboos, and regarded any landing on the Samplers as a serious crime. For Perry Rhodan and the Galaxians, it became more and more difficult with each passing month to hold out against the Theans and the fleets of the Gish-Vatacch. The Cyberclone Voltago and the mirror-sisters Mila and Nadja Vandemar finally managed to partially solve the mystery of the Samplers. The 21 planets were connected by a complex higher-dimensional network, which contained pyramid-prisms (or spindles). On almost all Samplers, such an object could be found and taken; only once was there no success. The spindles, however, were not entirely complete: every single one lacked one of its 21 segments. These were later found on the dark world Charon. There, the mysterious Moira was encountered. Although Moira joined the Galaxians, her goals were unclear at first. Perry Rhodan was slowly able to shed light on conditions in the Great Void. He learned that the 21 Samplers were at one time the gates to another dimension from which the enemies of the Tanxtuunra had come. Then the Alliance was able to close these gates and apply seals to them. Since then, there had been a fear that the unscrupulous aliens might return. The as yet still unidentified enemy seemed in fact to be extremely dangerous, because even the Cosmocrats had intervened and sent a Knight of the Deep to aid the Tanxtuunra. After the return of the Base to the Milky Way in November 1210 NGE, the Galaxians began experiments with the spindles and their segments. After several failed attempts, the work resulted in fourteen spindle-beings, highly intelligent artificial creatures, which combined in an all but invincible group and spread fear and terror throughout the Galaxy. They were ruthlessly bent on searching for information about their purpose -- they were of course aware of it but could not put it in concrete terms. Only Moira was able to subdue the spindle-beings. With her starship, the Styx, she took the group to the Great Void. Perry Rhodan also outfitted a second expedition, and the Base was once more underway. The numerous questions that had arisen in the past years could apparently be answered only in the Coma Berenices sector. In October 1216 NGE, events in the Great Void reached a climax. The spindle-beings spread out over the Samplers and set off a kind of collective planetary destruction. The seals that for two million years had closed off the gates to another dimension opened. With that, Voltago was revealed to be a being that had also come from a pyramid prism. The mystery of the missing 21st spindle was solved. Taurec had earlier formed the Cyberclone out of it. Moira also revealed her secret. She belonged the race of Ayindi, the previously unknown enemy that had fought a thousand-year war against the Tanxtuunra and which lived on the "other side" of the Universe. With PR #1700, Perry Rhodan had to admit once again that he was still far short of comprehending the full extent of the wonders of creation. Moira revealed that the Universe had a negative side, the Arresum, and a positive side, the Parresum. Both sides were connected in the manner of a Moebius strip. In Arresum, however, there existed a terrible danger whose destructive influence threatened even the positive side of the Cosmos, which the Terran had up to now considered the normal universe. This danger was already recognized two million years before by the Cosmocrats, and the complicated plan of the Superintelligence It (Ennox, the Mirror-born, etc.) was intended to deal with the threat. Perry Rhodan and his companions began to explore the Arresum, and to their consternation realized that the Ayindi were apparently the only living beings who could still resist a power called the Abruse. The Abruse were filling the minus side of the universe with a deadly radiation that destroyed all life and resurrected it in crystalline form. Moira's race was defending itself only with difficulty by means of a last enclave, a spherical region in space three million light-years in diameter, against the advancing fleets of myriads of crystal ships. It was only a question of time before the Ayindi were finally wiped out. When the Galaxians proved to be immune to the Death Radiation, the Ayindi equipped them with technically superior ships, and they made their first forays into the devastated regions of the Arresum. In so doing, they discovered that the Abruse didn't control the entire negative side of the universe by any means, but just a relatively small portion of the gigantic realm. Nonetheless, because of its strong drive for expansion, the new unknown power had rubbed up against the border between Arresum and Parresum. If this boundary layer were damaged, it would lead to an interpenetration of both sides of the universe -- and to a gigantic collapse, which would mean the end of the known cosmos. IT appeared and requested Perry Rhodan to bring the Nocturns, an exotic lifeform from the Fornax galaxy, into the Arresum. The Nocturns were considered IT's "Birth-helpers," though the meaning of that title was unexplained. According to the Superintelligence, the Nocturns would play an important role in the battle against the Abruse. Time hadn't stopped in the Milky Way, either. The Sol System, the home of humanity, suddenly became a center of interest again. A connecting gate stood between the planet Mars and the Arresum planet Oosinom in the Aariam System, the home of the Ayindi. The gate was the product of the Ayindi's first attempts to leave their threatened home and flee to the Parresum. Permanoch of Tanxbeech, a Knight of the Deep, repelled the invaders with devastating results and destroyed Oosinom. The connection between the two sides of the Universe was never completely closed, and so disaster followed its inevitable course. When Perry Rhodan fought off a major attack of the Abruse on the Aariam System, the wreckage of a destroyed crystal ship came through the gate mentioned above and reached Mars. The planet crystalized within a few days and gave off the dreaded Death Radiation, which would reach even the Earth in a few months. All attempts to solve the problem failed, and preparations began to evacuate Terra. A trade caravan of the Hamamesch appeared in the Milky Way. The caravan came from the Hirdobaan galaxy (NGC 4793), 118 million light-years away, whose exploration in connection with the first expedition to the Great Void in the year 1204 NGE had led to an unexplained epidemic (see above). The Hamamesch were fish-like beings who sold in their bazaars basically worthless goods that nonetheless seized their buyers with an irresistible attraction that was all but an addiction. The term "psionic imprint" was coined, or more generally, Imprint-goods. In Arresum, the war against the Abruse reached its high point. Perry Rhodan and some of the other Immortals found the heart of the Abruse, a crystalline dust cloud that was identified as the actual form of the enemy. In the meantime, the powers of the Mirror Sisters Mila and Nadja Vandemar had completely developed, which combined with the influence of the Nocturns meant the end of the Abruse. The mystery of their true nature and origin was not solved, however. IT appeared in Arresum with the artificial planet Wanderer and released the twenty billion consciousnesses it had absorbed during the Era of Aphilia (see above). Placed in new bodies, these human beings would be the nucleus of a new race on the negative side of the universe and over time finally free it from the Death Radiation. Before the Ayindi closed all entrances to the Parresum for good, the crystalized Mars was transported through the gate that led to the Solar System and replaced with the archive world Trokan. Moira took her leave from the Galaxians and returned to her people. The fourth and final part of the Great Cosmic Riddle cycle began in PR #1750. The Hamamesch had sold the last of their Imprint-goods in the Milky Way and had returned to their home galaxy. Before their departure, they informed their customers that other goods could be obtained in Hirdobaan in exchange for highly valuable Galactic technology. About twenty billion Galaxians had fallen victim to the addiction-like fascination for the in fact worthless goods. At the end of 1218 NGE, the goods lost their enchantment, leading to severe withdrawal symptoms. A wave of suicides, rampages, and overfilled clinics were further consequences. About forty million addicts left for Hirdobaan in the middle of 1219 with gigantic amounts of high-tech items in order to replace their Imprintless goods there. In the early summer of 1220, some thirty million Galaxians reached their destination. Shortly thereafter, the Base also arrived, on its return home from the Great Void to the Milky Way. The small Hirdobaan galaxy was divided into eight sectors called "Octants," each governed by a Tradelord. It was strictly forbidden for a Hamamesch to leave its home sector, but this rule did not apply to the other races living in Hirdobaan. Border stations where the Octants met served for exchanging goods. Above the Tradelords stood nine Maschtars as powers behind the scenes, but even they were apparently not the top of the hierarchy. Something called Gomasch Endredde ruled over all the rest with unknown purposes, and no one knew who or what it was. The center of Hirdobaan where Gomasch Endreddes was said to live was 133 light-years in diameter and protected by a Transition field that transported any ship that attempted to fly into it to the other side. The addicted Galaxians, called Imprint-Outlaws, invaded the galaxy like a swarm of grasshoppers, but despite their inquiries and explorations, often driven off by force, no one could be found who knew anything about the so desperately desired Imprint-Goods. The desperation of the addicts led to increasingly violent acts in their search, leading at first only to the opposition of the panther-like Fermyyd, a kind of Hirdobaan police force. Then the hidden power responded: Hamamesch fleets appeared and set up new bazaars. Every Imprint-Outlaw received exactly same article of Imprint Goods, no matter what or how valuable the goods he could offer in exchange. Without exception, the new Imprint-Goods were all small colored cubes. For several days, the addicts were lost in euphoria. Then, however, they all vanished without a trace, one after the other. Only the now burned-out cubes remained behind. When some Immortals, including Atlan, Reginald Bell, and Ronald Tekener, were exposed to the influence of the cubes, they unexpectedly materialized in the center of Hirdobaan, which was apparently unreachable by any other means. They found themselves in the Endreddes District, a system of fourteen Levels -- or planets -- that were interconnected by matter-transmitters called Carousels. The fact that they had received only a single psionic imprint, which wasn't enough to be addictive, made them phase-springers. After exactly thirteen hours and one minute, they rematerialized in the spot where they had disappeared, remained there unconscious for the same amount of time, and then returned to the Endreddes District, again conscious. This process -- called Oscillation -- repeated without a break. A further drawback was the fact that the phase-springers could only take with them to the other side what they had brought with them in the first Oscillation cycles. Brisk activity reigned on twelve of the fourteen worlds of the District (Levels 13 and 14 were unreachable at first) because the thirty million Galaxians had also reached their goal. They were not subject to the phase-springing, however. Instead, they had been given a mental command that drove them to repair the planets' apparently defective subplanetary technological systems. Using the high-tech equipment from the Milky Way that had also materialized in the District, they went to work, in the process ignoring hygiene and their need for sleep as well as food. It could be foreseen that the millions of involuntary manual workers would sooner or later die of exhaustion. Perry Rhodan won his first allies in the Crypers -- rebels originating among the Hamamesch -- even though they proved to be downright ruthless in their methods. The conquest of the conference planet Borrengold and the capture of eight Tradelords was their first victory. The phase-springers could also chalk up some successes. During their stay outside the District, Atlan and Icho Tolot were able to overcome the loss of consciousness and inform Perry Rhodan of the situation on the Levels. Then forty heavily armed volunteers exposed themselves to the influence of the Imprint-Cubes and also reached the Endreddes District. The phase-springers now had a powerful fighting force at their command. It quickly became clear that the Galaxians' repair work was destroying more than it was fixing. The work went on without any guidance and at random. In their explorations of the machinery-crammed depths of the various Levels, the phase-springers came across areas where machines were housed that were utterly alien and as a whole resembled a gigantic organism. The term Evolutionary Technology was coined. More through ignorance than curiosity, a being called Treogen was awakened; it had evidently been active in the Endreddes District more than 2000 years before, when it was defeated by the now present work-robots and sealed away in a cold-bubble. Treogen, a bizarre biological mix of different species, killed several phase-springers before it disappeared to pursue its vague goals. In the meantime, Perry Rhodan had learned that the Galaxians were not the first people to be lured to Hirdobaan by Imprint-Goods and then enslaved for forced labor in the District. It had happened again and again over the centuries, and always before, the members of the races lured to Hirdobaan died to the last individual in the Endreddes District. Since the physical condition of the thirty million Galaxians was getting worse by the day, the Terran had to act. After several missions, Atlan and the phase-springers with him were able to open up the shield around the district from inside, allowing the Base to fly in and supply first aid. At the same time, the situation in Hirdobaan reached a climax: although the Maschtarans were killed in battle, there was a massive attack by the Fermyyd and the Hamamesch on the handful of Galactic ships. At the last minute, a rescue fleet arrived from the Milky Way: eight thousand Blue ships -- Blues because these beings were completely immune to the Imprint. The Blue fleet decided the battle, helped its Galactic friends, and imposed a truce. As a result, a balance was established between the interest groups in Hirdobaan, arranged by diplomats belonging to a tiny race called the Sydorrians. Meanwhile, the phase-springers learned the entire story of Gomasch Endredde. It had to do with a robot brain whose creators were expelled from the neighboring galaxy of Queeneroch 200,000 years before and sought a refuge in the center of Hirdobaan. The robot brain no longer remembered its creators' purpose and had suffered from some miscalculations over the course of the millennia. While it was able to attract the Hamamesch and other races in Hirdobaan as potential helpraces, a genetic experiment then produced the super-being Treogen. The result: Gomasch Endredde could no longer reboot. The giant computer was stuck in an endless loop, and could only be freed by the Galaxians shutting it off. After it was shut off, matters reached another furious climax. The so-called Evolution Plains broke away from the fourteen levels, and the planets were destroyed in the process. Fortunately, most of the thirty million Galaxians were rescued at the last moment. After the shield around the Endreddes District was shut off, food supplies could be brought to them. The fourteen Evolution Plains formed into a gigantic spaceship 1500 kilometers in diameter. The creator of Gomasch Endedde, Aachthor, awoke, and another piece of knowledge was added to the puzzle for Perry Rhodan. About 220,000 years before, Aachthor had begun building the spaceship in the Queeneroch galaxy, but then he was expelled -- by the Roach, the barbaric ancestors of the spider-like Arcoana (see above), who devastated all the planets in the galaxy. As a result, Aachthor could not complete his work and had to flee to the giant robot Gomasch Endredde in Hirdobaan for protection. Aachthor turned out to be something like a Powerful (see above) and his task was to build spore ships, load them with cargos of On- and Noon-Quanta, the so-called lifespores, and spread them through an as yet unknown region of the universe. Aachthor died when he fell into an ancient trap of the Roach; in his place, the Cyberclone Voltago, Perry Rhodan's "servant," took on his mission. After several problems were solved, a decision was made: the cargo of Lifespores could be loaded onto the sporeships in the center of Queeneroch. After violent hyperstorms, a door opened once more between the "two sides" of the Universe, and thousands of Ayindi-ships flew out of the Arresum into the Parresum. These ships were crewed by, among others, human beings -- those human beings IT had absorbed as consciousnesses and restored in the former Abruse realm. They became the new crews of the sporeships, and their mission was now to spread life throughout the dead universe. And Perry Rhodan finally learned some new facts about the Great Cosmic Riddle: Millions of years before, there had been Seven Powerful in the Arresum, but they had fought each other, and so those beings didn't spread lifespores in the dead part of the universe. On the contrary: Anti-Life grew out of the work of one of the Powerful, and after an incredibly long period of time evolved into the Abruse. Aachthor's primary mission was to stop the Abruse's advance into the Arresum before their activities could irreparably damage the boundary layer between the two universes (see above). With that, the story arc stretching over 200 issues of Perry Rhodan came to a close. A new society could now evolve in Hirdobaan and Queeneroch, and Perry Rhodan flew back to the Milky Way. What he couldn't suspect was that on Trokan, the disastrous effects of the "Time Lapse" had already been set into motion... Continued in Perry Rhodan #1800 "Time Lapse" by Robert Feldhoff Series Summary—Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #1 to #499. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. FROM THE NEW POWER TO GRUELFIN —Perry Rhodan Issues #1 to #499 The following plot synopsis of the Perry Rhodan series can of course only be a very general summary. Many details and events that aren't crucial to the overall storyline had to be omitted for reasons of space, and other themes can only be covered in abbreviated form. A much more detailed summary of the series can be found in the five-volume Perry Rhodan Lexicon, unfortunately available only in German. Hopefully, the following abstract will be sufficient for the interested new American fan. The beginning of the Perry Rhodan series is especially important, since it was there that the foundations were laid, as are the last 200 issues, since those were the basis of the current series. In this synopsis, the issue numbering follows the German series. The numbering of the old American series published by Ace Books differed somewhat because a few issues were skipped. Perry Rhodan was born on June 8, 1936 in Manchester, Connecticut, the son of Jakob Edgar Rhodan (a German who emigrated to the United States after World War I) and Mary Rhodan (nee Tibo). After graduating from the US Air Force Academy, he began a career as a pilot. On June 19, 1971, Perry Rhodan, now a major, took off as commander of the atomic-powered spaceship Stardust on the first manned Moon landing expedition. He reached the Moon with three other astronauts, among them his best friend Reginald Bell. On the far side of the Moon, the men discovered an extraterrestrial race's scientific research vessel that had made an emergency landing. Rhodan made contact with the aliens, who closely resembled human beings and called themselves Arkonides. He returned to the Earth with their superior technology, but decided not to land as planned in the United States. Instead, he touched down in the Gobi Desert in central Asia. Rhodan didn't want to hand the unimaginable power of Arkonide technology over to a single country or people. Despite great difficulties, in the following weeks he was able to prevent World War III, which had been threatening, and bring the Earth's political blocs closer together. Rhodan proclaimed the establishment of the New Power, which he envisioned as a neutral force that owed its allegiance to all of humanity. He declared that from now on he would consider himself to be a Terran (from the Latin Terra, meaning Earth), and thus a citizen of the planet Terra. He soon had a constantly growing number of allies, among them a group of parapsychologically gifted people called mutants, who became an important factor in his plans because of their astonishing abilities (telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc.). The Mutant Corps was born. Rhodan was able to unite humanity and establish a world government. The first extraterrestrial invasion from space came early in 1972 with the attack of the Mind Snatchers (M.S.), wasp-like creatures who could take over and control other bodies. The attack was fought off. Three years later, events shifted to the Vega System, 27 lightyears away. Rhodan helped the local Ferronians, who were being menaced by the lizard-like Topsiders. In so doing, he stumbled across the apparently very old Galactic Riddle. In the course of further exploration, the Terran landed on the planet Vagabond. There, the mousebeaver Pucky stowed away on his spaceship. A furry creature a meter high with a prominent incisor tooth and gifted with the psi-abilities of telepathy, teleportation, and telekinesis, Pucky became one of the most beloved characters in the PR-Universe. The following adventures led to the discovery of an artificially created world shaped like a disc, named Wanderer. There, the Terran met the Superintelligence called IT, a mysterious being of pure mind millions of years old, who had selected Rhodan and a few of his chosen companions for relative immortality. By means of a cell