Chapter 10 – Conference at Copernicus by Raymond A. Palmer

Read about the March, 1934 issue.

AUTHOR OF: “THE MAN WHO INVADED TIME,” “THE VORTEX WORLD,” ETC.

Mea-Quin stood in the central cylinder of the council chamber and surveyed his completed work with satisfaction, albeit with an air of utter weariness.

“Ayhuu,” he murmured to himself, “it is finished! From this central cylinder we must unite the delegates who will come to occupy the outer cylinders, and I pray Tor that he will aid us, for it will be a mighty task.”

He turned and made his way from the completed dome to the ship. Dos-Tev met him at the port with anxious gaze.

“Tor be with you, my son,” said Mea-Quin, “what has gone wrong now? I see ill in your face.”

“I have been in communication with Planet Two, and Vorn Vangal tells me something that portends much of danger. Ay-Artz has succeeded in getting in mental touch with the Doravians!”

“Blood of Tor!” gasped the old scientist. “That is indeed bad. If the arch villain gains these many-bodied people as allies, we will have trouble aplenty! What does Vorn Vangal say is being done?”

Dos-Tev shook his head doubtfully. “I fear that will shall lose their help whether Ay-Artz gains it or not. Vorn Vangal has called to council the rulers of Venus, and plans to exclude the Doravians from all knowledge of what we are doing. We can hardly enlist their aid in this way.”

“Tis better thus,” said Mea-Quin. “If Ay-Artz has gained mental communication, he would be a fool to let the Doravians know what Ay-Artz should not know. But leave it to Vorn Vangal. He will use his peculiar mental powers to good advantage, never fear. Ever since we have gotten into direct intercourse with him, we have accomplished much. We know that Venus will present a formidable front to the legions of the traitor.”

Dos-Tev nodded. “They will, that,” he acknowledged. “I wish I could know the same of Planet Three. They are preparing to come, that much I have received, but there is difficulty. I cannot get the nature of it – whatever it be, it cannot be human. And Planet One – I can sense no life upon it at all now. It is strange. I received vibrations for quite awhile, but now they are gone.”

“What of the others – have you learned of them?”

“Discord! There is much strife on the ringed planet, and upon Planet Four. The planetoid of the females seems seething with curiosity, and something of discord, but they will come, I know, for their curiosity drives them. I have heard nothing from Neptune. They must be strange beings indeed, who can live on such a planet. I was surprised to receive vibrations of life from it. But we have reached them, that we know. Perhaps they will come.”

Mea-Quin gazed thoughtfully at the young emperor. “Some of them must arrive soon,” he said. “I have completed my work, and you have done all in your power. Naught remains now but to wait – and to guard against the Wrongness of Space; against the powerful enemy whom we have not yet seen, but who grow more powerful with each passing hour. We must maintain our vigilance to the best of our ability, or our cause will be lost. Not again may we be hindered by the destruction of the conference dome. And I fear. He has not evidenced himself for some time, and it may be that he is coming out into the open to make better use of his weapons.”

“We will watch,” replied Dos-Tev. “I fear him less since we completed our new defence.”

The loud shrilling of the alarm system interrupted anything further he might have said. He leaped to his feet. Bullo came hastily into the room from his workshop in the base of the ship.

“Master,” he cried, “what is wrong?”

“Something approaches!” gasped Mea-Quin. “Ayhuu! It may be that he has come at last!”

“No,” said Dos-Tev. “Look, there upin the tele-screen, a ship!”

“By Tor, you are right – but is it enemy or friend?” returned Mea-Quin.

“Come,” the emperor’s voice was decisive. “I am getting impulses. It is a friend. The first of the delegates has arrived!”

Quickly the trio donned space suits. Dos-Tev picked up a queer instrument and carried it with him from the ship.

“What is that you have?” asked Mea-Quin.

“A variation of the thought intensifier. We will fasten it to the outside of the ship and get into communication. We must discover what conditions must be created so that the delegates may occupy their cylinder in the conference dome.” Dos-Tev’s voice sounded metallically thru the tiny portable space-radio installed in the space suits.

“That is right,” agreed Mea-Quin, advancing beside his young master toward the ship, which was settling ponderously to the floor of the crater some distance away. Bullo followed behind the pair.

“What a giant thing that ship is!” exclaimed Dos-Tev. “From what planet can it be?”

“It is indeed a great ship,” replied the old scientist. “It seems to me that it must be the product of either Planet Two or Planet Three.”

“We will learn very quickly,” spoke Dos-Tev. “Look, the air-lock is opening and a figure is emerging. Hasten, we must greet him.”

