Slay-Ride written By Winston Marks - Who ever thought that Frane Lewis—wholesale triggerman, spaceways pirate—would be the sweating victim of a simple, webbed, nylon garment known as spaceman's underwear?
Frane Lewis enjoyed another sadistic shiver as he moved up the narrow passageway to the captain's control room. To his flared nostrils the warm, moist air of the small space-freighter was still heavy with the smell of death. A psychiatrist could have told him that this was a neural confusion of olfactory sensation with the perverted emotional excitement of murder. But no physicians ever attended Frane's murders, except at inquests.
Three crewmen, still warm, lay at their posts with bloody splotches staining their tunic pockets. Two more chores aboard and his pay, fabulous pay, was earned.
For Frane simple plans worked best. He rapped on the gray magnesium panel. "Your lunch, sir," he called. Inside, a solenoid thumped. The port slid aside revealing the captain's square back outlined against the white-sprinkled velvet of space. As the executive turned away from the transparent nose dome Frane's weapon spoke its final invitation to eternity. The captain's eyes clamped shut, and in the reduced gravity he buckled to the deck in slow motion.
Then Frane swore as the dimly lighted astro-pit revealed another person. What was the navigator doing up here at this time of watch? The tall, uniformed second officer reacted even as unbelieving horror swept his face.
Shoving off from the bulkhead Frane dodged the officer's lunge with a quick side-step, but the motion smashed the side of his curly head into a grip stanchion. His ears rang, and blood spurted from a forehead gash. In a cold rage he watched his opponent recover and crouch for another spring. "Sucker! you could have died nice and easy. Now we shall see!"