THE RED PLANET
View-Master Reel No. 970-B
|SCENE ONE - "Plot me a roller coaster course, Tom," requested Captain Strong as soon as the Polaris lifted clear of the moon.|
"Roller coaster?" repeated Astro incredulously.
"That's just what it is, Astro," Tom explained laughing. "We'll dive thePolaris towards the sun in a shallow curve swinging inside the orbit of Venus.During the powered dive we will pick up enough speed to coast clear out to theorbit of Mars on our upswing. And if I plot it right, we'll catch up with Marswhich is one-third the way around the sun ahead of the earth."
Weeks later, they neared their destination, a great red ball criss-crossedwith the ancient Martian canals. Circling the planet once to reduce speed,they lowered ship at the capital city, Marsopolis.
|SCENE TWO - Far out in space, in a secret city on lo, the first moon ofJupiter, an Interplanetary Crime agent received these orders: "The Guard hasan anti-grav device supposedly made by an ancient civilization. If we can getit before the Solar Guard, they are through, and the Solar System is ours.Your force, Rondo, is assigned to Dr. Dale on Mars. She'll be in on anydiscovery they make. Get that secret!"|
In the Native Room of the Mars Institute Museum, Dr. Joan Dale, firstscientist of the Solar Guard, greeted Tom Corbett. "Welcome to Mars, Tom. Iunderstand that we are to go exploring together."
"Yes," replied Tom, "we want to search the junction area of canals 7 and 19.We're looking for clues to an ancient race who may have had the secret ofanti-gravity. Perhaps they are the same race who built the great canals tolead the waters from Mars melting icecaps to the farm regions."
"This map fragment may narrow the search for us," Joan said. "Notice thepyramid. Once over 1000 feet high, it no longer exists. We know its formersite quite accurately. We will hunt there first."
Overhearing this conversation, the IC man, Rondo reported to his chief,"They have nothing yet. I will wait until they return from the desert."
|SCENE THREE - Man's first step in making Mars livable again was theAtmosphere Station. These stations, now covering the planet, recoveredoxygen from the red oxides that colored the Martian deserts and dispersed itinto the atmosphere. After fifty years, man could now breathe Mars' thin air.|
It was from one of these stations that Dr. Dale and Tom borrowed asandscooter whose high-speed treads sent them skimming over the redsands.
At the location, they drove the blue scooter back and forth over thewasteland until Tom pointed to a rock crying, "Aren't those eyes?"
A couple of hours of strenuous digging unearthed the whole figure."What a strange creature," panted Tom. "It seems to have six limbs."
|SCENE FOUR - Dr. Dale began to photograph the object, "Notice, Tom," she said kneeling to photograph some carvings, "the planetbetween its four front paws. It is broken and the fragments fall info a belt.The symbols below must be a numbering system."|
"That due leads us right back to the Asteroids where the anti-gravitypyramid was found," said Tom wonderingly.
|SCENE FIVE - Dr. Dale returned to Mars Institute with Roger Manning, theCadets' math wizard assigned to help her. Tom and Astro returned to thePolaris and Captain Strong took the spaceliner back to earth to set up aresearch team to process possible discoveries.|
Mastermind, the 100,000-tube electronic brain, was located in the 10-storyComputer Tower of Mars Institute. In the Tower Room, Dr. Dale and Roger,having worked all night feeding data into the brain, waited.
"I don't see how the problem can be solved," Roger commented.
"Before Mastermind, it would have been impossible," Dr. Dale explained,"but we just fed in figures for every known asteroid orbit, all possiblenumbering systems and all reasonable Interpretations of the ancient symbolswe found. Mastermind will compare all this data a thousand sets a seconduntil it finds three sets that match. That will be our answer!"
|SCENE SIX - A silenced jet helicopter hovered over the Computer Tower,swooped low, and from a rope ladder let down Rondo and another IC gunman. For hours the two waited in the darkness outside the Tower Room. They saw Dr. Dale and Roger joyfully receive the computer solution. They watched theflight path on the map reach the Asteroid Belt and heard Dr. Dale say, "Itsnumber is XKG-385fr. It was telescopically discovered in 1993 but has neverbeen visited since it is just one of thousands of Asteroids less than a mile indiameter."|
Hearing this Rondo and his partner started for the door.
|SCENE SEVEN - "Roger, look out!" cried Dr. Dale, looking up from the calculations she was checking. Before he had time to move, the butt of a paralyzer pistol crashed down on his head and he slumped to the floor.|
"I've got Dr. Dale," said Rondo, pressing an ether-saturated cloth to herface. "Take those papers - all of them. Our course is all charted out for us,but the Solar Guard won't know where in space to look!"
Unconscious, Joan Dale was raised into the helicopter which flitted silentlyand swifty to Marsport where a slim, red IC space rocket waited. All was inreadiness. Minutes after she was carried into the ship, it blasted off for theAsteroid Belt and the secret of anti-gravity!