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The Jupiter Weapon   By: (1917-2007)

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[ Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from "Amazing Science Fiction Stories" March 1959. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U. S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible; changes (corrections of spelling and punctuation) made to the original text are listed at the end of this file. ]

THE JUPITER WEAPON

By CHARLES L. FONTENAY

He was a living weapon of destruction immeasurably powerful, utterly invulnerable. There was only one question: Was he human?

Trella feared she was in for trouble even before Motwick's head dropped forward on his arms in a drunken stupor. The two evil looking men at the table nearby had been watching her surreptitiously, and now they shifted restlessly in their chairs.

Trella had not wanted to come to the Golden Satellite. It was a squalid saloon in the rougher section of Jupiter's View, the terrestrial dome colony on Ganymede. Motwick, already drunk, had insisted.

A woman could not possibly make her way through these streets alone to the better section of town, especially one clad in a silvery evening dress. Her only hope was that this place had a telephone. Perhaps she could call one of Motwick's friends; she had no one on Ganymede she could call a real friend herself.

Tentatively, she pushed her chair back from the table and arose. She had to brush close by the other table to get to the bar. As she did, the dark, slick haired man reached out and grabbed her around the waist with a steely arm.

Trella swung with her whole body, and slapped him so hard he nearly fell from his chair. As she walked swiftly toward the bar, he leaped up to follow her.

There were only two other people in the Golden Satellite: the fat, mustached bartender and a short, square built man at the bar. The latter swung around at the pistol like report of her slap, and she saw that, though no more than four and a half feet tall, he was as heavily muscled as a lion.

His face was clean and open, with close cropped blond hair and honest blue eyes. She ran to him.

"Help me!" she cried. "Please help me!"

He began to back away from her.

"I can't," he muttered in a deep voice. "I can't help you. I can't do anything."

The dark man was at her heels. In desperation, she dodged around the short man and took refuge behind him. Her protector was obviously unwilling, but the dark man, faced with his massiveness, took no chances. He stopped and shouted:

"Kregg!"

The other man at the table arose, ponderously, and lumbered toward them. He was immense, at least six and a half feet tall, with a brutal, vacant face.

Evading her attempts to stay behind him, the squat man began to move down the bar away from the approaching Kregg. The dark man moved in on Trella again as Kregg overtook his quarry and swung a huge fist like a sledgehammer.

Exactly what happened, Trella wasn't sure. She had the impression that Kregg's fist connected squarely with the short man's chin before he dodged to one side in a movement so fast it was a blur. But that couldn't have been, because the short man wasn't moved by that blow that would have felled a steer, and Kregg roared in pain, grabbing his injured fist.

"The bar!" yelled Kregg. "I hit the damn bar!"

At this juncture, the bartender took a hand. Leaning far over the bar, he swung a full bottle in a complete arc. It smashed on Kregg's head, splashing the floor with liquor, and Kregg sank stunned to his knees. The dark man, who had grabbed Trella's arm, released her and ran for the door.

Moving agilely around the end of the bar, the bartender stood over Kregg, holding the jagged edged bottleneck in his hand menacingly.

"Get out!" rumbled the bartender. "I'll have no coppers raiding my place for the likes of you!"

Kregg stumbled to his feet and staggered out. Trella ran to the unconscious Motwick's side... Continue reading book >>




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