Earth Alert!by Kris Neville / Science Fiction
Produced by Greg Weeks, Mary Meehan and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
By Kris Neville
[Transcriber note: This etext was produced from Imagination Stories ofScience and Fantasy February 1953. Extensive research did not uncoverany evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]
[Sidenote: What defense could she raise against mutantscience--telepathy, invisibility, teleportation--especially since Earthwas not aware of its danger!]
When Julia (she pronounced the name without the a at the end) wastwenty-four, she inherited $22,000 from an obscure uncle in California.After deducting taxes and administrative expenses, the California StateCourt ordered the money transferred to her bank account. It came to$20,247.50.
She had been working in a local book store. I haven't the vaguest ideawhy it came to me, she told the curious and covertly envious customers.I guess he just didn't know anybody else.
She was a small, slender girl. Her eyes were bright and enthusiastic,her open smile so friendly that it was infectious.
The first afternoon when the money was actually in the bank under herown name, her father asked, Well, what are you going to do with it? Hewas genuinely curious. He owned his own home and was about to retire ona pension. He felt uncomfortable in the face of $20,247.50--for which hewas not able even to imagine a use.
Julia said, I haven't exactly made up my mind yet. She intended toshop around for a husband, but she did not say this. She thought itwould sound very callous to say: I'm going to buy me a husband: I'vealways wanted one.
* * * * *
Julia gave two weeks notice at the book store. When the time was up shetook her last pay check and went to one of the modest dress shops andbought herself a conservative brown suit.
You have a very nice figure, the clerk told her.
Thank you. She studied him critically and then shook her head sadly.He wouldn't do.
I've got to be sure I get the right one, she thought. I'll know him whenI see him, she reassured herself. It certainly isn't this one.
There ought, she thought, to be a lot of eligible bachelors inHollywood. The movies ought to attract them.
* * * * *
Two days later she walked down to the bank and instructed the teller totransfer $5,000 of her money to a checking account in her name at theSecurity First National Bank in Los Angeles.
She told her father she was going to take a little vacation.
There's plenty of eligible bachelors here, he said.
Why dad! she exclaimed indignantly. ... And anyway, none of them everhas asked me.
God help the man you set your mind on, that's all I can say.
Out beyond the orbit of the moon there was a huge, wheel-shaped spacestation. Its rapid spin pressed the equivalent of one Earth gravityagainst its broad, thick rim. Once when the distortion field failed, theMt. Palomar telescope tracked it for the better part of an hour, butearth astronomers attributed the track either to an irregularity in thephotographic plate or to some peculiarity in the atmosphere.
Near the hub where the gravity was weak, the nine aliens lived; in thetwo rim compartments lived the mutants. There were almost a thousand ofthe latter--both male and female--in the larger compartment; and fewerthan thirty--all male--in the smaller one.
Soon, now, the mutants told each other with growing excitement, weshall go down and kill them.
The aliens stepped up the power in the larger of the two transmitters.Our indoctrination is perfect, they reassured themselves. The mutantswill not get out of hand.