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Volume 5676

A John Carter Adventure:
The Blood Seas of Barsoom
by Richard Senate

Barsoom Map by Oberon Zell

1. The  Dagger's Thrust
2. On to Tubax!
3. The Caverns of Death

4. The Flying Men
5. Matai Shan
6. The Jeddak of the West
Continued Next Week

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

10. The Battle of Tubax
11. The Fight for the Palace
12. Peace comes at last
The End

I was relaxing that evening. The rest of the family in bed. I was nodding over a new mystery novel and feeling the afterglow of a day of riding and fishing, and a feast of fresh trout.  The Log cabin in Arizona a perfect place to relax with family, far from the noise of the big city.

I was contemplating a brandy and bed when I heard a strange , soft clank of metal on metal. I turned in my chair and saw a bronze giant framed in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room.  He was nearly naked save for a jewel-encrusted harness from which hung an ornate short sword, an elaborate pistol, a dagger and long sword.  He was smiling, his hair was jet black and long. His gray eyes sparkled with life.  I recognized him at once.

“John Carter!” I said, as I stood up and extended my hand. “Its been years since you returned to Earth.”

“I felt a need to visit you once again,” he said as he shook my hand. “ I know you find my accounts of Barsoom most interesting  and I had nothing to do at this time.”

I could see the Metals he wore that hung from the leather straps of the harness. I could also see the scars that graced his body, the tokens of many a battle. 

I gestured to the overstuffed chairs and we sat down close to the fire. 

“I thought I would spend a quiet night with you in peaceful Arizona.  I do not miss Earth, save for quiet moments.  I have a new life and loves on Mars.”

I noticed he was looking at a small framed photograph of my grandson  that stood on the desk. 

“That's my new grandson, a new addition to the family.  My wife and I are very proud of him and our daughter.”

“I too am a grandfather,” he informed me.  Taking off one of the metals and handing it to me.  It folded open and in it was a small painting of a boy dressed in the styles of Barsoom. 

“I didn't, know,” I smiled. “he's a handsome lad, what's his name?”

“I was given the high honor of naming him,” answered John Carter. “ This is no small thing on Barsoom.  I thought long and hard for just the right name.  At last I gave him the name of the most respected man I ever served under during the late war here on Earth.  A man who was a great soldier, and a perfect gentleman; General Robert E. Lee.”

“How did they take to the name?” I asked. How would such a name be received on far away Mars?

“When I told them about General Lee and how I served under him, they were pleased.”

For a while he was deep in thought , his mind millions of miles away. 

“Recently Lee found himself in the middle of a bloody problem that almost started a general war on Barsoom.”

“I would like to hear about it,” I said. 

“Its a fascinating story,” he started. “One that caused me to travel halfway across Barsoom.  I almost lost my life as well.”

At that he gave the account that I present to you now, as closely as I can recall the details. 

Chapter One
The  Dagger's Thrust
The brilliance of the Barsoomian day showed forth over the splendid spectacle that is Greater Helium.  I had just discarded my sleeping silks and furs to view the new day.  The small orb of the sun sent its rays on to the ornate palaces and landing stages of this great Martian city, the capital of a vast and prosperous empire.  As I inhaled the thin air of dying Mars I turned to see my incompatible wife, Dejah Thoris  slide from the sleeping platform to join me on the balcony of our palatial home.   It is a residence befitting my title as a prince of Helium and Warlord of Mars.

“The sun is long in the sky, my love.” she said in a low soft voice. A voice as pure and sweet as the first time I heard it decades ago.

“Yes,” I answered her. “The party for Hadron, prince of Hastor was late.  I feared it might last all night—with all this talk of a new war.”

“Another war,” she sighed as she placed her arms around me. “Must you warriors always talk of wars?  Zodanga fights Dusar, Dusar battles Thuva, Thuva attacks Zor.  Must it always be so?”

“I am afraid it must always be,” I said to her. “ I am sure you would not have us turn away from a fight would you?  Where is your fighting spirit?  If Tubax raids our grain ships and hampers trade, what would you have me do?”

“Tubax!” she replied with a smile. “If I hear of that city one more time I shall just scream.  Its a small state, on the edge of the empire—hardly deserving of such talk.  Just hold me, my prince and kiss me. Leave the talk of war for another time.”