renewal process, normal aging was halted for precisely 62 years. Then another cell renewal was required, or else a rapid aging process would set in that would soon lead to senility and death. IT gave the human race a period of 20,000 years in which to prove its abilities. Accordingly, Perry Rhodan returned to the Earth in order to devote all his energies to leading Terra further in the direction of becoming a galactic power that had to be taken seriously. From the data banks in the Arkonide research ship that had landed on the Moon and from what the two Arkonides Crest (Khrest in the American edition) and Thora (later Perry Rhodan's first wife) told him, it was known that the Milky Way Galaxy was inhabited by numerous races and interest groups. Mankind was still too weak to move among them openly, however. In the years that followed, Perry Rhodan and his fellow warriors battled the Springers, a race of merchants descended from the Arkonides who wanted to turn the Earth into one of their colonial planets. Together with Crest and Thora, Rhodan made a voyage to Arkon, the homeworld of the Arkonides and the heart of the Great Imperium in Globular Cluster M13. There, an enormous computer called the Robot Regent ruled the empire. Over the centuries, the Arkonides had degenerated and grown weak, and were no longer able to rule over their mighty interstellar empire themselves. In 1984, Rhodan had to simulate the destruction of the Earth in order to get rid of the ever more intrusive Springers once and for all, and give humanity the time it needed to develop into a Galactic power. Believing it to be Earth, the Springers attacked the third planet of the giant star Betelgeuse and destroyed it. The first 49 novels of the Perry Rhodan series briefly summarized here originally appeared in the years 1961/62 and are known today as "The Third Power" Cycle in Germany. (In the American editions, the name of Rhodan's political entity was changed to "The New Power.") Of course, no one was calling groups of episodes in a common storyline "cycles" at the start of the series, since the publisher had originally projected only 30 issues (later a maximum of 50 due to the unexpected success). The now current structure of cycles, or the unfolding of a specific, carefully planned plotline within a predetermined timeframe (mostly 50 to 100 issues), appeared later. With this in mind, it's worth noting that the date of the first landing on the Moon, undertaken by Perry Rhodan on June 19, 1971, is now well in the past from our viewpoint. In 1961, when the first PR novel appeared, that day lay in the distant future, of course. In the real world, Neil Armstrong was just two years ahead of Perry Rhodan, stepping onto the lunar surface on July 21, 1969. The fact that the first 49 issues of the PR series are set in the past -- as seen from today -- doesn't hurt their nostalgic appeal. On the contrary. the editors deliberately resisted changing the dating of the series when the first episodes were reprinted (in all, those early episodes have now been reprinted five times). The second cycle began with issue #50 in the year 2040 of the series. The old Third Power had now become the Solar Imperium. Mankind had not only conquered its own solar system and settled on all the suitable planets and moons, but now had a respectable and above all very powerful spacefleet. A new character then appeared who enjoyed great popularity with the readers from the beginning: the Arkonide Atlan. That popularity even led in February, 1969 to his own magazine novel series, which was published until January, 1988, when it was finally terminated at issue #850. Atlan had a cell activator (given to him by IT), an egg-shaped device worn on a chain around his neck, which had the same effect as the above-mentioned cell-renewal, and so made him potentially immortal. Some 10,000 years before, during a space battle against the Druufs (alien beings from a continuum in which time passed much more slowly than in the Normal Universe), Atlan was marooned on Earth. Without any possibility of being able to return to his home world, he spent most of the time that followed in suspended animation in a deepsea dome on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. When the conflict that erupted between him and Perry Rhodan was settled, the two men became close friends. After the victory over the Druufs, who had tried again to invade the Normal Universe, the Robot Regent on Arkon was about to reveal Earth's still secret location. Rhodan and his Terrans were able to place the Robot Regent under Atlan's control. As Imperator Gonozal VIII, Atlan took over the Great Imperium. Thora, Rhodan's wife, died. From the Druufs, the Terrans acquired the plans for constructing the Linear Drive, a technology far in advance of the Transition Drive used up to that time. The year 2045 saw the death of Crest, the great Arkonide scientist to whom Perry Rhodan and all of mankind owed so much. The following 50 issues (PR #100 to #149) took the reader to the years 2102 to 2114. The research cruiser Fantasy, the first Terran starship equipped with a now-improved Linear Drive lifted off. During its flight, the system of the blue sun Akon was discovered by accident. The Akons, a proud race with a nearly perfect matter-transmitter technology, were the forefathers of the Arkonides. They tried several times over the following years to obliterate Perry Rhodan and the human race, but failed. With the Antis, direct descendants of the Akons, another power came into play. Antis could defend themselves against the psi-powers of mutants and make their own para-mental attacks. Their attempt to seize power over the Galaxy using the fiendish drug Liquitiv was frustrated. In the year 2106, the Arkonide Robot Regent was destroyed. The Great Imperium no longer existed. Six years later, the Posbis (positronic-biological robots) appeared. With their gigantic fragment-spaceships, a terrible weapon -- the Transform Cannon, and their unquenchable hatred for all organic life, they used machines equipped with biological cell plasma to bring the Galaxy to the brink of disaster. The Terrans finally discovered the Hundred-Sun World, the home of the Posbis. They not only succeeded in freeing the robots and making them valuable allies of the still weak human race, but also acquiring the secret of the Transform Cannon. PR issue #150 began in the year 2326. Under Atlan's leadership, the United Stars Organization (USO) had been established as a sort of intervention squad of carefully trained specialists, which was closely allied with the Solar Imperium. The Superintelligence IT left the Galaxy, fleeing a danger that was unknown at first. Before leaving, however, IT hid 25 cell activators in different places around the Galaxy. An unprecedented hunt for immortality began, but most of the activators were found by Perry Rhodan and the USO. A new and deadly menace appeared in the form of the Hornterrors and the Terrorworms. In their feeding frenzy, the virtually invulnerable creatures turned entire planets into forever uninhabitable deserts of barren rock. A single egg producing indefinitely multiplying Hornterrors was enough to doom a world to destruction. During the course of their adventures, Perry Rhodan and the Terrans encountered the Blues, who had established a powerful empire on the Eastside of the Galaxy. The Blues used a substance secreted by Hornterrors, Molkex, as armor for their spaceships. Only when the Terrans developed a weapon effective against that substance could the Blues be defeated and a peace treaty signed. The Masters of the Island (PR #200 - #299) was the first cycle to run a hundred episodes. It's considered one of the undisputed high points of the PR story by fans of the series even today, more than 30 years after its first appearance. In the year 2400, while on board the new flagship of the Solar Fleet, the Khrest II, Perry Rhodan discovered a gigantic matter transmitter in the form of six stars arranged in a circle in the center of the Galaxy. The transmitter then sent him to the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.4 million lightyears away. The Terran learned that the Earth had already been inhabited 50,000 years before by the Lemurians, who were called the First Humanity. A terrible war with the Haluters (four-armed giants three meters tall, who could consciously give their bodies the strength of molecularly compressed steel) forced them to flee the Milky Way Galaxy for Andromeda, however. Millenia later, the survivors who remained on Earth became the Second Humanity, the Terrans. During their flight to Andromeda, seven Lemurians came into possession of cell activators and rose to become rulers of the new galaxy. As Factor VII through Factor I, they built up over the course of millennia a political system based on raw power and highlighted by inhumanity and brutality. Perry Rhodan and his allies gradually unraveled the mysteries of the Masters, who defended themselves by all possible means. With the death of Factor I, the surpassingly beautiful Mirona Thetin, peace was finally brought to Andromeda. The Masters of the Island cycle gave the series a wealth of characters, some of whom have lived on into the current cycle, in particular the Haluter Icho Tolot. Also unforgotten are the adventures of the Cheyenne Indian, Don Redhorse, the odyssey of the Khrest through the hollow planet Horror, and the legendary romance between Mirona Thetin and Atlan the Arkonide. Over the years that followed, frequent reference was made to the events of the Masters of the Island cycle, and so there are a large number of paperback novels and short stories today that tie up loose ends of this undisputed classic or add new elaborations to the cycle. The next cycle (M87) also lasted a hundred issues, and took place thirty years after the victory over the Masters. The Free Trader Roi Danton stepped onto the galactic stage -- and was revealed to be Rhodan's son (the mother was Mory Rhodan-Abro, a Plophosian), Michael, who wanted to escape his father's overpowering shadow and stand on his own two feet. A gigantic robot space station dubbed "Old Man" was found somewhere in the Galaxy. Perry Rhodan later learned that the dome-shaped colossus some 100 kilometers in diameter stemmed from the time of the struggle against the Masters of the Island, and was them product of some courageous Terrans' rescue plan --though it reached its destination about thirty years too late. The next enemy appeared in the form of the Haluter-like Second Conditioned. These beings in their living spaceships, the Dolans, called themselves the Time Police and charged the Terrans with so-called "time crimes" (which were actually committed by the Masters of the Island). The Terrans' punishment was to be destruction. The aliens gained control of Old Man. In the ensuing space battle, a mysterious weapon used by the Second-Conditioned hurled the Terran flagship Khrest IV into the gigantic galaxy M87. There, Rhodan met the Constructors of the Center, the rulers of M87, and solved the riddle of the Haluters' origin and the complex connections with the Time Police. When Perry Rhodan