Space-Lane of No-Return
#69 of Lost Sci-Fi
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0 hours 27 minutes
Space-Lane of No-Return by George Whittington - You were bored—keeping the endless, dull space-lanes clear. You wanted excitement, danger, to see the weird planets of the System. You wanted—And then it happened, all the swift, blazing danger of the void—and you found yourself being blasted out of existence.
'Asteroid fishing' was no job for men who joined the Inter-Planetary Patrol with the lure of distant space frontiers in their heart, Nord Holber told himself bitterly.
Your two-man Patrol ship hung less than twenty degrees off the ecliptic, with sharp, hard starlight from the spangled jet mantle of space glinting against the top and sides of its maroon plastic hull. Below, the asteroids rushed through their mad orbits like the vengeful ghosts of shattered planets and satellites.
Smaller fragments danced through weird paths above the main body. They were the hazard that forced space liners to arc far above the impassable Belt on the run between Jupiter's moons and the inner planets: and, since you were a fledgeling Patrol Officer, fresh from Federation University, you wasted the energy that boiled in your blood hunting these fragments, yanking them out of space!
'It's fun,' Mike Doren admitted, as though reading his partner's thought. 'Like shark fishing. But it's not what I joined the Patrol to do.'
Nord Holber's answering smile softened the strength a firm chin and thin, straight nose gave to his long oval face. 'More like mine sweeping in ancient times, Mike,' he said quietly—as though the dispassionate menace of the inanimate chunks of matter they hunted could answer the call for high adventure! 'One of those things could make a wreck of this ship—as easily as it could a liner.'
Against that possibility, they wore space suits, and, under his transparent helmet, Nord's grey eyes swept the side view screens for any fragments they'd missed on the way down.
Action & Adventure
Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Space-Lane of No-Return...
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