Tarrano the Conqueror | Ray Cummings | Science Fiction | Audio Book | English | 3/3

Tarrano the Conqueror | Ray Cummings | Science Fiction | Audio Book | English | 3/3


chapter 34 of Terra Nova conqueror by Ray cummings this Librivox Recording is in the public domain recording by Tony, Oliva invisible assailants We did not locate the source of the bomb and no others arose to assail us The Mountain Defiles so far as our lights could illuminate them seemed deserted We passed over the divide and on the plateau Beyond we landed a region of Rolling country beneath its snow and ice the Mountains came down sharply to the inner plain a crescent of Mountain range stretching off to the dimness of distance half encircling this white plateau in the centre of which stood the city of ice We could just see it at the [Horizon] the glittering spires of its ice palace Around the city completely enveloping it was a thick circular wall of ice 20 times the height of a man We were too far away to see it plainly a turreted wall Doubtless armed with projectors throughout its circular length our finders would not show it For it was insulated against them it stood there gray white bleak and apparently deserted Georg said it’s the man’s accursed in Activity is he going to do nothing our power plant has landed jack there in the foothills See it drop a call from Railton took his attention. We landed our entire Force in the foothills of the mountains the power plant was there it looked like a squat industrial building set upon a ledge of ice a Shining cliff face behind it a precipice in front at the foot of the precipice our other vehicles were Clustered we were there throughout three entire times of sleep hours strangely the same in that unaltered Polar Twilight During them with the tower platforms set in a ring about us to make an armed camp we unloaded our apparatus He erected our power controls prepared the individual circuits making ready for our offensive and still Though we were alert for it no move from Toronto They were hours during which with my lack of technical knowledge I found myself often with nothing to do our camp was bustling with activity But among the now idol girls and many of the young [men] there was an air of Gaiety they laughed Shouted played games amid the rocks from which we had long since melted the snow once in What would have been early evening had not the sun in these latitudes? Held level like a burned-out ball near the Horizon [Elza] and I wandered from the camp to climb the cliffs nearby Beyond the circle of the Camp’s heat the deadly cold of the region assailed us We had not wished to equip with the individual heating which for battle would leave us free of heavy garments Instead we swapped ourselves in furs with the exercise of climbing to aid us in keeping warm It was wonderful to be again alone with Elsa even with what was impending We were young enough to put it momentarily from our minds like young lovers Clandestinely stealing away to a tryst we left the camp and hand-in-hand climbed up amid the craigs a Few hundred feet to one side of the powerhouse and about the same distance above it. We sat down at last to rest The scene from here was picturesque in the extreme Across the flat shadowless snowy plane Was the wall of ice with the city behind it all in the far distance this city where in our enemy was Entrenched and there were no lights. No movement that we could see in that drab Twilight. It seemed almost unreal the plane to was Empty a few palpably Deserted Huts nothing else beneath us Snuggly anchored there on the ledge was our powerhouse No one reality here its aerials were mounted its external Dynamos were visibly revolving from its windows blue Shafts of lights landed out and from it Rose the low hum of active power Below it spread over the slightly sloping area of foothill beneath us Lay our encampment a ring of our tower vehicles with their projectors mounted and ready They’re colored search Beams slowly sweeping the white plain and [the] Dead Gray sky within their ring the camp itself lighted by the Blue white tubes set upon quadrupeds at intervals Heated by strings of red glowing wire and the Red wire balls used on venus The snow and ice on the ground within the Camp had melted Exposing the naked rock a scene of blue and red lights and shifting shadows bustling with activity Figures tiny from this height hurrying about the sounds from it Rose to us the low hum, and snap of the weapons being tested the shouted commands and Sometimes mingled with it the laughing shout of a light hearted girl Elza clung close to me Everything will be ready soon. I Nodded they’re going to mount a ray up here on the cliff grolier was telling me for permanent protection To stay here with the powerhouse when we go out to the attack Silent with her thoughts. She did not answer me Sidewise, I regarded her solemn little face encased in its hood of fur and then clumsily for our Furs were heavy and awkward. I put my arm about her. I love you, Elsa It’s worth a great deal to be here along with you Chuck What will he