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Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet   By: (1914-1990)

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A Golden Griffon Space Adventure

RIP FOSTER IN RIDE THE GRAY PLANET

by

BLAKE SAVAGE

Golden Press New York Golden Griffon TM of Western Publishing Company, Inc. Copyright 1952 by Western Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Published by Golden Press, New York, N.Y. First Golden Griffon Printing, 1969

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: Spacebound

CHAPTER TWO: Rake That Radiation!

CHAPTER THREE: Capture and Drive!

CHAPTER FOUR: Find the Needle!

CHAPTER FIVE: The Gray World

CHAPTER SIX: Rip's Planet

CHAPTER SEVEN: Earthbound!

CHAPTER EIGHT: Duck or Die!

CHAPTER NINE: Repel Invaders!

CHAPTER TEN: Get the Scorpion!

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Hard Words

CHAPTER TWELVE: Mercury Transit

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Peril!

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Between Two Fires

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The Rocketeers

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Ride the Planet!

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Visitors!

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Courtesy With Claws

CHAPTER NINETEEN: Spacefall

CHAPTER TWENTY: On the Platform

CHAPTER ONE

Spacebound

A thousand miles above Earth's surface the great space platform sped from daylight into darkness. Once every two hours it circled the earth completely, spinning along through space like a mighty wheel of steel and plastic.

Through a telescope on Earth the platform looked to be a lifeless, lonely disk, but within it, hundreds of spacemen and Planeteers went about their work.

In a ready room at the outer edge of the platform, a Planeteer officer faced a dozen slim, black clad young men who wore the single golden orbits of lieutenants. This was a graduating class, already commissioned, having a final informal get together.

The officer, who wore the three orbit insignia of a major, was lean and trim. His short cropped hair covered his head like a gray fur skull cap. One cheek was marked with the crisp whiteness of an old radiation burn.

"Stand easy," he ordered briskly. "The general instructions of the Special Order Squadrons say that it's my duty as senior officer to make a farewell speech. I intend to make a speech if it kills me and you, too."

The dozen new officers facing him broke into grins. Maj. Joe Barris had been their friend, teacher, and senior officer during six long years of training on the space platform. He could no more make a formal speech than he could breathe high vacuum, and they all knew it.

Lt. Richard Ingalls Peter Foster, whose initials had given him the nickname "Rip," asked, "Why don't you sing for us instead, Joe?"

Major Barris fixed Rip with a cold eye. "Foster, three orbital turns, then front and center."

Rip obediently spun around three times, then walked forward and stood at attention, trying to conceal his grin.

"Foster, what does SOS mean?"

"Special Order Squadrons, sir."

"Right. And what else does it mean?"

"It means 'Help!' sir."

"Right. And what else does it mean?"

"Superman or simp, sir."

This was a ceremony in which questions and answers never changed. It was supposed to make Planeteer cadets and junior officers feel properly humble, but it didn't work. By tradition, the Planeteers were the cockiest gang that ever blasted through high vacuum.

Major Barris shook his head sadly. "You admit you're a simp, Foster. The rest of you are simps, too, but you don't believe it. You've finished six years on the platform. You've made a few little trips out into space. You've landed on the moon a couple of times. So now you think you're seasoned space spooks. Well, you're not. You're simps!"

Rip stopped grinning. He had heard this before. It was part of the routine. But he sensed that this time Joe Barris wasn't kidding.

The major absently rubbed the radiation scar on his cheek as he looked them over. They were like twelve chicks out of the same nest. They were about the same size, a compact five feet eleven inches, 175 pounds... Continue reading book >>




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