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VAMPIRES

From Outer Space

BY RICHARD F. WATSON

The Abominable

Creature

y BY F. X. FALLON

iJTTJ

In

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Vol.

SUPER-SCIENCE

FICTION!

3 No.

3

CONTENTS

NOVELETTES

MOURNFUL MONSTER by Dan Malcolm

April, 1959

2

A thing- of horror! Yet it could thinkand feel

VAMPIRES FROM OUTER SPACE by Richard F. Watson

B8

The weird seven-foot bats spread lantastic terror

SHORT STORIES

THE ABOMINABLE CREATURE by F. X. Fallon

36

It was loathsome, vile beyond all endurance!

THE HUGE AND HIDEOUS BEASTS by' James Rosenqvest 92

They made men tremble with nightmare fear

A CRY FOR HELP by Eric Rodman

113

The strange beings could alter a man's brain

FEATURES

LOOK TO THE STARS by Scott Nevets

NUCLEAR NEWS by Steven Rory

COVER by Emsh

ILLUSTRATIONS by Emsh.

W. W. Scott Editor

57

91

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i

MOURNFUL MONSTER

by DAN MALCOLM

NOVELETTE

illustrated, by EMSH

It was huge, massive, with a hide of scales, legs like

tree trunks and a fanged mouth of utter horror. Yet it

was unmistakably intelligent and filled with sadness

JT was almost time for the

regular midweek flight to

the

technicians were giving the

two-engine jet a last-minute

checkdown. In fifteen minutes,

according to the chalked an-

nouncement on the bulletin

board,

de-

partmaking the two thou-

sand mile voyage across the

trackless, unexplored wilder-

ness that lay between the two

Terran colonies of Marley-

ville and New Lisbon, on the

recently-s e 1 1 1 e d

leave.

On

the

airstrip,

the

flight would

planet

of

Loki in the Procyon system.

In the Marleyville airport

building, David Marshall was

having one last drink for the

road, and trying unsuccessful-

ly to catch the attention of the strikingly beautiful girl in the

violet synthofab dress. Mar-

shall, an anthropologist spe-

cializing in

non-human cul-

tures, was on his way to New

Lisbon to

wrinkled old

claimed to have valuable in- formation for him. He was try-

ing to prove that an intelligent

non-human race still existed

somewhere on Loki, and he

had been told at Marleyville that several veteran hunters in

New Lisbon had insisted they knew where the hidden

lived.

Now boarding for the

race

who

few

interview a

hunters

flight to New Lisbon,” came

the tinny announcement from

2

4

SUPER-SCIENCE FICTION

the loudspeaker. “Passengers

for New Lisbon please report

to the plane on the field.”

Marshall gulped the

re-

mainder of his drink, picked

up

his

small

portfolio, and

as high as 180 degrees. In the

cooler areas of high and low al- titudes, a more tolerable range of 70-100 prevailed. The polar

regions were more comfortable

so

far

as

climate went,

but

headed through the swinging

they were barren and worth-

door to the airfield. Stepping

less as places to farm or mine.

o*t of the aircooled building

“Last call for New Lisbon

into the noonday heat was like

plane,” the announcer called.

walking into a steambath. The

Marshall trotted up the ramp,

climate on Loki ranged from

smiled at the stewardess, and

subtropical to utterly unbear-

took a seat. The plane was an

able. Humans had been able to

old

and * rickety one.

It had

settle in coastal areas only, in

seen many years’ service, Mar-

had a “fleet” of just one plane,

the temperate zone. There was one Earth colony here, Mar-

shall thought. Loki Airlines

leyville,

forty years

old

and

purchased at great expense

with a population

of

about

from the highly industrialized

eighteen thousand.

 

neighbor world of Thor. There

Far across the continent, on

was not much traffic between

Marleyville and New Lisbon.

the western coast, was the oth-

er major colony, New Lisbon,

with some twenty thousand

Once a week, the old jet plane

made a round trip across the jungle for the benefit of those

people. Half a dozen other smaller colonies were scattered

people—never more than

a

up and down each coast, but

dozen or so each timewho

few humans had ventured into

had some reason for travelling

the torrid interior of the con-

to another colony.

 

tinent.

It was one vast unex-

The

plane

seated

about

plored jungle.

forty, but no more than fifteen

And as for the other conti-

were aboard. The attractive

girl in the violet dress was sit-

nents of the planet, they were

totally unsuited

for human

ting a few rows ahead of Mar-

life. Temperatures in the equa-

shall. With so many empty

seats in the plane, he did not

torial regions of Loki ranged

MOURNFUL MONSTER

5

have any valid excuse for sit-

out, and he would have to re-

ting down next to her. Which

turn to Earth and take a job

was unfortunate, he thought

teaching at some university.

with mild regret.