do her gaze was to the far-off city of ice? It seems so so sinister jock this Silence from him this inactivity it is not like him to be inactive He’s there. I said wrote are the Mars man boastful fellow Blowhard he was telling some of us that in his opinion Terrano had already run away never She exclaimed this is his last stand he’ll make it here defeat us here Elza she glanced momentarily at me smiled a queer Smile, and then gazed once more over the distant plane. I do not mean I think he’ll defeat us Jack. I mean That is his reasoning make his last stand here. He hasn’t run away I repeated I told roll tires, so we got an Outlaw connection into the ice palace today For a moment only and then it was discovered and broken off but we had the image for a moment a chance to show Toronto himself, but he’s isolated now Breton said his isolation power around the ice palace and the wall anyway is Greater than any image Ray we can send against it My heart leapt suddenly for I saw else’s eyes widen fear spring to her face Heard the sharp intake of her breath and felt her hand gripped my arm Jack there’s something wrong. See there, and you hear it from the instrument room I heard a vague drumming a hiss and then a drumming growing louder it was not a new sound for now I remembered I had been conscious of it for several moments passed our encampment was awake to it a confusion down there people running about a figure dashing wildly into the instrument room and The aerials on the powerhouse began to snap viciously Jack, what is it? I don’t know See there, Elsa the subarray lights the search beings from our towers were inordinate, ly active sweeping the Empty snow plane and the Empty sky empty to my fevered imagination They were peopled with enemies And then one of the towers flashed on a sub ray the doll infrared for envisaging the slow raised below the power of human sight and Another tower with its faint purple beam was using the ultraviolet that drumming, Elsa That’s a microphone the big one. They just erected near the instrument room. There’s something coming That’s the magnified sound of some distant rush of Air Very Faint sound but they must have heard it on the earphones long ago that Microphone must have just been connected Something coming we could seeing nothing let’s go down Jack. We must get back I’ve got infrared glasses I fumbled beneath my furs But I did not have them jack we tells her my glasses would have been useless for the sub and ultra beams from the towers were disclosing nothing I Could tell that by the hasty searching sweeps they made and then from the big Wilton tower the newly connected zed reflashed on I Could hear the load of it in the deepened throaty hum from the powerhouse It’s dirty brown being sprayed out over the plane then swung to the sky caught something hung motionless narrowed integrate Intensity the Powerful zed recapturing the visibility of Dense solids only Footnote 24 Similar doubtless to our present day x-ray there was something [up] there in the sky the [zra] met resistance We could see the sparks and hear the snap of them coming like a roar from the microphone above the drumming Met the resistance and conquered it Gradually the snapping roar died away Jack. I see something Something there don’t you see it a luminous blur became visible in the nearest sky moving blobs of silver luminosity in the mud brown light of the [zed] Ray A Hundred or more moving silver blobs they were taking form the silvery phosphorescent look faded became Gray white took definite shape waving arms and legs bones Bereft of Flesh human Skeletons limbs waving rhythmically Bony arms with fingers clutching metal weapons Assailants coming at us through the air stripped by the z ray of clothing Skin Flesh organs to the naked bone skeletons with skulls of Empty eye Sockets and set Jaw Bones to make the Travesty of human faces grim with Menace end of Chapter 34 chapter 35 of Toronto the conqueror by Ray cummings this Librivox Recording is in the public domain recording by Tony, Oliva attack on the powerhouse Stricken with surprise and awe Elza and I sat there motionless Our encampment was in a turmoil of confusion Chaos out of which very soon order came The Skeleton figures in the Air. I saw now that there were nearer 200 than 100 were perhaps 2,000 feet away and at an altitude of about the cliff ledge where [Elsa] and I were sitting They swept forward bathed in the z dre with all our other search beams darkened to give it full sway Momentarily I saw them clearer Metallic cylinders and bony figures and a metal mechanism of flight encasing yet? Not touching the lives chuck. Why don’t I raise as Though to answer else’s unfinished question one of our towers turned a disintegrating ray upon them an arrow Pencil point of light barely visible in this flat daylight It swung up in two hours Ed wray searched and clung to one of the Skeleton figures had it Penetrated the man would have been dissipated like a puff of vapor But it did [not] and then I knew that for that distance at least this enemies isolation power individual