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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TREACHERY IN OUTER SPACE *** TREACHERY IN OUTER SPACE THE TOM CORBETT SPACE CADET STORIES By Carey Rockwell STAND BY FOR MARS! DANGER IN DEEP SPACE ON THE TRAIL OF THE SPACE PIRATES THE SPACE PIONEERS THE REVOLT ON VENUS TREACHERY IN OUTER SPACE SABOTAGE IN SPACE THE ROBOT ROCKET
[Transcriber's Note:
Table of Contents is not in original.
Added for reader convenience.]

ILLUSTRATIONS
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
A TOM CORBETT Space Cadet Adventure TREACHERY IN
OUTER SPACE By CAREY ROCKWELL WILLY LEY Technical Adviser








GROSSET & DUNLAP Publishers New York COPYRIGHT, 1954, BY ROCKHILL RADIO [TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE:
EXTENSIVE RESEARCH SHOWS NO EVIDENCE OF REQUIRED COPYRIGHT RENEWAL]



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



illustrations by LOUIS GLANZMAN








PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ILLUSTRATIONS Frontispiece "Great galaxy! There must be a hundred ships!" The giant Venusian held up the oil-smeared test tube "Yeow!" bawled Astro. "Thanks, sir. Thanks a million!" Tom got down on his knees and felt around for an opening "Look!" Strong cried. "It's Brett's ship!" It would be a rough ride, but at least he was hidden Slowly and cautiously he began climbing "Proceed to quadrant four and seize the Space Knight! TREACHERY IN OUTER SPACE
CHAPTER 1

"All right, you blasted Earthworms! Stand to!"

Three frightened cadet candidates for Space Academy stiffened their backs and stood at rigid attention as Astro faced them, a furious scowl on his rugged features. Behind him, Tom Corbett and Roger Manning lounged on the dormitory bunks, watching their unit mate blast the freshman cadets and trying to keep from laughing. It wasn't long ago that they had gone through the terrifying experience of being hazed by stern upperclassmen and they knew how the three pink-cheeked boys in front of them felt.

"So," bawled Astro, "you want to blast off, do you?"

Neither of the three boys answered.

"Speak when you're spoken to, Mister!" snapped Roger at the boy in the middle.

"Answer the question!" barked Tom, finding it difficult to maintain his role of stern disciplinarian.

"Y-y-yes, sir," finally came a mumbled reply.

"What's your name? And don't say 'sir' to me!" roared Astro.

"Coglin, sir," gulped the boy.

"Don't say 'SIR'!"

"Yes, sir—er—I mean, O.K.," stuttered Coglin.

"And don't say O.K., either," Roger chimed in.

"Yes ... all right ... fine." The boy's face was flushed with desperation.

Astro stepped forward, his chin jutting out. "For your information," he bawled, "the correct manner of address is 'Very well.'"

"Very well," stammered Coglin.

Astro shook his head and turned back to Tom and Roger. "Have you ever seen a greater display of audacity and sheer gall?" he demanded. "The nerve of these three infants assuming that they could ever become Space Cadets!"

Tom and Roger laughed, not at the three Earthworms, but at Astro's sudden eloquence. The giant Venusian cadet usually limited his comments to a gruff Yes or No, or at most, a garbled sentence full of a veteran spaceman's oaths. Then, resuming his stern expression, Roger faced the three boys.

"Sound off! Quick!" he demanded.

"Coglin, John."

"Spears, Albert."

"Duke, Phineas."

"You call those names?" Roger snorted incredulously. "Which of you ground crawlers is radar officer?"

"I am, very well," replied Spears.

The blond-haired cadet stared at him in amazement.

"Very well, what?" he demanded.

"You said that's the correct form of address," replied Spears doggedly.

Roger turned to Tom. "Well, thump my rockets," he exclaimed, "I didn't know they made them that dumb any more!"

"Who is the command cadet?" asked Tom, suppressing a grin.

"I am, very well," replied Duke.

"How fast is fast?"

"Fast is as fast must be, without being either supersonic or turgid. Fast is necessarily that amount of speed that will not be the most nor the least, yet will be sufficient unto the demands of fast ..." Duke quoted directly from the Earthworm Manual, a book that was not prescribed learning in the Academy, but woe unto the Earthworm who did not know it by heart when questioned by a cadet upperclassman.

"What is a blip on a radar, Mister?" demanded Roger of Spears.

"A blip is never a slip. It is constant with the eye of the beholder, and constant with the constant that is always—" Spears faltered, his face flushing with embarrassment.

"Always what?" hounded Roger.

"I—I don't know," stammered the fledgling helplessly.

"You don't know?" yelled Roger. He looked at Tom and Astro, shaking his head. "He doesn't know." The two cadets frowned at the quivering boy and Roger faced him again. "For your information, Mr. Spears," he said at his sarcastic best, "there are five words remaining in that sentence. And for each word, you will spend one hour cleaning this room. Is that clear?"

Spears could only nod his head.

"And for your further information," continued Roger, "the remaining words are 'constantly alert to constant dangers'! Does that help you, Mister?"

"Yes, Cadet Manning," gulped Spears. "You are very kind to give me this information. And it will be a great honor to clean your room."

Astro stepped forward to take his turn. He towered over the remaining cadet candidate and glowered at the thoroughly frightened boy. "So," he roared, "I guess this means you're going to handle the power deck in one of our space buckets, eh?"

"Yes, very well," came the quavering, high-pitched reply.

"Give me the correction of thrust when you are underway in a forward motion and you receive orders from the control deck for immediate reversal."

