From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|First appearance||Captain Future (Winter 1940)|
|Created by||Mort Weisinger|
|In story information|
|Real name||Curtis Newton|
|Supporting characters||Simon Wright|
|Publication date||Winter 1940 – Spring 1944|
|Number of issues||17|
|Writer(s)||Edmond Hamilton, Joseph Samachson, Manly Wade Wellman|
|Editor(s)||Mort Weisinger (1940-1941)|
Oscar J. Friend (1941-1944)
|Captain Future (キャプテン・フューチャー, Kyaputen Fyūchā )||Toei Animation|
Portrayed by: Taichirou Hirokawa
Captain Future is a science fictional hero pulp character originally published in self-titled American pulp magazines during the 1940s and early 50s.
Although sometimes mistakenly attributed to science fiction writer Edmond Hamilton, who indeed authored most of Captain Future stories, the character was created by Better Publications editor Mort Weisinger during the 1939 World Science Fiction Convention.
The original character was published by Ned Pines' Thrilling/Standard/Better publications company. A different Captain Future was published in Pine's Nedor Comics line.
The stories were published in the pulp magazines from 1940 to 1951, featuring bright-colored cover illustrations by Earle K. Bergey and two other fellow pulp artists. The adventures mostly appeared in Captain Future's own magazine but later stories appeared in Startling Stories. Captain Future is Curtis Newton, a brilliant scientist and adventurer who roams
the solar system solving problems, righting wrongs, and vanquishing futuristic supervillains.
The series contains a number of assumptions about the solar system which are naive by modern standards but which still seemed plausible, at least to the general public, in the time the stories were written. All of the planets of the solar system, and many of the moons and asteroids, are suitable for life, and most are already occupied by humanoid extraterrestrial races. The initial adventures take place in the planets of the solar system but later stories take the hero to other stars, other dimensions and even the distant past and future. For example, they visit the star Deneb, which is the origin of Earth humans, as well as many other humanoid races across the Solar System and beyond.
The series was originally set in 1990; as the series progressed, Hamilton quickly stopped using exact dates (except as "in the past" as in the voyages of the astronauts who first landed on most of the other planets of the Solar System), sticking with a series continuity. In later stories, if the date was asked or revealed, it was done so discreetly. The 1990 date then becomes unused, there only in the first couple of stories.
The series begins when scientist Roger Newton, his wife Elaine, and his brilliant fellow scientist Simon Wright leave planet Earth to do research in an isolated laboratory on the moon. Simon's body is old and diseased and Roger enables him to
continue doing research by transplanting his healthy brain into an artificial floating case. Working together, the two scientists manage to create an intelligent robot called Grag, and an android with shape-shifting abilities called Otho. Unfortunately, the criminal scientist Victor Kaslan arrives on the moon and murders the Newtons.
The deaths of the Newtons leave their son, Curtis, to be raised by the unlikely trio of Otho, Grag, and Simon Wright. Under their tutelage, Curtis grows up to be a brilliant scientist and as strong and fast as any champion athlete. He also grows up with a strong sense of responsibility and hopes to use his scientific skills to help people. In the first adventure, he offers his services to the President of the System. The publicity-shy Curtis suggests he work under the alias Captain Future. Simon, Otho and Grag are referred to as the Futuremen in subsequent stories.
Other recurring characters in the series are the old space marshall Ezra Gurney, the beautiful Planet Patrol agent Joan Randal (who provides a love interest for Curtis) and James Carthew, President of the Solar System whose office is in New York City. A young boy called Ken Scott was exclusive to the anime.
Captain Future faces many enemies in his career but his archenemy is Ull Quorn, who is the only recurring villain in the series and appears in four different stories. He is part Martian - therefore called the Magician of Mars - but also the son of Victor Kaslan, who murdered the Newtons. Quorn is a scientist whose abilities rival those of Captain Future.
The first issue of "Captain Future" Magazine was reviewed in detail by S. J. Perelman in a memorably funny essay entitled "Captain Future, Block that Kick!" that originally appeared in the January 15, 1940 issue of The New Yorker. It has since been reprinted several times, including in the anthology The Most of S. J. Perelman (2002).
Captain Future Magazine
- 01 Captain Future and the Space Emperor Edmond Hamilton (Winter/40) [reprinted with the same title]
- 02 Calling Captain Future Edmond Hamilton (Spring/40) [reprinted with the same title]
- 03 Captain Future's Challenge Edmond Hamilton (Summer/40) [reprinted with the same title]
- 04 The Triumph of Captain Future Edmond Hamilton (Fall/40) [reprinted as Galaxy Mission]
- 05 Captain Future and the Seven Space Stones Edmond Hamilton (Winter/41)
- 06 Star Trail to Glory Edmond Hamilton (Spring/41)
- 07 The Magician of Mars Edmond Hamilton (Summer/41) [reprinted with the same title]
- 08 The Lost World of Time Edmond Hamilton (Fall/41)
- 09 Quest Beyond the Stars Edmond Hamilton (Winter/42) [reprinted with the same title]
- 10 Outlaws of the Moon Edmond Hamilton (Spring/42) [reprinted with the same title]
- 11 The Comet Kings Edmond Hamilton (Summer/42) [reprinted with the same title]
- 12 Planets in Peril Edmond Hamilton (Fall/42) [reprinted with the same title]
- 13 The Face of the Deep Edmond Hamilton (Winter/43)
- 14 Worlds to Come Joseph Samachson as William Morrison (Spring/43)
- 15 Star of Dread Edmond Hamilton (Summer/43)
- 16 Magic Moon Edmond Hamilton (Winter/44)
- 17 Days of Creation Joseph Samachson as William Morrison (Spring/44) [reprinted as The Tenth Planet]
- 18 Red Sun of Danger Edmond Hamilton (Spring/45) [reprinted as Danger Planet]
- 19 Outlaw World Edmond Hamilton (Winter/46) [reprinted with the same title]
- 20 The Solar Invasion Manly Wade Wellman (Fall/46) [reprinted with the same title]
- SS01 The Return of Captain Future Edmond Hamilton (January/50)
- SS02 Children of the Sun Edmond Hamilton (May/50)
- SS03 The Harpers of Titan Edmond Hamilton (September/50) [reprinted as part of Doctor Cyclops]
- SS04 Pardon My Iron Nerves Edmond Hamilton (November/50)
- SS05 Moon of the Unforgotten Edmond Hamilton (January/51)
- SS06 Earthmen No More Edmond Hamilton (March/51)
- SS07 Birthplace of Creation Edmond Hamilton (May/51)
Adaptations and other derivative works
Screenshot from the anime series
|Genre||Adventure, science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tomoharu Katsumata|
|Written by||Masaki Tsuji, Takeo Kaneko, Fumio Kannami|
|Licensed by||ZIV International|
|Original run||November 7, 1978 – December 18, 1979|
The series was translated in several languages and distributed globally. The four episodes comprising the series' second story arc were dubbed into English and released on video by ZIV International in the early 1980s as The Adventures of Captain Future. In the late 80s, Harmony Gold dubbed the series' initial four-part story as an edited "TV movie" simply entitled Captain Future.