In a moment they came to a halt before the air-lock of the giant ship and faced the first delegate to the conference. They gasped in astonishment as a metallic voice rang in their ears.

“I am James Tarvish,” spoke the figure before them. “We have come to the conference.”

Dos-Tev recovered his equanimity. “You astonish me,” he replied. “I had not expected you to be equipped with radio. From what planet do you come?”

“From Mercury, but I am originally of Earth. Mercury has no life upon it.”

Mea-Quin cut in, no longer able to control his amazement. “How do you speak our language?” he burst out.

Tarvish smiled thru the quartz of his space-helmet. “I have equipped my radio with a translator. It is one of the inventions of the Automatons. As you know, space radio waves, different from ordinary radio, utilize the same wave bands used by the brain in its mental functions. You must have known it, for you utilized the space-radio in communicating with me. The translator set up an equilibrium between your signals and my own mental functions. Thus there was no need of a scientific translation of your signals. The translator effects a mathematical translation instantaneously.”

“Ayhuu! You say an Automaton invented that?” Mea-Quin inquired.

Tarvish’s face darkened. “Yes,” he returned. “They are a creation of science that has outgrown its creator. They threaten the existence of life on Earth, and their hold on man is tightening. That is why I migrated to Mercury with my little family.”

Mea-Quin turned to Dos-Tev. “That explains the mysterious menace you sensed on Planet Three.”

“Yes,” replied the young emperor, “and I don’t like it. Thinking machines with such science! – if we must oppose them, we will have a battle indeed.”

“You have gotten into communication with Earth?” queried Tarvish.

“We know that they have received one of our many types of message,” returned Dos-Tev. “Also, that there is a ship being constructed to come to the conference. But the Automatons seek to prevent it. Just how powerful is their hold on Earth men?”

Tarvish looked worried. “It is very great. I fear that Earth men will not come if the Automatons do not wish it. Just how far they have my fellow men enslaved, since I left Earth, I do not know.”

Tarvish gazed about the vast crater. “We are the first of the delegates?” he inquired.

“Yes,” replied Dos-Tev. “We know that the men of Venus are also coming, and the rest are in the hands of Tor. But we believe enough will come to make the conference a success.”

“Did I hear you say the men of Venus are coming?” said Tarvish. “They must be fish, then?”

“Fish?” Dos-Tev was puzzled.

“Yes. Spectroscopic examination shows Venus to be water-covered.”

“That is wrong,” Dos-Tev smiled. “You are not the only Earth man to have migrated. Venus, beneath its cloud envelope, has much land, and Grandon, an Earth man, rules one continent.”

“Grandon!” ejaculated Tarvish. “Not the Grandon associated with Dr. Morgan?”

“I think that is so,” smiled Dos-Tev.

“How do you know this?”

“I have been in mental communication with one Vorn Vangal, who has told me much. The men of Venus will be here.”

Tarvish’s face held a vacant, faraway look. “So that was what Morgan was up to!” he exclaimed to himself.

“But come,” interrupted Mea-Quin. “You and your comrades must come with us to the conference chamber where proper quarters have been prepared for you. We will speedily reproduce Earth conditions for you there.”

“I would prefer to stay in my ship,” returned Tarvish. “We are equipped with all possible comforts.”

“Nay,” said Mea-Quin. “That will be impossible. There is danger – danger that your ship is not prepared to meet. I fear for you unless you accept the shelter we have provided.”

Tarvish considered a moment. “You are right,” he decided. “I don’t know yet what we are up against. If you will wait a few moments, I will fetch the rest.”

And so, the first cylinder of the conference dome became the host to the first of the solar system’s delegates. Bullo remained on guard in the central chamber while preparations were being completed. Then he helped transfer all equipment from their own ship and made ready for the conference while Dos-Tev and Mea-Quin scanned space for more delegates, and waited and watched for that unknown enemy who was so ominously silent now. Days passed, Lemnisian days.

“One of the planets is accounted for,” commented Dos-Tev while they waited. “It should not be long now, before others come.”

“I feel strangely uneasy,” said Mea-Quin. “The Wrongness of Space has commenced again. Look at the warning indicator. I have just balanced it, and yet it reacts. However, it seems not to be a harmful radiation.”

Dos-Tev jumped to his feet. “You are right!” he exclaimed. “Perhaps it is a message from an approaching delegate. Turn on the space radio.”

Mea-Quin complied quickly and in a few seconds, the tubes of the ship’s space radio glowed brightly at full power. A few meaningless sounds came from the speaker, and then, strongly and powerfully, a voice began speaking.