barrage was too great yet, the assailed figure wavered our Amplifier gave out his shout half fear half admonition the Line of Skeleton Swung upward Came on, but mounted so that I saw that they were making for the summit of the cliff above us above our powerhouse their defense Invisibility and a mere isolation barrage so that we could not harm them with our tower rays while they kept beyond range But what was their means of attack why would terrano? The powerhouse [L’s] answered and I realized then that she had read my thoughts The powerhouse if they could demolish it our thoughts questions and answers unspoken flew fast But the drama before us unfolded faster with [the] knowledge that we could see them These invaders cast aside a portion of their equipment to give them greater freedom we could see the metal portions of the trappings falling like plummets the skeleton images faded and Then as our tower withdrew the said Ray and our search beams picked them up We saw our enemies as they really were men clothed in a casing of cylindrical Garments with the flying mechanism strapped to their chests some with visors and head pieces Nearly all with small weapons in their hands Keeping well away they continue to mal. They were striving for the pinnacle of cliff tops above us But as our raise darted at them they haunted Wavered and now when nearly above the camp that began mounting straight up Chuck look there one of our tower vehicles was preparing to rise It’s Ray following the search Beams upward was aimed at the invaders, but they were beyond its effective range Their weapons of attack I knew now suicides Whether Elza said it or merely thought it I do not know one of the figures came down as though falling a few seconds only but though our search being showed it the smaller raise for those seconds missed it down until No more than 500 feet above us. It checked its fall a giant of A man and with his hand cylinder in range now He shot a bolt at our powerhouse it struck I could see the flash saw an aerial shatter before the charge went harmlessly into the body of the building Then one of our race caught the man his figure crumpled the shower of Sparks as his barrage was broken exploded like a tiny bursting bomb and As the sparks died there was nothing where the man had been a suicide? But one of our aerials was shattered and then others came down not many For it was a grim business and the courage of them must have failed at the last falling bodies Tiny Bolts striking the Powerhouse the sparks, then empty air. We’re living men had been our tower left the ground Some of our men with small flying platform strapped to them were crowding it stopped its beams Preceded it, but I saw the beams breaking intermittently as the bolt struck the powerhouse The invaders wavered within the decision some of them came down to Voluntary death Others strove for the clifftop some took flight our towers swept into them one of them Injured but not annihilated fell with a crash into the encampment Above Elsa and me was a maze of flashing beams futile Bolts the puffs of Myriad Sparks a Bolt seemed to strike quite near where we were sitting I drew Elza back And we crouched in the hollow of a rock a body came hurtling down Crashed to the cliff ledge almost at our feet with the sickening thump of Mangled Flesh and Broken bones Hung an instant to give me a momentary glimpse of a face contorted in death agony Then rolled over and fell further down the jagged cliff Then above us presently there was silence and the drab empty sky our Tower was back Beyond the cliff top soon. It appeared Apparently unharmed he came dropping down to its former place on the ground the first attack [was] over And off in the distance a few solitary figures were winging their way back to the city of Ice end of Chapter 35 Chapter 36 of Toronto the conqueror by Ray cummings this lIbrivox recording is in the public domain recording by Tony, Oliva city of ice besieged We were not greatly harmed by this surprise attack power house was superficially damaged but soon repaired That night I call it that though the constant weekday light made the term incongruous activity showed in the City of Ice It came with a vertical spray of light rising from the ice wall which encircled the city? spreading light beams rising from point a hundred feet apart along the wall the Beams spread fan shape so that within 50 feet above their source they met and merged into a thin sheet of effulgence rising into the sky Tehran Owes barrage It seemed then that Beyond Suicidal Sorties of the kind We had just repulsed Tirana was planning to stand purely on [the] defensive it was our [own] plan to surround the city with our towers even those on the further side would be within range of our powerhouse and With the city thus beleaguered we would attack the wall from every side at once We tested now this garage Terrano had thrown up Sprays of its insulated area came down to protect the wall in front and protected also the triangular spaces between the sources of the main beams tentatively one of our towers