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Volume 5678

A John Carter Adventure:
The Blood Seas of Barsoom
by Richard Senate
Continued from ERBzine 5677

Barsoom Map by Khanada

7. The Pits of Tubax
8. Prisoner in a bottle
9. The Battle of the Blood Sea
Concluded Next Week

The Pits of Tubax
“Not you, Thurgan,” I said. His father had tears in his eyes.  I now understood who gave the Tubax raiders the code word for the palace. The traitor only smiled at me. 

I tossed down my sword to the floor.  I could see Lee was also in tears and shook his head no. He would rather die than be a captive.   Thurgan was smiling. I noticed he was wearing the metal of a Dwar in the navy of Tubax.

“Why?” asked his father is disbelief.

“For too many years I have seen you and my grandfather bowing down to this fraud,” Thurgan said.  “All Helium and yes, all Barsoom, bow and scrape before him. There is talk of making him the universal ruler of the whole planet.”

I never heard such talk.  But it does sound like the words of the Seventh Cycle Therns. 

“Can't you see father—this Carter or I should use his real name Dotar Sojat, is not a god. He is a fraud. He has even started a cult of misguided Therns to promote his divinity.”

“I never wanted this!” I said to the Jeddak. “I will be the first to admit that I am not divine.”

“I know your just a man,” the smirking monarch answered.  “I will hold you to keep the might of Helium at bay.”

“Hold me,” I answered, “but release my grandson.”

“I think it would be best to hold both of you, John Carter has a bad reputation of escaping confinement.  If you do—I will just slay the boy,” answered the smirking  Kulan Tith. 

He was right—without Lee captive, I would have rushed the throne and held a dagger to the rulers throat! 

The soldiers disarmed me and bound me with leather bands.   They bound Kantos Kan as well. He didn't resist them.   Thurgan pulled the boy away from the room as the guards pulled us before the corpulent Jeddak of the West.

Chapter Eight 
Prisoner in a bottle
“We have made special plans to hold you, John Carter, False God of Barsoom,” the ruler shrieked.  “I hope you will enjoy your stay with us because it will be for the rest of your life!” 
At that he started to laugh and was joined in his mad guffaw by others in the chamber.

“Take him away to his room!” ordered the ruler and the guards pulled me away.  They had a full twenty men pulled me out--  leaving Kantos Kan behind. I was ushered down a long hall that seemed to go deep into the palace.   Metal doors parted before us. And the section seemed to take on the feeling of a prison.   At last we went into a large room---that was dominated by a huge glass structure that stood in the center of the chamber.   There was a glass bench in the oversized bottle and a door that opened in the side.   I saw the glass was nearly a foot thick and fire hardened.   I was pushed in and my straps removed and a thick pair of glass shackles presented for me to wear.   Before they could snap them on me, I jumped and tried to pull one of the guards swords. With a sword in my hand, nothing could stop me. They piled on me before I could use the weapon. One large guard struck me with the pommel of his dagger causing me to see stars. I felt the heavy glass manacles placed on my wrists.  Then I was forced into the glass cylinder and the door secured with several locks.   The guards stepped back and took positions watching me.   One left –I presumed he was going to give a report on my escape attempt.    In about an hour  the Captain of the Guard, a big man with a scar on his cheek, came into the room with Lee. He had a long leather whip.

“So called John Carter,”  the man started, “When you try anything—your grandson will be punished!”  He began to beat poor Lee, until the lash drew welts on the boy's back and he cried out in pain.  I yelled for him to stop but he kept on beating the child until he tired of the sport and the other guards took Lee away. There were tears in my  eyes at this demonstration.  I was, for the first time in many years, powerless to help a member of my family. 

“I hope you have learned your lesson,” the guard smiled, and left the room.    The chamber was escape proof, and while under the eyes of six guards, I could do little to even attempt an escape.   The  time proceeded slowly as I kicked myself for falling into such a trap. I had been warned too.  Once the Jeddak of the West came to mock me but I didn't respond to his rude comments.   The food was a terrible mixture of meats and vegetables made into a tasteless stew.  It was served twice a day though a small door in the glass bottle.  Water came in a small glass mug —that came though the same door.   It was enough to keep me alive but not much more.   They wanted to keep me weak. After a time I received a visitor, a Tenth Cycle Thern, who came to preach the word of Issus. He read from his thick holy book and asked me to repent my sins and once again join the folds of the order—I knew if I did they would quickly dispatch me in some very painful way.  I listened respectfully wishing I could get my hand on his throat.    The same Thern came over and over again—I guess I was his special case and he was resolved to convert me.   For fun I sometimes debated him on some of the fine points of his religion---like the fact that the true Issus was a cannibalistic old hag.

