American library books » Fiction » The Revolt on Venus by Carey Rockwell (readict books txt) 📕

Read book online «The Revolt on Venus by Carey Rockwell (readict books txt) 📕».   Author   -   Carey Rockwell



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 25
Go to page:
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE REVOLT ON VENUS *** Produced by Greg Weeks, LN Yaddanapudi and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net THE REVOLT ON VENUS 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

A TOM CORBETT Space Cadet Adventure THE REVOLT ON VENUS By CAREY ROCKWELL

WILLY LEY Technical Adviser


GROSSET & DUNLAP Publishers New York


COPYRIGHT, 1954, BY
ROCKHILL RADIO


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
ILLUSTRATIONS BY LOUIS GLANZMAN


PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Transcriber's Note

The DP team has failed to uncover any evidence that the copyright on this work was renewed.

Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1      1 CHAPTER 2 13 CHAPTER 3 25 CHAPTER 4 35 CHAPTER 5 48 CHAPTER 6 59 CHAPTER 7 68 CHAPTER 8 82 CHAPTER 9 92 CHAPTER 10 103 CHAPTER 11 114 CHAPTER 12 125 CHAPTER 13 134 CHAPTER 14 144 CHAPTER 15 156 CHAPTER 16 166 CHAPTER 17 177 CHAPTER 18 186 CHAPTER 19 194 CHAPTER 20 205 ILLUSTRATIONS
Frontispiece      "She tried to get farther into the cave" 54 They were completely surrounded by the jungle 57 Astro kept his blaster aimed at the monsters 107 His eyes probed the jungle for further movement 115 "Mr. Sinclair!" cried Tom, suddenly relieved 161 The Solar Guard troops landed on the rim of the canyon 189 Sinclair wasn't able to get clear in time 210 THE REVOLT ON VENUS

[Pg 1]

CHAPTER 1

"Emergency air lock open!"

The tall, broad-shouldered officer, wearing the magnificent black-and-gold uniform of the Solar Guard, spoke into a small microphone and waited for an acknowledgment. It came almost immediately.

"Cadet Corbett ready for testing," a voice crackled thinly over the loud-speaker.

"Very well. Proceed."

Seated in front of the scanner screen on the control deck of the rocket cruiser Polaris, Captain Steve Strong replaced the microphone in its slot and watched a bulky figure in a space suit step out of the air lock and drift away from the side of the ship. Behind him, five boys, all dressed in the vivid blue uniforms of the Space Cadet Corps, strained forward to watch the lone figure adjust the nozzles of the jet unit on the back of his space suit.

"Come on, Tom!" said the biggest of the five boys, his voice a low, powerful rumble as he rooted for his unit mate.

"If Tom makes this one," crowed the cadet next to him, a slender boy with a thick shock of close-cropped blond hair, "the Polaris unit is home free!"

[Pg 2]

"This is the last test, Manning," replied one of the remaining three cadets, the insigne of the Arcturus unit on the sleeve of his uniform. "If Corbett makes this one, you fellows deserve to win."

Aboard the rocket cruiser Polaris, blasting through the black void of space two hundred miles above Earth, six Space Cadets and a Solar Guard officer were conducting the final test for unit honors for the term. All other Academy units had been eliminated in open competition. Now, the results of the individual space orientation test would decide whether the three cadets of the Arcturus unit or the three cadets of the Polaris unit would win final top unit honors.

Roger Manning and Astro kept their eyes glued to the telescanner screen, watching their unit mate, Tom Corbett, drift slowly through space toward his starting position. The young cadet's task was basically simple; with his space helmet blacked out so that he could not see in any direction, he was to make his way back to the ship from a point a mile away, guided only by the audio orders from the examining officer aboard the ship. His score was measured by the time elapsed, and the amount of corrections and orders given by the examining officer. It was an exercise designed to test a cadet's steadiness under emergency conditions of space.