approached within range but our raised only beat into the barrage with the hiss of Molten metal plunged into water and with a burst of interference sparks Even at a horizontal thousand feet we could do nothing then we tried altitude our projectors mounted individually on small platforms automatically controlled to fly without human pilot went up, and we strove to get them over the barrage at 5000 feet One went over safely But the electronic bomb it dropped into the City was an easy mark for tehran [ohs] Watchful defense raised he exploded it harmlessly when it was still high above him after the next time of sleep We invested the city our towers were set in a ring about it 2,000 feet from the wall, they were mobile units ready to sail forward or back or upward at any moment Georg stayed in common end of the instrument room it was never placed But sailed continuously in slow circular flight around the city above our line The powerhouse remained in its place with our largest projector mounted on the cliff Decided in order to frustrate any further attacks They were Solemn moments as we broke our encampment The girls far more agile in the air than men were lightly dressed With the supporting mechanism strapped to them the heating units Enveloped them in an invisible cloak of warm air to their left arms strapped cylinder gave off a fan shape area of insulation an Almost invisible shield a protective barrage some five feet long It showed as a faint glow of light and in-flight Their left arms could swing it like a shield to protect their bodies they had Telephonic earpieces available a tiny mirror fastened to their chests to face them upon which Georg or general realton could project images a mouthpiece for Talking to gay or and a belt of offensive weapons useful within a range of 500 feet but no further Very alert [and] agile twisting and turning in the air were these girls We men were similarly equipped But our movements in the Air were heavier clumsier Elsa and I had practiced with the others for days and with our harmless dueling raised I had found that I could never hope to hit her while she dealt me mortal blows Elza Commanding a squad of 20 girls was assigned to a portion of the line some he longs from me My own place with a hundred men under me was near a tower almost on the opposite side from the powerhouse It was a solemn parting from Elsa. I wrapped her in my arms tried to smile Be very care, Elsa She kissed me clung to me then cast me off and was gone with the city invested We rested Idly for another time of sleep Occasionally, we made a tentative tower attack which came to nothing Terrano Waited his barrage remained the same we tried to provoke a move from him But could not the snow plane where I was stationed here was similar to the other side Say that there were no mountains from the powerhouse to Toronto’s wall There was a dip so that the walls stood upon higher ground on my side however The reverse was true the wall Lay in a hollow in one place with a steady upward slope back from it to uplands behind us as though in some better Day abroad watercourse had flowed down here now long since buried in the solid ice and snow I mention this topography Because it had a vital bearing upon what so soon was to transpire Ray Alton desired the Terrano come out and attack us But [tarana] would not we thought perhaps that his offense was inadequate and the one move that he made strengthened that belief from The City Beside the Palace a rectangle of Black metal some 50 feet square Rose slowly up in Aspect it was a square Windowless room a room without a ceiling open at the top it rose [to] a height of 500 feet and hung level and from it depended dangling power cables connecting it with the ground It was the presence of these cables that made us feel tirana was Offensively week he could not areally transport his power hence for Alf NC could only rely upon individual batteries which unless Permanently stationed within the city we knew would have a short range at bed We watched this thing in the air for hours. It did [not] move it was soundless what was its purpose we could not guess and then at last General Ray Alton ordered us all to the attack end of chapter 36 Chapter 37 of Toronto the conqueror by Ray cummings this lIbrivox recording is in the public domain recording by Tony, Oliva Battle I found myself in the air With [my] men around me we hovered then gay orgs command from the instrument room sounded in [my] ears I gave the signal and flying wedge shaped we hurled ourselves forward It was like lying on the air Diving head foremost the rush of wind sang pass me the ground a hundred feet below Was a white surface flowing backward we were heading for the base of one of Toronto’s barrage Projectors it was mounted within the wall But the wall itself was protected merely by a fan-shaped subsidiary beam a weaker barrage over that small area which by Concentrated effort we hope to break from a heel on away on both sides of me I saw other wedges of our men coming Slanting into a sail the same point Overhead a core of girls