“Dos-Tev, are you listening?” came the voice. “Dos-Tev, are you listening?”

With white face, Mea-Quin faced the young emperor. “Tor be with us!” he exclaimed. “Do you recognize that voice?”

Dos-Tev’s face was grim. “That I do,” he said incredulously. “It is the arch-renegade, Ay-Artz!”

“But it is impossible! He is yet a light year away from here, and no power yet known could throw his voice ahead of him.”

Dos-Tev shook his head. “Then he has a power we know nothing of, for I will stake my life upon it – that is Ay-Artz.” He switched in the sender, while Mea-Quin leaped to the control board. “I will answer,” said Dos-Tev.

“Ay-Artz, I hear you. What would you of me?”

“Ah,” came the voice from the speaker. “You hear me. It is indeed good. And now, I give you warning. You will cease your futile efforts to rouse the peoples of the solar system to resist me. You will not succeed and when I come, I will wreak my vengeance. Cease your labors, and I will restore you safely to Lemnis, and perhaps I will bestow upon you a measure of power in return for your action.”

“Never!” retorted Dos-Tev. “If you must ask that I cease my work, I feel sure, now, that it is not hopeless labor. I promise you that you will be welcomed when you arrive. Indeed, it would be better if you returned forthwith to Lemnis.”

“You are a fool,” came the voice of Ay-Artz. “Proceed, then, to your futile work. I will not be much hindered by it.”

“We shall see!” retorted Dos-Tev, “And now, I cut you off.” He snapped the radio switch, and the room was again silent.

Mea-Quin turned from his instruments with a queer expression on his countenance.

“What do you find?” asked Dos-Tev anxiously.

“I find that Ay-Artz has a powerful ally,” replied Mea-Quin slowly. “For the signals come from below us! And at a depth of 200 miles! It is the enemy we have already encountered thrice – the Wrongness of Space. And I fear the more, now that I know he been operating thru 200 miles of solid rock! For our enemy is within Luna, and not in space.”

“Then it is he who has made it possible for Ay-Artz to throw his voice a light year ahead of him, even tho he himself travels at the speed of light?”

“Yes, he had picked up the signals and rebroadcast them to us.”

The alarm signal again sounded.

“It is Bullo,” said Dos-Tev. “He is coming to the ship and with him comes Tarvish.”

In a moment Bullo entered the ship and gasped out. “Master, three ships!”

“Three at once?”

“Yes, and they be queer ships indeed. One of them flashed into existence out in the crater out of nowhere.”

“They are delegates,” said Dos-Tev swiftly. “I receive emanations. I will go to receive them, while you, Bullo, watch here.”

“Nay,” said Mea-Quin, “I must stay and guard against the Wrongness of Space. He is up to something. I feel it. You go to one ship, while Bullo goes to another. Tarvish can welcome the third. He has the translator, you know, and I have just finished installing them in all our suits, so we would easily have a means of communication.”

Mea-Quin watched his instruments anxiously as he waited for the greeting to be completed. Suddenly he froze, watching three tiny specks of light floating high above the crater, as revealed on the tele-screen. As he watched, they grew in size with wonderful rapidity, until they became huge, coruscating balls of lightning-shot flame.

“By Tor!” gasped Mea-Quin. “Pure force itself.”

The balls, lighting the crater now in ruddy flames, suddenly began to descend toward the ships of the arriving delegates. Mea-Quin went into action. Swiftly he trained the absorption projector into space, spreading its rays fanwise. There was a terrific wrench of space, and the light waves were distorted so that on the screen, the crater showed as a wildly jumbled area of rock and open space. Across the crater, from the three balls of force, which had joined into one huge flame, shot a jagged streak of lightning. Where it struck, the rim of the crater dissolved, and a mighty column of dust shot upwards and over the entire crater, shutting out the light of the sun. Instantly the crater became dark as pitch. But the three balls were gone, and that danger was over.

Mea-Quin seated himself shakily before the control board and watched his instruments. “Ayhuu,” he murmured. He is gone. But this time he nearly won.”

 

“It was a close call,” admitted Dos-Tev, when he had returned to the ship. “But the new delegates are now safely within the conference dome, and we can expect the others soon.”

“Who are the new arrivals?” queried Mea-Quin. “I had no time to watch, but constantly guarded against the enemy from below us. And then, in the darkness I could not see.”

“The first ship, welcomed by Bullo, was the ship of the planet of females.” Dos-Tev chuckled. “He was certainly impressed by the beauty of the twelve who came from the ship. And they with him. But they were led by a male, Parcele by name, who seems to have gained some sort of advantage over the females.”

