Alone and unaided, Pilot Travers copes with the invisible foes who have struck down America's great engine of war.
slung his metal burden out, out from the ZX-1 into the gulf between sea and sky.
It arced through the sunlight, went spinning down, became a dot, its screaming faded. Then something synchronized within it, and it was gone--in a burst of weird, bluish light, whose fangs forked upwards for a second, their unearthly flash dimming even the sunlight, and then were gone, too....
* * * * *
Chris found that his whole body was shaking. For a moment he stood there with his masked face through the port.
"Damn close," he muttered. "But what was it that left the box here?"
Then he jarred against the side of the car as the ship swung and came back to realization of what was needed to be done, and done at once. He shifted his gaze, drew his head back, and thrust it forth again, staring.
"Good Lord!" he cried. "That plane's come back!"
His own craft was not alone under the rack. The same mysterious machine hung there again, its cockpit empty, and the automatic spider ladder wa
(1931) Sci-fi (War / Weapons Invention) / Adventure
From 'Astounding Stories' November 1931.
Read this story as either camp or an alternate universe, and you might enjoy it.
An American Navy scout plane (based on a dirigible, of course) participating in war games near Panama sees the Navy's balloons sabotaged and uncovers a horrible plot by invisible Russians to destroy the Panama Canal. No kidding.
The story is plotted like an old-fashioned movie serial. Considering the number of predictions the author got wrong, it's amazing he came up with the Russians as our future enemy.