While only eight episodes in total were dubbed into English, the series met huge success particularly in France, where the title and lead character's name were changed to "Capitaine Flam", in Italy with the translated title of "Capitan Futuro", in Latin America and Spain with the title "Capitán Futuro". The success in France and Italy was especially due to anthemic theme tunes (in the dubbed language) which became popular hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s on the French and Italian charts. The Arabic language version has the title of ( فارس الفضاء Faris al-Fadha'a) ("The Knight of Space") and it is considered one of the most popular anime series after being broadcast many times during the 1980s.
The series was also broadcast in Germany, where it appeared under its original title. However, this version was cut by about a quarter of the original length, which mainly affected violent scenes or those considered 'expendable' for the storylines. The reason for this was the misconception in its time that any Japanese anime was automatically meant for children, not for an older audience; the synchronisation studios simply disregarded the fact that in Japan the series was broadcast in the evening hours, hardly a suitable time for children to watch television. Another well-known title released in Germany at about the same time, Heidi, Girl of the Alps, serves as one of many example cases for this misinterpretation.
The original incidental music was composed by Yuji Ohno, while the English-dubbed version had a new soundtrack composed by Mark Mercury. Mercury's work survived on the Latin American version, but a new opening was added for it, composed by Shuki Levy and sung by Chilean performer Juan Guillermo Aguirre (aka "Capitán Memo").
For the German version, a completely new soundtrack was created by German composer Christian Bruhn. To this day, the soundtrack is considered cult for giving the series the right feeling and not only the theme song is still used as background music in many magazines and other shows. A soundtrack CD was released in 1995, and a remix called "The Final" by Phil Fuldner entered the top ten of the German and Swiss single charts in 1998. The German publisher Bastei-Verlag released a Captain Future comic series with original adventures.
Feature filmIn March 2010 it was announced that German Director Christian Alvart (Pandorum, Case 39) secured the film rights for Captain Future and is working on a live-action Adaptation in 3D.
Other appearancesThe Japanese TV series Captain Ultra, a placeholder series between two actual Ultraman series, was more or less a live-action adaptation of the Captain Future series (which has remained popular in Japan as well). The characters were all present, even if the names were changed. To date, Captain Ultra has not been dubbed into English or released in any English-speaking country.
In the TV seriesThe Big Bang Theory, a Captain Future magazine cover is featured as a wall poster beside the entrance door in Leonard's and Sheldon's apartment.
Also, In Cat Planet Cuties, Episode 9 features a well known song from Captain Future. The Cat Planet Cuties series is now being dubbed to English.
- Gerald Wurm. "Captain Future - Schnittberichte.com (Zensur-News und Schnittberichte zu mehr als 6000 Filmen und Spielen)". Schnittberichte.com. http://www.schnittberichte.com/schnittbericht.php?ID=4751029. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "Le Site du Capitaine Flam - Captain Future". Capitaineflam.free.fr. http://www.capitaineflam.free.fr/captainfuture.htm. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Pandorum's Christian Alvart talks CAPTAIN FUTURE adaptation". Quiet Earth. http://www.quietearth.us/articles/2010/03/16/Excl-Pandorums-Christian-Alvart-talks-CAPTAIN-FUTURE-adaptation.
- The Site of Captain Future
- Haffner Press, publisher of The Collected Captain Future hardcover books
- Captain Future at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012.
- Edmond Hamilton on Captain Future
- Robert Weinberg's Captain Future page
- Galactic Central Magazine Datafile for Captain Future
- Captain Future (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
And here's a little from another site, some of which was written by Edmond Hamilton himself:
Reblogged from http://pulpgen.com/pulp/captain_future/inside_cf.html and originally published in PULP #3, Summer, 1971.
AN INSIDE LOOK AT CAPTAIN FUTURE
In early 1970, I received a letter from Swedish fan, Carl-Olaf Jonsson, suggesting a possible article for PULP. Carl had been a long time fan of the Captain Future series and had corresponded with Edmond Hamilton for some time. Jonsson had already formed a Captain Future fanclub in Sweden and had written an article for Swedish fandom on the Wizard of Science.
I was hesitant about publishing such an article as there have been a number of very good articles done on the character. However, both myself and Steve Riley were great fans of Edmond Hamilton, so I decided to take a look at the proposed feature. What I received, astonished me.
After careful consideration, I decided that an article commenting on the following material would be unnecessary and anticlimactic. All of the information in this article is either by Edmond Hamilton or the editors of Captain Future Magazine. Several letters from the author to Carl-Olaf Jonsson are used to tie the material together, as well as add several interesting facts about the series never before revealed.
There is no need to emphasize that none of this material has ever appeared before in the United States. Our deep thanks go to Carl-Olaf Jonsson for making possible this article. Even more so, we have to thank Edmond Hamilton, the creator of Captain Future, for this unusual Inside Look at Captain Future.
|"..... You speak of the original "order" from the publisher for CF.
Yes, I still have this .... dated June 1939. You wouldn't believe what they
wanted. I had to go up to New York and argue with them for days until they let
me change their proposed set-up ...." |
MR. FUTURE ..... WIZARD OF SCIENCE
1990 ... An internationally famous American scientist and explorer, Roger Carter Newton, is experimenting on a newly discovered element (found in a meteor) with super X-rays and high-powered cosmic waves. Roger Newton is searching for the secret of atomic power a secret which he wishes to solve for humanity's sake.