Coglin closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and the words poured from his lips. "To go forward is to overtake space, and to go sternward is to retake space already overtaken. To correct thrust, I would figure in the beginning of my flight how much space I intended to take and how much I would retake, and since overtake and retake are both additional quotients that have not been divided, I will add them together and arrive at a correction." The cadet candidate stopped abruptly, gasping for breath.

Secretly disappointed at the accuracy of the reply, Astro grunted and turned to Tom and Roger. "Any questions before they blast off on their solo hop?" he growled.

The two cadets shook their heads and Roger quickly lined three chairs in a row. Tom addressed the frightened boys solemnly. "This is your spaceship. The first chair is the command deck; second, radar deck; third, power deck. Take your stations and stand by to blast off."

Spears, Coglin, and Duke jumped into the chairs and Tom walked around them eying them coldly. "Now, Misters," he said, "you are to blast off, make a complete circle of the Earth, and return to the Academy spaceport for a touchdown. Is that clearly understood?"

"All clear," chorused the boys.

"Stand by to raise ship!" bawled Tom.

"Power deck, check in!" snapped Duke from the first chair. "Radar deck, check in!"

"Just one moment, Mister," interrupted Roger. "When you issue an order over the intercom, I want to see you pick up that mike. I want to see all the motions. It's up to you, Misters, to make us believe that you are blasting off!"

"Very well," replied Duke with a nervous glance back at his unit mates.

"Carry on!" roared Tom.

Then, as Tom, Roger, and Astro sprawled on their bunks, grinning openly, the three Earthworm cadets began their simulated flight through space. Going through the movements of operating the complicated equipment of a spaceship, they pushed, pulled, jerked, snapped on imaginary switches, read unseen meters and gauges, and slammed around in their chairs to simulate acceleration reaction. The three cadets of the Polaris unit could no longer restrain themselves and broke into loud laughter at the antics of the aspirants. Finally, when they had landed their imaginary ship again, the Earthworms were pounded on the back heartily.

"Welcome to Space Academy!" said Tom with a grin. "That was as smooth a ride as I've ever had."

"Yeah," agreed Astro, pumping Coglin's hand. "You handled those reactors and atomic motors like a regular old space buster!"

"And that was real fine astrogation, Spears," Roger chimed in. "Why, you laid out such a smooth course, you never left the ground!"

The three Earthworms relaxed, and while Astro brewed hot cups of tea with synthetic pellets and water from the shower, Tom and Roger told them about the traditions and customs of the Academy.

Tom began by telling them how important it was for each crew member to be able to depend on his unit mate. "You see," he said, "in space there isn't much time for individual heroics. Too many things can happen too fast for it to be a one-man operation."

"I'll say," piped up Roger. "A couple of times I've been on the radar deck and seen a hunk of space junk coming down on us fast. So instead of following book procedure, relaying the dope to Tom on the control deck to pass it on to Astro, I'd just sing out to Astro direct on the intercom, 'Give me an upshot on the ecliptic!' or 'Give me a starboard shot!' and Astro would come through because he knows I always know what I'm talking about."

"Not always, hot-shot!" growled Astro. "How about the time we went out to Tara and snatched that hot copper asteroid out of Alpha Centauri's mouth? You said the time on that reactor blast should be set at—"

"Is that so?" snapped Roger. "Listen, you big overgrown hunk of Venusian space gas—" Roger got no further. Astro grabbed him by the shirt front, held him at arm's length, and began tickling him in the ribs. The three freshmen cadets backed out of the way, glancing fearfully at the giant Venusian. Astro's strength was awesome when seen for the first time.

"Lemme go, you blasted space ape!" bellowed Roger, between fits of laughter.

"Say uncle, Manning!" roared Astro. "Promise you won't call me names again, or by the stars, I'll tickle you until you shake yourself apart!"

"All right—un-un-uncle!" managed Roger.

Astro dropped his unit mate on a bunk like a rag doll and turned back to Tom with a shrug of his shoulders. "He'll never learn, will he?"

Tom grinned at Duke. "Astro's like a big overgrown puppy."

"Someone ought to put him on a leash," growled Roger, crawling out of the bunk and rubbing his ribs. "Blast it, Astro, the next time you want to show off, go play with an elephant and leave me alone."

Astro ignored him, turning to Coglin. "As much as I gas Roger," the giant cadet said seriously, "I'd rather ride a thrust bucket with him on the radar deck than Commander Walters. He's the best."

Tom smiled. "That's what I mean, Duke. Astro believes in Roger, and Roger believes in Astro. I believe in them, and they in me. We've got to, or we wouldn't last long out there in space."

The three fledgling spacemen were silent, watching and listening with awe and envy as the Polaris crew continued their indoctrination. They considered themselves lucky to have been drawn by these famous cadets for their hazing. The names of Corbett, Manning, and Astro were becoming synonymous with great adventure in space. But, with all their hairbreadth escapes, the Polaris unit was still just learning its job. The boys were still working off demerits, arguing with instructors on theory, listening to endless study spools, learning the latest advanced methods of astrogation, communication, and reactor-unit operation. They were working toward the day when they would discard the vivid blue uniforms of the Space Cadet Corps and don the magnificent black and gold of the Solar Guard.

Tom was aware of the eager expressions on the faces of the Earthworms and he smiled to himself. It was not a smile of smugness or conceit, but rather of honest satisfaction. More than once he had shaken his head in wonder at being a Space Cadet. The odds against it were enormous. Each year thousands of boys from all the major planets and the occupied satellites competed for entrance to the famed Academy and pitifully few were accepted. And he was happy at having two unit mates like Roger Manning and Astro to depend on when he was out in space, commanding one of the finest ships ever built, the powerful rocket cruiser Polaris.

As Roger and Astro continued to talk to the fledglings, Tom sipped his tea and thought of his own first days at the

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