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"The planet's immune system is doing everything it can. The planet's immune system is doing everything it can."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Sun-Tube  
  A slicing ray of death!  

A gray, three-fingered hand held an angled tube significantly. A lens gleamed transparent in the sunlight from the open end...

The angled tube came up with the swiftness of light. Grim Morgan cried out sharply, lunged out of his seat. Hilary tore at his gun, knowing sickeningly that the draw would be slower than the action of the strange weapon in the guard's hand. There was a sneer on the monster as he pressed something on the tube...

A blinding beam flashed out of the orifice, sheared through Peabody's middle as though he were cut cleanly in half with a gigantic knife. He toppled in two sections to the floor of the conveyor...

From Slaves of Mercury, by Nat Schachner.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1932
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