 

He hoped there would be some

He glanced around. People

clue waiting at the other col-

sat scatteredly here and there

ony.

in the plane. The stewardess

The only way an anthropolo-

came by and pleasantly told

gist could win prestige and ac-

him to fasten his seat belt. A

claim these days was by doing

few moments later, the twin

an intensive report on some

jet engines rumbled into life.

unknown alien race. The trou-

The plane

rolled slowly out

ble was, most of the planets of

onto the

runway. Within in-

the galaxy had been pretty well

stants, it was aloft, streaking

covered by now. He had his

eastward on the five-hour jour-

choice of venturing onto some

ney to distant New Lisbon.

 

distant and dangerous world or

 

repeating someone else’s work.

T'HE accident happened in

the third hour of the flight.

But there was a rumor that

Marshall had been dividing his

somewhere on Loki lived the

time between staring out the

remnants of an almost-extinct

window at the bright green

alien race. Marshall had

blur that was the ground eight-

pegged his hopes on

finding

een thousand feet below, and

that race. He had arrived

in

reading. He

had brought an

Marleyville a week

ago and

anthropological

journal

with

had spoken to some of the. old

him to read, but he found it

settlers. Yes,

they knew the

difficult to concentrate. He

rumors,

they told

him;

no,

would much rather have pre- ferred to be talking to the girl

they couldn’t offer any con- crete information. But there

in the violet dress.

 

were

some early

settlers in

He was wondering whether he would have any luck in New

New Lisbon who might be able to help. So Marshall was on

Lisbon. This was the final year

his way to New Lisbon. And if

of his research grant; in a few

he drew a blank there, it was

months his money would run

back to Earth.

6

SUPER-SCIENCE FICTION

His thoughts were running

in that depressing channel, and he decided to try to get some

sleep

instead of doing still

more brooding and worrying.

He nudged the seat-stud, guid- ing the seat back into a more

comfortable

p o

s i

t i o n,

and

closed his eyes.

An

instant later

a

shriek

sounded in the ship.

Marshall snapped to atten-

tion. He glanced across the

cabin and saw what the cause of the shriek had been. Great reddish gouts of flame were

streaking from the engine on the opposite wing. Moments later the ship yawed violently to one side. Over the public ad- dress system came the pilot’s voice: “Please fasten seat belts. Remain seated.”

An excited buzz of conversa-

tion rippled through the ship.

Marshall felt strangely calm

and detached. So this was what it was like to become involved

in an aircraft accident!

His ears stung suddenly as

the ship lost

altitude. It was

dropping in a long, slow glide

toward the ground.

Shock-

waves ran through the passen- ger cabin as the smoking jet engine exploded. ' Above every-

thing came

voice of

the

the pilot:

tight,

tense

We are

making an emergency landing.

leave

the instruc-

tion is given.”

The ship was swooping to-

ward the jungle in an erratic

wobbling glide now. Cries of

panic were audible. With one

engine completely gone, the

pilot was having obvious diffi-

culty controlling the ship.

It

came stuttering down through

the

could make out individual features of the landscape now.

He saw jungle,

looking, untamed.

“Prepare for landing!” came the pilot’s words. Marshall

gripped his chair’s arms tight-

fierce-

Marshall

Remain calm.

your seats until

Do

not

atmosphere.

wild,

ly.

A

second later the

ship

thundered to the ground, ac-

companied by the crashing sound of falling trees. Marshall

glanced out the window. They

had crash-landed in the thick of the jungle, pancaking down

on top of the trees and flatten-

ing them.

safety

He ripped

off

his

belt.

No

time

to

stop

to

thinkhe had to get out of the

plane. He fumbled for his

portfolio, picked

it up, saw

MOURNFUL MONSTER

7

something else under the seat,

in

big

red

letters

it

said

SURVIVAL KIT. Marshall

grabbed it.

Passengers were rising from

their seats. Some were stunned,

unconscious,

the

dead

from

landing. Marshall stepped out

impact of

perhaps

violent

Words met his eyes—EMERGENCY EXIT.

His hands closed on a metal

handle. He thrust downward,

out.

The door opened. He tum-

into

the aisle.

bled out,

nine feet to the soft, spongy

dropping eight or

forest

floor.

He knew he had

to run, run fast.

He ranhelter-skelter, trip-

ping and stumbling over the

hidden vines.

Sweat poured

down his body. Time seemed

to stand

how many other passengers would escape in time from the

doomed ship.