“I am glad of that,” interposed Mea-Quin. “I had feared the outcome of an attempt to reason with females. They are wont to place their own problems before the problems of all.”

“We need fear nothing on that score. Parcele is a man having his first taste of power in ages. He will not allow it to slip from him.”

“And the other ships?”

“That welcomed by Tarvish contained but two persons. They were from Planet Four, and the leader, one Fax Gatola, was ill. He would not allow Tarvish to administer to him, saying he had already taken the antidote to the poison he had swallowed. However, they are both all right now, and Tarvish reports that they are safely installed in their cylinder.

“The last ship, which I welcomed, was from the ringed planet, whom we feared would not answer. Their ruler, Pross Mere-Mer, has come himself. With him are Fo-Peta and a female, Zeera, and these two are very much in love, and Kama-Loo, astronomer.”

“Fine!” exclaimed Mea-Quin. “We have but three worlds to hear from now, and we can hold the conference. They should arrive within the daylight.”

And they did. It was not long after, when a great ship settled in the valley, almost simultaneously with the appearance of another in space, some miles above the crater. The ship settling the crater proved to be the glassite ship of Neptune, with the brave Steepa and his wife, Teena, aboard. However the other ship remained hovering aloft for some time before it began to descend.

“There is trouble aboard!” exclaimed Dos-Tev. “I am receiving emanations from its Commander. It is the ship from Venus!”

“What trouble?” asked Mea-Quin anxiously.

“A spy! Ah, I have finally reached Vorn Vangal. It was a Doravian, the princess herself. She has discovered the meeting place, and Ay-Artz must know by now that the conference is about to convene. I fear the Wrongness of Space will now use his worst tricks.”

“Ayhuu! That he will. Ay-Artz must strike now, or great damage will be done to his cause. Hasten, we must get the delegates to safety.”

With Mea-Quin’s last words, a rocket ship flamed down into the valley, and came to rest beside the six ships already on the ground. It was the ship of Alan Martin of Earth. The last ship was here!

And with it came the darkness of the Lunar night!

 

Deep down in the crater of Copernicus, almost into the bowels of the satellite itself, the central shaft of the long dead volcano sank its arrow-like length. A hundred miles down the darkness was as the darkness of nothingness itself. Two hundred miles down the darkness remained as equally impenetrable, but down here there was air, very little, it was true, but it was air, and it swirled now in the darkness. And where it swirled little phosphorescent flashes awoke out of the womb of darkness and slithered hither and yon, fleeing something that remained invisible in itself and then returning to circle slowly for awhile and again die into darkness. Upwards the invisible object floated. Ever upwards, infinitely slowly, but without hesitancy. And all that was visible was the phosphorescent patches swirling in its wake. Little by little, however, the patches grew dimmer and dimmer, until at last they ceased to exist. After that there was naught that could tell the passage of any thing. And yet, something continued on its slow way toward the top of the long shaft. At long last it reached the rim, halted as the blazing pinpoints of the stars shed a dim radiance upon it. But in spite of the light, the shape remained an enigma. No detail of its outline became positive. It seemed to shift about, swirl, but at the same time, it presented an air of menacing solidness.

Finally, after a short wait, it climbed upwards into the cone of the crater, which protruded up like a small, hollow mound in the center of the great crater. Cautiously, slowly, it crept upwards until it reached the rim, peered over. For long moments it swung about the crater, closely inspecting the floor of the wide valley. Suddenly if fixed upon a round object looming up from the valley floor, some miles away. Brilliantly lighted was that round building, and the thing in the pit knew it for the conference dome. After a moment a thin, bright pencil of light shot from the cone and came to rest upon the dome. Then it faded, passing thru the stages of the spectrum until it became invisible. But it was still there, fixed upon the dome, a stealthy, unseen thing, spying upon the conference.

Dos-Tev faced the seven occupied cylinders in the conference dome, and cleared his throat. His voice, translated mechanically by the translators of the Automatons, which had been installed in the walls of each cylinder brought his words to each delegate in the own particular language. He began to speak.

“Delegates of the Solar System, I have come to you here, on Luna, from a great distance, but as spatial dimensions go, I am your nearest neighbor. In other words, I come from a planet circling the star Alpha Centauri. On Lemnis I was emperor, until Ay-Artz led a revolution, and displaced me from the throne. Ay-Artz ruled all Lemnis, and with the iron hand of a tyrant, but Ay-Artz was not satisfied. His successes had gone to his head, and his power swayed his brain into the blood-mad sea of Conquest. He could find no worlds to conquer circling his own sun save only Risbo, and that is unconquerable, so he cast his eyes about the universe, and saw the planets of your own sun waiting but four light years away for the dominance of his iron heel. He set out to conquer you in ships of my own making – ships that could travel nearly at the speed of light. But he did not know that I had been working secretly on a device that would send a ship at more than the speed of light, and when he left, I was ready. Ay-Artz will never conquer this system while I can prevent it. Nor will he return to Lemnis. He will find that Dos-Tev still rules.

