A war older than Man, fought among ageless stars. . . Long after Man's day was done his last strange son answered its dread challenge on an invisible world of flaming terror!
Raising one of his six metal tentacles, 6W-438 pointed to the great comet stretching off into space more than a half million miles. 'We have been up near the head, and on all sides of it by virtue of our superior speed. Why not fly through it?'
744U-21, who with Professor Jameson, headed this later expedition, expressed negation. 'We don't know enough about it. The long tail is of a gaseous nature. That we do know. What we do not exactly know is whether its effects on metal might, or might not, be harmful. 168P-75 reports an element in the comet which he believes would corrode the alloy of which we are made. Its effect on the spaceship would be much the same, even though the metallic composition varies somewhat from that of our own bodies.'
'There is nothing especially worth learning by passing through the tail of the comet,' the professor pointed out. 'What interests us is watching the comet pass through the planetary sytem which lies in its path. As 65G-849 has told us, there will be no collision with any of the worlds. They are too few and strung out too far, yet their presence is bound to have an effect on the comet even though it may only result in a change of direction. The green sun itself being the largest body of the system, will probably exert the most change and might even bend the course of the comet a hundred and eighty degrees so that it would eventually return this way.'
Already the metal Zoromes who had once been flesh and blood creatures back on their own planet Zor in a far distant corner of the universe, had taken as much scientific data as possible, short of entering the long gaseous tail. The nucleus was solid, like a small world careening through space. That it carried or sustained any life they seriously doubted, even though they had occasionally found strange life under even stranger conditions during their travels from system to system, world to world, on their eternal exploration for the unusual.
The Star Killers
Publication date: 07.08.2011
A war older than Man, fought among ageless stars
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