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A Place in the Sun by Stephen Marlowe

A "JOHNNY MAYHEM" ADVENTURE

A PLACE IN THE SUN

By C. H. THAMES

_Mayhem, the man of many bodies, had been given some weird assignments in his time, but saving The Glory of the Galaxy wasn't difficult--it was downright impossible!_

The SOS crackled and hummed through subspace at a speed which left laggard light far behind. Since subspace distances do not coincide with normal space distances, the SOS was first picked up by a Fomalhautian freighter bound for Capella although it had been issued from a point in normal space midway between the orbit of Mercury and the sun's corona in the solar system.

[Illustration: The terrible weapon blasted death and carnage through the ship.]

The radioman of the Fomalhautian freighter gave the distress signal to the Deck Officer, who looked at it, blinked, and bolted 'bove decks to the captain's cabin. His face was very white when he reached the door and his heart pounded with excitement. As the Deck Officer crossed an electronic beam before the door a metallic voice said: "The Captain is asleep and will be disturbed for nothing but emergency priority."

Nodding, the Deck officer stuck his thumb in the whorl-lock of the door and entered the cabin. "Begging your pardon, sir," he cried, "but we just received an SOS from--"

* * * * *

The Captain stirred groggily, sat up, switched on a green night light and squinted through it at the Deck Officer. "Well, what is it? Isn't the Eye working?"

"Yes, sir. An SOS, sir...."

"If we're close enough to help, subspace or normal space, take the usual steps, lieutenant. Surely you don't need me to--"

"The usual steps can't be taken, sir. Far as I can make out, that ship is doomed. She's bound on collision course for Sol, only twenty million miles out now."

"That's too bad, lieutenant," the Captain said with genuine sympathy in his voice. "I'm sorry to hear that. But what do you want me to do about it?"

"The ship, sir. The ship that sent the SOS--hold on to your hat, sir--"

"Get to the point now, will you, young man?" the Captain growled sleepily.

"The ship which sent the SOS signal, the ship heading on collision course for Sol, is the _Glory of the Galaxy_!"

For a moment the Captain said nothing. Distantly, you could hear the hum of the subspace drive-unit and the faint whining of the stasis generator. Then the Captain bolted out of bed after unstrapping himself. In his haste he forgot the ship was in weightless deep space and went sailing, arms flailing air, across the room. The lieutenant helped him down and into his magnetic-soled shoes.


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