Working with Newton is his wife, Elaine, a skillful researcher in X-rays and radium phenomena. Suddenly Roger Newton lifts his head, pivots around. At the opposite corner of the room, he sees a man -a European spy ransacking his files, grabbing his notes and formulas. The spy, detected, fires a shot at Newton. He misses but the bullet shatters the super-Coolidge tube, resulting in a volcanic explosion. Roger Newton and the spy are killed in this explosion. But his wife survives, though the mysterious radioactive emanations ensuing from the explosion have enveloped her destroying her sight.
Shortly afterward, Elaine Newton gives birth to a son, Curtis Newton. Curt Newton is a normal, healthy child. But his eyes can see a little better than those of others. His hearing is more sensitive than that of his playmates. His reflexes are just a trifle quicker than those of others. Curtis Newton is Mr. Future! (The mysterious X-rays and cosmic rays have affected the genes and chromosomes of his body, making him a biological mutant, the first superman.)
Curtis Newton's specially adapted characteristics enable him to become the foremost scientist in the world. His brain is remarkably facile, and after several years of intense study, globe-girdling, etc. Curtis Newton is equipped for the role of Mr. Future, wizard of science.
Mr. Future! The wizard of science whose exploits are to become legendary throughout the universe. For Mr. Future's life is dedicated to the administering of justice, helping the oppressed. Driven by the same relentless spirit that spurred his father into scientific researches that might benefit humanity, Mr. Future is feared throughout the Solar System as a force for justice, unknown, unseen, unpredictable. The law officials of all the inhabited worlds cooperate with him, respect him deeply.
But Mr. Future is no cold-blooded scientist. Towering six-feet four, with magnetic brown eyes that can twinkle with winsome humor as well as cold purposefulness, Mr. Future is tall, dark and handsome. His unruly shock of curly black hair does not detract from his debonair appearance, and in action Mr. Future looks as if he had stepped out of the pages of a Dumas book. He is likable, has a good sense of humor, and is surrounded with the same aura of glamour and personality that is identified with fiction's favorite he-men, Cyrano, D`Artagnan, Scaramouche. He is not super-perfect ... has some minor faults. He is enthusiastic in his undertakings. (As a touch in human interest build-up, Mr. Future may have some eccentric scientific hobby, which may be used as a running gag in all novels.)
In physical action, Mr. Future is lightning- quick with his fist and reflexes, and can hurl his powerful, lithe frame with the force of a catapult. And he can take it.
Curtis Newton builds himself a secret laboratory at the North Pole. There he perfects a super space-ship, the only one on Earth equipped to travel without rocket-tubes as a means of propulsion. Curtis Newton's space ship utilizes the warping of gravitation for its motive power. It is fleeter, more compact than any other ship in the Solar System. He can travel at the speed of light -- 186,000 miles per second.
Mr. Future flies to the moon, establishes a secret laboratory, near the crater Tycho. Still a third secret laboratory is established on a small, uncharted asteroid that circles the most distant planet in the Solar System, Pluto.
Should Earth government desire the help of Mr. Future, giant magnesium flares are set off in the vast expanses of the Gobi Desert. Mr. Future can see those dazzling flares by means of his powerful, super-telescope.
In his many years of research at his North Pole base, Mr. Future has solved many scientific secrets. He has mastered the art of telepathy and can read the minds of most men unless they make an effort to close their minds to his.
Mr. Future has perfected the ability to make himself invisible. However, he can only make himself invisible for about fifteen minutes, due to the fact that a longer exposure to the rays needed to render him invisible will prove harmful. Another interesting complication resulting from the use of his invisibility device is that he cannot see what is happening around him while he is invisible. His device bends the light rays around him. No light strikes his eyes. Therefore, he has only his super-acute senses of instinct, hearing and touch to guide him when under the invisible rays. (These complications are suggested to offer exciting action when Mr. Future uses the invisibility device, and the time limit slowly approaches and with it the danger of his exposure to the enemy.
Mr. Future's scientific equipment, always carried on his person, consists of a simple, tensile, tungsten-like belt. The belt supports a miniature kit. This kit lodges make-up materials, the invisibility device, a special chronometer which is equipped to tell him the various times on different worlds, also Earth time. Mr. Future also carries a small, powerful proton gun which can be used to paralyze victims or kill them, depending on the intensity of the beam. Still another device in the kit is a miniature radio set, used to receive and send radio waves to any part of the universe. This device operates through the sub-ether.
But, by far, the most commanding item carried by Mr. Future is a strange ruby-like ring, shaped like a rosetta. This ring is Mr. Future's means of identification, and should anyone care to inspect it they would notice that the glittering surface of the ruby constantly flashed and faded in an iridescent combination of dazzling colors. The ruby's colors seem to swirl, coalesce, change form. It is like a strange life-form, with all the majesty and brilliance of the Aurora Borealis. (more about the ring later.)
Mr. Future's fleet space ship is the most powerfully equipped craft in the Universe. It contains a magnificent laboratory. Every element known to science reposes in the chemistry section. In another section are housed test tubes containing samples of the atmosphere from every planet, satellite and charter asteroid in the Solar System, and even those uncharted. The astronomy section contains spectrum-analysis of all the first, second, third, fourth and fifth- magnitude stars, as well as those of the planets and satellites.
In the botanical division of his space ship are specimen plants from all the different worlds. One plant from Mars, Mr. Future uses to manufacture a strange drug which has the power to make its victim tell the truth. Another plant from the deserts of Venus can make its victims shrink.
Mr. Future's spaceship houses super- microscopes, electron-telescopes, etc. The device in the ship has the power to read the brains of men that have died ... but only if applied before rigor mortis sets in.
Yet the greatest characteristic of Mr. Future's super space ship is in its rare quality of camouflage. For, through the dispersion of luminous, incandescent gaseous particles, Mr. Future can create an artificial streamer of luminous light that envelops his ship and causes it to look like a comet! Thus, should Mr. Future be pursued, he can turn his ship into a synthetic comet, with a blinding tail that will make pursuit impossible and unlikely.