The three members of the Arcturus unit had completed their runs and had returned to the ship in excellent time. Roger and Astro had also taken their tests and now it depended on Tom. If he could return to the Polaris in less than ten minutes, with no more than three corrections, the Polaris unit would be victorious.

Seated directly in front of the scanner, Captain Steve Strong, the examining officer, watched the space-suited figure dwindle to a mere speck on the screen. As the regular skipper of the Polaris crew, he could not help [Pg 3]secretly rooting for Tom, but he was determined to be fair, even to the extent of declaring the Arcturus unit the winner, should the decision be very close. He leaned forward to adjust the focus on the scanner, bringing the drifting figure into a close-up view, and then lifted the microphone to his lips.

"Stand by, Corbett!" he called. "You're getting close to range."

"Very well, sir," replied Tom. "Standing by."

Behind Strong, Roger and Astro looked at each other and turned back to the screen. As one, they crossed the fingers of both hands.

"Ready, Corbett!" called Strong. "You'll be clocked from the second you're on range. One hundred feet—seventy-five—fifty—twenty-five—ten—time!"

As the signal echoed in his blacked-out space helmet, Tom jerked his body around in a sudden violent move, and grasping the valve of the jet unit on his back, he opened it halfway. He waited, holding his breath, expecting to hear Captain Strong correct his course. He counted to ten slowly, and when no correction came over the headphones, he opened the valve wide and blindly shot through space.

Aboard the Polaris, Astro and Roger shouted with joy and Strong could not repress a grin. The tiny figure on the scanner was hurtling straight for the side of the Polaris!

As the image grew larger and larger, anxious eyes swiveled back and forth from the scanner screen to the steady sweeping hand of the chronometer. Roger bit his lip nervously, and Astro's hands trembled.

When Tom reached a point five hundred feet away from the ship, Strong flipped open the audio circuit and issued his first order.

"Range five hundred feet," he called. "Cut jets!"

[Pg 4]

"You're already here, spaceboy!" yelled Roger into the mike, leaning over Strong's shoulder. The captain silenced him with a glare. No one could speak to the examinee but the testing officer.

Tom closed the valve of his jet unit and blindly jerked himself around again to drift feet first toward the ship. Strong watched this approach closely, silently admiring the effortless way the cadet handled himself in weightless space. When Tom was fifty feet away from the ship, and still traveling quite fast, Strong gave the second order to break his speed. Tom opened the valve again and felt the tug of the jets braking his acceleration. He drifted slower and slower, and realizing that he was close to the hull of the ship, he stretched his legs, striving to make contact. Seconds later he felt a heavy thump at the soles of his feet, and within the ship there was the muffled clank of metal boot weights hitting the metal skin of the hull.

"Time!" roared Strong and glanced at the astral chronometer over his head. The boys crowded around as the Solar Guard captain quickly computed Tom's score. "Nine minutes, fifty-one seconds, and two corrections," he announced, unable to keep the pride out of his voice.

"We win! We win!" roared Roger. "Term honors go to the Polaris!"

Roger turned around and began pounding Astro on the chest, and the giant Venusian picked him up and waltzed him around the deck. The three members of the Arcturus unit waited until the first flush of victory died away and then crowded around the two boys to congratulate them.

"Don't forget the cadet who did it," commented Strong dryly, and the five cadets rushed below to the jet-boat deck to wait for Tom.

When Tom emerged from the air lock a few moments [Pg 5]later, Roger and Astro swarmed all over him, and another wild dance began. Finally, shaking free of his well-meaning but violent unit mates, he grinned and gasped, "Well, from that reception, I guess I did it."

"Spaceboy"—Roger smiled—"you made the Arcturus unit look like three old men in a washtub counting toes!"

"Congratulations, Corbett," said Tony Richards of the Arcturus crew, offering his hand. "That was really fast maneuvering out there."

"Thanks, Tony." Tom grinned, running his hand through his brown curly hair. "But I have to admit I was a little scared. Wow! What a creepy feeling to know you're out in space alone and not able to see anything."

