Uranus the Invader A power-mad extraterrestrial travels to earth in search of a firearm.

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Jul 27, 2018 No Comments ›› admin

FICTION
By Lynn Woolley

Editor’s note: This is one of the short-shorts (quite possibly the first) I wrote as a teenager for my fanzine “The Symbol,” and featuring my superhero, the Ghost. The issue was #7, dated January 1967. I would have just turned 17 years old at this writing. This was the first of two short fiction pieces in this issue. I’ve gently massaged this story to remove some of the youthful unprofessionalism inherent in it. But I kept the villain’s name – “Uranus” — for its camp value. (“Okay, Uranus.”) By the way, the moral of this story seems to be that gun control makes you stupid.

One night, while patrolling the city, the Ghost heard a cry for help. The cry had come from a bank robber who was trying to gain entrance to a bank by a tenth-story window from the roof. The poor crook couldn’t tell the Ghost anything, as he was in a state of shock. And so, the Ghost took him to jail and returned to investigate the crime scene at the bank.

The planet Uranus (BBC)

Upon returning, he flew to the roof where the bandit had been. There, he saw a shimmering bright light that almost blinded him. You could make out an alien figure inside if you strained your eyes. Suddenly the vision began to sharpen.

Out of the shimmering light stepped an alien, a hideous being who exclaimed in perfect English: “You are the one I seek. Harken to my story!”

The Ghost listened, awestruck.

“I come from the planet that you call ‘Uranus,’ therefore, for the want of a better name, you may call me that. On my world, weapons are banned, so I came here seeking power!”

“How do you expect power from us?” was the reply.

This story appeared in “The Symbol” #7 January 1967. Dr. Strange illustration by Gary Lancaster (c) Marvel Entertainment

“Be patient, and you shall know everything, rash Earthling. We of Uranus have turned all our know-how to science – to the benefit of our race. Almost all of our knowledge is in the field of medicine; in fact, the telescope was invented on Uranus only a few of your years ago. Experimenting, I finally made one strong enough to observe Earth. I was amazed. Although we have many marvels you have as yet not dreamed of, you and your Earth held wonders untold for me! I decided I must have one of your guns, a weapon long extinct on my world. It would make me the most powerful man on Uranus, but to get it, I had to travel to Earth. Teleportation for short distances is common on my world, but the fuel that powers a teleportionater is not. However, through my supreme cleverness, I managed to steal enough fuel for one round trip to Earth. I can take one gun back with me. The teleportionater will only transmit so much weight far distances, and I barely made it by myself.”

“What makes you think we’ll give you a gun?” asked the Ghost.

“You have no choice. If my teleportionater stays on Earth for one hour, elements in its fuel will fuse with a gas called krypton in your air, causing this entire city to explode. However, I have enough time to escape before the explosion.”

“In other words, I have about 35 minutes to get you a gun.”

“Exactly. And you must promise that you’ll bring a real gun.”
The Ghost thought and thought. Finally, he agreed, and left, soon returning with a rifle.

“Okay, Uranus. Here’s your gun.”

The alien entity examined the gun until he became convinced of its authenticity.

Finally, he looked up and stared at the Ghost with his searchlight eyes, and said, “I am satisfied, and now, I depart.” In another shimmering glare of light, he was gone.

Flying home, the Ghost thought to himself, “I wonder what Uranus will say when he finds out a that a gun needs bullets.”

THE END

© 2018 by Lynn Woolley. All rights reserved.

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