“As you request, my love,” I said as I bent low and kissed her. Our lips met as a faint glimmer caught the corner of my eye. I turned and glanced to my right  to see a small lanky form drop to the balcony from a thin rope.  The glimmer I had seen was reflected light from the polished blade of an upraise dagger in the man's hand.

I swiftly propelled Dejah Thoris back  into the bed chamber.  I was for once without my swords or harness. I faced my opponent as naked as a new born child! 

The invader grinned at me and lunged.   I quickly dogged the expert thrust and turned to regain my room and retrieve a weapon but he jumped and barred the way.  I had a chance to observe the fellow. He was a small man with long bony legs and arms. His head was small and covered with wrinkles—a dwarf-like creature.  He was fast and wielded the broad bladed dagger with the skill of one trained in its use.   He wore a sort of  orange turban with a black cape and purple harness. A coil of silk rope hung from his belt.  He was barefooted for climbing, this was a human spider bent on my death.   Then, with a smile of confidence, he let out a cry and rushed me.  His razor-like blade slashing right and left.

The assassin was fast but my earthly strength gave me the advantage, I turned from his blade and seized his wrist. The man now cried out in pain as he tried to pull away.  With my left fist I felled him in a blow that stunned him. He dropped like a light. I released his wrist as he went to the marble floor.    I had foolishly thought he was unconscious, but he was merely stunned.  He still retained his weapon and leaped up with a powerful swipe that almost disemboweled me.  I jumped back and as he rushed me, I kicked him fully in the stomach.   The sudden blow sent the little man over the low railing down eight hundred feet to the flagstone pavement below.

The spindly creature let out one cry as he fell--”Isis”--that ended when he met the pavement.

The whole attack was more more than twenty seconds of time.  Turning, I saw Dejah Thoris with a heavy radium pistol, standing ready to assist in the battle.    Seeing the outcome she dropped the weapon and rushed to me, tears in her eyes.   She embraced me trembling.

“I thought you had joined your ancestors!” she whimpered.

“No simple cut-throat will bring me down.” I told her.

“Where were your guards?” she asked, 'Where are they now?” 

“A very good question,  I have many enemies.” 

“Who sent the assassin?” she asked.

“Did you notice the odd cap he wore?  The orange of Tubax, I believe.”

“Hold me, John Carter,” she whispered. “Now I understand why we must make war on Tubax.”

“A little present from far away Tubax,” I said, anger growing in my chest.  “We will have to return the favor.”

Just then a loud pounding was heard at the door.  For a moment I thought their might be more assassins present, and  put on my harness and swords.  Even my princess had recovered her pistol.

“Enter,” I yelled, after unlocking the portal,  I backed up not knowing what to expect.   Two of the palace guards fell into the room. Both were bloody from combat.  These were trusted men, veterans of many a fight. 

“Sire, the palace was attacked!” One stammered. 

“An assassin descended to attack me,” I told them.  “I sent him to the ground.”

“Prince Carthoris and His mate Thuvia were attacked as well,” he informed me with a look that sent chills down my spine. “Both are wounded but live.  But, sire, the raiders took your grandson Lee with them.”
“What of the guards?” I asked  as a cold wave of rage filled my soul as I thought of the young Prince Lee, now six years old (12 in earth years). 

“As far as we can tell eighty-one are dead, and half a hundred wounded.  An equal number of the attackers are dead.”

“How could this have happened?” asked a tearful Dejah Thoris. 

“The attackers had the code word of the day,” admitted the guard, looking at his sandals. “They came in a flyer, painted in the colors of Hastor.   The guards were taken by surprise.”

I ran out of the door, the guards and Dejah followed as I made my way across the huge palace to the apartments given over to visiting dignitaries.   As I approached I saw blood on the floors and the bodies of guards.  They had put up a noble fight, that I could see. 

I rushed into the salon where healers were grouped around a form on a couch.  It was my son, Carthoris. He was badly wounded, almost incoherent. He suffered from several stab wounds.  In the chamber were four dead attackers.  They wore orange turbans. 

“Will he... live?” I asked, almost unable to speak.

“Yes, in time he will recover.” said the doctor, as he cleaned his wound.

Then I head a chilling cry, a woman's terrible scream of pain and anguish, coming from the bedchamber.  I dashed in to find more healers around the body of Thuvia. If nothing else, her wounds were greater than those of her husband.  She still held a short sword gripped in her hand. In the room were six dead attackers. From the blood and condition of the room there had been a terrible battle.

