A World is Born
Gray realized that he was sweating. Jill was like warm, rigid marble in his hands. And he had another idea.
"I'm going to take the girl as a hostage," he announced. "If I get safely away, she'll be turned loose, her health and virtue still intact. Good night."
The clang of the heavy door had a comforting sound behind them.
* * * * *
The ship was a commercial job, fairly slow but sturdy. Gray strapped Jill Moulton into one of the bucket seats in the control room and then checked the fuel and air gauges. The tanks were full.
"What about you?" he said to Ward. "You can't go back."
"Nah. I'll have to go with you. Warm her up, Duke, while I open the dome."
He darted out. Gray set the atmosphere motors idling. The dome slid open, showing the flicker of the auroras, where areas of intense heat and cold set up atmospheric tension by rapid fluctuation of adjoining air masses.
Mercury, cutting the