The Planet of Illusion


The Planet of Illusion by Millard V. Gordon - "A phantom land and a phantom folk Come sailing out of the deep unknown With a soundless roar and a lightless flash To conquer a void for them alone." "Planet sighted!" sang out Kendall, eye glued to the electro-telescope. "Where away?" rang Fred Broster from his place at the controls. "Five point on ten left from star. Point three seven above the elliptic," came Kendall's voice again from the forward observation window. "You're daft and dreaming. Snap into it and look again," Broster yelled, staring hard at the automatically-recording space-chart. "There's nothing here but a particularly empty species of nothingness." The captain's keen gray eyes stared carefully at the glowing panel before him. On it shone out tiny points of light which revealed each of the different bodies through whose vicinity the Astralite was passing. A remarkable device actuated by delicate gravital detectors which marked out every body they approached. And according to this chart, there was no such planet recorded in the depths of the device as that which Kendall had sighted. "I'm not dreaming. Your chart is wrong if you can't find it there," Kendall remarked after a pause, still staring through the lens of the instrument. Broster examined the chart again. No; there positively was no planet circling the star as his observer claimed. "Come away from there!" he called, straightening up. "Dr. Seaward, will you please take the observer's place and check." Seaward dropped the calculations in hand, walked across the control room of the great interstellar explorer, up to the very tip. Kendall stood aside while the doctor applied his eye to the lens. "It's there all right, Broster. A little red disk exactly where he called it off; the chart's wrong."