“John Carter,” she moaned in pain. Her eyes closed, her face splattered with blood.

“I am here, Thuvia.” I said to her.  She opened her eyes and looked at me.

“They have Lee, your grandson!” she said. “I fought them but there were too many.”

“How is she?” I asked the doctor. 

“She is badly wounded,  I fear the next few days will tell the tale if she lives or dies. I haven't seen such wounds since the Zodangan Wars.”

“Recover him!” cried Thuvia. “John Carter, you are the greatest warrior on the planet.  Bring back my son to me!”

“This I shall vow,” I responded. My heart filled with anger and a desire to repay the outrage inflicted on my family, and  Helium and her Empire.   Dejah Thoris came into the room, her hand to her face in horror.   She rushed to Thuvia's bed,  Taking the sword from the woman, she held her hand and tried to comfort her as only one mother can do for another. 

I went out of the bedchamber and saw the healers were taking Carthoris on a litter, out of the room. 

“We are transferring him to the Temple of Healing,” informed one of the doctors. “He can receive better care there.” 

“They wanted to take me prisoner,” he said to me.  “But, they took Lee. But he fought them!  Where were the guards?  Where were they?  How could such a thing happen in Helium?”

I wanted to comfort him that everything would be all right. I didn't want him to lose hope. I have seen men die if they blame themselves for some terrible thing.

“I will find Lee, and bring him back,” I said to him.  “I will find the people who are responsible for this  and they shall face the justice of my blade.”   He didn't answer but I could see tears in his eyes as they took him away.  I resolved to make good my vow.  I turned to one of the guards.

“A meeting in my quarters!” I announced. “Let the wireless inform all of Barsoom of what happened here, inform Tardos Mors, the Jeddak, of the kidnapping.  I want everything on Tubax we have!  If they are to blame, that city shall be punished.”

“Who else could it be?” the guard answered.

“Who ever it was, they went to a great deal of effort to implicate Tubax, from the turbans to the weapons.   But Helium has many enemies.”

The healers were gently moving Thuvia on a litter from the apartment, to the Temple Healing.  They were very concerned. 

“Vow to me,” she said in a near whisper, “That you will find these men and bring back my son to me!”

“This I swear upon my ancestors,” I answered.  Dejah Thoris   was in tears now, following her daughter-in-law.

“I shall follow her to the Temple of Healing,” she told me. “The greatest surgeons of the Empire will tend to her.”    I briefly held her as the full impact of the tragedy hit me hard. 

I returned to my rooms, seven guards surrounded me at all times least another attack come from some unexpected source.   It seems Helium was once again at war.

On to Tubax!
They rolled out the large maps upon the table. There, set in a group of mountains, was the city of Tubax. 

“Little is know of this kingdom,” answered Kantos Kan, the admiral of the Imperial navy.  “They were almost unknown until about two years ago when they started to expand their power, Taking lands from other small states.  Before this they were only know for their furs and hides and strong wines.”

“Have you contacted the Jed who rules there?” I asked.

“His title is jeddak of the West.  He claims to know nothing of the attack, and condemns the attack saying Tubax does not make war of children.”

“Maybe true, maybe not,” I answered, as an officer raced into the room

“Good news, sire!” he started with a crisp salute.

“Out with it Padwar!” I ordered.

“One Padwar, Thuran Kan, Followed the raider ship in a flyer as it raced west.  He has contacted us, The attackers are heading for Tubax.”

“My grandson,” explained Kantos Kan, “Young, but as brave as they come, and loyal to you, John Carter.” 

“Tell him to keep shadowing the raider and report where she goes,  If she docks at the Jeddak's Palace  I want to know, and when this is over, he can return to a promotion.”

“Shall I ready the fleet for an expedition to Tubax?” asked Kantos Kan.

“Yes, I know we have many units scattered all over the Empire.” I informed him.  “Gather them as I believe we will need a strike force to return my grandson.”

Another officer quickly marched into the room, with a paper.

“This just in from the wireless office,” he announced without a salute.  “Dusar has condemned the attack, as had Hastor and even Zodanga.  The Jeddara of Zor offers any help they can lend.  The Seventh Cycle Therns offer condolences and prayers for your grandson's return.  The Tenth Cycle Therns are silent.”

“The Tenth Cycle Therns hold no love for me and my family,” I replied.  “Still, the Seventh Cycle has spies in every land and might be helpful.”

