THE MOON PYRAMID
View-Master Reel No. 970-A
|SCENE ONE -"Holy Rockets'' exclaimed Astro. "it just floats there!"|
"Just an anti-gravity device," Roger Manning said casually. "What did Isay? Anti-gravity!"
"Exactly, Roger," said Captain Strong. "This pyramid floats just two inchesoff the surface of my desk and every scientist in the Solar System is slowlygoing mad trying to figure out why! It was found by a Deep Space Miner whowas working the Asteroid Belt.
"Scientists believe that millions of years ago another planet circled the sunbetween the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Some unimaginably violent forceshattered that planet and its parts in the form of thousands of Asteroids stillswing around the sun in roughly the same orbit."
"Then this discovery means there was a planet," put in Tom Corbett, "Aplanet peopled by an ancient race whose science was for beyond ours!"
"We're not certain," Captain Strong answered slowly lighting his pipe. "Atany rate, boys, it's our job to investigate. There's one clue. The MoonSurveys of 2078 revealed a strange pyramid on the dark side of the moon. Itlacked a tip and we think this pyramid may be the missing part!"
Tom Corbett headed for the door of Captain Strong's office. "What are wewaiting for? Let's fuel up the Polaris and blast for the moon!"
|SCENE TWO - An hour later, the Polaris, the Solar Guard's fastest rocketcruiser was rolled out to the blast-off pits of the Academy spaceport.|
"Stand by to raise ship!" ordered Tom into the pilot's intercom. "Fire at Zero.Twenty seconds!" - "Reactors warming," called Astro from the power bank ofthe Atomic Engines. - "Fifteen seconds!" said Tom. "Ground area clear?" - "Allclear aft," confirmed Captain Strong at the co-pilot's rear television screen. -"Ten seconds! Flight path clear?" - "All clear ahead," said Roger checking theradar. - "Prepare for blast-off. Five . . . Four . . . Three . . . Two ... Zero!"
With a great roar, the Polaris rose on a pillar of flame, burst through thelast clouds and drove out into the blackness of outer space.
|SCENE THREE - Inside the Polaris, strange forces were at work. An acceleration of 5 G's crushed them back in their seats. Just barely able tomove their fingers, Tom and Captain Strong activated the button controls ontheir chair arms. Tom fired a series of steering rockets correcting theircourse. Captain Strong watched the needle of the velocity meter creep up to9.7 miles per second, then switched off all rocket motors. They were in freeflight, and would coast until caught by the gravitational field of the moon.|
The engines dead, Astro rose from the power bank, and being weightlessbecause the ship was in free fall, kept on rising.
"Astro has found it - the secret of anti-gravity!" Roger observed.
Floating over the control panel, Astro wailed, "How do I lose it?"
Using the free-fall straps that dotted the bulkheads, Roger pulled Astrodown. Captain Strong then turned on the floor magnets enabling them to walkwith their metal-soled shoes.
|SCENE FOUR - In the vast emptiness of interplanetary space occasional swarms of meteors were encountered. Most of these were dust clouds thatground harmlessly against the ship's shining beryllium hull. The massivemeteors were charted and could be defected by radar, but, once in athousand times. . . . A meteor hit the Polaris!|
A jagged nickel-iron rock pierced the ship, glowed instantly and punched itsway out again. An ominous hissing told them that the precious air of thecontrol room was escaping into space.
"Seal the control room," ordered Captain Strong, "and suit up. Get yourdamage control equipment. You can make a permanent repair outside."
|SCENE FIVE - Climbing out of the emergency space lock, the SpaceCadets anchored both magnetized shoes onto the ship's outer plates andlifting one foot at a time carefully proceeded to the meteor puncture. Astrobeat down the jagged edges of the hole so that the patch would fit flush, thenTom ran an expert weld around the patch flowing the metal together.|
Roger smoothed the weld and followed the other two around to the otherpuncture, but lifted both feet for just an instant and floated off! *
"Help! Tom! Astral I'm adrift[" he yelled frantically into his suit radio.
Burdened with all the welding equipment, Tom quickly said, "Astro, throwhim a line before he drifts out of reach["
Astro unhooked the nylon rope from his bolt and snaked it out to Rogerwho drew it in with a big sigh of relief.
"I've got a big one on the hook," Astro called out merrily.
"Well, reel him in," Tom advised. "By the size of that moon, we must benearing the turnover point. Let's finish up and go Inside!''
|SCENE SIX - The Polaris flew over the crater-pitted moonscape until Rogerpinpointed the pyramid in a deep crater in the ground radarscope. CaptainStrong leaned back saying, "You land her, Tom. I'll watch."|
Landing a rocket ship is the final test of a space pilot's skill. Tom hadpracticed the maneuver a hundred times in Academy trainers but this was hisfirst touch down! Just as the ship reached the rim of the crater, he punchedthe firing buttons that pulled the rocket's nose straight up and the Polaris rosevertically for five miles before stalling. But as it fall, tail first, Tom poweredthe great atomic rockets and juggled the sensitive gyros letting the ship settledown on a roaring jet flame until its tail vanes crunched lightly into the lunardust - a perfect landing.
|SCENE SEVEN - Because of the moon's lighter gravity, they weighed onlyabout 40 pounds so they had to walk carefully to avoid bounding into the air.|
Before the famous Moon Pyramid, they paused a moment wondering whatancient people had eroded this ageless work of art and for what purpose.Then Tom raised the small pyramid to the missing top of the Moon Pyramidand felt it tugged from his hand. It clicked into place - a perfect fit! Instantly,the whole pyramid, now tip and all, turned transparent!
"It's Mars!" cried Roger, gazing in awe at a globe inside the pyramid.
"That red dot near the crossing of those two canals is the only mark on it,"commented Captain Strong, making careful notes of its location.
"This must be a signpost," said Tom. "All aboard Next stop Mars!"