was hovering our towers three of them Concentrated here had risen to a moderate height They’re rays were playing upon the threatened area a steady fountain of Sparks showed where they were? striking the barrage a Silent bombardment of flashing beams and Sparks at five hundred feet we added our own smaller raised to the turmoil if the barrage would break at this point The instrument room watch full of everything sail over me on my mirror I saw gay or eggs in [tint] face his voice said Careful jack they may come out prophetic words the segment of barrage here Suddenly vanished array darted out beside it a cloud of flying figures came out of the city like insects from a hive and Inferno of almost hand-to-hand fighting it was everyone for himself and I gave the order for my men to break formation ordered them to get up close to the wall if they could to strike with the Closest possible range at [the] base of the enemy Ray I flung myself Forward to Ronald’s men soon were around me Twisting darting figures tiny beams of death to beef ended off with my shield a body fell past me in the air Others while I looked at them in the blink of an eyelid vanished into nothingness One of our towers sailing high suddenly went dark turned over wavered down dismembered with Leprous missing parts and Then an a puff was obliterated I found myself nearly up to the wall and Higher than its top the segment of barage remained broken I could see into the city the ice palace Still seemingly deserted and near it the base of the powerful ground Ray which was assailing our? Towers if I could get past the wall unnoticed get within range of that Projector most of the fighting was now behind me we seem to be holding our own The squad of girls was coming down I prayed that Elza might not be among them the instrument room had vanished beyond my sight But georg voice said we’re sending reinforcements gather your men hold off for a moment From every pan of our line other units of men and towers were coming we had broken through the barrage Here if we could now by a concerted rush get our force over the wall into the city within the instrument room georg set watching the inactivity of his own part the comparative lack of personal danger [gall] him But he was too occupied with his duties to give it more than a passing thought we had broken the barrage at one point From every quarter. He was rushing reinforcements there to take advantage of the break and Then Tara knows trickery became apparent we had not broken his mirage. He had deliberately Withdrawn it to encourage us to bring our other units to the spot our powerhouse Neglected was momentarily Comparatively Defenseless the enemy barrage at the point of the wall nearest it suddenly lifted beams Darted from the opening men came out in a cloud I held back momentarily from the wall and Gathered my remnant of men about me only half my former strength But with sinking heart I tried to assure myself that the others had not heeded my call the fighting here had slackened Toronto’s men had risen high engaged at long range by our girls who from whom they were slowly Trickily retreating as though to lure the girls above the City and My heart was thankful when I heard the relayed order from Railton for the girls to withdraw Not to pass above the wall even [at] high altitude the order came just in time The barrage here flashed on again trapping a few of our men behind it I was aware of this new attack on the powerhouse our units were hurriedly being ordered back georg in Desperation had flung his instrument vehicle at the enemy ray my connection broke and Then another connection brought me someone’s voice with the report that the instrument room had darkened that main enemy Ray but had itself crashed to the ground I Wondered if Georg or killed later. I heard someone say that he was safe within the powerhouse I Disobeyed my final orders I did not swing back to the powerhouse instead with my men around me we fled back from this segment of the wall to the higher line white plane behind it I Have spoken of the downgrade of this land here Culminating in the depression which marked this part of the wall it was that depression which gave me my idea our heat Rays cylinders had so far been useless They had a range of only 200 feet and no power to attack a barrage Some of them had few [tily] been used the snow and ice on the ground Above our recent fighting was melted in patches pools of boiling water lay on the naked Rock and the water Flowing down the Depression had reached the ice wall a tiny stream of it eating into the wall slowly surely with my men I flew up the slope the ice and snow here melted under the close-range play of our heat cylinders Rivulets of boiling water began creeping toward the City other men at my call joined us Two hundred of us soon were melting the ice The Rivulet smirched into brooks two streams and soon a river torrent of hissing Boiling water gathering volume as it went was surging at the wall the wall began melting itself feeding this monster which was eating at its vitals a Yawning hole