Their excitement was interrupted by Strong's voice over the ship's intercom. "Stand by, all stations!"

"Here we go!" shouted Roger. "Back to the Academy—and leave!"

"Yeeeeooooow!" Astro's bull-like roar echoed through the ship as the cadets hurried to their flight stations.

As command cadet of the Polaris, Tom climbed up to the control deck, and strapping himself into the command pilot's seat, prepared to get under way. Astro, the power-deck cadet who could "take apart a rocket engine and put it back together again with his thumbs," thundered below to the atomic rockets he loved more than anything else in the universe. Roger Manning, the third member of the famed Polaris unit, raced up the narrow ladder leading to the radar bridge to take command of astrogation and communications.

While Captain Strong and the members of the Arcturus unit strapped themselves into acceleration cushions, Tom conducted a routine check of the many gauges on the great control panel before him. Satisfied, he flipped open the intercom and called, "All stations, check in!"

[Pg 6]

"Radar deck, aye!" drawled Roger's lazy voice.

"Power deck, aye!" rumbled Astro.

"Energize the cooling pumps!" ordered Tom.

"Cooling pumps, aye!"

The whine of the mighty pumps was suddenly heard, moaning eerily throughout the ship.

"Feed reactant!"

The sharp hiss of fuel being forced into the rocket engines rose above the whine of the pumps, and the ship trembled.

"Stand by to blast," called Tom. "Standard space speed!"

Instantly the Polaris shot toward Earth in a long, curving arc. Moments later, when the huge round ball of the mother planet loomed large on the scanner screen, Roger's voice reported over the intercom, "Academy spaceport control gives us approach orbit 074 for touchdown on Ramp Twelve, Tom."

"074 Ramp Twelve," repeated Tom. "Got it!"

"Twelve!" roared Astro suddenly over the intercom. "Couldn't you make it closer to the Academy than that, Manning? We'll have to walk two miles to the nearest slidewalk!"

"Too bad, Astro," retorted Roger, "but I guess if I had to carry around as much useless muscle and bone as you do, I'd complain too!"

"I'm just not as lucky as you, Manning," snapped Astro quickly. "I don't have all that space gas to float me around."

"Knock it off, fellows," interjected Tom firmly. "We're going into our approach."

Lying on his acceleration cushion, Strong looked over at Tony Richards of the Arcturus unit and winked. Richards winked and smiled back. "They never stop, do they, sir?"

[Pg 7]

"When they do," replied Strong, "I'll send all three of them to sick bay for examination."

"Two hundred thousand feet to Earth's surface," called Tom. "Stand by for landing operations."

As Tom adjusted the many controls on the complicated operations panel of the ship, Roger and Astro followed his orders quickly and exactly. "Cut main drive rockets and give me one-half thrust on forward braking rockets!" ordered Tom, his eyes glued to the altimeter.

The Polaris shuddered under the sudden reverse in power, then began an upward curve, nose pointing back toward space. Tom barked another command. "Braking rockets full! Stand by main drive rockets!"

The sleek ship began to settle tailfirst toward its destination—Space Academy, U.S.A.

In the heart of a great expanse of cleared land in the western part of the North American continent, the cluster of buildings that marked Space Academy gleamed brightly in the noon sun. Towering over the green grassy quadrangle of the Academy was the magnificent Tower of Galileo, built of pure Titan crystal which gleamed like a gigantic diamond. With smaller buildings, including the study halls, the nucleonics laboratory, the cadet dormitories, mess halls, recreation halls, all connected by rolling slidewalks—and to the north, the vast area of the spaceport with its blast-pitted ramps—the Academy was the goal of every boy in the year A.D. 2353, the age of the conquest of space.

Founded over a hundred years before, Space Academy trained the youth of the Solar

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 25
Go to page:

Free e-book: «The Revolt on Venus by Carey Rockwell (readict books txt) 📕»   -   read online now on website american library books (americanlibrarybooks.com)

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet. You can be the first!
Add a comment