* * * * *
Double rage and grief drove him on toward what he must do with greater insistence than before. With a key from his hip-pouch, he opened the airlock of the Prometheus. With great caution they went inside but found no one in the ship.
The mood of its interior was brooding and sullen. Every cubic foot of space not taken up by its machinery and fuel was packed with black ingots of an alloy, a large proportion of which was fissionable metal, quiescent now, and harmless, but under the right kind of primer, capable of bursting into a specialized hell of energy. Five thousand tons of the stuff, Earth-weight!
But even all this was the secondary part of the purpose for which the Prometheus had been fitted. Bert and Alice followed a narrow catwalk to a compartment along the keel of the ship which was fitted like a huge bomb-bay. And the monster that rested there, gripped by mechanically op