I saw movement from the doorway and saw Dejah Thoris enter, she was white and her eyes red from crying.   I feared the worst.

“How is Thuvia and Carthoris?” I asked.

“Carthoris is recovering---It is Thuvia who is near death.  They have called in the great surgeon  Ras Thavas to help, but it doesn't look good,” 

Her words struck me like a dagger in the heart. Over the years I had grown to love Thuvia like one of my own daughters. 

“A padwar, Thuran Kan, has followed the raiders,” I told her. “We know they are from Tubax.”

At my words, I saw her expression change from sadness to intense hate. 

“Return my grandson!” she said coolly, “and blow that city off the face of Barsoom!”

The officers in the room were nodding their heads in agreement with her sentiments.

“I plan to travel there myself,” I announced, “I will bring Lee back with me.”

“No!” cried Dejah Thoris, to my surprise.  “You are too important to Helium and to all Barsoom, you are too important to me.  I don't want to be waiting for you when you are chained in some far away pit—or worse killed in some unknown duel.”

“She is right, Sire,” added Kantos Kan.  “Perhaps this whole attack was designed to have you travel there for some evil plan?” 

“Never the less, I am going!” I told them.

“If you must,” said the Princess, “do not go alone. Take a battleship and not a small flyer.”

“They are too slow,” I countered.

“What of the new ship you have been boring my sleep about each night?” asked Dejah Thoris. “You say its the fastest ever built, and one of the most powerful in the fleet.”

“Yes, Sire, The Cluros, is ready, with a choice crew.” explained Kantos Kan. “She was preparing for a record breaking flight around the planet.”

“Tell them to be ready to leave in a zode,” I ordered. “Who commands her?” 

“The Odwar is Djor Kantos,” he said proudly.

“Your son? None better in the Navy of Helium,” I replied with a smile. “I must leave as soon as possible, every xat has the kidnappers further from Helium. While I am gone, ready the fleet for action, contact our many allies and friends for a general war.”

“Bring back Lee for me,” added Dejah Thoris. “Keep in contact with me. I want to know everything that is happening.”

I nodded to her and after a few more instructions went back to the bedchamber and changed into a plain harness with few metals. I took a few supplies—that included a skin dye that would enable me to pass for a red Martian. 

When Dejah Thoris came in I embraced her and kissed, vowing to stay safe and make the journey as short as possible.   The Cluos was ordered to come to the palace to pick me up.  I went to the roof where my personnel hanger was located.  I saw the huge, sleek battleship gracefully come in. It was long and lean craft---well armed, she bristled with guns.  The new engines made her one of the fastest ships ever built.   Each of the four motors had a six bladed propeller—the ship had a long low silhouette. 

Near the gangplank of the craft stood Tardos Mors, the Jeddak of Helium.  His eyes were red. He offered me his hand  and as we shook, he placed his other hand upon my shoulder in a Barsoomian show of respect and friendship.

“Please recover my great grandson,”  he said softly. “Everything I have is at your disposal.”

“I will return him to  the palace.” I vowed to him. “No stone will be left unturned in my search, and if I find  those who are responsible, they will pay a heavy price for this outrage.”

“All Helium and her many allies are behind you. Never have I seen such an outpouring of support.” 

“Take care of Dejah Thoris. She is worried over Carthoris and Thuvia.  The  enemies may even plan further kidnappings.”

“Ras Thavas, the greatest surgeon on Barsoom, has just returned from Zor where he performed a special service for the Jeddara. He is with Thuvia now,” informed the Jeddak. “She can not be in better hands.”

“I must go sire,” I said with a bow. 

“May your ancestors be with you!” added the old ruler.

I saluted him and marched up the gangplank and on to the smooth deck of the new battleship. 

Djor Kantos welcomed me aboard the long and lean craft. 

“Be ready to cast off,” I ordered. “ When we pass the Gate of Jeddaks  move to full power, our destination, Tubax.   Listen for any messages from your son. He is following the raiders.”

“As you say, my lord,'  He answered. As lines were cast off and the large motors started to turn the propellers.  I looked back as  Tardos Mors waved. Others in the palace joined in wishing us well.  I looked for my incomparable wife but she was not seen, I took this to mean she was at the temple of healing, not far away.   The ship slowly built up power, gliding over the tall structures, above the traffic of the City.  I could see the scarlet towers of the gate before us as we gained speed. 