and his companions returned to the Milky Way with the help of the Constructors of the Center, the Dolans' great offensive against the Earth was beginning. After massive losses, humanity stood on the brink of destruction. Only by emergency activation of Old Man, which then deployed an up to now unknown weapon, could the catastrophe be averted. The Cappin cycle also lasted 100 issues, beginning in the year 3430. Almost 1000 years had passed, and the situation in the Galaxy had fundamentally changed. Powerful stellar empires had grown out of various Terran colonies, and some now stood opposed to the motherworld. In order to avoid a terrible civil war, Perry Rhodan had the entire solar system displaced five minutes into the future in a colossal technological tour de force, so escaping an enemy that would find only empty space where the solar system should be. But now new problems were cropping up. A death satellite that had been orbiting the Sun unnoticed for thousands of years was somehow activated and threatened to turn the Sun nova. Perry Rhodan learned that about 200,000 years before, some members of the Cappin race carried out forbidden genetic experiments on the Earth. So they wouldn't be discovered, they set up a death satellite, which would be activated by the approach of beings of a certain cultural and technological level of development, and erase all traces of their work. Humanity had apparently reached that level of development. With a time machine, the Null Time Deformer, Rhodan and his team of specialists travelled into the past in order to prevent the construction of the satellite. There, they found a valuable ally in a Cappin named Ovaron, who wanted to bring the criminal genetic researchers among his people to justice. The death satellite could finally be destroyed. Ovaron accompanied Perry Rhodan into the present, and the Terran took him to his home galaxy, Gruelfin, on board the Marco Polo. In Gruelfin, however, Rhodan encountered a confused situation. The Takerians, an offshoot of the Cappins, had taken over and established an oppressive and brutal political system. Together, Perry Rhodan and Ovaron restored conditions to normal and fought off the Takerians' invasion of the Milky Way. Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #500 to #999. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. FROM THE SWARM TO PAN-THAU-RA —Perry Rhodan #500 - 999 In the year 3441, the Marco Polo home from Gruelfin-- and found indescribable chaos waiting. The Swarm, a kind of mobile small galaxy, was passing through the Milky Way, and its influence caused a drastic decrease of intelligence in almost all living intelligent beings. The Immortals around Perry Rhodan gathered the few immune individuals and took up the new challenge. They penetrated the Swarm and learned its history. The gigantic object had been built long before by parties unknown in order to spread intelligence through the universe under the guidance of the Cynos. Then, however, the Karduuhls, a race bred by the Cynos and which had gone out of control, took power, and perverted the Swarm's mission into promoting their own personal interests. The Cynos retook the Swarm with the help of the Terrans and left the Milky Way. The mystery of the Swarm's construction and its strange mission of spreading intelligence would be solved only much later. In a short interlude thirty issues long (PR #570 - 599), eight of the members of the Mutant Corps who had died in the year 2909 reappeared. Just before their deaths, they had been able to project their consciousnesses into hyperspace. Perry Rhodan helped his long-gone friends, who were later absorbed by the Superintelligence IT and integrated into its collective intelligence. In the year 3456, mankind was drawn into the conflict between the two Superintelligences IT and Anti-IT, which entered the history books as a cosmic chess game. After some adventures in a parallel universe in which the Milky Way was enslaved by a negative twin of Perry Rhodan, Anti-IT replaced the Terran's brain with a programmed duplicate and removed the original for some unknown purpose. After an incredible odyssey in the distant galaxy Naupaum, Rhodan's real brain returned home. Anti-IT was defeated, and because of its infractions of the rules of cosmic conflicts, it was banished by the Cosmocrats to the Nameless Zone, a sort of intermediate dimension. With PR #650, the Invasion of the Laren began. These beings wanted to annex the Milky Way to the Hetos of Seven (or council), a federation of seven galaxies, and make Perry Rhodan the First Hetran, or governor. The Terran only pretended to go along with the invaders' demands, and secretly supported the activities of his companions working in the underground. When the Laren caught on, he was pursued by the unscrupulous Mounder Leticron. The situation became critical when the Laren recognized the Solar System as the source of resistance and attacked. In one of the most daring undertakings in human history, a gigantic matter transmitter was used to send the Earth and Moon to safety. The plan failed: while the transport went off as planned, the Earth and Moon materialized in a far distant maelstrom of stars, a sort of umbilical cord connecting two galaxies and containing a multitude of stars and planets. As the Earth slowly headed towards a star called Medallion, a conflict arose with the Ploohns, the leading civilization in the Maelstrom. Perry Rhodan was able to make peace with the aliens, and the Ploohns stabilized the Earth and Moon in an orbit around Medallion. After some decades passed, it was noticed that the star's radiation was changing human beings. They were losing the ability to feel emotions, and the age of Aphilia, or lovelessness, began. Only a few naturally immune individuals and the carriers of the cell activators were untouched by this development. But even in the ranks of the Immortals there was an exception: Reginald Bell's activator was apparently defective. It came to revolts and the banishing of the Immortals from Earth. They fled on the deepspace ship Sol, while on Earth the dark regime of the Aphiliacs began. A resistance organization called the GALCO (Galactic Coalition) comprised of all the races in the Galaxy rose against the invaders. On Gaia, a world in the dark nebula Provcon-Fist, the New Einstein Imperium (NEI) was established under Atlan's aegis as the center of free humanity. Meanwhile, Perry Rhodan went to the Balayndagar Galaxy in order to discover the aims and motives of the Hetos, found allies in the Keloskians, and finally returned in the year 3581 to the Milky Way. In the maelstrom of stars, Terra was about to fall into the Maw, a high-energy whirlpool in the thinnest part of the galactic umbilical cord. IT stepped in, freed the human race from Aphilia, and absorbed the twenty billion people. Rhodan and Atlan set off in the Sol in search of the Earth, which had vanished without a trace, transported by the Maw into an unknown region of the universe. The following odyssey put the friends in the middle of a conflict between two Superintelligences, the Empress of Therm and Bardioc. Rhodan was abducted by Bardioc and gained insight into grand-scale cosmic relationships. He learned of the Seven Powerful, who in the service of the Cosmocrats spread life and intelligence through the universe with their gigantic spore ships. It had been under their guidance that the Swarm had originated, which the Terran remembered only too well and none too fondly. But the powerful Bardioc became a traitor and evolved into a Superintelligence driven by a psychotic desire for expansion, which eventually threatened the the Empress of Therm's sphere of influence. After a bitter struggle, Bardioc was defeated and absorbed by the Empress. Meanwhile, IT intervened to restore Earth and Moon to their proper place, and they were resettled by the surviving remnants of humanity. With the help of the Keloskians, the Laren were driven out of the Milky Way after 126 years of oppression. Slowly, normal conditions returned to the Galaxy, but in PR #868, Perry Rhodan began a new adventure. The Superintelligence IT had given him a set of position data with the mission to go to the place indicated and neutralize a growing danger there. Soon after the departure of the deepspace ship Basis, a cry for help was received from IT, whose fate was at first unknown. In the Algstogermaht Galaxy, Rhodan confronted the mysterious robot Laire, which had been controlling Bardioc's forgotten spore ship Pan-Thau-Ra for millions of years. This was the danger that IT had sent Rhodan to deal with. The Cosmocrats tried to eliminate the danger by manipulating a Matter Source, but that manipulation had catastrophic effects on the Milky Way, and could mean the end of all races living there. Perry Rhodan set off on the search for the six other spore ships in order to recover the "keys" that had been placed on them. After many adventures, these keys allowed him to find the artificially altered Matter Source and fend off all dangers. Even IT, held prisoner in a Matter Sink, could be freed. With Atlan's disappearance behind the Matter Source as a chosen agent of the Cosmocrats, it was not just the end of the "Cosmic Fortresses" cycle, but also of a storyline that had stretched over no less than 350 issues and wound up in the year 3587. The plot elements described up to this point are undoubtably some of the most complicated that the PR series has featured in its long history. However, the newcomer should not give it all up as hopeless if he does not understand everything in the above -- admittedly very abbreviated -- summary. The Laren, the Seven Powerful, and the Cosmic Fortresses were just the foundation on which the next 300 issues would be built, but the essence of all these developments can be found in the article "The Cosmic Background." Considering the current direction of the series, a knowledge of the cosmic interconnections, the Cosmocrats, or the Moral Code are not vitally necessary in order to read -- and understand -- the issues now being published. Even so, we wanted to cover those developments that led to the great celebration issue #1000 (The Terran by William Voltz) and the grand scheme of the universe that at the time topped off the greatest space series of all. Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #1000 to #1399. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. From the Cosmic House to ESTARTU—Perry Rhodan Issues #1000 - 1399 A few days after the Base's return home to the Milky Way, an emissary for the Higher Powers, Carfesch the Sorgore, appeared and took Perry Rhodan to Eden II, the new home of the Superintelligence IT. There, the Terran gained new insights into the structure of the universe, which he had only superficially understood up to now. In short, the Cosmocrats had apparently intended many thousands of years before that he and the Arkonide Atlan were to have cell activators (even before Rhodan's birth). The High Powers went to great effort to have the universe searched for potential carriers of the devices. The search met with success on Earth -- as we have seen. IT gave the Terran the mission to start a Galaxy-wide trading organization, the Cosmic House. The House's actual task, however, would be the defense against the negative Superintelligence, Seth-Apophis, whose activities threatened IT's sphere of influence and thus the home of the human race. In the year 3588, Perry Rhodan replaced the old calendar with the New Galactic Era (NGE), in order to signal the beginning of a new era in the history of Mankind. In August, 424 NGE, the Cosmic House was finally established on a widespread basis and had to fight off the first attacks by Seth-Apophis. Rhodan learned of the three Ultimate Questions, whose answers the Cosmocrats had been seeking for millions of years and which were of supposedly overwhelming cosmic importance. (What is the Frost Ruby? Where does the Endless Armada begin and where does it end? Who initiated THE LAW and what does it accomplish?) The Terran, too, began to search for the answers. On the planet Khrat in the Norgan-Tur Galaxy 86 million light-years distant, Perry Rhodan was named a Knight of the Deep. This order was founded by the Cosmocrats more than two million years before, and its fundamental purpose was working to maintain a harmonic cosmic order. A very ancient legend said that the stars would go out when the last Knight of the Deep died. Searching further, Perry Rhodan encountered the Porleyters, once the precursor organization of the Knights. Some 2.2 million years before, they completed their last achievement, the anchoring of the Frost Ruby, before retreating from the cosmic stage. The Frost Ruby was later revealed to be a cosmic nucleotide that had left its place in the Moral Code (see "The Cosmic Background"). It was at first used by Seth-Apophis as a terrible weapon; then, after its anchoring, it was misused as a storage depot for consciousnesses. Perry Rhodan and his companions were then confronted by a gigantic spacefleet, which at first they thought to be the Endless Armada mentioned in the Second Ultimate Question. Actually, the Endless Armada was really another name for the as yet unknown Moral Code. The Dragon Fleet had started out millions of years before in the Behaynien galaxy, the original location of the Frost Ruby (also called TRIICLE-9), and was now searching for the Cosmic Nucleotide in order to return it to its proper place. The area once governed by TRIICLE-9 had now become the Negasphere, a gigantic region of space in which the laws of nature no longer applied and chaos reigned in its purest form. It was also the domain of the Master of the Elements, a Chaotarch who then sought to foil Perry Rhodan's plans by all possible means. In the galaxy M82, the Terran managed to gain a victory over Seth-Apophis. After numerous battles and many losses, the negative Superintelligence was defeated once and for all on its homeworld Aitheran. With Taurec, the incarnation of a Cosmocrat entered the picture. The mysterious humanoid was apparently expelled by his fellows from behind the Matter Source, since he feverishly sought for a chance to remake himself in the spirit of the High Powers and so force his way back to the realm of the Cosmocrats. The recovery of the Frost Ruby seemed to him the perfect opportunity for that. On the Earth in the meantime, another entity from the ranks of the High Powers was wreaking havoc. The renegade Cosmocrat Vishna, once brought to a fall by her own lust for power and now reconstituted in three incarnations (among them Gesil, Rhodan's later wife), sent seven plagues against the human race in order to subjugate it. She was defeated by Taurec at the last moment, and later she returned behind the Matter Source. Rhodan then gained command of the Endless Armada. Carfesch turned up again and announced that Rhodan would have to take the gigantic fleet to six places where he had accomplished great deeds, the so-called Chrono-fossils. The positive energy collected there would then be released and so gradually loosen the anchor of the Frost Ruby. In the year 429 NGE, TRIICLE-9 returned to Behaynien and was once more integrated with the Moral Code. The Master of the Elements was killed by Gesil. At the Mountain of Creation, the foundation of the Cosmic Nucleotide, Perry Rhodan had the chance to find the answer to the third ultimate question, the question pertaining to THE LAW. At the last moment, however, he realized that the knowledge burning into his brain would overwhelm his mind, and he pulled back. A break resulted with the Cosmocrats, who could not forgive the Terran for this retreat. Then Sotho Tal Ker (called "Stalker" for short) appeared in the Galaxy, an emissary of the Superintelligence Estartu. He told of the Third Way, a philosophy that rejected the polarization of Order and Chaos, and attempted to orient itself between the two extremes. Numerous Terrans headed enthusiastically for Estartu's sphere of influence, but there they learned that the Superintelligence had vanished without a trace long before and its governors had perverted the Third Way. Twelve Eternal Warriors ruled the territory and preached eternal conflict. Even the Milky Way, where the Galacticum, a galactic government with more than 400 member races, had evolved out of the Galactic Coalition (GALCO), had fallen for the doctrine. Meanwhile, Perry Rhodan had joined an organization called the Travelers of the Net (TN), which considered itself the guardian of the Cosmic Nucleotide Dorifer. Dorifer lay in Estartu's sphere of influence and was responsible for the Milky Way in its function as part of the Moral Code. With his fourth wife, Gesil, Rhodan had a daughter: Eirene, who was 16 years old in the year 445 NGE. The rule of the Warriors was gradually weakened and the first victories over the overpowering enemies were scored. In the process, the trail of the missing Estartu was stumbled on along with its incredibly vast rescue plan. By means of Dorifer, the Superintelligence had received a cry for help from another universe. This universe -- called Tarkan -- was very old and had already gone into its contraction phase. Thus all its inhabitants were condemned to death sooner or later. Accordingly, twenty-one races of the Hangay galaxy in Tarkan had devised a breathtakingly daring plan that now -- with Estartu's help -- was to be set in motion: Hangay would be transported into the standard universe in four sections. The Hexameron, the former Seven Powerful of Tarkan, attempted to block the plan, but finally had to give in. The Milky Way was freed from the warrior cult. Estartu returned to its sphere of influence and put an end to the perversion of the Third Way. Hangay finally materialized in the standard universe. Dorifer responded accordingly to this massive intervention in the cosmic regulating mechanism: the Cosmic Nucleotide closed up, in effect sealing itself off from the EinsteinUniverse. At this point there was a fundamental change in the series direction. The scale and complexity of the plot structure had reached a level that the authors could no longer handle, to say nothing of the readers. There was no longer any way to add more levels of complexity to the skyscraper of cosmic structure without running the danger of the whole thing collapsing. Thus the editorial staff decided to make a drastic cut, sending Cosmocrats and Cosmic Nucleotides to the bench for the time being and attempting to plot the next cycle with more comprehensible SF adventure. For old-time readers, for whom the PR cosmos had all but become a literary and philosophical view of the universe, the disappointment was naturally very great. On the other hand, new readers now had a chance to start reading and get acquainted with the characters and plot structure without having to have an extensive knowledge of what had gone before. All that began with Perry Rhodan #1400. Below is a copy of the series summary from issues #1400 to #1799. Since this is of great interest to old fans and new, it is presented below. From the Cantaro to the Hamamesch—Perry Rhodan #1400 - 1799 When Perry Rhodan and a majority of the Immortals returned to normal space from the dying universe of Tarkan, their small fleet was caught in a stasis field created when Dorifer sealed up. For the people on board the fourteen ships, only a few seconds seemed to pass, but in actuality it was 695 years. When the stasis field finally dissolved, the year was 1143 NGE. The Galaxians (current designation for inhabitants of the Milky Way galaxy) now had to orient themselves to what was for them a strange era -- and their first steps led them straight into a nightmare. The entire galaxy was isolated from the rest of the universe by a mysterious forcefield called the Chronopulse Wall. Only gradually did the men and women around Perry Rhodan lift the veil of mystery surrounding the past. After the transport of Hangay, there were violent conflicts among different Tarkan races, whose effects were felt to some extent in other galaxies -- the Hundred Years War began. Perry Rhodan and the Immortals accompanying him were presumed dead. The Cantaros attracted attention when they began to isolate the Milky Way with the Chronopulse Wall. The Cantaros were mysterious cyborgs -- manlike creatures with technological implants -- who possessed superior technological resources. Later, it was learned that this was originally done out of honorable motives, but then the aliens came under the influence of Monos, a tyrant who appeared in different forms. For unknown reasons, this tyrant turned humanity's home galaxy into a nightmare of terror. On the Earth, the few remaining Terrans lived in Simu-sense, a kind of dream world that made them into physical wrecks. In the gene factories set up on many planets, the Cantaros committed indescribable crimes against morality and humanity. A gigantic army of clones was created, while millions of failed attempts, the so-called Bionts, were placed on different worlds and there scraped out miserable existences. Starship travel was largely crippled; many planets became prisons for their inhabitants. Hunger, fear, and death reigned everywhere. This era of indescribable misery entered galactic history as the Dark Centuries. Perry Rhodan and his friends were faced with the ruination of their lives' work, but they took up the battle against Monos and the Cantaros. Alongside the resistance organization ARIES, they scored their first successes. The final victory over the tyrant came in the year 1147, but it was combined with an enormous shock for Perry Rhodan. Monos turned out to be the son of his missing wife Gesil. Who the father was remained unknown at first. Nonetheless, the Terran found his wife, who had involuntarily spent the last centuries on a planet lying in a space-time fold. For her, only a few years had passed, and she knew nothing of any son. After the withdrawal of the Cantaros, a difficult period of reconstruction began. Monos had caused an endless amount of damage, and it could be predicted that it would take a long time before all traces of his regime of terror had been removed. PR #1500 began the next chapter of the varied history of the human race in the year 1169 NGE, 22 years after the liberation of the Galaxy. The