The Phantom Planet
(The Phantom Planet)
It is a time when man finally knows how to travel threw space. He has colonized the moon and has build there bases, starting points for the conquest of the universe. During a routine missions, spacecrafts disappeared without explanations. All bring brings back the mysterious vision of an asteroid just before ceasing to emit. Captain Frank Chapman, pilot of the US Air Forces sees his Martian mission cancelled to rescue the missing astronauts.
After several hours of navigation, Pegasus 4, the rocket piloted by Chapman, crosses a rain of meteorite that damages the machine. Obliged to exit in space to repair, Lieutenant Ray Makonnen, navigator of the spaceship, is knocked by a micro-meteorite that provokes his death. Alone onboard, Frank attempts to return to lunar base 1 when an intense magnetic field inexorably attracts him to a huge planetoid that could be at the origin of the previous disappearances.
The spacial vessel plands without problem on the surface of the huge rocky pebble. After some difficult steps on the foreign ground, the astronaut faints. When he resumes conscience, he understands that the planetoid is resided by lilliputian people living in a very archaic manner. When he opens the visor of his helmet, Frank begins to narrow until reaching the size of his hosts. Chapman is presented ahead a commission directed by Sessom, the chief of Rethon, the small stony planet. For security reasons, he is condemnee to reside there ad vitam eternam and to become a subject of Rethon. Sessom even invites him even to choose a betrothed among the most beautiful : Liara, the blonde Sessom's daughter or Zetha, the brown mute girl. The earthman learns that Rethons, because of the structure of their planet have known to master gravity and antigravity. Thanks to this power, they can easily control the displacement of asteroids gravitating around the planet and use some as a defense mean.
But Frank arrival is not the taste of all. Jealous of the light interest the astronaut shows to Sessom's daughter, Herron, an important man in love with Liara, provokes the earthling in a death duel. The gain of the combat returns to Frank who spres the life of his rival. Herron decides then to do everything possible in order that the earthman, not fond of his programed destiny, leave the planet and thus distance Liara from him. It is then that Rethon is attacked by the Solarites, inhuman creatures that seek to destroy the Rethon civilization…
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
While the alien assaults intensify, a captive Solarite captured during the last war against this people gets escape his cell. When he attacks Zetha and Sessom, Herron and Frank join their forces to stop the alien. Torn between the love he wears to Zetha, whom after her aggression by the Solarite, has recovered the voice, and his deep desire to return back on Earth, Frank finally accepts Herron assistance. Herron puts cape on the moon while a rescue mission is on the way for the planetoid.
Frank reintegrates his spacesuit and gets back his original size when he breathes again the landowner air of his scuba. Rescued by astronauts, Frank, who has once again lost time aknowledge, no longer knows if what he lived was a dream or reality. Whatever it is, nobody will believe his incredible story in which he found love.