“That was the false Issus,” he stuttered.  “ The true Issus is beautiful, just, she gives meaning to our lives.”

“I know,” I teased him, “I married her, Dejah Thoris.”  This made him mad –he even tossed his holy book on the stone floor. He said some impolite things I didn't think Therns even knew and stormed out.    It would be the last time I saw the fellow.   I noticed even some of the guards were smiling at his departure.

There were no windows in the chamber and I had no way of knowing when it was day and night. Only the changing of the guards offered me some way to judge my confinement.   They never spoke to me—even the one that brought the food.

I looked up from a nap and saw another Thern enter. It was a new fellow who looked strangely familiar—he had the holy book held close to his chest and a smile on his face. I recognized him—but kept any hint of it from my face least it aroused the guards who were constantly watching. It was  Matai Shani  wearing the devise of the Tenth Cycle around his neck. 

“Let me tell you of the truth of Issus,” he started, much as the other fellow did.  “Do you wish to give me your confession of sins?”   With the other Thern I just ignored him but this time I wanted to talk.  I said yes, and he opened up the small door where the food was placed in my glass cell and whispered to me.

“Come forth divine John Carter, I know you work in mysterious ways but we can not fathom why your would permit yourself and your grandson to be captives.”

“I wonder this myself,” I whispered so low the guards were unable to hear my 'confession'.

“Is it your will to test us—to help you and your grandson escape?” 

“Yes, but tell me of my crew on the battleship?” I asked. 

“The flying men escaped when they were attacked. The others from Helium are being held in a separate prison camp—a few of the officers may well be used as hostages like you.”

“What of Lee, my grandson?” 

“he is held in the palace in comfortable   rooms with the Family of other hostages. Fandora visits him.” 

“What of escape from this glass prison.” I asked.

“The Seventh Cycle may well be able to effect this—we have been planning such a thing for some time.   A gas could overcome the guards and spare you in the bottle.  We could supply you with arms and attack the quarters where your grandson is held.”

“Can you get me a ship to escape from this city?”

“I fear not, you would be run to ground not long after you break free.  We have another way to effect an escape ---a special system we of the Seventh Cycle use to communicate with the underground sea.  Its a pneumatic tube.” 

I noticed one of the guards inching closer to listen in.  I indicated this to Matai Shani with a glance—and spoke in an elevated and penitent voice.

“Forgive me for doubting!” I said.   The Thern just smiled.

“You will find the peace of Issus in the pages of this, her holy book,” he answered passing the volume though the glass wall. “There is a key for your maniacal bonds  in the book. “

I took the work, it was so thick it almost didn't fit through the slot. 

“That's enough time,” the guard barked at the Thern,” you better  leave the prisoner.”

“I would speak better to a holy man if I were you!  You may well be embraced by Issus herself soon, and face her in Valley Dor to answer for your actions in life.” 

I had a feeling his words would be prophetic indeed. He smiled as he was rudely escorted out of the room. 

I pretended to read the thick book of poetry, fear, fancy and revelation. I had endeavored to read it once before but always fell asleep before I had gotten very far.  I found their was a chapter on hope and salvation where a glass key was wedged.  I slipped it into my pocket pouch—ready when the attack started.  I found no more messages or items in the book. 

I rested on the couch, conserving my energy, until the big break out attempt.   It seemed like many hours until I heard the clatter of a sword falling on the marble floor.   I opened my eyes and all six guards were on the floor. One managed to draw his sword before he was overcome and dropped the weapon.   In a few moments, I had the glass handcuffs off, using the key.  Then I saw five men enter –They were seventh cycle therns, they wore a copy of my own simple harness,  One dispatched the guards on the floor with a quick thrust to the heart.  The others searched them until they found the key to my odd cell. It was Matai Shani who personally  released me. 
As I got out, I was handed swords and a radium pistol.   Once more I felt alive.

“Lead me to where Lee is being held!” I demanded. They bowed and lead me out of the room and down the hall.  We encounter no one—I later learned the attack came on the middle of the Martian  night.   We made out way through a maze of halls until the Thern lead to a hidden door, That lead to a spiral ramp that  went directly to the living quarters in the palace.   We stepped out and saw a door ahead with two guards.  Matai Shani  stopped me, he was still wearing the robes of his order and a medallion of the tenth cycle.   He smiled and  whispered for me to wait.   He boldly walked out into the light and right up to the two guards.

