Captain Future 20 - The Solar Invasion (Fall 1946)

Captain Future 20 - The Solar Invasion (Fall 1946) by Manly Wade Wellman

Book: Captain Future 20 - The Solar Invasion (Fall 1946) by Manly Wade Wellman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Manly Wade Wellman
Tags: Sci Fi & Fantasy
don’t!” bawled the Earthman, his hand at his own holster.
    He whipped out what he found there — and howled in abject terror.
    The gun had turned once more into a little Otho figure, kicking and writhing in his grasp.
    “It isn’t liquor — it’s real!” he wailed, and dropped to his knees.
    Oog, still as Otho, twisted free and ran to where the fallen gun lay. With an effort he pulled it up and stood pointing it like a tiny cannoneer. But the Earthman needed, not that threat, nor the motion of Captain Future, who by now had the Martian’s weapon.
    “I’ll talk, I’ll talk,” sobbed the hoarse voice. “I’ll do anything you say. But get me to a doctor who’ll fix me so I don’t see — and feel — things that aren’t there!”
    Captain Future grinned briefly.
    “Get on your feet,” he ordered. “Grab up this languid friend of yours and carry him to your ship.”
    As the prisoner turned his back to obey, Future stooped and scooped Oog into his hand.
    “Oog, I’m proud of you,” he whispered, “Otho and the others, when we get them free, will be proud of you, too. And the whole Solar System will be prouder still. Because I’ve started my counter-attack against Ul Quorn, and you’re helping me. But that’s nothing to how you’re going to help me from now on.”
     

     
Chapter 12: Space Ambush
     
    THE two captives were not escorted to New York by Captain Future for — on the communication system of the space-craft he had seized — he managed to sort out a certain specific wave-length, and upon it he got into touch with Ezra Gurney.
    In a latitude just within the Martian orbit, from which all inhabited planets were remote and where no ships wandered, Future was met by his own Comet and a larger police cruiser — the one commanded by Gurney, the other by a junior officer named Elnisor, a Venusian chosen for courage, loyalty and ability to keep secrets.
    The three craft lay to in emptiness, and Gurney and Elnisor came aboard to interview Captain Future. The big, powerful redhead lounged by his idled controls, with Oog cuddled in the hollow of his arm. The meteor-mimic greeted the visitors by impersonating first Gurney, then Elnisor, then one of the two melancholy prisoners who sat bound in a corner.
    “Glad to see you, Ezra,” greeted Captain Future. “I’ve been far away, but I never doubted that we’d meet again. You brought what I told you?”
    “Everything,” said the old marshal, his bright eyes inquisitive in his hard-lined face. “Supplies and equipment aboard the Comet, and men, the best and closest-mouthed on call, aboard the auxiliary cruiser. But what’s it about? Who are these specimens you have all tied up?”
    “Two items for our collection of jailbirds,” replied Curt. “They were planted for a reception committee to help Ul Quorn’s invasion strike home on Asteroid Six-Ninety-Seven. I gathered them in, with priceless help from little Oog here. They’ve talked some, and I’ll talk more in a moment. Meanwhile, we’re going to occupy that asteroid ourselves, and knock the invasion back down its own throat.”
    “But how? And what? Who’s invading us? Where are they coming from?” Ezra Gurney had thought he was through being amazed at Captain Future, but now he fairly spluttered with mystified eagerness.
    “Briefly, it’s like this,” began Captain Future.
    “A whole system from many dimensions away — I call it Dimension X — wants to overrun us. Dimension X has a dying sun, and its race of struggling people lives on worlds that are dimmed and doomed. Their fight for life has taught them amazing things in the field of big-scale caloric engineering.
    “They’ve activated the central substances of their planets to produce extra internal heat and power, and such sources give them the basis for dimension-shifting devices on a mighty scale. They managed to slide one world of theirs to a point in their space where it coincided with the position of Luna in ours —

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