Holiday of Terror Part 2
Tom, Astro and Roger are on leave on Venus, planning on enjoying the entertainments offered by Astro's mining town home, when the boys discover that the town has been sacked, that Astro's uncle's business partner is dead and that everyone is missing.
It turns out the surviving population of the town has been herded out to the nearby gold mine, where they are being forced to load gold onto a small fleet of space craft. The crooks are accompanied by robots, robots just like the ones they ran into on Mercury.
Sending Roger off to call in the Solar Guard, Tom and Astro sneak around to see what they can do to save the townsfolk, who they suspect will be murdered as soon as they are no longer useful. Rogers turns up as a prisoner of the bad guys, making Tom and Astro's task doubly urgent
The cadets rise to occasion by sneaking onto one of the enemy ships and turning its guns on the bad guys and their robots. The surviving bandits flee in their remaining ship, taking half the gold with them but before they can kill the townsfolk.
Tom et al are determined to see the bad guys caught. They doon discover the ship they commandeered has a special scrambler for the radio that cannot be turned off and which renders the ship unable to talk to the Solar Guard. Believing they don't have time to drop by a Solar Guard post in person before the bad guys flee into space, the cadets head out in their stolen and unfamiliar craft to handle the crooks themselves.
Oddly, despite having almost no head start, the crooks' rockets cannot be seen in space. This is because they never left Venus, preferring to hide in a secret base in one of the jungles. The cadets use the radio to get a general idea of where the gang is but cannot narrow it down. A search of the jungle from the air proves futile.
Tom decides to draw the bad guys out by taking advantage of the fact that while the cadets know the thing is scrambled, the crooks don't know the cadets know that. Tom broadcasts a message intended to draw the bad guys out so that the cadets can blast them from the sky unaided. As it turns out, the first part of the plan is 100% successful but the cadets are soon shot out of the air themselves.
The cadets abandon their space ship but not before Tom rigs a couple of nukes to go off once and detonate the ship's reactor once the boys are far enough away to survive this. The bad guys are not so lucky and just as with their brethren on Mercury, they get to taste Atomic Justice! Which a surprising number of them survive.
The evil master mind from Mercury does not show up, which makes me think he's still in his cell on the prison asteroid.
This Jungle World Venus seems incompatible with the need for air plants in Atmosphere of Death. An interesting detail, one that ties into the Solar Guard's paranoia about revolutions on Venus in Atmosphere of Death, is that Venus has had successful revolution. It's never said who they were rebelling against but winning it let the Venusian colonists join the Solar Alliance.
Rockets Labs Cadet Missing Sick Injured Episode W D W D T A R T A R T A R Trial in Space 4 1 1 1 1 Asteroid of Danger 2 1 2 1 2 Giant of Mercury 1 1 Atmosphere of Death 1 1 Mission of Mercy 1 Double Cross in Space 1 Sparkling Meteor Holiday of Terror 3 1 Total 3 8 1 1 1 5 1 2 2 1 Supporting Cast Good Guys Bad Guys Episode Missing Injured/ Killed Kidnapped Injured Killed sick Trial in Space Asteroid of Danger 1 Giant of Mercury 9 9 1 4 Atmosphere of Death 1 2 1 1 Mission of Mercy many many Double Cross in Space 1 Sparkling Meteor 1 Holiday of Terror a town 1 a town lots Total* 11 1 11 1 1 6 * Does not include totals for Mission of Mercy (+1 ship) or Holiday of Terror (a town) Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.