“Brothers in Issus,” he said with a sort of bow. “I have come to impart a revelation to you.”

“Halt, Thern,” ordered the guard. “These are restricted quarters.” 

“The truth of Issus is beyond any restrictions,” he answered continuing his walk.  “The truth is that  Issus lives and her messenger is John Carter.”   With those words he drew a hidden short sword and quickly dispatched one man with a thrust and turned to plunge his blade into the other man.  It was over in two seconds.   As they fell, the Thern motioned for us to advance.  We opened the door and entered.  I saw Lee, in a small apartment. He was asleep.  I took him into my arms. There was no one else in the room. 

“Grandpa!” he cried and hugged me around the neck hard.

“We have to make tracks, Lee,” I told him.  “We can't be safe until we are out of Tubax.”

I pulled him out of the room and out the door. 

“We do not have far to go,” whispered the Thern.   “We must go back to the basements.”

“The guards may be swarming over the place by now.” I said.

“I believe you are right—there will be fighting. But with the great John Carter on our side, how can we lose?”

“Lead the way Matai Shani—I am in your debt.”   Once again we went  down the ramp into the basement.  Surprisingly,  we didn't encounter any opposition. I was thinking the gods were on our side when a company of Guards tramped down the corridor.

“This way, John Carter!” cried the Thern and lead Lee and I back down another hall as the guards called out for us to stop. 

Before they caught up to us a hidden door slid open and we went into the hidden passage as the guards cried out and the thick door slid closed.  The door was so thick it shut out their cries.

There was a ramp that went down and in the dim lights we rushed down the spiral ramp  as it went deeper underground. It ended in a hall that terminated at a dead end.  The Thern pushed an odd shaped key into a round hole in the wall and a new hidden door slid silently open. Before us was a large room where a strange conveyance  waited. It looked like an old Miniball from the War Between the States. Pointed on one end with a door.  I could see several of them end to end pointing to a round tunnel.  Each one could hold two or three people. 

“The pneumatic transport will take you to the Inner Sea and the palace fortress of the Jed,” explained Matai Shanti, “It is safe and will quickly take you to safety—but, as the Jeddak is about to launch an attack, it may not be safe for long.”

“Anything will be an improvement for us,” I told him as we entered the huge bullet. 

“Put on the seat belts,” the Thern warned them.  “When you are ready pull the lever and the door will be sealed and your trip will begin. I have used this system many times.”

“That's good enough for me,” I said. “Thank you for helping Lee and I escape—I will remember you!” 

“We live to serve,” he answered with a bow.   I strapped Lee in and myself then pulled the lever down. The door lowered and sealed with a hiss.  In less than a minute the vehicle started to move slowly forward, into the round tunnel that just fit the odd car. Then, there was a loud hiss and we shot forward at an ever increasing speed that sent us back in our padded seats.  There was a vibration that was unnerving and I felt my ears pop.  We were as powerless as if we were riding in a cannon ball.   Lee seemed to enjoy the ride, I saw him smiling at me.  I wondered how we would stop our mad journey.   In moments the strange vehicle started to slow down, as if it had run out of momentum.  Then we felt as if the vehicle was floating in water.  Then, with a jerk the thing came to a sudden halt.  The whole trip was less than five minutes.

The door open automatically, and Nutan, the winged Dwar, was waiting to help me out.

“We told you not to trust the Jeddak,” he said.

“Live and learn,” I said.  “Has he started the attack yet?”

“Not at this time, John Carter!” said the odd man.  “It is expected soon.”

“Take me to the Jed,” I asked.  Notan just nodded and lead us out of the chamber and up a ramp.  The thick walled fortress was filled with warriors and when we reached the roof the young jed was next to the crew of a Radium cannon.

“John Carter!”  He said grimly, “We gave up our only shield when you took Fandora home. Where is your mighty fleet now?” There was a look of worry across his face.

“I will admit, you were right about Tubax,” I answered. “ I didn't know that there was a traitor in my ranks. But, I stand with you to ward off the attack that is coming.”

“Two Tubaxian Ships have made their way into the Inner Sea. Both were knocked down by radium cannons, but they were just scouts. The main fleet has just set sail and will be here within the hour.  If you have a plan to thwart the Skeel Legion I would like to hear it now.”