The explosion, when it came,

seemed to fill the universe. A

colossal boom unfolded behind him. The jungle heat rose to

searing intensity

still.

He wondered

mo-

a ment. Marshall fell flat, shield-

metal

fragments with his arms. He lay sprawled face-down in the

ing

for

his

head against

thick vegetation, panting

breathlessly, while fury raged

a

few hundred yards behind

him. He did not look. He ut-

tered a prayer of thankfulness

for his lucky escape.

And then he realized he had very little to be thankful for.

He was alive, true. But he was

alive in the middle of a track-

less jungle, with civilization a

thousand miles away at the nearest. Desperately he hoped

that there had been other sur- vivors.

waited for a few min-

J_JE

A

utes after

the

blast had

subsided.

steadily.

charred ruin, a blistered hulk.

Fragments of the fuselage lay scattered over a wide

area.

few

a

un-

Then he rose

The

ship

was

One had landed

dozen feet from where he lay.

only

a

He started to walk toward

the wreckage. Figures lay huddled in the grass. Marshall reached the

first. He was a man in his fif-

who was clambering to his feet, ties, heavy-set and balding,

Marshall helped him up. The

older man’s face was pale and

sweat-beaded, and his

lips

8

SUPER-SCIENCE FICTION

were quivering. For a moment

survivors out of twenty. And

neither said anything.

they were lost in the heart of

Then

Marshall said,

in

a

the jungle.

voice that was surprisingly steady, “Come. We’d better look for other survivors.”

The second to be found was

the girl in the violet dress. She

was sitting upright, fighting to

control her tears.

Marshall

“We’re all that’s left,” he

said in a quiet voice.

The

girl

in

the

violet

dressher beauty oddly en- hanced by the tattered appear-

ance of her clothing and smudges of soot on her face

the

felt

a sudden

surge

of

joy

murmured, Its horrible! Go-

when he saw that she was still

ing along so welland in just

alive. She had not completely

a couple of moments

 

escaped

the

fury

of

the

It was an old plane,” mut-

to let such a plane be used

her dress was

scorched, her eyebrows singed, the ends of her hair crisped.

blast, though;

tered the older man bitterly. “An antique. It was criminal

She seemed

otherwise

un-

commercially.”

harmed.

 

“Talking like that isn’t go-

Not far from her lay two

ing to help us now,” said the

more peoplea couple, who

remaining man,

who

stood

got

shakily to

their

feet

as

close to his wife.

 

Marshall

approached

them.

 

“Nothing’s going to help us

Like the others they were pale

hysteria.

now, said the girl in the vio-

and close to the borderline of

let dress'. “We’re in the middle of nowhere without any way

Five survivors. That was

of getting help. It would have

all. Marshall found six charred

been better to be blown up

bodies near the plane pas-

than to survive like this

sengers who had succeeded in

 

No,

Marshall said.

He

escaping from the ship, but

held up the small square box

who had been only a few feet

labelled SURVIVAL KIT.

away at the time of the blast.

“Did any of you bring your

None of the bodies was recog-

survival kits out of the plane?

nizable. He turned away, slow-

No? Well, luckily, I grabbed

ly, shoulders slumping. Five

up

mine before

I escaped.

MOURNFUL MONSTER

9

Maybe there’s something in

small stream. Strange forest

here to help us.”

 

birds, angry over the sudden

They crowded close around

as he opened the kit. He called off the contents. “Water puri-

noisy invasion of their domain, cackled shrilly in the heavy-

leaved trees above them. Mar-

fier

compass

a

flare-

shall took a seat on a blunt

gun and a couple of flares

a blaster with auxiliary charg- .a handbook of survival

it.

techniques. That’s about There’s a knife, a flamegun, and a couple of other things.”

“We’ll never make it,” the

violet dress said

girl

in

the

softly. A thousand miles back

to

Marleyville, a thousand

miles ahead to New Lisbon.

And no roads, no maps. We

might as well use that blaster on ourselves.” .

“No!” Marshall snapped.

Staring at the stunned, defeat-

ed faces of the other four, he

realized that he would have to assume the leadership of the

little group. Were not giving

up,”

can’t

he

said

sharply.

let ourselves

give

We

up.

We’re going aheadahead to

New Lisbon!”

r J 1 HE first thing to do, Mar-

shall

thought,

was to get

boulder at

stream and said, Now, then.

the

edge

of

the

We’re going to make a

trek

through this jungle and we’re going to reach New Lisbon

alive. All clear?

