By Edmond Hamilton
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Suddenly Hal Kur seemed to go insane, there beside me in the conning-tower. He choked, uttered incoherent exclamations, pointed a trembling hand up through our telescopic window toward the thundering red sun above. I did not raise my eyes, and he clutched my arm, pulling me to the window, his upward-pointing hand trembling violently, his eyes staring. I looked up. There, beside the very rim of the mighty sun, was a tiny black spot, a long, dark speck that hung steady, playing a beam of brilliant light upon Alto.
We had lost! For when I finally raised my eyes I saw that the pointer on the time-dial before me had passed the tenth hour. Even had we had another ray-projector of our own, it would have been too late. Nothing now could save the Eight Worlds, nothing could swerve the mighty sun aside in time to save our universe. We races of men had risked our lives, our universe, in one great cast of the dice, and-we had lost. Suddenly Hal Kur seemed to go insane, there beside me in the conning-tower. He choked, uttered incoherent exclamations, pointed a trembling hand up through our telescopic window toward the thundering red sun above.
The ships of our fleet were falling with us, like wind-tossed leaves, and now I cried out and pointed upward, even as we whirled down to the fiery death below. Far, far above there hung a little group of cruisers from which broad rays of purple light were stabbing down toward us, bathing our ships in a weird glow. " I cried despairingly. "Those ships-that purple ray-it's neutralizing the vibrations of our generators-they led us over this sun and we're falling-" Below yawned the fiery ocean of red flame that was Alto, stretching from horizon to horizon, its tongues and prominences licking hungrily up toward us.
Crashing Suns by Edmond Hamilton