“Yes, I have a plan,” I told him.  “I will need a fast ship or a way to transmit a message to Helium.”

“I can provide you with both, but will they believe you?”

“Let me worry about that.”   I answered him.

I was escorted to a wireless room in the fortress-- It connected to a tower outside the  inner sea. I could see the disgust on the face of the young ruler—I had let him down.
I quickly sent a coded message to Helium to The Jeddak, my son Carthoris and my wife.
I explained how the traitor was none other than Thurgan Than himself.
This seems to have caught them by surprise. 

“We received a coded message to return the fleet—with your own code.” explained Tardos Mors.   We will send the Grand Fleet at once!” I told them to come directly to the Bloodseas where they would be welcomed—and that a battle would be on.   I informed Carthoris that Lee was safe but in the battle zone.   And he vowed to come with warships as well.  I asked of Thuvia and was pleased to learn she was better but still weak.  Dejah Thoris answered saying I should order at least part of the fleet to attack Tubax itself.   I agreed and passed that recommendation on the the Jeddak-- warning him that they enemy had hostages they might threaten.  Before I signed off I was told the fleet had set sail at high speed.

Just then I head a loud explosion. 

“The battle is on!” Cried a warrior who rushed in.

The Battle of the Blood Sea
I rushed onto the roof of the fortress where the Radium cannons had started to fire. I saw Nolan and went to him. Two ships had fought their way into the inner cavern.

“Is Lee safe?” I asked.

“He is in the bombproof in the basement of the fortress, the safest spot in the Blood Seas I fancy.”  he said. “It looks like we have some new allies as well.”  he pointed to a new group of maybe a hundred on the roof.  They were Therns, with their blond wigs and harnesses patterned after my own.  I guess they couldn't resist a chance to fight side by side with their god. 

“The Seventh Cycle is reporting to serve you, John Carter!” the dwar of the group said.

“Honored to have you with us!” I said with a salute. “You maybe pleased to know that Dejah Thoris is coming with the Heliumetic Fleet  as we speak.”   Smiles appeared on every face, They believe she was the true incarnation of Isis herself. 

Just then one of the two small ships suffered a direct hit and crashed in flames into the blood red sea.  Before the defenders could cheer a dozen more entered the cavern, followed by more.  The invasion was now underway and the guns of the warships were now directed at the Fortress.
We were forced to seek shelter from the bombardment as the ships covered for several larger  crafts that, I believed held troops.  There were words painted on the hulls “Skeel Legion”  now I would see first hand if these feared warriors were any good in a real fight.  They had men on ropes being lowered and huge trapdoors opened in the keel to discharge more. They were targeting the fortress, perhaps they knew the Jed was stationed here. Take him and the war was over before it had begun. 

Just then the winged men took off from the fortress  and attacked the men on the ropes.  Being under the hull of the ships the people on deck could not cover them and the hanging men were easy targets.  They tried to defend themselves but the savage attack of the winged warriors cut their lines and the vaunted soldiers crashed to their deaths below.  A few of them managed to slay the bat men but for every one that fell with a severed wing, ten of the other Tubax warriors fell to a screaming death.  As the ships got lower the survivors landed. Now they faced the men of the fortress itself and they took a great toll. More men filed out of the landed warships.  At first they were held back but, as more and more came the pushed back the forces of the Jed. 

“Come!” I yelled to the Seventh Cycle Therns, “Victory for John  Carter and Issus!”  I drew my sword and rushed down into the fighting, with the cheering Therns. If they fought as well as they yelled, we might have a chance.

We entered into the thick of the fighting. Once again I felt alive with my long sword swinging in wide arcs, the sound of steel on steel and the cries of warriors  filling the air.  The Therns proved fearless fighters thrusting themselves into the line of battle.   They took terrible losses but caused the vaunted Skeel Legion to fall back.   The warriors were savage but, not skilled.  Any of the warriors from Zoldanga or Dusar were better.   But what they lacked in training they made up for with numbers.   I looked up as more warships were entering the cavern and landing more troops. One of the crafts was my own new sky ship, now re-painted with the devise of Tubax and the colors of that city.   I would bet that the Jeddak of the West was on that ship, using my very own cabin. 

“Beat them back to their ships!” I yelled.