Still another device in Mr. Future's space ship enables him to pick up light waves that have sped off into eternity. With this device, Mr. Future can actually find out what has occurred in the past. A murder takes place in Times Square. Mr. Future focuses his machine at the scene. The light rays that have sped away from the scene, into space, are collected back again, and Mr. Future recreates the scene, as if it were a motion picture. (this is quite possible, Camille Flammarion, the French astronomer, used it for the basis of his novel, "Uranis".)
Though Mr. Future can speak twenty-five Terrestrial languages, he is not thoroughly familiar with all the 150 different languages spoken throughout the Solar System. So, his ship contains philological sound records of all the various tongues, with key vocabularies, etc.
The ship has numerous safety devices, retractable wings for landing, etc. It can be used as a submarine in water. On land surfaces, it can be converted into a fortress-like tractor. Many scientific weapons, long-range guns, etc. in the ship. Also, a device which can be used to erase the memory of any organic being, through electrical impacts on the tissues of the brain.
Mr. Future has three associates. But they are the strangest associates ever known to any one man.
Otho the coalescing crystal in Mr. Future's ring, saved Mr. Future from annihilation by others of the crystal race. These crystal beings exerted a weird hypnotic ray, and tried to force Mr. Future to take off his space helmet, which would cause his asphyxiation. Otho interfered, however, established communication with Mr. Future via telepathy, and Mr. Future, grateful, acceded to Otho's wish to have him accompany the scientist on all his exploits.
No one guesses that the "ruby" in Mr. Future's ring is an actual, living entity. Otho helps Mr. Future out of many problems, and he can give the helpful answers to a lot of the formulas and facts that Simon Wright turns out.
In a tight spot, Mr. Future can use Otho to hypnotize an enemy. Or Otho can leave the ring, carry himself by secret forces for miles in the vicinity, remaining constantly in telepathic communication with Mr. Future.
Joan Randall, stratocar speedster, adventuress; she is beautiful, young, and in love with Mr. Future. She does not have to play a dominant role in all novels, but she should be worked in plausibly. Mr. Future cannot marry her until there is universal peace, his mission in life fulfilled.
And there we have Mr. Future, wizard of science!
Note: In connection with novels based on the character, Mr. Future, the history of Earth and the Solar System will have to be pretty much standardized. Author must decide whether Mars is to be inhabited or not, once and for all. The descriptions of the Venusians must be consistent in all novels. The President of Earth must be the same character in all stories, and similarly with other planetary officials with whom Mr. Future is friendly.
To allow for elasticity of plot and non- restriction of complications, author can make use of unexplored territories on the lost continent of Venus, submarine life and domains on Neptune, uncharted asteroids, subterranean civilizations on Mars, etc.
"..... when I was writing the first novel, the editors wrote me that they wanted to change "Mr. Future" to Captain Future".
All other changes from the original outline were my ideas. I felt I could not write stories on the outline as it was."
"The CF stories were changed somewhat in editing. Also, to tell the truth, so little was paid me for the early ones that they were all written first draft right out of the typewriter. After the first five or six, they paid me more, and I then did two drafts and they improved a bit.
Most titles were not changed. The first CF story I called THE HORROR ON JUPITER."
".....In going through my files I've found the original manuscript of the first 2 chapters of the first Captain Future novel.
The editors didn't like this opening, so I rewrote the first 2 chapters of the first story, in the form in which they appeared in Captain Future and the Space Emperor. So this original opening, which was never published, constitutes the first pages of Captain Future ever written ....."
The name and fame of Captain Future are known to every living man and woman. The incredible exploits of that most amazing adventurer in history will be told and retold as long as men live.
But few people, even now, know the tale of how Captain Future came to be, of the utterly strange beginning of that tremendous career. Few people guess that the cherished dream of a young biologist marked the beginning of it all.
Roger Newton dreamed of creating life. The young biologist believed that he could succeed in creating artificial, intelligent, manlike creatures who would be able to think and work to serve humanity. It was a great dream, surely, though it was to have consequences utterly beyond his wildest imaginings.
For Newton decided to remove his work to a safer place. He and his scientific discoveries were in danger. A certain unscrupulous politician who had sinister ambitions had heard of the young biologist's potent discoveries, and had first tried to buy them, and then to steal them. There was danger --- danger to humanity if those secrets got into such hands. Hence came Roger Newton's decision to seek a safe refuge in which he could work secretly.
On a night in that June of 1990, the young biologist communicated his decision to his only intimates, his young wife, Elaine, and his loyal co-worker, Simon Wright.
Restlessly pacing the big, crowded laboratory of their secluded Long Island farm, his red hair disordered and his lean, sensitive young face and blue eyes worried, he told them.
"Victor Kaslan's agents will find us here, sooner or later," he asserted. "And think of my discoveries, my plasm cultures and new bacteriophages, in Kaslan's hands! He would use them to scourge humanity into accepting him as a dictator. That mustn't happen we must go to a place where we'll be entirely safe."
"But where can we go, Roger?" appealed Elaine Newton anxiously.
She was a little thing, this girl whom destiny had cast for a part in an historic drama. But there was courage in the poise of her small, dark head, and in her big, earnest gray eyes. She had pride in her boyish husband, pride and deep love.
"Yes, where can we go?" echoed Simon Wright in his metallic, unhuman voice. "Are you thinking of taking refuge on one of the colonized planets?"
"No, we couldn't hide on any of the planets," Newton replied earnestly. "There are Earth colonies on all of them now, remember, and rockets coming and going in increasing numbers. Kaslan's agents would be sure to find us."
"Then where is this refuge you speak of, if it's not on earth or any of the planets?" Simon Wright demanded.
And Wright's lens-like photoelectric eyes bored questioningly into young Newton's face.
Simon Wright was not a man. He had once been a man --- he had once been an aging scientist who had achieved fame in a half dozen different fields of science. But he had been a dying man --- a man slowly dying from an incurable disease that made every moment of his life a torment.
The tortured, dying scientist had come to Roger Newton for release. He had proposed an amazing plan --- that Newton take his brain out of his diseased, dying body, and preserve it as a living brain in a special serum-case.
"It can be done!" Wright had argued desperately. "The Lindbergh perfusion pump of fifty years ago has been so improved and blood serums so perfected, that my brain can live indefinitely in a serum-case. You can give me sight, speech and hearing by attaching my nerve centers electrically to artificial eyes and mouth and ears."