“Sire, please clip your harness to the safety line,” reminded one of the airmen.  I could see they were securing the guns with fastenings, and each man was teetered to rings in the deck. I quickly did the same. When the ship went to full power, I could be swept over board. 

We passed over the broad highway beyond the gate, I could see the wheeled traffic bringing goods to the huge city.   Then, a loud horn was sounded, three notes of warning as the engines started to race and produce a distinct sound. The ground seemed to fly under the keel of the ship as it increased speed. I was forced to hang on and seek shelter behind a windscreen as the battleship went to full power.   I hadn't been on the craft under such conditions, but it brought a smile to my face.   It would not be long before the mountains and walls of Tubax was before us.

The Caverns of Death
The huge ship sliced through the thin air of dying Mars, as the hull vibrated with power and the wind moaned over the deck. It was cold now but heating units on the ship made it tolerable.  The sound was perhaps the oddest thing, for on Barsoom the ships are almost silent.  I retired into the commanders cabin, a rather small affair as all items of luxury were sacrificed for speed and weapons.  It was here that I received several messages via wireless.  The Padwar had followed the raider ship as it passed Tubax and heading into the mountains to an as yet unknown destination.   There was a message from Helium.  Ras Thavas had been operating on Thuvia for several hours but the prognosis looked positive but she would wear the scars of the encounter for the rest of her life.   There was also a message of encouragement from Dejah Thoris  as well as a short message from the seventh cycle Therns who reported no word of Lee or the attack at the palace in Tubax.   Their spies are everywhere and I was sure if they knew anything they would post it to me. 

I started to come to the conclusion that Tubax wasn't behind the attack—they were the ones being blamed. Still I needed to be sure of this.  Thuran Kan would have the answer—I was positive of this.    We we getting reports from him as the ship with my grandson continued  west into the deep mountain.   Further away from Tubax still, this could be part of some bigger plot  with Tubax ultimately behind it all.     I had the ship follow the young padwar's rout making  good time.    I rested as best I could, with worry blocking any chance of sleep.   Until a new report came from  Thuran Kan.   He said the large ship had vanished into a huge cavern set at the side of a steep canyon.   He didn't pursue but continued to broadcast the location so we could follow.   I ordered him to stand in place until we could join him.  I wanted to make sure the cavern was the right one.  It must be some underground base.

In just under two hours the swift battleship made it to the canyon, and Thuran Kan flew his tiny flyer (one of the new swift sort standard within the navy of Helium) on to the main deck of the battleship.  I stepped out of the cabin and greeted him with a handshake. 

“Sire, you honor me.” he said with a  bow. 

“You have done a great service to the royal house of Helium and Ptarth,” I explained. “Look to see a promotion in your future.   What can you tell me of the ship you followed?”

“Older style,” he said. “She was going at top speed  for her class. I kept out of sight and they took no action against me.   The cavern mouth might have been guarded, that's why I was reluctant to enter.  They flew right in as if it was something they did many times before.”

“Let us retire to the cabin,” I said. “Have The commander join us as well.”   I turned and went back into the cabin.  Once there I took a seat and studied the maps of the kingdom.   Soon the meeting started. There were several officers of the ship beside Djor Kantos and Thugan Kan. 

“The entrance to the cavern is in this valley, perhaps a Haad from our position,” the young padwar said.

“Did it look natural or man made?” I asked.

“It looked natural, sire,” he answered. “But. It could have been made to look natural.”

“Could the Cluos fit in the cavern?” asked the commander. 

“Perhaps but we do not know how far back it goes or if its defended.”

“An expedition in needed to check where this cavern leads and its size,” I added.

“I volunteer to go,” said Thugan.  “I could fly my small ship in and see what is there.”

“Wireless reception may well be poor in the cavern,” answered  Djor Kantos. 

“I believe its the only plan we have,” I countered.  “I will go!”

“No, Sire,” objected both Thugan and Djor Kantos. “You are too valuable. Better to let another scout ahead.”

“What is the largest flyer we have on board?” I asked.

“We have a launch that holds fifteen, and one that can hold six warriors,” answered the commander. 

“I will take the six man ship, with myself, Thugan, and four of your picked warriors,” I told him. “We will go in, see what is there and come out.  It is my order as Warlord of Mars and a prince of Helium.   You must see—this is my grandson we are talking about.”

My words were met with silence, several slowly shook their heads—but there were no more objections. They realized it would be useless. 

