Warriors Of Latan


Warriors of Latan

Blade 37

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

«Halloooo, Richard!»

The ballroom of the old country house was large enough to raise echoes. Lord Leighton’s voice, J thought, might be powerful enough to raise ghosts, if the old place had any left. The scientist was past eighty, hunchbacked; his legs were twisted by polio, and he walked with the aid of a cane. He still had a powerful voice, however-not to mention a sharp tongue, which J had felt more than a few times.

The two men heard thumpings and footsteps from somewhere above, then a shrill yeeep-yeeep-yeeep that grew rapidly louder. «He’s home,» said Leighton.

The scientist appeared to be bracing himself, with his knob-knuckled hands gripping his cane tightly. Lately he had taken to using a cane outside his laboratories. Possibly he really needed it, but J suspected it also contained a few disagreeable surprises for any would-be kidnapper or assassin. Tear gas, poison darts, a minia…

Return To Kaldak


Return to Kaldak

Blade 36

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

The dark green Rover pulled into a reserved space in the parking lot. The man who got out wore a tweed sport jacket, corduroy trousers, and nondescript walking shoes. The clothing didn’t disguise his powerful frame or his athlete’s grace of movement as he walked toward one of the brick buildings around the parking lot.

He was hatless, so the breeze ruffled thick black hair cut unfashionably short. Women were apt to describe his face as ruggedly handsome. This did no justice to the penetrating quality of his large gray eyes. They flicked their gaze continuously from point to point, never leaving anything around him unobserved for more than a few seconds.

Then the man reached the door of the building and vanished from the sight of the two men watching from the window above. The taller one turned to the other and said, «As much as I hate to admit it, Richard looks in splendid form.»

«You don’t…

The Lords Of The Crimson River


The Lords of the Crimson River

Blade 35

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

«Bring it straight back when it’s run,» Lord Leighton told the programmer.

«There’s a backlog,» said the young man with the long but well-kept hair. «If you’d like me to give this priority-«

Leighton’s desire to have the data back right away fought with his equally strong desire not to call unnecessary attention to what he was doing. The first desire won. «Give it priority, then. How long will it be?»

The man looked at his watch. «With luck, I should have it back by four o’clock. Without luck-«He shrugged.

Leighton smiled thinly. He knew everything that could happen to a computer much better than this young man ever would if he lived to be a hundred. Leighton had been working on computers before the programmer was born.

The programmer picked up the briefcase with the «secret» label on it and hurried out. Leighton sighed with relief, then leaned back in his custom r…

The Ruins Of Kaldac


The Ruins of Kaldac

Blade 34

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

The sky was gray, and a chilly wind blew rain through empty windows, turning the dust on the floor into mud. The tall man standing by the doorway looked out briefly at the foul weather, then shrugged and walked back into the room.

The man was not only tall. He was also heavily built, with a broad chest and muscle-corded arms and legs to match. He still moved with a light step which hinted at speed and coordination as well as sheer muscle. His hair was black, and his skin was deeply tanned under the dirt. His skin also showed marks and ridges which could only be the scars of painful wounds. He was naked except for a loinguard which gleamed in the dim light with a silvery metallic sheen, but in spite of the breeze he was not shivering.

The man’s name was Richard Blade. He was probably the only man in any world who’d traveled into more than thirty different Dimensions, fought deadly battles in al…

Killer Plants Of Binaark


Killer Plants of Binaark

Blade 33

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

In a white-painted room two hundred feet below the Tower of London, three men looked at a piece of wire.

The piece of wire was about three feet long. It was curved into an S and lay on a scarred wooden table. The three men looking at it were an odd trio.

The man who seemed to be in charge looked like a cross between a gnome and the mad scientist in a cheap horror movie. He limped, his skull was bare except for a few wiry tufts of white hair, his unnaturally long arms ended in blotched and gnarled hands, and his filthy laboratory smock didn’t conceal his humpback. The eyes peering out at the world through thick-lensed glasses seemed to miss very little.

The second man was elderly, gray-haired, flawlessly dressed, and held himself as straight as a soldier. He had a look of gentle melancholy on his long face, and his wide gray eyes hinted they’d looked on more secrets than most men.