began opening at the base of the wall it began sagging at the top crumbling the segment of barrage here went Dark No Trickery now the barrage at this point actually Was Broken the boiling [River] went through the wall swept down the slope into the city Through the great clouds of steam I could see the ice palace with it’s Brittle outlines softening under the heat One of its thin spires broke off and fell Feverishly we added to the river so course the whole area here was gray with steam Girls had joined us, Elsa was not among them Elza with my triumph there lay always in the background of my consciousness the weight of my fear for Elsa the fighting in the other sector had continued desperately our Powerhouse was hopelessly damaged the towers with their power gone were using their batteries Soon they would be exhausted But now we abandon that sector are remaining towers all our flying forces Came to this melting area where the vanishing City’ll a defenseless before us? We hold ourselves into it using only our heat Rays Everywhere we added to the boiling torrent even the interference heat of the fighting was to our advantage this Brittle City, which owed its very existence to the congealing cold lay enveloped in a cloud of steam then Terrano played his last card the cubicle building of metal with the cables depending from it still hung motionless It now burst into sound a low electrical hum Then louder to a wine a scream our men and the girls were in the air around it I too was there Toronto’s men the remaining Few who were desperately fighting had suddenly withdrawn and Then we knew the purpose of this hanging room a strange form of some tremendous [electromagnet] I could feel it pulling at me my power to guide myself in the air was wavering From my height I could seat down into the ceiling ‘less rectangle It was unmanned by Humans a room of whirling flashing knives Above it even then some of our men were struggling in its Magnetic grip being Drawn down into it a girl’s power must suddenly have collapsed She was sucked in with a rush torn to fragments by the world Knives The area of Magnetism seemed to spread for a heel on or more Everywhere around me. I saw our men and girls struggling with it fighting to keep away But closing in a ring around it faster Continually more helpless until at last their bodies out of control whirling [end-over-end] They were sucked in like water rushing into a turbine One of our weakened towers attacked it but some of the remnants of Toronto’s projectors caught the tower and darkened it Through the rising clouds of steam. I could see the magnet vaguely now But I could feel it pulling and soon in spite of myself. I was fairly close above it. I strove to keep my wits the others who were meeting their death lost control of their bodies at the last and could not use their cylinders I Had some battery power remaining. I snapped on my disintegrating ray to test it it was my last desperate recourse I righted my body and Yielding to the Magnetic pole Ceasing to struggle. I dove headfirst at that yawning rectangle a gleaming blur of knives blood-stained now within these rectangular Walls horrible carnage a second of Despair but my race truck true Around me was Chaos my sense is reeled went black for an instant But I recovered found myself quarreling in the empty air the City was melting into a turmoil of boiling water and surging steam the fighting everywhere had ceased wavering figures were rising Fugitives struggling away with my sense is still confused I write it myself Undecided where to go or what to do? Above me two figures were still in combat one of them a man assailed by a heat Ray came hurtling down Past me the other wavered a girl with her flying mechanism out of caen troll She was a hundred feet or more above me wavering downward, Elsa I shot myself up to her seized her in my arms my own supporting mechanism sustaining us both Elza Spent but uninjured I held her close Elsa Dear my Elza we hung there in the air from out the vanishing City Rising through the steam Came a small metal vehicle Appointed cylinder in height no more than twice that of a man it came up slowly Its rectangular door was open as it reached our level and went past us quite close I saw a man’s figure standing there Terrano Terrano alone from the wreckage of his city making his escape alone without thought Holding Elza tightly within my arms. I flung us upward Terrano saws Recognized us he slackened his upward pace with my sober reason gone. I strove to overtake him saw the Sardonic leer on his face, but did not realize that he was Waiting for us. We caught up with his vehicle He pulled us through the doorway to the floor of the narrow circular room with its heavy translucent pains He was bending over me leering Chuck Colin, and my little lady Elza how Fortunate I cast off Elsa and gained my feet for an instant we stood Terrano and I Measuring each other. He seemed calm his face bore a slow Sardonic smile. He was unarmed Drawn back against the concavity of the wall watching me with his steady. Keen eyes Behind him