"But would you want to live on like that, Doctor Wright?" Newton had asked, half-horrified. "An isolated brain, your body gone ---"
"My body is a torment to me.'" the old scientist had declared. "And soon its failing organs will give way altogether, and it and my brain will die, and all the immense knowledge I have stored up for seventy years will be lost to humanity forever.
"That must not happen, Roger Newton. I say without boasting that no man in all history has held more scientific knowledge in his brain than I. If you do this for me, all that knowledge will be at your disposal --- I will be your assistant in your great attempt to create intelligent life. And to work, to think and learn and discover new truths, is all that I want from life."
Moved by the agony of the old man and the earnestness of his plea, Newton had performed the difficult operation. He had transferred Simon Wright's living brain into a serum-case.
The case stood now on a table beside Newton and his wife. It was a gleaming chromium box a foot square, insulated against shock, heat and cold, and containing a tiny battery that could operate its compact perfusion pump and serum- repurifier for a year.
Set in its sides were the microphones that were Simon Wright's ears. In the front was the resonator by which he spoke, and above that were the two photoelectric lenses of his eyes, mounted on little flexible metal stalks that he could turn in any direction to shift his gaze.
"Where can we find refuge from Kaslan's spies, if not on earth or one of the planets?" he repeated metallically.
"Yes, Roger --- where?" asked Elaine Newton tensely.
Newton went to the window and drew aside the curtain. Outside lay the peaceful, nighted Long Island fields, washed with silver by the effulgent rays of the full moon that was rising in glorious majesty.
The white disk of the great satellite, mottled by its dark mountain-ranges and plains, shone starkly clear in the heavens. Roger Newton pointed up at it, as the girl and the brain watched wonderingly.
"There is our refuge," he said. "Up there, on the moon."
"On the moon?" cried Elaine Newton, her hand going to her throat. "Oh, no, Roger --- it's impossible.'"
"Why impossible?" he countered. "A good interplanetary rocket can make the trip in less than forty eight hours. And we have enough money from my father's estate to buy such a rocket."
"But the moon! Elaine exclaimed, deep repulsion shadowing her eyes. "That savage, barren, airless globe that no one ever visits! How could anyone live there?"
"We can live there quite easily, dear," her young husband replied earnestly. "We shall take with us tools and equipment capable of excavating an underground home, with a glassite ceiling open to the sun and stars. Atomic energy will enable us to heat or cool it as we need, and to transmute rock into hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen for air and water. And we can take sufficient concentrated food with us to last us indefinitely."
"I believe your plan is good, Roger," said Simon Wright's metallic voice slowly. The brain added, "Kaslan is not likely to think of looking for us on the moon. We can work there in peace, and I feel sure we'll succeed there in creating a living being. Then we can return, and give humanity a new race of servants."
Elaine smiled tremulously, but bravely. "Very well, Roger," she told her husband. "We'll go there, and maybe we'll be as happy on the moon as we have been here on earth."
"We?" echoed the young biologist astoundedly. "But you can't go, Elaine. When I said `we' I meant Simon and myself. You must stay on earth, of course --- you couldn't possibly live on that wild, lonely world."
"Do you think I would let you go there without me?" she cried. "No, if you go, I'm going with you."
"But our child --," he objected distressedly. She cut him short.
"Our child can be born on the moon as well as on earth," she said firmly.
Roger Newton hesitated, torn with anxiety. She saw his doubt, and added a strong argument.
"I couldn't stay here anyway, Roger. Don't you see --- Victor Kaslan would find me and kidnap me, and force you to give up all your scientific discoveries to him as a ransom."
"That is true, Roger," interjected the brain's cold, incisive voice. "We must take Elaine with us."
"If we must, we must," Newton said finally, but his face was deeply troubled as he looked up at the shining disk of the satellite. "It's a terrible place to take anyone you love --- a terrible place for our baby to be born ---"
"I think I'm going to like it there," Elaine declared with forced gayety. "See how beautiful it looks tonight.'"
Simon Wright's photoelectric eyes moved on their stalks to stare up also at the shining moon- disk. Man, woman and living brain gazed up in silence at their strange, distant future home.
Roger Newton was busy in the days that followed. It was necessary to preserve complete secrecy if Kaslan's agents were not to discover their whereabouts and plans. So he bought his rocket through a dummy company, and had it delivered to the lonely old farm by night.
The rocket was one designed for the growing Earth-Mars trade.
It was over a hundred feet long, powered by heavy cyclotrons that converted solid matter into atomic energy which was ejected from rocket-tubes in bow, stern and keel. It had a simplified one- man control, and a large hold amidships to contain supplies to be transported to the Earth's new mining towns on desert Mars.
Into that big hold., Roger Newton crammed equipment and supplies for an indefinite residence on the moon. Simon Wright, from his unparalleled scientific knowledge, dictated the long lists of necessities. Rapidly, as the weeks went by, the secret work of stocking the rocket neared completion. It towered in its launching-pit amid tall, concealing trees, looking a gigantic thing.
Early in September, when their preparations were almost complete, they received an alarm. Elaine reported fearfully that she had glimpsed a stealthy figure slipping away through the shrubbery at dawn. Newton felt instant apprehension that Kaslan's agents had finally found them.
"We'll start tonight!" he declared. "I can get the last cases of supplies aboard today."
"It would be wise," rasped Simon Wright in his toneless metallic voice.
That night when they emerged from the old house, a chill north wind was whistling through the trees. The moon was high in the sky, gibbous and casting a silver flood over the landscape.
Roger Newton carried the chromium serum-case that housed the living brain. He saw that his young wife's face was pale in the silver light as they approached the looming rocket.
"Listen!" exclaimed the brain's voice suddenly. "I hear someone coming ---"
Then Newton heard the sound which the super- sensitive microphones of the brain had already detected --- a deep, droning humming. A white spark was approaching across the starry sky.
"A flier!" he cried. "If it`s Kaslan and his men ---"
"Of course it's Kaslan," rasped Simon Wright. "The prowler Elaine saw this morning was one of his spies."
"Quick --- we can still get away.'" Newton cried.
He and the pale girl climbed hastily up into the rocket with the brain. Once inside, he slammed and sealed the door, then hastened up with Elaine through the crowded hold to the pilot- cubby.
