Soon they arrived at their objective and maintained a position well in the van, but not sufficiently far ahead of the rest to call forth a restraining ray from their captors. Already strongly affected by the gravitational pull of the mass of the satellite, many of the smaller portions of the wreck, not directly held by the tractors, began to separate from the main mass. As each bit left its place another beam leaped out, until it became apparent that no more were available, and Stevens strapped the girl and himself down before two lookout plates.
Day after day the brilliant sphere flew toward distant Saturn, with the wreckage of the Forlorn Hope in tow. Piece by piece that wreckage was brought together and held in place by the Titanian tractors; and slowly but steadily, under Stevens’ terrific welding projector, the stubborn steel flowed together, once more to become a seamless, space-worthy structure.
‘Tractors and pressors as assigned—tip him over.’ The intensity of the bombardment did not slacken, but from the maulers to the north there reached out pressors, from those upon the south came tractors; each a beam of terrific power, each backed by all the mass and all the driving force of a veritable flying fortress.
When he does, spear him with a tractor and tell him he’s being held for investigation, because there’s a General Emergency out!
Took off—under space-drive!… How’d he do that without wrecking—With a tractor on him!
A pressor beam lashed out, an invisible hammerblow of repulsion, five times the strength of the enemy tractor.
Several light tractor beams did not have the power of one heavy-duty one, simply because it was difficult to coordinate them. To be at all effective, paired tractors had to lift at the same time and yank in the same direction.
The doctor attached a ’scope to his shoulder, and went fishing for the short circuit with a delicate surgical hand tractor.
They’re headed straight for the surface… Any deeper in the gravity well and the tractors won’t be reliable.
Her pilot completed his final approach, and the cutter shivered as Warlock’s tractors captured it. It rolled on its gyros, aligning itself with the heavy cruiser’s internal gravity as the brilliantly-lit cavern of Warlock’s boat bay engulfed them, then settled into the docking cradle.
Riker had a plan for beaming clusters of pulse engines into the holds of the shuttles…strapping tractor devices to their hulls, and sending them into Dyson uncrewed.
E. E. 'Doc' Smith 'Spacehounds of IPC'
Last modified 2021-01-12 00:07:08
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.