The Black Star Passes
John W. Campbell Jr.
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A sky pirate armed with superior weapons of his own invention.... First contact with an alien race dangerous enough to threaten the safety of two planets....The arrival of an unseen dark sun whose attendant marauders aimed at the very end of civilization in this Solar System.... These were the three challenges that tested the skill and minds of the brilliant team of scientist-astronauts Arcot, Wade, and Morey. Their initial adventures are a classic of science-fiction which first brought the name of their author, John W. Campbell, into prominence as a master of the inventive imagination.
importance was attached to them. Four days after the final plans had been completed the last of the supplies were being assembled in the portable metal shed that was to house the completed machine. The shining tungsto-steel alloy frame members were rapidly being welded in place by cathode ray welding torches in the hands of skilled artisans. Already at the other end of the shop the generator had been arranged for use with the molecular motion power units. The many power units to drive
both went tumbling head over heels and Arcot landed on his ear. I was luckier, and was able to break my fall with my hands, but it was a mean fall--at our speed we had about double weight, so, though it was only about seven feet, we might as well have fallen fourteen. We took turns piloting the ship, and Arcot was about to bring us back when that shock just about shook us all over the ship. We will have to make some changes. It does its job--but we need warning enough to grab hold." The
motions of the mighty ship of space. Taj Lamor pushed a small button on his desk and in a moment a gray disc before him glowed dimly, then flashed into life and full, natural color. As though looking through a glass porthole, Taj Lamor saw the interior of the Communications Room. The Communications Officer was gazing at a similar disc in which Taj Lamor's features appeared. "Have they reported from Ohmur, Lorsand, and Throlus, yet, Morlus Tal?" asked the commander. "They are
Though they had made an unusual amount of progress already, there was still a great deal of development work to be done. Fuller was needed, Arcot decided, so he called the elder Morey and requested his services if he could be spared from his present work. He could, and would arrive later that day. When Fuller appeared about mid-afternoon, he found the three friends already at work on the development of a more compact apparatus than the makeshift hookup used in making that first release
believe we'll be able to build up enough mass to insulate against their negative catalysis ray. We'll have to depend on mobility and offense. "But now let's get back to work. I think, Fuller, that you might call in the engineers of all the big aircraft and machine tool manufacturers and fabricators, and have them ready to start work at once when the plans are finally drawn up. You'd better get in touch with the Venerian producers, too. Those new works in Sorthol, Kaxor, will certainly be