The humming flier was swooping to a landing a hundred yards away. As Newton hastily buckled Elaine into her recoil harness, he glimpsed men running from the flier toward their rocket, leveling long pistols that gleamed in the moonlight. Foremost among them ran the tall, hawk- faced figure of Victor Kaslan himself.
Newton thrust the brain-case into Elaine's hands to hold, and then leaped into his own recoil harness and slammed down switches. The cyclotrons in the stern started with a mounting roar of released atomic energy that drowned the shots outside.
Newton cut in the stern tubes. The great rocket seemed flung upward by a titanic explosion. The moonlit trees, the old house, Kaslan and his shouting men, vanished from about them. They screamed upward through the atmosphere at a rapidly mounting speed. Newton's head swam, as he felt himself crushed deep into his harness.
Finally as the scream of air outside died away, he was able to call hoarsely. "Elaine, are you all right?"
"Yes, Roger," she gasped, her white face twisted with pain. "And we got away safely ---"
"We got away," muttered Simon Wright's metallic voice, "but Kaslan knows we've gone to some other world. He'll follow."
"He won't know where to follow," Newton declared confidently.
The rocket was now roaring on up through black, empty space. The moon shone bright and hard and cold before them, its stupendous mountain ranges standing out sharp and clear. It looked infinitely cruel and forbidding and hostile to life.
Elaine shivered. "I can't help feeling that we have left earth forever," she said. "That out on that wild, barren world, something strange and unheard-of is going to happen to us."
"Nothing can happen to us there," her husband told her reassuringly. "It will be a safe place for us --- safe from all those like Victor Kaslan who would use our work for evil ends."
Newton was wrong, but he could not know that. He could not know that they three, man and woman and living brain, were rushing out toward an incredible concatenation of events which would mark the beginning of that amazing career that was to rock the whole solar system with mystery and wonder.
Upon the sun-scorched, rocky surface of the moon, a vast desert of white stone that lay beneath the glaring sun in eternal stillness and silence, the gigantic crater of Tycho towered in awesome majesty. Fully seventeen thousand feet above the inner floor loomed the colossal circular rampart of peaks and ridges that enclosed a plain more than fifty miles across.
Bold and blazing in the sunlight, thrust up against the blackness of starred space, the gigantic peaks had remained unchanged for unthinkable ages on this windless, soundless, airless world. But now a new feature had appeared --- a gleaming sheet of glassite set in the rock floor, almost at the center of the crater. Beneath that big glassite window lay the underground home and laboratory of Roger Newton and his companions.
Newton and his wife and Simon Wright had been now ten months upon the moon. With atomic power, they had blasted a cavern in Tycho crater for their home. In it they had lived and worked, the rocket in which they had come being carefully concealed beneath a camouflage of rocks nearby.
The main room of the underground dwelling was the big laboratory that lay directly under the glassite window. Here, bathed in sunlight whose fierce glare had been softened by a translucent under-window, Newton and the brain had worked steadily at their great attempt to create intelligent life. And now the excited young biologist felt that the work was about to be crowned by final success.
"Almost time, Simon," he said tautly, glancing swiftly from the oblong covered metal chamber before him, to a clock. "We figured twenty minutes extra for the final setting of the synthetic flash."
"Aye," rasped Simon Wright. "But we've had disappointments before, remember. This may be another."
"Somehow, I don' t think so," Roger Newton declared, his blue eyes brilliant with excitement and hope. "I believe that this synthetic man will live.'"
The living brain made no answer, watching with lens eyes impassively from the table on which his serum-case rested.
Newton turned and raised his voice in a sharp call.
"Grag, come here! We'll need you in a moment: to lift this cover."
"I come, master," answered a deep, booming voice.
There was a clash of metal joints, a heavy tread from one of the nearby rooms. Into the big laboratory stalked a huge shape a metal robot.
It towered over seven feet in height, a massive, manlike figure. From the barrel-like metal torso extended tubular legs that ended in splayed feet whose soles were padded with artificial rubber. Its mighty arms ended in hands that each possessed seven fingers which were detachable and could be replaced by a variety of drills, pincers, scalpels and other tools carried in a little locker in the robot's metal side.
In the front of the bulbous metal head glittered two enormous lenses of photoelectric eyes, slightly sunken for better protection. The phonographic speech-apparatus had its small opening beneath the eyes, and the hearing apparatus was entirely concealed within the head.
This was Grag, the robot whom Newton and Simon Wright had built soon after reaching the moon. Newton had thought thus to create life, but had found that though Grag was a loyal servant, and of incredible strength, yet he was not human in mentality. He possessed a certain individuality, a certain original mind, but not of high enough order to satisfy Newton. So the young biologist had kept Grag, but had taken another course in his task --- seeing that to create manlike life he must create it of flesh instead of metal.
"Shall I lift the cover now, master?" inquired the huge robot as it paused beside Newton.
"Not yet, Grag," muttered the young biologist. "Five minutes more --- five minutes, and we'll know whether or not our synthetic man is a success or a failure."
Elaine Newton, drawn by the voices, came into the laboratory from the living-quarters. In her arms she carried a baby, who squirmed and turned his gray eyes to the light.
"You woke Curtis with your call, Roger," she told her husband. Then she saw his tenseness, and asked quickly, "Is it almost finished?"
"Almost," the biologist answered, not taking his eyes off the gauges on the coffin-like chamber.
There was a little silence, in which the man and woman, and the great robot and the living brain, remained immobile.
Only little Curtis Newton craned his red head to look with wondering, wide gray eyes at everything in the laboratory.
The baby had been born in this lonely underground home on the moon, eight months before. He had grown rapidly --- more rapidly than any earth-child. He had seemed to thrive, indeed, upon lunar conditions --- but his mother was pale, her eyes shadowed with months of loneliness.
"Time's up!" rasped Simon Wright suddenly.
Swiftly, Newton reached and snapped off the mechanisms whose thrumming died at once. He rapidly unclamped the heavy bolts that held down the cover of the coffin-like chamber.
"Now lift away the cover, Grag!" he told the robot tensely.
The great robot reached down and picked up the massive metal cover as though it were a feather, setting it aside.
Roger Newton peered down into the chamber, his heart pounding.