Superintelligence IT appeared and unexpectedly demanded that all carriers of the cell activators give up their live-preserving devices. The 20,000-year probationary period that the human race had been granted seemed to be over. Instead of peace, the Terrans had only brought war and destruction to the Galaxy. Of course, the Immortals were convinced that this was all due to a misunderstanding, but the mental being remained firm in its judgment. Nonetheless, IT granted the fourteen individuals concerned one last cell-renewal -- and thus a 62-year reprieve. At the same time, the Linguids turned up in the Galaxy. Some of their representatives, the so-called Peacemakers, were apparently able to settle any conflict with just the strength of their words. Meanwhile, Gesil had been searching for the unknown father of Monos. She found the first clue by way of the Kontide Per-E-Kit of the Truillau Galaxy. There, a mysterious being ruled that called itself the Guardian, which Rhodan's wife believed had something to do with the conception of Monos. The Guardian had reformed the majority of races in its galaxy by means of a gigantic genetic program into a single species -- the parallels with the activation of the Cantaros by Monos were impossible to ignore. The Immortals went on a search for IT in order to convince the Superintelligence of its error regarding the cell activators. However, the super-being seemed to have disappeared without a trace, and there were increasing signs that IT suffered from some kind of mental disturbance. Moreover, there were agents for the Guardian of Truillau active in the Milky Way who were obviously interested in preventing any contact between the Immortals and the Superintelligence. In December, 1171, the seriousness of the situation increased: IT gave the fourteen free cell activators to the Peacemakers of the Linguids and declared them to be the new chosen ones. In Truillau, the Guardian had Rhodan's wife Gesil and his daughter Eirene in its power, and turned out to be the fallen Cosmocrat Taurec. He then revealed some incredible facts. In his effort to return behind the Matter Source, Taurec had the intention of first absorbing the largest possible amount of Cosmocratic genetic material, then forcing IT to evolve prematurely into a Matter Source. The resulting Matter Source would serve as the entranceway to the realm of the High Powers, while the cosmocratic genetic material would be the passkey. But Taurec made a mistake. He attempted to force IT into metamorphosis by manipulating Dorifer, but while he was doing that, the Hangay Galaxy materialized in the normal universe. The Cosmic Nucleotide reacted as described earlier, sealing itself off and ejecting the Psiqs that the Cosmocrat was manipulating. These collided with IT and led to its mental disturbance. The tyranny of Monos, which had been at Taurec's instigation, was really only intended to attract Perry Rhodan, who had suddenly vanished, and thus other substance close to the Cosmocrats. The Cosmocrat had known nothing of the stasis field. After these revelations, Gesil and Eirene voluntarily declared themselves ready to help Taurec in his attempt to find his way through another Matter Source. Gesil's bodyguard, the Cyberclone Votago that Taurec had artificially created and put at her disposal, remained behind and was later presented to Perry Rhodan as a gift of the fallen Cosmocrat. For the Terran and his friends, the situation was more than unfavorable. Since the Superintelligence's perception of time had fallen apart, the effect of the cell renewal could cease at any moment, which would mean a quick death by accelerated aging. Because of Taurec's interference, IT was threatening to evolve into a Matter Sink. Meanwhile, the 14 Peacemakers outfitted with cell activators were showing signs of mental disturbance. The fifth-dimensional impulses of the life-prolonging devices apparently attacked the complicated psyches of the Linguids. Using their uncanny ability of persuasion, they convinced more and more colonial worlds to break off from their mother planets and join the newly established Linguid empire. This development escalated to the point that the Galacticum was forced to intervene militarily. The cell activators were taken away from the Peacemakers by force. When Perry Rhodan realized that IT -- and thus the Milky Way -- could be saved only with the help of the fourteen egg-shaped objects, he and the other former Immortals renounced their rightful property. The activators were destroyed in the following campaign that saved the Galaxy, but just before the effects of the cell renewal finally wore off, the healed Superintelligence appeared and furnished the near-death Galaxians with new and improved devices. They were no longer a device worn on a chain around the neck, but now a chip implanted in the left arm. Then Philip appeared, an eccentric humanoid of the unknown race of the Ennox. Although Perry Rhodan didn't learn the reason why, Philip also received a cell activator. IT further announced that two future Immortals had already been born, though they were not yet mature enough for an activator. Their discovery was reserved for Pucky, since they had abilities something like his. The grand cycle that now followed, the 200-issue arc called "The Great Cosmic Riddle," consisted of four partial cycles: The Ennox (#1600 - 1649), The Great Void (#1650 - 1699), The Ayindi (#1700 - 1749), and The Hamamesch (#1750 -1799). PR #1600 began on New Year's Eve, 1199 NGE. In the years previous, some Immortals, among them Perry Rhodan and Reginald Bell, had been on expeditions to various parts of the Universe. Bell encountered a mysterious race of Arachnoids, spider-like beings, whose trail led him to the galaxy NGC 1400. There he found only very ancient relics of that race, but he also discovered an unusually high number of 73 supernovas no more than about 40 years old. Perry Rhodan's course took him by way of Truillau and Estartu's sphere of influence to Norgan-Tur on the planet Khrat. There he learned that despite his break with the Cosmocrats, he was still considered a Knight of the Deep. He also learned that future developments in the Milky Way and its surrounding area would be part of the solution to a great cosmic riddle, whose meaning could be on a par with the third Ultimate Question. In the first days of the year 1200 NGE, there were inexplicable disturbances in hyperspace. A large part of the Galaxy's highly advanced technology was based on the fifth-dimensional continuum. When the first devices showed irregularities, no one was unduly concerned, but on January 10, 1200 NGE, the unthinkable happened: hyperspace's known structure collapsed and every bit of 5-D technology failed. The term Hyperspace-Paralysis was coined. The paralysis of the fifth-dimensional continuum was only limited to a sphere 10,000 light-years in diameter, but for the civilizations within that area, the Dead Zone meant disaster. On Earth alone, the failure of the gigantic Moon syntronic computer Nathan caused financial losses in the billions. When Philip the Ennox unexpectedly appeared, the situation eased a little. Philip and the fellow members of his race accompanying him were persistently curious and drove many Galaxians up the wall, but they had the ability to take what was called the Short Cut, which was something like teleportation -- transporting themselves from one place to another by mental power -- but independent of a functioning hyperspace. As a result, an exchange of information between the Dead Zone and the outer universe was possible. Meanwhile, Pucky had been searching for the two Immortals who had not appeared as yet. He followed the vague clues given him by the Superintelligence IT, which had described the chosen ones as being "mirror-born." Only much later were the twin sisters Mila and Nadja Vandemar identified as the ones Pucky sought. It turned out that the two women had a mutant power that at first was called "mirror seeing"; IT had deliberately planted the power in them with foreknowledge of future events in mind. Together, the sisters were able to perceive the atomic structure of their surroundings and alter it within certain limits. A new danger appeared in the form of Sinta, a mysterious entity that had apparently originated in another dimension. The being, whose power was reminiscent of a Superintelligence, attempted to force its way into the normal universe with all its might, but was driven back for the time being. In May, 1200 NGE, the Dead Zone suddenly dissolved. The scientists discovered that the Hyperspace-Paralysis was not a natural event. Moreover, there was a probability bordering on certainty that a new Dead Zone would arise in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Reginald Bell had been successful in his examination of the Arachnoid artifacts he had brought back from his expedition and learned the history of the spider-beings, the Arcoana. Many thousands of years before, the Arachnoids had roamed their home galaxy of Noheyrasa murdering and plundering, leaving behind one devastated world after another. Then, however, they evolved to a level of maturity where they recognized their lack of respect for life and creation. From then on, their efforts were aimed at making up for the damage they had caused. Their natural talent for comprenending fifth-dimensional processes led to the rise of a highly advanced civilization, but also to the appearance of the Riin, a race driven to satisfy its extreme curiosity. The sensitive Arcoana found it more and more difficult to put up with the Riin's insistence. Finally, they simulated a collective suicide by igniting 73 stars into supernovas and fleeing to the distant galaxy of Aemelonga. There they laid the foundations of their new life on the planet Dadusharne in the Sheokor System. But the Riin, whom Bell realized were identical with the eccentric Ennox, did not give up. They were able to pick up the trail of the Arachnoids once more. This time, the spider-creatures defended themselves by a different means. The Macciunensor (also called the Stepmaker) came into being. Under the influence of this device, the Ennox could no longer use their Short Cut. The Riin problem seemed to be solved. In the Milky Way, meanwhile, a second Dead Zone had manifested itself, this one about 5000 light-years in diameter with its center in the Arkon System. In spite of massive resistance on the part of the Ennox, the Immortals around Perry Rhodan were able to learn the position of that mysterious race's home world. On the planet Mystery in the Enno System, it was learned that the Ennox were really energy beings who just assumed a physical form. Their talent for the Short Cut was accomplished with a so-called Step-Organ. After about six or seven leaps, this organ had to be recharged, which could be done only on Mystery. The Ennox, who called themselves Veegos, were working on a gigantic model of the Universe that could always be seen in the night sky of their home world. During their explorations, however, they stumbled one day on a region of space that was closed to the Short Cut. That was the reason they made