Undaunted by crazy tales of an indestructible presence on Asteroid Z-40, Harley 2Q14N20 sets out alone to face and master it.
belonged to Beatrice 3W28W12's great-great-grandmother, and Beatrice had given it to him as a token.
"With luck, my dear," he whispered aloud. "With luck...."
There was a slight vibration. He threw the gravity bar over to the first notch. Earth dropped, plummet-like, away from him. He pushed the bar to the limit leg; and, at a rate of hundreds of miles a second, was repelled from Earth toward Z-40, and the thing that skulked there.
* * * * *
With a scarcely perceptible jar, he landed on the small sphere that, he hoped, was to be his future home. Before opening his man-hole lid, he went from panel to panel of the Dart and cautiously reconnoitered. He had elected to land beside the little lake that was set like a three hundred-acre gem on the surface of Z-40, and it was more than possible that the enemy had its den nearby.
However, a careful survey of the curved landscape in all directions failed to reveal a glimpse of anything remotely threatening. He donned his oxygen concen
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