Asteroid 745 Mauritia can be found in




ISFDB.org Magazine Entry



Volume 1, No. 1

ORBIT

YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS-SPACE GHOSTS? MAYBE NOT—BUT DON'T BE TOO SURE!

ASTEROID 745: MAURITIA

by Martin Pearson

IT'S a rather strange thing to he expected to tell a ghost story out here in interplanetary space. The captain has asked me to do this rest period and I'm a man who obeys orders. He says you passengers asked for a ghost story this time and, what's more, you want a ghost story of space.

Now, that's not an easy thing to do. Ghosts and space travel do not quite hit it off with each other. Ghosts belong to the old world, the air-bound, land-bound, sea-bound world, a world where people were dominated by ugly castles and power-mad little men with twisted minds, and where the spirit was warped and bent by the desires of little, land-locked souls. Dirt and lust and night fright: those are the things that called forth ghosts. We haven't had much of that these past seventy years, thank heavens.

Somehow, out here in the spaces between the stars, between the worlds, there's no room for that sort of horrible thing. There's fright, sure, for there's lots of danger between the stars. There's eerieness, sure, on those strange planets and bits of asteroidal rock. But there are no ghosts of twisted little minds, generally speaking.

Nonetheless, I do know one incident which I consider a true ghost story of space. I can't account for it any other way. The whole thing fits the ghost pattern, though of course we didn't realize it at the time.

It was many years ago, when I was only a junior hand aboard a prospector ship poking around the asteroids. We had been out for a month, had a few more days to go before heading back to base on Juno. We were all a bit restless, b...

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