"No sign of life!" he said hoarsely. "We've failed, Simon!"
"No --- use stimulants!" said the brain's metallic voice quickly. "Quick, Roger.'"
Thus urged, Newton grasped up instruments and bent frantically to work on the being inside the chamber.
Elaine Newton, standing behind him with little Curtis in her arms, could not see the creature on whom her husband worked. She heard the thrum of brain-jolting vibrations applied, saw the flash of hypodermics. In a moment came a hoarse cry from Newton.
"He's stirring --- he lives!"
The creature in the chamber was making clumsy, unskillful movements. Newton reached in, helped the thing out of the oblong box. It would have fallen, had he not held it up.
Elaine Newton gasped in mingled astonishment and horror as she saw the thing that had emerged from that chamber.
A synthetic man! A manlike being whose body was of synthetic flesh made in this laboratory by her husband!
The creature looked only half human as it stood there unclothed except for the belt-like harness about its waist. Its arms and legs had a rubbery, boneless look. Its artificially created flesh was not pink like human flesh, but pure, dead white. The white face had no eyebrows or eyelashes, and there was no hair whatever upon the well-shaped, pure white head.
And though the face had been carefully molded by Newton before the final "setting" of its flesh, though the features were regular and human, something about the dead whiteness of the flesh and the long green eyes gave the synthetic man an unearthly expression. It stood, staring dazedly and unknowingly at the man and the towering metal robot and the brain.
"Put him in a man's clothes and make up his face a little and he'd pass anywhere for human!" cried Roger Newton excitedly.
"Yes," rasped the brain, "and you could make him look like any human by merely desolidifying his flesh, molding it into the desired features, and then resetting it."
"Is he more human than I am, master?" asked Grag. There was a queer worry in the robot's deep voice.
The brain chuckled dryly. "Why are you so infatuated with the idea of being human, Grag?" he asked the robot. "I was human, once, and I wasn't as happy then as I am now."
The synthetic man had stood, gazing around with dazed green eyes. His gaze fell on the red- haired infant in the woman's arms.
Little Curtis Newton crowed and held out his arms toward the white, manlike creature. The synthetic man moved a stumbling step toward him.
Elaine Newton shrank back with a little cry.
"It's all right, dear," her husband told her. Curtis seems to like him."
"It's not normal for a baby to like such a creature!" she exclaimed. "Here, Grag --- take Curtis back to his crib."
The big robot took the infant in his great metal arms, at her order, and stumped obediently away. Little Curtis, familiar with the robot, grinned and gurgled contentedly, looking up into the creature's metal face as he was carried off.
"He thinks almost as much of Grag as he does of me," said Elaine tearfully, looking after them. Her red lips quivered as she looked around. "It's wrong to bring him up in this lonely place, Roger --- with only a brain and a robot and now a synthetic man, for companions, beside us."
Roger Newton had led the android to a couch, where he gently forced him to lie down, wrapping him in warm blankets. Now he came back to his tearful wife's side.
"We won't have to stay here much longer, dear," he told her elatedly. "If our new creation lives and proves able to learn as much as I think he can, our work is done --- we'll have succeeded in creating intelligent life to serve humanity. We'll go back to earth and exhibit him as a model of what can be done."
"Dare we go back to earth?" Elaine asked earnestly, looking up at him. "Victor Kaslan ---"
"Kaslan must have forgotten all about us," Newton told her confidently. "We've never heard a thing from him in all the time we've been here. And we'll come back to Earth as the greatest scientists in its history --- Kaslan wouldn't dare molest us then."
"Kaslan would dare anything, the man lusts so for power," rasped the brain somberly. "And there are many others like him --- many other men who would go to any lengths to possess the powers we have discovered, to use them for their own ambitions.
"We'll worry about that when the time comes," Newton told the Brain "We've enough to do now to give our new creation an education."
In the following days, the android learned with amazing speed. Otho, as they named the synthetic man, had a brain far different from the human --- one devised of artificial flesh fibers by Newton and Simon Wright, consisting almost entirely of cortex layers.
Otho learned speech easily. And he learned to walk in one short lesson. The android had marvelous powers of speed and stamina in his rubbery body. He had not the superhuman strength of the robot Grag, but could move far faster, and seemed to delight in swift movement or action of any kind.
Mentally, indeed, Otho was a complete extrovert. It was thus that he differed most from real men. He had no subconscious, no store of inherited instincts, no fears. He had only a wild lust for action of any kind, and a mocking humor that found voice in deviling the simple-minded robot who was his companion.
Toward Newton and the brain, Otho maintained a certain attitude of respect tinged with awe, for he knew they had created him. Toward Elaine, the android seemed eager to serve. But it was little Curtis Newton who drew him most, and he seemed to enjoy holding the crowing, chuckling infant --- something that always aroused big Grag to make jealous objections.
"Otho has had sufficient training," Newton declared finally after weeks. His eyes gleamed as he continued, "Now we're going back and show him to earth --- show earth what we've done. He will be the first of a whole race of androids that will spring up to serve mankind. "
Elaine's face lit with pure happiness. "Back to earth! When, Roger?"
"At once," her husband said. "Grag, you and Otho go out and take away the rock camouflage around the rocket, so that we can make it ready. Remember your space-suit."
"I need no space-suit, master," reminder the big metal robot in his booming voice.
"That is because you are not human, Grag," said Otho in his hissing, sibilant voice, the android's green eyes glinting with mocking humor. "Only humans need space-suits."
"Am I not as human as Otho, master?" boomed the robot, turning his glittering photoelectric eyes on Newton.
"Go ahead and do as I bade you, and quit quarreling," Newton told them impatiently.
"Aye," rasped Simon Wright's metallic voice dourly. "Being human is nothing to be proud of -- - when I think of some humans I've known."
When the robot and the android had gone out through the airlock chamber that gave egress onto the lunar surface, Elaine Newton brought her infant son into the laboratory.
She pointed up through the glassite ceiling which framed a great circle of starry space. There amid the stars hulked the huge, cloudy gray sphere of the earth, half in shadow, its continents and seas vaguely outlined through veils of mist.
"See, Curtis," she told the baby happily. "That is where we are going -- back to the earth you've never seen."