contact with the Arcoana, whose comprehension of the fifth dimension they believed could solve the problem. In the closing months of the year 1201 NGE, more loose threads were tied up. The model of the Universe made by the Ennox (also called the Cosmic Cartographers) had a connection with the third Ultimate Question. The issuing of a cell activator to Philip brought them in contact with the Galaxians. Apparently IT was interested for as yet unknown reasons in cooperation between the two races. The region of space that the Veego could not reach, the Coma Berenices sector about 225 million light-years from the Milky Way, turned out to be a starless area 150 light-years in diameter, which was named the Great Void. Philip spoke of a great cosmic mystery that was allegedly hidden inside, and he was able to convince Perry Rhodan to mount an expedition there. The secret of the two Dead Zones was revealed. The Hyperspace-Paralysis was caused by the operation of the Macciunensor. When it was turned off, the situation quickly returned to normal. On August 1, 1202 NGE, the Base finally began its three and a half year journey to the Great Void. In PR #1650, the three and a half years of the journey were described in condensed form. On their way, the Galaxians set up ten bridgeheads (Coma 1 through Coma 10), which were constructed by Androgynous Robots (learning, self-reproducing machines). In February, 1204, Philip unexpectedly appeared on the Base and urged Perry Rhodan to greater haste. According to his exaggeratedly dramatic words, some danger was emerging from the Great Void that was capable of upsetting the entire universe. At the end of May 1204, they reached the galaxy NGC4793 and its satellite galaxy Queeneroch. In the latter, an offshoot of the Arcoana had once gone on a rampage and destroyed a large percentage of the planets there. Some 500 crewmembers, among them Harold Nyman, commander of the Base, returned from a reconnaissance flight into NGC 4793, and took ill from a mysterious infection. Thirty-seven Galaxians died, and the rest strongly suspected that they had come into contact with an alien power that was manipulating them in some unknown fashion. For lack of time, Perry Rhodan was not able to investigate the matter any further. On January 14, 1206, they reached the edge of the Great Void. The Base took up position near a pulsar that was named Borgia. The first explorations turned up some astonishing information: About two million years before, a violent war had raged between, on the one hand, the races settling the edge of the Great Void and which had formed an alliance called Tanxtuunra, and on the other, an unknown and terrible enemy. Only after thousands of years of grinding battles was the Alliance able to beat back the enemy. The focal point of the events was the 21 planets that Philip the Ennox termed Samplers and on which he and his fellow Ennox always materialized when they attempted to teleport into the Great Void using their Short Cut. Expeditions to the Samplers scattered around the edge of the Great Void, some of them a great distance away, showed that each planed exhibited a physical impossibility. On the planet Shaft, for example, a shaft had been driven into the ground that was far deeper than the diameter of the planet itself. On Knapsack, the sun always stood at the zenith, no matter what time of day it was, and no matter where one was on the planet. On Sloughar, a field of ruins was discovered that was older than the planet itself. These and other wonders were found on all Samplers, and could not be explained scientifically despite vigorous efforts. With the Gish-Vatachh and the Theans, who functioned as judges, a kind of police had emerged among the long-split Tanxtuunra. They watched jealously over the past, which was laid over with many taboos, and regarded any landing on the Samplers as a serious crime. For Perry Rhodan and the Galaxians, it became more and more difficult with each passing month to hold out against the Theans and the fleets of the Gish-Vatacch. The Cyberclone Voltago and the mirror-sisters Mila and Nadja Vandemar finally managed to partially solve the mystery of the Samplers. The 21 planets were connected by a complex higher-dimensional network, which contained pyramid-prisms (or spindles). On almost all Samplers, such an object could be found and taken; only once was there no success. The spindles, however, were not entirely complete: every single one lacked one of its 21 segments. These were later found on the dark world Charon. There, the mysterious Moira was encountered. Although Moira joined the Galaxians, her goals were unclear at first. Perry Rhodan was slowly able to shed light on conditions in the Great Void. He learned that the 21 Samplers were at one time the gates to another dimension from which the enemies of the Tanxtuunra had come. Then the Alliance was able to close these gates and apply seals to them. Since then, there had been a fear that the unscrupulous aliens might return. The as yet still unidentified enemy seemed in fact to be extremely dangerous, because even the Cosmocrats had intervened and sent a Knight of the Deep to aid the Tanxtuunra. After the return of the Base to the Milky Way in November 1210 NGE, the Galaxians began experiments with the spindles and their segments. After several failed attempts, the work resulted in fourteen spindle-beings, highly intelligent artificial creatures, which combined in an all but invincible group and spread fear and terror throughout the Galaxy. They were ruthlessly bent on searching for information about their purpose -- they were of course aware of it but could not put it in concrete terms. Only Moira was able to subdue the spindle-beings. With her starship, the Styx, she took the group to the Great Void. Perry Rhodan also outfitted a second expedition, and the Base was once more underway. The numerous questions that had arisen in the past years could apparently be answered only in the Coma Berenices sector. In October 1216 NGE, events in the Great Void reached a climax. The spindle-beings spread out over the Samplers and set off a kind of collective planetary destruction. The seals that for two million years had closed off the gates to another dimension opened. With that, Voltago was revealed to be a being that had also come from a pyramid prism. The mystery of the missing 21st spindle was solved. Taurec had earlier formed the Cyberclone out of it. Moira also revealed her secret. She belonged the race of Ayindi, the previously unknown enemy that had fought a thousand-year war against the Tanxtuunra and which lived on the "other side" of the Universe. With PR #1700, Perry Rhodan had to admit once again that he was still far short of comprehending the full extent of the wonders of creation. Moira revealed that the Universe had a negative side, the Arresum, and a positive side, the Parresum. Both sides were connected in the manner of a Moebius strip. In Arresum, however, there existed a terrible danger whose destructive influence threatened even the positive side of the Cosmos, which the Terran had up to now considered the normal universe. This danger was already recognized two million years before by the Cosmocrats, and the complicated plan of the Superintelligence It (Ennox, the Mirror-born, etc.) was intended to deal with the threat. Perry Rhodan and his companions began to explore the Arresum, and to their consternation realized that the Ayindi were apparently the only living beings who could still resist a power called the Abruse. The Abruse were filling the minus side of the universe with a deadly radiation that destroyed all life and resurrected it in crystalline form. Moira's race was defending itself only with difficulty by means of a last enclave, a spherical region in space three million light-years in diameter, against the advancing fleets of myriads of crystal ships. It was only a question of time before the Ayindi were finally wiped out. When the Galaxians proved to be immune to the Death Radiation, the Ayindi equipped them with technically superior ships, and they made their first forays into the devastated regions of the Arresum. In so doing, they discovered that the Abruse didn't control the entire negative side of the universe by any means, but just a relatively small portion of the gigantic realm. Nonetheless, because of its strong drive for expansion, the new unknown power had rubbed up against the border between Arresum and Parresum. If this boundary layer were damaged, it would lead to an interpenetration of both sides of the universe -- and to a gigantic collapse, which would mean the end of the known cosmos. IT appeared and requested Perry Rhodan to bring the Nocturns, an exotic lifeform from the Fornax galaxy, into the Arresum. The Nocturns were considered IT's "Birth-helpers," though the meaning of that title was unexplained. According to the Superintelligence, the Nocturns would play an important role in the battle against the Abruse. Time hadn't stopped in the Milky Way, either. The Sol System, the home of humanity, suddenly became a center of interest again. A connecting gate stood between the planet Mars and the Arresum planet Oosinom in the Aariam System, the home of the Ayindi. The gate was the product of the Ayindi's first attempts to leave their threatened home and flee to the Parresum. Permanoch of Tanxbeech, a Knight of the Deep, repelled the invaders with devastating results and destroyed Oosinom. The connection between the two sides of the Universe was never completely closed, and so disaster followed its inevitable course. When Perry Rhodan fought off a major attack of the Abruse on the Aariam System, the wreckage of a destroyed crystal ship came through the gate mentioned above and reached Mars. The planet crystalized within a few days and gave off the dreaded Death Radiation, which would reach even the Earth in a few months. All attempts to solve the problem failed, and preparations began to evacuate Terra. A trade caravan of the Hamamesch appeared in the Milky Way. The caravan came from the Hirdobaan galaxy (NGC 4793), 118 million light-years away, whose exploration in connection with the first expedition to the Great Void in the year 1204 NGE had led to an unexplained epidemic (see above). The Hamamesch were fish-like beings who sold in their bazaars basically worthless goods that nonetheless seized their buyers with an irresistible attraction that was all but an addiction. The term "psionic imprint" was coined, or more generally, Imprint-goods. In Arresum, the war against the Abruse reached its high point. Perry Rhodan and some of the other Immortals found the heart of the Abruse, a crystalline dust cloud that was identified as the actual form of the enemy. In the meantime, the powers of the Mirror Sisters Mila and Nadja Vandemar had completely developed, which combined with the influence of the Nocturns meant the end of the Abruse. The mystery of their true nature and origin was not solved, however. IT appeared in Arresum with the artificial planet Wanderer and released the twenty billion consciousnesses it had absorbed during the Era of Aphilia (see above). Placed in new