As the FutureShip zoomed through space, the FutureTeam were completing a meal. Well, Cap and the sexy Lurena were eating; Grog the huge robot did not eat, nor did Dota the white android or Brainbox, a brain in a floating computer box.
Cap and Lurena had just finished eating, and Cap was cleaning his perfect teeth with a toothpick, when Brainbox shouted, "Stop the ship!"
They had been eating in the control cabin, so Cap slipped the pick into his pocket and shot to his feet. "What is it, Brainbox? What's wrong?"
"A strange space-warp suddenly appeared. I'm afraid it's the infamous Space Triangle!"
In the control seat, Cap's fingers danced over the key, slid icons, pulled switches.
"Brainbox! The Futureship is the most powerful ship in space! Why can't I pull us away."
"I was afraid of that," Brainbox said dourly. "It IS the Space Triangle! It's said its pull is even stronger than a black hole!"
The giant robot snarled, "Grog smash!"
"Nothing to smash, Grog," Brainbox said tolerantly. 'You can't smash a space-warp."
"Isn't there some way to detect it?" Cap asked.
Brainbox said, "No. The space-warp bends light and radiation, and it flicks from place to place. Last report was the other side of the galaxy where a ship was far enough away to call in a report before it was captured."
"So that's why it isn't on our space map," Dota volunteered.
"Exactly!" Brainbox agreed.
"What do we do?" Lurena asked in fear.
"Full speed ahead!" Cap snapped. "Maybe we can shoot through it!" He increased Futureship's speed to ultra-light and zoomed ahead.
Rainbow lights bathed the control cabin for a few seconds. . .then everything turned brown and black.
Cap slumped in his seat. "Nothing I do has any effect, Brainbox. We're not speeding up, and I seem to have lost control."
A brown planet, dull against the black background of the Triangle, seemed to be their destination. "Any signs of life, Dota?" Cap asked, as the android bent over the ship's scanning instruments.
"None, Cap. There is a thin oxygen-rich atmosphere, and a big stone castle is the only signs of civilization -- that, and hundreds of space ships scattered about the grounds outside the castle."
"Despite the atmosphere, there are no survivors," Cap said, moving beside Dota and looking at the screen.
"They could have ran out of supplies," Brainbox said. "There is no way of telling how many years, even centuries, have passed since they were sucked in here."
"What are we going to do?" Lurena said in despair.
With another look at the screen, Cap answered, "I don't know if it'll work or not, but the castle has a large grounds area inside the walls. I'll try to land the Futureship in there."
Even as he said it, the castle was nearing. Cap worked the controls -- and Futureship responded! In minutes, they landed Futureship in the grounds inside the castle walls.
"Well, at least that worked," Cap said, with a certain bit of satisfaction. He stood and looked over his crew. "Okay, everyone; let's go out and see what we can find out." Then his gaze shifted to Lurena. "Not you," he said. "You stay in the ship, Lurena, so you can take off if anything goes wrong."
Heading to the airlock, Cap looked back at her and snapped, "In the ship, Lurena!" He turned and the rest of his crew followed him into the airlock and then down the slanting ramp, Brainbox sliding on his anti-gravity field.
"There's the castle door," Cap said, "but it's closed."
"Not necessary, Grog," Brainbox said. "It must be automatic, as it's opening as we near it."
"Why do we want to go inside?" Dota asked.
"This castle seems to be the center of things," Cap explained. "We might be able to find what's causing this and find a way out."
They entered a vast, high-ceilinged room that had many dark-red drapes hung to cover most of the stone walls.
"Welcome, Cap," a deep voice said. It rumbled throughout the huge room.
The speaker sat on a golden throne on a circular marble dias that rose from the floor in the center of the room. He wore royal velvet clothes and the hood of his cape hid his face. "I am a bit disappointed," his voice rumbled. "There are four of you, but I have no use for a robot, an android, or a computer." The voice sharpened. "But you, Cap, will be a welcome addition to my well-being."
