PLANET X. And soon, we’ll die.” “I don’t care what you say,” yelled Spaceman Sakala. “If we don’t “I have my orders,” replied Captain Chingu. “Whatever happens, we must certainly not land on that planet. “You have your orders, but I want my life.” Spaceman Sakala was furious. “I know it’s a risk, but I’d rather risk my life on a planet we know nothing about, than float through black space for ever. I know your job is more important than mine and that you give the orders. But I believe I’m right.” “Well,” said Captain Chingu slowly. “We’ll ask the engineer. If he says we land, then we’ll land. If he says we try to reach home, then we will go on.” “The engineer has already said that he was having trouble mending the spaceship. He said that he had tried everything but that too much damage had been done,” replied Spaceman Sakala, as they walked to the engine room. The engineer looked up worriedly as the men entered the room “It’s no use, we’ll have to land soon,” he said. “I’ve just discovered that there’s a hole in the wall There’s only a little fuel left, but it’s coming into the engine room. If we don’t mend it soon, the air here will become poisonous. We will never reach Earth alive!”. PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X

The captain knew that his engineer was one of the most skilled men on the spaceship If the engineer couldn’t fix the damage, nobody could The Spaceship Starbright had been on one of its regular trading voyages between the planet Earth and the planet Cosmos, when a deadening explosion had shaken the Starbright and thrown the crew to the floor when the engineer had inspected the damage, he had found that the fuel tank, holding all the valuable supplies, had been completely broken The tank was empty apart from a tiny amount of fuel in the bottom Luckily, the tank holding the water supplies, which was next to the fuel tank hadn’t been damaged at all. But a tiny hole had appeared in the engine room wall and the little fuel that was left was beginning to run inside. Already, the men were beginning to choke and cough. 3. The captain gazed out at the inky blackness of space. Far in the distance, looking about the size of a small ball, was their home, the planet Earth. On their right was a much bigger planet, the grey threatening Planet X Years earlier, a spaceship had landed on Planet X but after a terrible cry for help on the radio, nothing more had been heard. And so, now, no-one on a trading voyage could land there. But this was an emergency. “All right” said the Captain. “We will prepare for landing now. Immediately the engineer’s hand was on the control switch. He pressed the switch down, and at once, with a great roar from the engines, the Starbright changed direction. Another few moves of the switches and the spaceship was ready to land. Then, with a soft bump, they were safely on Planet X. The engineer began to switch off the engines and there was silence in the ship. Then Captain Chingu spoke. “All the crew will leave the ship at once, apart from the engineer and his men. You will all stay near the Starbright. Spaceman Sakala and I will go and look for aid.” PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X PLANET X

The engineer touched another switch. The door opened smoothly, and the steps were put down from the door of the spaceship to the ground. The captain stood on the top of the steps and looked around him. The ground was covered with a thin grey powder, like ashes. Here and there, there were a few unhealthy-looking shrubs. There were strange plants with bright red stalks and leaves and a few bright green flowers. 4. Soon, Spaceman Sakala joined him on the steps. Steps There doesn’t seem to be any human life here at all,” said Sakala “But we’d better go and look. The men climbed down the steps and their feet sank into the soft powdery substance on the ground. As they took the first few steps, they realized it was going to be difficult to walk very far “The engineer said that he had seen a bay over there said Sakala pointing towards the horizon where the sun shone weakly in the sky Although the sun shone Planet I was still freezing cold “But he also said that the bay looked strange – not blue like our sea but a yellowy brown color Perhaps we’ll find people living around the bay. Perhaps they can give us fuel.” Their space suits felt very heavy and very soon the men were exhausted. On and on they walked until

A bay they thought they were going to fall. They were very, very thirsty and could hardly speak 5 But, at last, they were at the top of a hill and there in front of them was the bay All around the bay along the shore there were huge holes which looked like entrances to caves – but nothing else could be seen That’s a strange-colored liquid,” said the captain “Let’s see if we can drink it. The two men slid down the steep slopes towards the water until suddenly the captain stopped, completely astonished. The substance in the bay was not water at all. It was fuel! It was exactly the kind of fuel they needed to fill up the broken tank! “Hey – that’s wonderful,” shouted the captain “Here is all the fuel we need. Isn’t it wonderful, Sakala?” “Sakala, isn’t it wonderful?” repeated the captain. The captain was just about to turn around, when two terrible metal jaws took hold of his elbows and pulled him up into the air Still hanging by his elbows, the captain twisted around to see four huge metal monsters standing silently behind him. Hanging from one of them, by his elbows, was Sakala. Then as silently as they had come but non-holding the two men high in the air, the machines turned and moved on wheels back into one

An elbow of the caves Deeper and deeper into the hillside, they went along dark tunnels where there was no light. Then suddenly they entered huge underground hall that was brightly lit in the center was an enormous machine with hundreds of light flashing and sparkling and glowing. The machines holding the men put them down on the ground and the men stood rubbing their elbows “Leader. Giver of all orders, Cleverest Brain, these things who have threatened invasion have been taken prisoner.” Sakala and the captain were astonished to hear a machine that could speak — and in front of them was a machine that could not only speak but also think and give orders A horrible, rumbling sound came from the machine “I have never seen such strange-looking things it said “Who are you? Why have you come here?” The captain opened his mouth to speak but his tongue was swollen with thirst. He tried to swallow but his tongue seemed to stick in his throat. He pointed to his tongue, but the machine didn’t seem to understand. Sakala’s tongue, too. was very dry but he was at last able to speak a few words 7 “Give us something to drink,” he whispered. In a moment a machine moved silently along with a bowl in which there was not water but fuel We cannot drink that we’ll die — we need A tongue water.” After those words, a terrible scream rang through the cave. *Water! You cannot drink water! Water is poisonous! Water kills! “No! We need water — or juice,” whispered the terrified Sakala “Well, it’s very strange,” said the huge machine. “But do as they say Another machine brought them a few strange-looking berries. The captain and Sakala ate a few and very soon felt better. Quickly, the captain explained that they were travelling home to Earth and that there had been an explosion. He explained that the engineer was worried about the fuel level in the space ship and had advised them to land here on Planet X.