bodies, these human beings would be the nucleus of a new race on the negative side of the universe and over time finally free it from the Death Radiation. Before the Ayindi closed all entrances to the Parresum for good, the crystalized Mars was transported through the gate that led to the Solar System and replaced with the archive world Trokan. Moira took her leave from the Galaxians and returned to her people. The fourth and final part of the Great Cosmic Riddle cycle began in PR #1750. The Hamamesch had sold the last of their Imprint-goods in the Milky Way and had returned to their home galaxy. Before their departure, they informed their customers that other goods could be obtained in Hirdobaan in exchange for highly valuable Galactic technology. About twenty billion Galaxians had fallen victim to the addiction-like fascination for the in fact worthless goods. At the end of 1218 NGE, the goods lost their enchantment, leading to severe withdrawal symptoms. A wave of suicides, rampages, and overfilled clinics were further consequences. About forty million addicts left for Hirdobaan in the middle of 1219 with gigantic amounts of high-tech items in order to replace their Imprintless goods there. In the early summer of 1220, some thirty million Galaxians reached their destination. Shortly thereafter, the Base also arrived, on its return home from the Great Void to the Milky Way. The small Hirdobaan galaxy was divided into eight sectors called "Octants," each governed by a Tradelord. It was strictly forbidden for a Hamamesch to leave its home sector, but this rule did not apply to the other races living in Hirdobaan. Border stations where the Octants met served for exchanging goods. Above the Tradelords stood nine Maschtars as powers behind the scenes, but even they were apparently not the top of the hierarchy. Something called Gomasch Endredde ruled over all the rest with unknown purposes, and no one knew who or what it was. The center of Hirdobaan where Gomasch Endreddes was said to live was 133 light-years in diameter and protected by a Transition field that transported any ship that attempted to fly into it to the other side. The addicted Galaxians, called Imprint-Outlaws, invaded the galaxy like a swarm of grasshoppers, but despite their inquiries and explorations, often driven off by force, no one could be found who knew anything about the so desperately desired Imprint-Goods. The desperation of the addicts led to increasingly violent acts in their search, leading at first only to the opposition of the panther-like Fermyyd, a kind of Hirdobaan police force. Then the hidden power responded: Hamamesch fleets appeared and set up new bazaars. Every Imprint-Outlaw received exactly same article of Imprint Goods, no matter what or how valuable the goods he could offer in exchange. Without exception, the new Imprint-Goods were all small colored cubes. For several days, the addicts were lost in euphoria. Then, however, they all vanished without a trace, one after the other. Only the now burned-out cubes remained behind. When some Immortals, including Atlan, Reginald Bell, and Ronald Tekener, were exposed to the influence of the cubes, they unexpectedly materialized in the center of Hirdobaan, which was apparently unreachable by any other means. They found themselves in the Endreddes District, a system of fourteen Levels -- or planets -- that were interconnected by matter-transmitters called Carousels. The fact that they had received only a single psionic imprint, which wasn't enough to be addictive, made them phase-springers. After exactly thirteen hours and one minute, they rematerialized in the spot where they had disappeared, remained there unconscious for the same amount of time, and then returned to the Endreddes District, again conscious. This process -- called Oscillation -- repeated without a break. A further drawback was the fact that the phase-springers could only take with them to the other side what they had brought with them in the first Oscillation cycles. Brisk activity reigned on twelve of the fourteen worlds of the District (Levels 13 and 14 were unreachable at first) because the thirty million Galaxians had also reached their goal. They were not subject to the phase-springing, however. Instead, they had been given a mental command that drove them to repair the planets' apparently defective subplanetary technological systems. Using the high-tech equipment from the Milky Way that had also materialized in the District, they went to work, in the process ignoring hygiene and their need for sleep as well as food. It could be foreseen that the millions of involuntary manual workers would sooner or later die of exhaustion. Perry Rhodan won his first allies in the Crypers -- rebels originating among the Hamamesch -- even though they proved to be downright ruthless in their methods. The conquest of the conference planet Borrengold and the capture of eight Tradelords was their first victory. The phase-springers could also chalk up some successes. During their stay outside the District, Atlan and Icho Tolot were able to overcome the loss of consciousness and inform Perry Rhodan of the situation on the Levels. Then forty heavily armed volunteers exposed themselves to the influence of the Imprint-Cubes and also reached the Endreddes District. The phase-springers now had a powerful fighting force at their command. It quickly became clear that the Galaxians' repair work was destroying more than it was fixing. The work went on without any guidance and at random. In their explorations of the machinery-crammed depths of the various Levels, the phase-springers came across areas where machines were housed that were utterly alien and as a whole resembled a gigantic organism. The term Evolutionary Technology was coined. More through ignorance than curiosity, a being called Treogen was awakened; it had evidently been active in the Endreddes District more than 2000 years before, when it was defeated by the now present work-robots and sealed away in a cold-bubble. Treogen, a bizarre biological mix of different species, killed several phase-springers before it disappeared to pursue its vague goals. In the meantime, Perry Rhodan had learned that the Galaxians were not the first people to be lured to Hirdobaan by Imprint-Goods and then enslaved for forced labor in the District. It had happened again and again over the centuries, and always before, the members of the races lured to Hirdobaan died to the last individual in the Endreddes District. Since the physical condition of the thirty million Galaxians was getting worse by the day, the Terran had to act. After several missions, Atlan and the phase-springers with him were able to open up the shield around the district from inside, allowing the Base to fly in and supply first aid. At the same time, the situation in Hirdobaan reached a climax: although the Maschtarans were killed in battle, there was a massive attack by the Fermyyd and the Hamamesch on the handful of Galactic ships. At the last minute, a rescue fleet arrived from the Milky Way: eight thousand Blue ships -- Blues because these beings were completely immune to the Imprint. The Blue fleet decided the battle, helped its Galactic friends, and imposed a truce. As a result, a balance was established between the interest groups in Hirdobaan, arranged by diplomats belonging to a tiny race called the Sydorrians. Meanwhile, the phase-springers learned the entire story of Gomasch Endredde. It had to do with a robot brain whose creators were expelled from the neighboring galaxy of Queeneroch 200,000 years before and sought a refuge in the center of Hirdobaan. The robot brain no longer remembered its creators' purpose and had suffered from some miscalculations over the course of the millennia. While it was able to attract the Hamamesch and other races in Hirdobaan as potential helpraces, a genetic experiment then produced the super-being Treogen. The result: Gomasch Endredde could no longer reboot. The giant computer was stuck in an endless loop, and could only be freed by the Galaxians shutting it off. After it was shut off, matters reached another furious climax. The so-called Evolution Plains broke away from the fourteen levels, and the planets were destroyed in the process. Fortunately, most of the thirty million Galaxians were rescued at the last moment. After the shield around the Endreddes District was shut off, food supplies could be brought to them. The fourteen Evolution Plains formed into a gigantic spaceship 1500 kilometers in diameter. The creator of Gomasch Endedde, Aachthor, awoke, and another piece of knowledge was added to the puzzle for Perry Rhodan. About 220,000 years before, Aachthor had begun building the spaceship in the Queeneroch galaxy, but then he was expelled -- by the Roach, the barbaric ancestors of the spider-like Arcoana (see above), who devastated all the planets in the galaxy. As a result, Aachthor could not complete his work and had to flee to the giant robot Gomasch Endredde in Hirdobaan for protection. Aachthor turned out to be something like a Powerful (see above) and his task was to build spore ships, load them with cargos of On- and Noon-Quanta, the so-called lifespores, and spread them through an as yet unknown region of the universe. Aachthor died when he fell into an ancient trap of the Roach; in his place, the Cyberclone Voltago, Perry Rhodan's "servant," took on his mission. After several problems were solved, a decision was made: the cargo of Lifespores could be loaded onto the sporeships in the center of Queeneroch. After violent hyperstorms, a door opened once more between the "two sides" of the Universe, and thousands of Ayindi-ships flew out of the Arresum into the Parresum. These ships were crewed by, among others, human beings -- those human beings IT had absorbed as consciousnesses and restored in the former Abruse realm. They became the new crews of the sporeships, and their mission was now to spread life throughout the dead universe. And Perry Rhodan finally learned some new facts about the Great Cosmic Riddle: Millions of years before, there had been Seven Powerful in the Arresum, but they had fought each other, and so those beings didn't spread lifespores in the dead part of the universe. On the contrary: Anti-Life grew out of the work of one of the Powerful, and after an incredibly long period of time evolved into the Abruse. Aachthor's primary mission was to stop the Abruse's advance into the Arresum before their activities could irreparably damage the boundary layer between the two universes (see above). With that, the story arc stretching over 200 issues of Perry Rhodan came to a close. A new society could now evolve in Hirdobaan and Queeneroch, and Perry Rhodan flew back to the Milky Way. What he couldn't suspect was that on Trokan, the disastrous effects of the "Time Lapse" had already been set into motion... Continued in Perry Rhodan #1800 "Time Lapse" by Robert Feldhoff


My Snazzy List of Links

Teddy's Perry Rhodan site!: My Perry Rhodan site, with a few links
Three Perry Rhodan stories!: Three Rhodan stories by fans from the English site

Teddy Kniazewycz

calvin200b@aol.com