Little Curtis Newton looked up with wise gray baby eyes at the great sphere, cradled in her arms.
"I feel ashamed now that I've kept you in this wild, lonely place so long," Roger Newton told her, touched by her eager emotion. "I thought too much about my work ---"
"Your work is you," she told him fondly. "And now you've succeeded. But I am glad that we're leaving the moon. Somehow, I've had a premonition that we'd never leave it a silly idea that I didn't tell you about."
Newton heard the air-lock door open, and turned surprisedly.
"Grag and Otho back so soon? They can't have been to the rocket in so short a time ---"
The voice of Simon Wright rasped with sudden urgency from the resonator in his brain-case.
"That is not Grag and Otho.'" declared the brain. "I know their steps -- these are men --"
Elaine uttered a cry. Newton sprang across the laboratory. They wore space-suits, and carried long flare-pistols.
The face of their leader was clearly visible through his glassite helmet. It was a dark, handsome, hawklike face with black eyes burning exultantly.
"Victor Kaslan!" Newton cried appalledly.
Kaslan, while his men's pistols covered the biologist and his wife, reached up and unscrewed his helmet. His face emerged from it, flushed and triumphant.
"Yes, Newton, it is I," he said throbbingly, his black eyes flashing. "You thought I'd never find you here, didn't you? But I've tracked you down, I've combed the colonized worlds for month after month, and finally I've found you here.
Newton felt a cold fear choking his throat -- - fear for the girl and the infant who stood frozen behind him.
"You've got me, Kaslan," he said hoarsely. "I can't stop you from doing what you want to. But I'll give you the secrets you ask if you'll not harm my wife and child."
"Make no bargains with him, Roger," rasped Simon Wright, his lens-eyes fixed on Kaslan's face. "He'll not keep them."
"It's too late for you to make bargains anyway, Newton," Kaslan said harshly. "Whatever you possess in this laboratory, all your notes and processes and secrets, are mine now for the taking. And I am taking them.'"
"And what of us?" Newton asked thickly.
Kaslan's lips curved in a merciless smile. "It would not be wise to leave you living --- any of you."
Newton, feeling the ultimate in despair, looked a moment at his wife. And the sight of Elaine's bloodless face and wide, horrified eyes, galvanized the young biologist into action.
He sprang in a flying leap toward a locker in the corner where his own flare-guns were stored. But he never reached it.
Jets of fire from the pistols of Kaslan's men hit him in mid-air and flung him into a scorched, lifeless heap.
Elaine screamed, and thrust her baby onto a table --- then leaped to the side of her husband.
"Roger!" she cried, bending over the dead form.
"Elaine look out!" cried the brain wildly.
She did not turn. The flares from Kaslan's pistol struck her side, and she collapsed slowly across her husband.
Little Curtis Newton, upon the table, began to whimper. Kaslan ignored him and strode past the two still forms toward the square serum-case that held Simon Wright's living brain.
The would-be dictator looked contemptuously into the emotionless, glittering lens-eyes of the brain.
"No need to waste a shot on you, Wright," he sneered. "Just disconnecting your perfusion pump is enough."
"Kaslan, you are a dead man now," answered the brain in throbbing metal accents. "Vengeance is coming --- I hear it entering now --- terrible vengeance."
"He tries to scare me with threats, this miserable bodiless brain!" Kaslan called jeeringly to his man. He reached toward the brain-case. "I'll soon silence you ---"
Two figures rushed into the laboratory at that moment. Kaslan and his men spun, appalled, unable to believe their eyes as they stared at the two incredible shapes who entered.
The metal robot and the android! They stood for a moment, staring at the scene of death in the laboratory.
"Grag! Otho! Kill!" screamed the brain's metallic voice. "They have slain your master --- kill them! Kill them!"
With a wordless roar of rage from the robot, with a fierce, heart-stopping cry from the synthetic man, the two leaped forward.
Kaslan got in one wild shot --- but the flare of fire seared the robot's side without harming the metal. Next moment, Grag's huge fist had smashed the plotter's head into pulp.
Otho had seized another of the three, his rubbery arms winding around the man's neck, choking him. Grag leaped toward the third, as he screamed and strove to flee.
In a moment, the two lay dead like the others. And Grag and the blazing-eyed android stood, gazing wildly around for more enemies.
"Set me down by your master and mistress!" ordered the brain urgently. "They may still live!"
The robot picked up the brain-case and set it down by the two limp forms. Wright's glassy lens- eyes moved, intently surveying the two bodies.
"Newton is dead, but Elaine is not dead yet!" the brain declared. "Lift her, Grag.'"
With ponderous metal arms, the huge robot bent and raised the girl to a sitting position. Her face was colorless, eyes closed, and there was a ghastly wound burned in her side.
In a moment, she opened dying eyes. Wide, dark, filled with shadows, they looked up at brain, robot and android.
"My --- baby," she whispered. "Bring me Curtis."
It was Otho who sprang to obey. The android gently set the squalling infant down beside her.
The dying girl looked down at the child, with heartbreaking emotion in her fading eyes.
"To leave him without mother or father," she choked.
"Elaine, we three will watch over little Curtis!" cried the brain. "We'll protect him!"
"Do not take him to earth!" she whispered in frantic appeal. "There are hundreds there like Kaslan who will be searching for his father's secrets, and will destroy him. Keep him here upon the moon, until he grows to manhood."
"We will," promised the brain, his lens-eyes fixed on her dying face. "Grag and Otho and I will rear him here safely."
"And when he is a man," whispered Elaine, "tell him of his father and mother and how they died --- how those who wished to use the gifts of science for evil ends killed his parents. Tell him to war always against those who would pervert science to ambition."
"I will tell him," promised the brain, and in its toneless metallic voice was a queer catch.
The girl`s hand moved feebly to touch the cheek of the squalling infant. Into her dying eyes came a strange, farseeing expression.
"I seem to see little Curtis a man," she whispered, her eyes raptly brilliant. "A man such as the system has never known before, fighting against all enemies of humanity ---"
The light died out in her eyes. Her dark head rolled back against the cheek of her dead husband, as though in death she nestled against him.
Grouped around the two dead forms, the brain and the robot and the synthetic man stared wordlessly at each other. Only the whimpering of the frightened infant broke the silence in the lonely laboratory on the moon.