Pirates Of Gohar


Pirates of Gohar

Blade 32

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

Lord Leighton was eighty years old. He’d been born a hunchback, and his legs were twisted from polio as a child. Yet the wrinkled hands and long arms were still surprisingly strong and skilled. He easily unlocked the heavy steel door and started pushing it open. Then Richard Blade stepped forward to help the scientist.

Richard Blade was one of those dark men who look older than they are when they’re young and much younger than they are when they get older. He stood an inch over six feet, and his two hundred pounds moved with the ease and grace of a hunting animal in perfect condition. He placed one large hand against the door and with a single smooth motion pushed it open.

Beyond the door was a small low room, with a bare concrete floor and whitewashed stone walls. In one corner a gleaming metal ovoid seven feet high rested in a steel cradle. It might have been a lifeboat for a spaceship. On the …

Dimension Of Horror


Dimension of Horror

Blade 30

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

Ponderously Big Ben tolled midnight. The lean balding man on the couch awoke and sat up in the semidarkness, tossing off his blanket. He swung his bare feet to the carpeted floor and sat a moment in his rumpled undershirt and drawers, stretching and gathering strength, trying to shake off a paralyzing dread that clung to him from a nightmare he only dimly remembered. He had had many such nightmares in recent weeks.

«Damn,» he grumbled. «Bloody nuisance.»

The only reply was the muffled murmur of the city.

He stood up and groped toward the shadowy mass of his desk. The telephone rang as he knew it would. He picked up the receiver.

«Twenty-four hundred hours, sir,» came a bored masculine voice. «You wanted to be called… «

«Thank you, Peters. Could you have the car brought ’round?»

«Right away, sir. Main entrance or side?»

«Main. No, wait. Make that the side, on Lothb…

Treasure Of The Stars


Treasure of the Stars

Blade 29

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

The big man on the branch watched the soldiers passing thirty feet below. He watched them as intently as a hawk picking out its prey. None of the soldiers looked up or even seemed to realize there was such a direction. They tramped through the ankle-high grass, crackling twigs underfoot and ploughing through bushes. They made so much noise that the man in the tree could have followed their progress on a pitch-black night. If it weren’t for the ugly-looking rifles in their hands, the soldiers would have been almost funny.

The man in the tree was armed only with a rough club and a rawhide sling. He wore only a barbaric collection of animal skins. No one would have laughed at him, though.

He was an inch over six feet tall, and weighed more than two hundred pounds. His heavy-boned frame was layered with superbly-conditioned muscles. His skin was darkened by wind, weather, sun, and dirt, and seam…

Wizard Of Rentoro


Wizard of Rentoro

Blade 28

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

Dawn broke over London as Richard Blade’s train pulled into the station. It was a dawn that promised a clear, sunny day, rare for London at this time of the year. It was a pity, thought Blade, that he’d been spending the morning sleeping and the afternoon far below the Tower of London. By the time sunset flamed over London, he would be far away from the city, from Britain, from the whole world.

He would be somewhere in Dimension X, the infinite unknown on the other side of a barrier made by his own brain and his own senses. When that brain was linked to Lord Leighton’s computer, when those senses were twisted out of their normal shape, the barrier vanished.

He’d crossed into Dimension X twenty-seven times since the day Lord Leighton first linked his brain to a computer and opened the door to Dimension X. Each journey brought new dangers to test Blade’s skill and strength to the limit. He’d escap…

Master Of The Hashomi


Master of the Hashomi

Blade 27

By Jeffrey Lord

Chapter 1

Richard Blade awoke. He felt hard rock under him and small sharp stones jabbing into his bare skin. His head throbbed like a drum and a searing white light dazzled him. He closed his eyes and tried to relax. It had been a remarkably swift and simple transition into Dimension X.

He could not help laughing at that idea, although the laughter made his head hurt more. He supposed a transition into Dimension X could be «swift.» At least it had seemed to him only a few seconds in the nothingness that lay between Home Dimension and Dimension X. How long it really was; he couldn’t even guess. Normal concepts of time and space had less than no meaning when a man was passing from an underground room below the Tower of London into some part of infinity.

What made no sense was to call any transition into Dimension X «simple.» To be sure, there hadn’t been anything unusual about this trip. He wasn’t carr…