Page:Weird Tales volume 30 number 01.djvu/61

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59
RAIDER OF THE SPACE WAYS

perienced a sensation similar to this inexplicable motion within his brain.

Remembering the theories of the telepathists, he threw his mind open, made it blank, receptive. But no message came. Only breaking in through the darkness came Thona's voice.

"Dal! Where are you?"

Shaking his head, he looked around, blinded by the darkness, realizing that he had unwittingly moved forward a few paces. As he answered, a little ray of light flickered on, and in its light he saw Thona near by, holding a light-tube in her hand. At his surprized glance she smiled, and said,

"I managed to get two of them." Then she sobered. "What is this—sensation? It feels as though something's pulling at my brain!"

Kenworth started. That had been his own sensation, exactly. And, indeed, under its guidance he had moved forward.

He told Thona of the telepathy theory. "The scientists have often conjectured on the possibility of a race existing without oral speech, speaking by thought-impulses alone. It's not as fantastic as it seems—indeed, they've proved the possibility of telepathy." He took the light-tube from Thona, adjusted it until only a faint glow shone out. "We'd better move, Thona. If the Raider destroys the Patrol ship—as I think he will—he'll be back. And he mustn't find us here."

A shadow fell on Thona's face. "But how can we get back? It's impossible, Dal—it may be thousands of miles even to the Twilight Zone!"

Kenworth smiled with an assurance he did not feel. "We can make it. It'll be quite a walk, but—have you your food tablets?" Every citizen was required by law to carry a packet of these concentrated food pellets, and Thona pulled a flat metal container from her pocket.

"What about water, though?" She answered her own question as the light gleamed on the frost-rime on the rocks. "The ice—of course. But what about direction?"

Kenworth glanced up, but the stars were hidden by the thick cloud-masses. He switched off the light, waited for his eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness. Then he touched the girl's arm.

"There, Thona. See?" Abruptly he realized that she could not see his pointing finger, and fumbled for her head, felt the soft curls beneath his fingers. He turned her head slowly. "Do you see that glow—very faint, though—far away on the horizon?"

"No . . . oh, yes. But it's scarcely visible."

"Doesn't matter. "Kenworth hesitated. A little warning premonition went through him. The light was strangely blue-tinged to be the daylight of Venus. But what other explanation could there be to this light on the Night Side?

"Well, come on," Thona said. But after a few steps she paused, staring at Kenworth. He nodded.

"Funny. I felt it, too. That—queer feeling in my head is gone. I wonder——"

But it was useless to conjecture. Haste was necessary, and for a time the two hurried on in utter silence, climbing over jagged rocks, slipping more than once on the frost-rime that lay like a fantastic arabesque over everything. It was cold, but no colder than a N'yok winter, and the exercise of walking warmed them.


They had been walking for almost two hours, by Kenworth's wrist chronometer, when they saw the strange white thing. It lay like a great pale pancake nearly two feet in diameter, on a flat surface of grayish soil. For a space about it there was no frost on the ground, and as the two approached they could