through the low window I saw the white ground now far below us We were rising swiftly so you brought my lady Elza back to me jacqueline He got no fur for with a leap. I was upon him To use my weapons in these narrow quarters would have been suicide My body pinned him against the wall as I lunged my fingers strove for his throat He was no larger than I but the strength of him was extraordinary his body stiffened to resist my impAct One of his hands gripped my wrist his other hand the heel of it came up beneath my chin forcing my head back He fought silently with movements that seemed almost Deliberate into the center of the room we struggled I saw that Elsa was up on her feet a hand pressed to her mouth in terror Elza I had meant to tell her to use the control levers which were on a small table nearby To bring us back to the ground but with this momentary diverting of my attention Tehran [ohs] fist struck me full in the face. I staggered back Elza screamed call something to Terrano [I] Staggered, but I did not fall and as Toronto stood there still with his slow smile, I Recovered myself and was again upon him locked together We swayed to the control table My back was to it terrano slender fingers with a grip like alemite had found my throat slowly Irresistible II he forced me backward over the table. I was helpless my breath was stopped Tehran [ohs] triumphant faced bending over me was fading with my senses in just a moment lady Elza He was telling her calmly That in a moment. He would be finished with me. Did the man’s egotism here at the last dilute him into the belief that Elsa wanted him to conquer me with all the weapons of science Discarded this primitive struggle of man against man with the woman as prize Did the thought of that dilute him into the belief that her love was his? Now that he was killing me. I never knew but beneath the roaring of my head I heard his gentle words to her and then behind him I saw her coming forward a heavy metal [object] which she had picked up from the floor was in her hand Terrano saw her also in a mirror on the table saw her raised the jagged weapon Raised it to strike not at me at himself His face was close above mine in that second. I saw in his expression the realization that Elsa was attacking him whatever his emotions like a flash He acted his grip on my throat loosened his arm Swinging backward warded off else’s trembling Hesitant blow the metal block intended for his head was knocked from her hand it fell clattering to the floor and reaching over Terrano gripped the vehicles control lever Wrenched it bodily from its fastenings Control of the vehicle was irrevocably lost we were falling Breathless moments, Terrano, Idly stood apart his face a mask My breath restored. I was recovering I drew myself erect death But my confused thoughts went to Elsa her flying mechanism was partially sustaining My own probably was still effective before [Terrano] was aware of my purpose I had pushed Elza forcibly through the doorway into the rush of air her figure disappeared But Terrano gripped me as I tried to follow her Gripped me and clung a breathless dizzy instant locked together our bodies shifted Crazily I Tried to get him out of the doorway with me, but he fought against it smiling always smiling, Elsa Fell safely, but they told me that Toronto And I hovered for days unconscious on the borderland between life and death Living finally for our vehicle had plunged into a tremendous snowbank to break its fall last scene of all They would not have terrano on any of the three worlds while still living the very Personality of him was a menace With his woman tara who refused to leave him and whom he tolerated They banished him to that tiny asteroid which pursued its solitary way between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter A Lonely Barren Little world with its single primitive race of spindly beings Timid Frail beings half-human Half insect we took him there Mida and georg Elsa and I he anticipated his dislike of the asteroids slight gravity and Demanded weighted shoes so that he might walk with a normal feeling of Earth and venus You give [me] too much freedom he told us solemnly and there amid the rocks With tara we set him down as we parted he turned to Elsa she and I were joined in marriage by then he faced her took one of her hands and pressed its palm to his forehead the gesture of Hommage and respect could buy Lady, Elza I Wish for you all life’s happiness He smiled, but it was a very Wistful smile, and then he swung away abruptly Tara prepare me food leave me I would be alone his imperious gesture dispersed also the crowd of natives who were curiously? Regarding him here in his last little domain he would still be master our vehicle slowly Rose From its windows. We watched him ignoring us utterly Weighted down by his heavy shoes he paced his Barren rocks head lowered Alone with those thoughts he never shared with anyone Terrano the conqueror end of chapter 37 end of [Terrano] the conqueror x Ray cummings

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