It was a race between the tortoise and the hare. But this hare was using some dirty tricks to make sure the ending would be different....
that tug and get the other end of that break."
"Damn, and the radio control's burned out. I tried to reverse it before I sounded the alarm. T'an, how fast can you get those controls repaired?"
"Great space!" exclaimed T'an softly. "Without seeing it, I'd say at least two days, Jonner. Those controls are complicated as hell."
They re-entered the ship. Qoqol was working at his diagrams, and Serj was looking over his shoulder. Jonner took a heat-gun quietly from the rack and pointed it at Serj.
"You'll get below, mister," he commanded grimly. "You'll be handcuffed to your bunk from here on out."
"Sir?... I don't understand," stammered Serj.
"Like hell you don't. You cut that cable," Jonner accused.
Serj started to shrug, but he dropped his eyes.
"They paid me," he said in a low tone. "They paid me a thousand solars."
"What good would a thousand solars do you when you're dead, Serj ... dead of suffocation and drifting forever in space?"
The newfangled atom drive (ion) rocket has to race the standardized chemical rocket to Mars and back--and beat it by twenty days--to win the interplanetary transport contract. The Mars Corporation does everything it can to sabotage the trip.
Pretty good science and speculation for 1956. The story held my interest.
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