Grog rushed forward, fists raised. "It's clobbering time!" he shouted, jumping up on the dias and slamming his big fists down on --
Where the man had been, there was a puff of smoke and a small bat rose just out of Grog's reach.
"Dracula!" Brainbox exclaimed.
"So true!" the deep voice rumbled, satisfaction and humor in its tone. "I am Dracula, and I am immortal and cannot be killed."
Drawing his raygun, Cap said, "We'll see about that!" and fired a blast of energy at the bat. . .succeeding only in pushing the bat a few feet back.
Cap looked at his pistol in puzzled dismay. "I've destroyed spaceships with this raygun!" he said.
With smug content, Dracula said, "Science cannot defeat magic! Magic is millenia older than science. I am immortal, and cannot be destroyed! I control the Space Triagle, so it will last forever as well!"
"You cna't be destroyed by science," Brainbox corrected him, "but you can be destroyed by magic!"
Dracula rumbled an evil laugh. "But science has led everyone away from magic!" he said, triumphantly.
"Still," Brainbox continued, "there is a certain anti-magic in wood. Wood will destroy you."
Again, Dracula laughed. "You will note there are no trees on my planet, computer! Ages ago, a ship carrying my coffin was trapped by the Bermuda Triangle. Then my ship was sucked out of the Triangle and I ended up here. The ship was smashed in landing, and my coffin came open. There were some surving crew members, and I made them my slaves before feeding on them.
"They gathered all the wood and burned it, then they built me this magnificent castle. Before I fed on the last one, a spaceship crashed here, providing me with more food and with information. Each time I feed, I absorb all the knowledge of my victim. That is how I know of you, Cap. I now am in full control of the Triangle. It will exist for the rest of my immortal life!" Dracula finished, gloating.
With a casual attitude, Cap looked back at Dracula. Slipping his hands into his pockets, the rested the thumbs on the outside of the pockets and sent a calculating look at Dracula. "There are many things people don't know about me, Dracula," he began.
As he spoke, Dracula resumed his human shape and sat on his throne. Then Dracula's attention shifted to the castle door. "Ah!" he said, "What have we here?"
Cap shifted his attention to the open door and saw --
"You were gone so long!" Lurena said. "I came to see if I could help."
"Oh, you can help all right," Dracula purred. "You double the size of my feast!"
Lurena put a hand to her mouth in consternation. "Cap--"
"--Can do nothing!" Dracula finished for her, smugly. "I am immortal, and magic. Even the legendary FutureTeam cannot defeat me!"
Still casual, Cap sauntered toward the dias. Trying to ignore the worried look on Lurena's face, he said to Dracula, "As I was saying, there are lots of things people don't know about me, Dracula. Like. . ." he brought his right hand out of its pocket ". . .I have some magic myself." He pointed a finger at Dracula. "I have a magic hand that can kill you!"
Dracula laughed again, but his tone lacked the earlier glee and satisfaction. Cap noted a touch of worry in the vampire's voice. "That couldn't be, Cap. I can sense magic, and I sense none about you or your hand."
Climbing up on the dias, Cap said, "Then you don't sense your death!" As he said that, he thrust his hand at Dracula's chest.
Dracula screamed, "Wood! You have killed me!" and collapsed to the floor, regal clothing clinging to what remained of Dracula -- a dry skeleton.
The castle began to tremble.
"Out, everybody!" Cap shouted. "This whole thing is about to implode!"
Quickly they scrambled over the shaking ground and into the FutureShip, then zoomed away.
"How did you do it, Cap?" Lurena asked. "You don't have any magic?"
Smiling, Cap replied, "No -- but I had wood. I had slipped my toothpick into my pocket and when Brainbox said wood could kill Dracula, I recalled the toothpick. I managed to get it out, with a silver coin at its base, and slammed it into Dracula! Not only did it kill the vampire, but it also destroyed what was holding the Space Triangle together."