“For John Carter and the true Issus!” the Therns replied as we pressed forward. We were joined by some of the flying men who were  firing radium pistols into the enemy, not an ethical form of Barsoomian warfare, but one caused by need in this uneven fight.   My warship—now flagship of the enemy fleet, drew close and unleashed a broadside into the fortress, taking a few hits from the gunners on the walls, but none that penetrated the thick hull. The guns on the battleship tore off whole sections of the walls, silencing several of the gun batteries.  The action caused by blood to boil. I had, in my arrogance, thought my reputation and status as the Warlord would cause the Jeddak of the West to bow to my wishes.  I misjudged my man. 
A new ship had touched down discharging more warriors—I had no time to mope as the battle  erupted into a sea of flashing blades and blood.  I dispatched the enemy in front of me  and looked back—I saw men leaving the fortress to join us in the battle. They would be needed. The Therns were doing well and even pushing the superior numbers of the Skeel Legion back.    I saw more enemy ships coming to give re-enforcements to the men of Tubax. 
I saw a warrior beside me. 

“Tell the Jed to direct all fire on the big warship,” I ordered. “It must hold the Jeddak, bring her down and the battle will be ours!”
“Sire,” the warrior said to me.  “Note the bow of the ship! There is tied the wife of the Jed!”

He was right, a woman was lashed to the bow, any fire would kill her.  This was the most despicable act I had ever witnessed. 

“The Jeddak of the West will pay for this.” I vowed. 

More and more ships bearing the colors of Tubax were entering the inner sea.  Resistance was faltering.  As another ship released her warriors, I started to lead my men in a retreat. I stayed with the rear guard to keep the withdrawal from becoming a route.  We were heading back to the fortress, that was taking a beating.   I now feared for Lee—I didn't want to see him tied to the bow of a warship.

“Keep fighting!” I yelled, “Keep them from the fortress.”  My words seemed in vain as more troops were being landed and now outnumbered the men of the Blood Sea.   We were being pressed to the very gates of the building as the fire from the walls slackened.  The Skeel Legion was emboldened, and pressed their attack. I made sure they paid a heavy price for their aggression.  The Therns were mostly gone—only a few were left including their leader who fought well at my side. 

Then, when it seemed we would be overwhelmed,  The horns sounded a retreat from the lines of the Tubax forces—they started to fall back.   I noticed the ships were pulling out –men were flocking to them running up the ramps in a mad dash to escape.  My battleship with its odd bow decoration was the first to exit the cave world.  What was happening.   I wanted to rush the retreating men, but an order came from the Jed to stand back and let them leave.  I watched as the invasion was halted and the forces, that had been winning, withdrew.

What had happened?  It was too soon for the fleet of Helium to have arrived?  Or was it?   I wanted to contact Helium and get the latest news. I also wanted to see how my grandson was doing—I imagined he was scared to death with the battle raging all around him. 

I re-entered the fortress and met with Notan, he was had several serious cuts covered with Barsoomian Plasters.  He looked like he had been in the thick of the fighting.

“The Jed is eager to see you,” he said. “ You have a wireless message from Helium.”

“How is Lee?” I asked. “Is he safe?”

“Yes,  he is with the Jed.”  He gestured and I followed him down the corridors, filled with the wounded. Many were suffering from burns from the radium cannons.   The Thern followed me like a puppy dog.   Deep in the fortress, in a large room set with maps that must have served as a command center, I found the Jed. He too was wounded.  He was a man who didn't lead from behind but was in the thick of the action.  He had burns from a cannon blast.    I was shocked to see Lee next to him,  Dressed in a warriors harness, with a short sword.  He was smiling, having the time of his life.

“Kaor, Grandpa!” he said, “I didn't want to hide in a bombproof.”

Silently, I gave him a hug. I found I had tears in my eyes. 

“John Carter!” started the Jed of the Bloodseas.  “ The Grand Fleet has reached the walls of Tubax.  They are joined by the ships of Ptarth and even Zor sent ships.   They were alerted by none other than Princess Fandora herself.   I must admit that you were right to return her. She was disgusted by the actions of her father and contacted Dejah Thoris  herself.”

“Good for Fandora,” added Lee.

“Is there any way we could use your system to return to the palace?” I asked. “I would like to join in the fighting.” 

“No,” he said,  “the hydraulic system is down at the moment. But, I could lend you a ship. How could you keep your own fleet from shooting your down?”

“Have it painted in the colors of Helium and place my   device on the bow.”

“I will have it done now,” the Jed smiled. I  extended my hand and we shook hands. He then started to give the orders for a small three man ship to be quickly painted with fast drying colors.