No one answered. Marshall said, “Good. That

means we all have to work to-

gether, if were going to sur-

vive. I hope you understand

the meaning of cooperation. No

no

bickering, no selfishness,

defeatism. Lets get acquaint-

ed,

first.

My name is David

Marshall. Im from Earth. I’m

a graduate student of anthro-

pologycame to Loki to do

anthropological

to-

ward my doctorate in alien cul-

tures.” He glanced inquisitively at

the girl in the violet dress. She said in a faltering voice, “My

name is Lois Chalmers. I’m

I’m the daughter of the govern-

or of the New Lisbon colony.”

research

organized. He led them a few

Marshall’s eyes widened

hundred yards through the low

slightly. Governor Alfred Chal-

underbrush, to the side of a

mers was one of the most im-

to

SUPER-SCIENCE FICTION

portant men in the entire Pro-

Lisbon. We might as well head

cyon system.

Her presence

in that direction.”

here meant that there would

“Maybe its better to stay

surely be an attempt to find

right where we are, Nathan

the survivors of the crash.

Kyle suggested. “They’re cer-

Marshall next looked toward

tain to search for survivors. If

the married couple. The man,

we stay near the wreckage—”

who was short,

thickset, and

muscular, said, “I’m Clyde Garvey. This is my wife Es- telle. Were second-generation

“They could search this jun-

gle for a hundred years and the whole

never cover tory,” Marshall said. Dont

terri-

colonists at Marleyville. We

were going to take a vacation

in New Lisbon.”

The remaining member of

the little band was the middle-

aged man. He spoke now. My

name is Kyle, Nathan Kyle.

I’m from Earth. I have large

business investments on Loki,

both at Marleyville and New Lisbon.”

“All right,” Marshall said.

“We all know who everybody

else is, now.” He looked up at

the sky. It was mid-afternoon,

and only the overhanging roof

of leaves shielded

the forest

floor

from

the blazing

sun.

“We were just about at the

halfway point of the trip when

we crashed. That means it’s

just as far to Marleyville as it

Probably

is

to New Lisbon.

we’re

slightly closer to New

forget that the only transcon-

tinental plane on this world

just crashed. All they have is a handful of short-range cop-

ters and light planesnot suf- ficient to venture this deep into

the jungle. No; our only hope

for New Lisbon.

is to head

Maybe when

close

we

get

enough, we’ll be spotted by a

search-party.”

“What will we eat?” Estelle

Garvey wanted to know.

“We’ll hunt the native wild-

life,” Marshall told her. “And supplement that with edible vegetation. Don’t worry about

the food angle.”

How long will it take to

reach New Lisbon?”

asked.

Kyle

Marshall shrugged. “We’ll

march by day, camp by night.

If we can average ten miles a

day through the jungle,

it’ll

MOURNFUL MONSTER

II

take about three months to

jungle, where the treetops were

reach safety.”

“Three months

linked a hundred feet above

the forest

floor by

a

thick

“I’m afraid so. But at least

meshwork of entangled vines

we’ll get there alive.”

that all but prevented sunlight

“Nice

to

know you’re

so

confident,

Kyle

said bleakly. Three months on

Marshall,”

from penetrating.

They moved slowly, trying

to avoid making noise. Garvey

foot

through

a jungle

thick

with all sorts of dangers

heard a threshing in the under-

“Don’t give up before we’ve

brush and touched Marshall’s arm. They froze; a second lat-

started,”

Marshall said. He

er a strange creature emerged

studied the survival kit com-

from a thicket a few feet away

pass for a moment, frowning.

from

them. It was vaguely

“We want to head due east.

deerlike, a lithe, graceful beast

That way.

If we

start

right

whose hide was a delicate gray-

away, we can probably cover

ish-purple in color. In place of

five or six miles before night-

horns, three fleshy tendrils

fall.

But let’s eat and freshen

sprouted from its forehead.

 

up first.”

 

The animal studied the two

The blaster supplied in the

men with grave curiosity. Evi-

survival kit had one hundred

dently it had never seen human

shots in it, plus an extra hun-

beings before, and did not

dred in the refill. Marshall was

know whether

or

not

to

be

a fair shot, but he knew he

afraid. Slowly the forehead-

would have to do better than

tendrils

rose in the air, until

fair if they were to survive the

they stood erect like three pen-

trip. Every shot would have to

cils on the beast’s head.

 

count.

Marshall lifted the blaster.

He and Garvey struck out

Alarmed at the sudden motion,

into the forest while Kyle and

the

animal gathered its legs

the women remained behind to

and prepared to bound off into

fashion water-canteens out of

the darkness. Marshall fired

quickly.

A

bolt

of

energy

some gourds that grew near the water’s edge. The t