“I know the men I will assign, the bravest of the crew—the best in Helium.” answered the commander.  “The ship has a small bow gun as well. Promise me you will scout and return within a few Zats!”

“I have made a vow to return Lee to his mother and the princess Dejah Thoris,” I told them. “I will return as soon as we can find where he was taken.  Have the ship ready for action when I return.”

The faces around the table looked grim. 

They were dismissed as I got ready for the mission. I first used the dye to change the color of my skin to resemble those of the Red Men of Mars.  I had a quick dinner, having the cook make a simple meal lacking the spices loved by Helium.    I checked the wireless room and composed a short message for Dejah Thoris and The Emperor.   A message came in, that Thuvia was recovering, and Carthois was on his feet angry he was not with me.  A new account from the Seventh Cycle Therns said that there was a civil war ongoing in Tubax. The kidnapping might be linked to this. Several high ranking members of the government had been assassinated and several kidnapped—including the daughter of the ruler.

On deck Thugan and four others were waiting next to the flyer.   I looked them over and shook hands with them.   Several were faces I remembered from other fights.  I felt confident we could trace the ship, return and with the guns of the battle wagon, blast Lee out of what ever prison held him.

“We have little time before sun set,” added Thugan.

“Right you are,” I answered and hopped on board the flyer.  The gunner took his place behind the radium cannon, the men hooked their harnesses to the ship. I took my place at the controls.

“I see you look like one of us!” said one of the men. “You have changed your skin color.”

“I am prepared for anything.” I told him.   I waved the all clear and started the engine.  In moments we were off, heading for the wide mouth of the cavern set not far from our location. Thugan pointed the way.     I dove down into a long canyon, filled with jagged peaks and rocks.   Then I saw it a gaping opening.  It could have easily held the whole battleship.   I kept her pointed   into the thing,  urging everyone to be on their guard.   I found my heart pumping fast, and a smile on my face.  I would soon come face to face with this new enemy. 

I slowed the speed of the ship as we went into the darkness of the cavern, following as it curved to the right.  By what I had seen in Arizona and on Barsoom it seemed completely natural.  The light was dim, the radiance in the rocks gave some illumination and we switched on the lamps on the flyer.  We didn't get far in the caverns before we encountered radium torches that lead the way deeper into the ground.  There seemed to be just this one cavern, with smaller ones branching off. We followed the illuminated path  as it progressed further. I had feared the cavern would become smaller but the reverse seemed the case, if nothing else, it was wider and taller.  As we traveled, we encountered no animals or men, but I was sure who ever left the torches would be found ahead of us.  I slowed the craft so as not to be taken by surprise.   We traveled in the cave going deeper and deeper into the Barsoomian crust  when, unexpectedly we saw a bright light ahead.  We passed from the cavern into a vast chamber, only the Omean, the lost sea, could rival this huge expanse, and like the Omean, it was filled with water—a gigantic underground ocean. The glowing rocks that formed the roof of the cavernous chamber had a strange reddish glow.  It made the waters, stirred by a low tide gleam red.

“The Blood Sea,” murmured Thurgan, “I thought the stories of the cursed waters were only  tales told to frighten children.”

“I have not heard of this yarn,” I asked.

“The ancient peoples offended Isis and she washed the sea into the underworld, with it all the evils in the world.   The people were changed into beasts and trapped here. It was a terrible punishment for their blasphemy.” 

“The assassin who attacked me was a strange man with spindly arms and legs,” I said.

“The spider men!”  answered the young padwar.

I saw on the sea there were islands, some of them had lights and structures, I could even make out vessels on the waters that were seeming powered by banks of oars.  One of the rocky islands, the largest, seemed to have a tall tower with a glowing sphere atop the thing. It was some sort of light house or beacon. I made my way slowly toward the light. 

As we drew closer I saw several building that resembled a fortress, much like those in the deserted cities in the dead sea bottoms on the surface.  I saw several flyers in a wide courtyard. One painted in the colors of the ship that kidnapped Lee. 

“Look, Sire! The ship we seek.  Perhaps we can effect a rescue!” cried one of the men on my craft.   I was tempted to land in the courtyard next to the craft and fight my way into the complex, but I remembered my vow to Dejah Thoris.

“Let us return to the battleship, and use her power to free my grandson.” I told them as I maneuvered the helm to describe a turn.

“Something is amiss!”  commented Thugan with a tone of danger and curiosity.


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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