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SPICY ADVENTURE Stories JULY, 1941

The unbelievable had happened! Asiatic hordes had over-run the United States, and the girl Macklin loved had become The Dictator's wife! Was the Heart of America strong enough to save the country?

CHAOS AND BACK

By ROBERT LESLIE BELLEM

FOR Mark Macklin, freedom had a bitter taste. He was under no restraint as he walked along Pennsylvania Avenue that afternoon; yet he was conscious of imprisonment surrounding each step he took.

That was because of the yellow men: the storm-troopers, the police, the soldiers. It seemed incredible for Washington to he in the hands of these Asiatic interlopers, but it was true. They had conquered America; and the thought so blinded Mark Macklin that he forgot to step off into the gutter as a Jap officer swaggered by.

A snake-hiss of fury from the Nipponese made Macklin aware of the enormity of his blunder. But before he could rectify it, a stab of pain seared into his belly. Involuntarily he doubled forward.

"Please—turn it off—you're frying my guts—!"

The Jap grinned maliciously. "Very amusing. Six feet and a hundred seventy pounds of American manhood cringing like a cur when you taste the Ray. Where is your vaunted Caucasian supremacy now, dog?"

"God—switch it off—" Macklin groveled on his knees, hating himself for it but knowing he must make a convincing show of cowardice. That was the only way you could save yourself from these slant-eyed devils; otherwise they burned you to a cinder, left your corpse for the scavenger detail. During the nation's twelvemonth of yellow occupation, white men had learned this lesson cruelly well.

Smirking, the Asiatic officer holstered his ray-gun, the weapon whose scientific principle had made possible the conquest of America. Electrically activated, the gun emanated a force which turned ferrous metals crucible-hot. With such an arm, the Jap invaders had made short work of defense efforts.

RAY-BLASTS had exploded the powder magazines in American warships, melted naval hulls to glowing scrap. Landing forces swept United States infantry out of existence by causing Garand rifles and cartridge bandoliers to blow up. Coast artillery had been reduced to molten slag; and within a month, America surrendered because she was unable to cope with this death-dealing ray that turned steel and iron to hell-hot liquidity!

As it must to all defeated peoples, a species of enslavement then came to the citizens of the United States, Every American was required to wear a special steel identification disc on his person, like a shameful badge of servitude. It was just such a disc that Mark Macklin now wore—and which was the cause of his present pain, his abject groveling. You humbled yourself to these arrogant Orientals or they turned the Y-ray on your identification badge and seared you to a cinder!

The uniformed Jap smirked again. "Next time remember to get off the sidewalk!" Then his almond eyes narrowed and an old saber scar writhed wormlike on his left cheek. "Haven't I seen you somewhere before? In a concentration camp?"

"Yes, sir. I'm Mark Macklin."

That name had meant plenty in the early days of the Invasion. As the country's foremost experimenter in the science of plastics, Macklin had been on the verge of perfecting a new synthetic from which guns and armor could have been moulded; armament containing no metal and which consequently would neither melt nor explode if subjected to the Y-ray.

With such a material the United States might have re-girded itself, repelled the Asiatic invaders; but before production could start, Congress unconditionally surrendered. And Macklin, too dangerous to be allowed freedom, had been imprisoned by the Japs. His liberty, now, seemed to enrage the scar-faced officer afresh. The yellow man again whipped out his raygun.

"How did you get loose, dog? Speak quickly before I melt your bowels!"

"I was released by order of the White House... I mean the Dictator's Palace," Macklin hastily amended his verbal slip. "I was told to present myself at the Palace immediately."

The officer scowled. "I happen to be Colonel Saburo of...

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