“But I want to speak to the men who control you,” said the captain “Men?” asked the machine. “What are men? I, the Brain, control this planet. I the Brain, have no rivals. I am the leader.” Sakala and the captain gazed, astonished, at the machine. There were on human beings on the planet everything was controlled by machines “Are you a race machines then asked the captain yes, we are. But we are a dying race. All our workers are old now Far hundreds of years, we dug metal from the ground and once we were very numerous race living all over the planet But when we had used all the metal ore we couldn’t make any more young machines. Some machines died because they were old and exhausted. Many others became wet with that terrible thing water. They died of the disease that terrifies us more than anything else – the disease called rust. When we have rust it begins to destroy us and slowly kills us. Look at my body. Even the Brain, have rust and we have no new metal to mend me. But now you have come You have brought metal and we can use that to mend me. Now I shall not diel “Captain Chingu,” interrupted Sakala. “He means our spaceship, our beautiful Starbright. We will be trapped here for over” “But you can’t use our spaceship,” said the captain. “We must return to our planet, Earth. If you give us fuel, we will not trouble you “I forbid you to leave,” said the Brain “Let us make an agreement then,” replied the captain. “On Earth, it is very difficult to find the pure substances we need to make fuel. On Planet X there is no metal. If we offer to bring you metal. If we offer to bring you metal from Earth, will you let us go? Give us your co-operation and you will be helping yourself and your race.” “I don’t believe you,” replied the Brain “How do I know you are not cheating me? I have already told my guards to bring the metal here.”

The captain turned to Sakala. “But if he takes that, we will die We cannot live for long in this freezing temperature. How can we stop them? They are much stronger than we aril” 9. As the captain spoke, Sakala had been thinking. Suddenly he remembered the water tank. “Stop your men at once” he shouted. ”There are thousands of liters of water inside our spaceship. It will kill your guards.” At once, with a great flashing of lights, the Brain ordered his guards to stay away from the poisonous Starbright, “But I refuse to let you go,” said the Brain. “You will stay here until the water dries up. Then we can take the metal.” At once, the captain took a radio from his pocket “Calling Spaceship Starbright. This is the captain speaking, the voice of the radio engineer replied that he was waiting for orders.

Give each member of the crew a hosepipe,” he ordered. “Point the hosepipes towards the machines. If the Brain, who has taken us prisoner, refuses to make an agreement during the next hour switch on the hosepipes and spray the machines with water.” The Brain listened to this. “I will never give in,” he said determinedly. 10 The captain spoke to his crew again. “Are the hosepipes prepared?” “Yes, sir, the hosepipes are ready, and the A hosepipe engineer is standing near the switch There was silence in the great hall as the minutes passed. Fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, forty-five minutes passed. And at last only one minute was left. “Mr. Engineer, stand near the switch. 10 – 9 –8-7-6-5-4 -3 -2 -”

Suddenly, the rattling voice of the Brain could be heard. “Stop! I’ll make an agreement with you. Don’t kill the few machines who are left,” he said. “We will sell you fuel in exchange for metal.” **Crew, put your hosepipes away and bring out a tractor and some trailers,” ordered the captain. “The Brain has agreed to allow us to take fuel. Send the trailer with oil drums to the bay.”

Very soon, Captain Chingu, Space man Sakala and the Brain were watching the crew, now helped by the machines, loading drums full of fuel on to the trailers. As each trailer was loaded, it was pulled back to the Starbright. Soon, the last trailer was filled with its valuable cargo. “We will return with metal for you,” said the captain to the Brain. “Soon you will have a new and healthy race.”

  1. A few hours later, the Brain watched the Starbright blast off from his territory and then it moved A trailer quietly back to the cave to wait until they returned and from then on, every six months, they travelled between Earth and Planet X. In In exchange for the fuel, the Starbright brought a huge load of metal. The mysterious Planet X was no longer dark and threatening. Captain Chingu and Spaceman Sakala knew that there was always a welcome from their enormous mechanical friend, the Brain.

The space ship landed on Planet X because I was going there on a trading voyage there was only a little fuel left the food supplies had gone they had no more water the men walked to the bay because there was food in the bay they thought people might be living near there

the engineer had told them to the ground was soft and powdery The race of machines was dying because they were not numerous they dug their metal from the ground they had no water there were no more young machines The captain said that if the Brain did not let them go the spacemen would spray the machines with water they would stay until the water dried up they would bring the oil drums. A journey was made between Earth and Planet X every year every six months every month every three months

Fill in the blanks using words from the story.

When the Starbright landed on Cosmos, instead of a human race, the astronauts found a race of machines. A long time ago, the machines had been a race living all over the Some machines had died because they were old, and Others had become with water and caught the terrible called There was No left to make machines, or to the old machines.

Write what John said Example 7 have seen the boy said John Answer John said that he had seen the boy (17 have tried everything, John said “Too much damage has been done. John said the fuel tank has been completely broken John said There has been an explosion,” John said have never seen such strange-looking things Johnson

Write what Johnson

Example among trouble manding the engine. John said Answer John said that he was having trouble mending the engineer word about the level John 7 am waiting for orders John sad The engineer preparing the ones John said My throat dry Jos said “The captain the trailer John said

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