“Can I come, Grandpa?” asked Lee.

“Not this time. I must join Tardos Mor and your Grandmother at Tubax.” I told him.
“You need to stay here with the Jed. “ I next turned to the Thern.

“Guard Lee,” I commanded him, “guard him with your life!”  The Seventh Cycle Thern, nodded his head with a grim look upon his face. I knew my grandson would be safe with him. As the Grandson of his God he would die to keep him from harm.

“I wish to join you,” asked Nolan the bat winged man. 

“Is it Ok?” I asked Zab Than, the Jed. Who only nodded approval.

The small flyer was pulled out—it was an old design but the colors of Helium made me smile.

“Your men did a great job,” I commented. 

“May your ancestors be with you,” he replied.   Nolan and I hopped on the machine as I waved to Lee and Matai Shani. Nolan started her up and the big four bladed propeller started to turn.

“She a fast flyer—“, Nolan said. “But not as fast as the one you came in before, she is the best we have in the Bloodseas.”

“On to Tubax!” I ordered. “I have a few scores to settle with Kulan Tith and the traitor Thuran Kan.” 

“As you order, Warlord of Barsoom.”  he answered as we headed towards the cave entrance.
The batman tucked his lightweight wings close to his body and held on tight and pushed the lever forward as the small flyer pushed ahead --- a few shots were fired in our direction as we were mistaken for a ship of the  Jeddak of the West. They were few and poorly aimed and did us no harm but I did hear Nolan mutter some vile oaths under his breath as he piloted the craft to the cave entrance.

“Don't worry, we will have the full weight of Helium and her allies with us.”

“I just know that Tubax has many weapons and high walls,” he answered. “He has your people captive as well. You have seen how they use prisoners.”

I wonder what I would do if Dejah Thoris was tried to the bow of  an enemy battleship.  Would I surrender?  Perhaps.   The very thought filled me hate!  I would get revenge! The long tunnel up had turns but they were well marked and didn't offer an obstacle to our flight. It was only when we reached the entrance to the thin air of dying Mars that we had to use evasive action. I found Nolan a skilled pilot.

It seems that the Jeddak of the West had left a powerful cruiser behind to watch the entrance and make sure no one—meaning me—tried to re-join the Heliumetic  Fleet.  Seeing us they were taken by surprise and their Radium Cannon shots were wild.  Nolan twisted and turned making us a hard target.  I was on the small bow gun and sent a few well placed shots into the older cruiser.  She was moored but cast off her lines and started her engines.  I could see by her lines she was as fast as we were.  In a running fight we would have little chance.

“Fly over her bridge!” I ordered. “Lets see if we can disable the ship!”

“I like how you think, John Carter!” answered Nolan as he pushed the levers forward for maxim speed.  Pointing the bow toward the cruiser and presented a small target to the gunners on the Cruiser.   Nolan was a good pilot, dodging and weaving as explosions   burst all around up. I was kept busy with the bow gun, firing at the bridge and gun mounts, keeping the gunners ducking.  I tried to hit her steering controls but they were too well protected, so I focused on the big propellers at the stern.  They were turning slowly and provided an easy target.  I noticed them start to turn faster in an attempt to maneuver .     But I shot one off the ship with blades falling to the ground.  I focused on the second and damaged it as well.

“Lets get out of here!” I ordered.

“Yes sir!” said the winged man as he flew upward as shells followed us.  We were soon out of range.   I looked back and saw the crew of the damaged ship breaking out replacement props. 

“They will be  up and running soon.” said Nolan.

“Yes, but by the time they balance and set the propellers we will be half way to Tubax.” 

Nolan turned the bow towards the mountain kingdom and went to full speed. 

“You know our friends in the other ship will wireless Tubax and tell them we are coming,” commented Nolan, “They may well have a welcoming party for us.”
“I believe the grand fleet of Helium will keep them busy,”  I commented. 

The flight to Tubax was uneventful but we were ever ready for any tricks. I expected the Jeddak of the West had a few surprises up his sleeve.    I could see the mountain city was surrounded by warships. There had been a battle.  I could see the burning hulls on the ground.  I could see the Tubaxians got the worst of it.


ERBzine 5676: Part I
Intro and Chapters 1-3
ERBzine 5677: Part II
Chapters 4-6
ERBzine 5678: Part III
Chapters 7-9
ERBzine 5679: Part IV
Chapters 10-12

A story of the inner world in nine chapters
 by Richard Senate
along with Richard's photo and bio

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