Two planets circling Vega! But a more amazing discovery waited the explorers when they landed!
unching into the machinery at its heart.
The sphere shuddered under the impact. It turned. Light spewed out of it, beaming viciously into this alien sky without direction. Smoke boiled from the ball. Turning it seemed to roll along the sky. It looked like a huge burning snowball rolling down some vast hill.
Ron Val lifted a white face from the sighting 'scope of the negatron.
"Did--did I get him?"
"I'll say you did!" Hargraves heard somebody shout exultantly. He was surprised to discover his own voice was doing the shouting. The sphere was finished, done for. It was out of the fight, rolling down the vast hill of the sky, it would smash on the planet below.
They were following it.
There was still no answer from the engine room.
The engine room was crammed to the roof with machiner
An okay first contact story, variations of which you've probably read before. The third interstellar mission, to Vega this time, is attacked by a mysterious sphere, which they destroy, but not after being severely damaged. They land, bury their dead, and set about repairing their ship when four telepathic aliens pop up and pass the time. And so on.
Everybody, including the aliens, is male. I guess the womenfolk had chores. At the conclusion of the story, it's hard to understand why the aliens acted as they did. The characterizations were bland, and the descriptions were adequate.
(1942) Sci-fi (Alien World) / Adventure
From 'Amazing Stories' December 1942.