“However, this is the situation. Ay-Artz is barely a light year away from this system at this present moment, and he will arrive before the planet Earth circles this sun once. Unless you of the solar system can present to his invading fleet, a fleet of your own, in defense of the system, Ay-Artz will ravage your worlds until nothing remains but smoking ruins, and enslaved races. Ay-Artz has but twenty ships, but they are ships such as this system has never known. You will need all the ships you can build within one year to resist him.

“And think not that we will have no opposition until Ay-Artz arrives. The arch-traitor has a powerful ally who is present inside this very satellite. He it was who menaced the ships of Callisto, Mars, and Saturn as you arrived. How close you were to destruction in that moment, you will never realize. Whoever this enemy is, he is not thru. Therefore, we must hurry. And you of Venus, it is certain that Ay-Artz has already invaded your planet, if not in person, at least in a very sinister way. Doravia is arming against us! Zinlo, you know what that means?”

Zinlo, the young ruler of Olba, fingered his scarbo and stared steadily thru the glass of his cylinder.

“That I do,” he replied evenly. “But fear not, we will suppress them. Venus will yet nail Ay-Artz’s skin to the Black Tower.”

Dos-Tev nodded and continued: “Now, my friends, I ask that you each give me your answer. Do you agree to return to your own worlds and do all in your power to provide a fleet, sufficient warriors to man them, and place that fleet at my disposal in the defense of the entire system? I have prepared here a treaty, which you will all sign. It is that sheet of metal poised there beside Mea-Quin. Inside your own cylinder is a small sheet, identical to the large one. You will sign for your planet with the stylus provided, and the signature will be reproduced on the large sheet for all to see. Zinlo, I give you the honor of signing first.”

In his cylinder, Zinlo strode forward and grasped the tiny stylus, with its glowing point and with a flourish, inscribed the sign of the planet Venus and his own signature. On the great metal sheet in the cylinder, the signature glowed in letters of fire.

“To the death!” he exclaimed.

Dos-Tev nodded. “To the death!”

Alan Martin of Earth stepped forward. “Let not my planet hesitate to follow,” he spoke, and quickly scrawled his signature upon the sheet.

“One moment,” interposed Mea-Quin, “before we continue, what of the Automatons?”

Martin looked serious. “We will have to fight them,” he replied. “I fear there is no other way.”

“May I say a word?” spoke up Tarvish. “On earth I still possess the greatest fortune ever accumulated. The Automatons cannot deny me the right to spend it as I wish.”

“That is so,” admitted Martin. “We will have to keep operations secret, tho, and that may prove to be a bigger job than we can handle.”

“Perhaps I can help,” offered Mea-Quin. Since learning of the Automatons, I have done much deep thinking. After all, machines are machines, and the can be affected easily by outside influences. I have partly finished devising a magnetic wave broadcaster which will render mechanical portions of the Automatons inactive.”

“That will be impossible,” spoke Martin. “The Automatons are insulated against any such influence. They made sure of their safety long ago. And you may be sure that their mechanical brains have overlooked no possibility.”

“Perhaps you are right, but I shall continue to work.”

In quick succession Parcele, Fax Gatola, Pross Mere-Mer, and Steepa signed for their respective planets. When they had finished, the metal sheet glowed with many strange symbols, and the solar system was at last united against the common enemy. The greatest pact of history was finished.

Out across the crater floor, on the rim of the inner crater, that mysterious spying entity moved to action. Another pencil of light shot forth, groped about in the dome.

“Danger!” cried Mea-Quin as he discerned the probing finger of light. “It is the ally of Ay-Artz again.”

“Watch it,” commanded Dos-Tev. “I have the controls of the absorption projector turned on.”

Anxiously all within the council dome watched the probing finger of radiance. At last it came to rest in one of the vacant cylinders, and the glowing tip of the stylus floated mysteriously into the air, then descended to the plate.

“It is going to write,” breathed Mea-Quin. “Watch!”

Then with two swift strokes, the unseen writer slashed an X across the treaty, and then, to the horror of all, a shout of laughter rang out; maniacal laughter.

“Great Tor!” gasped Mea-Quin. The Wrongness of Space is insane!”

 

The seven great ships of the delegates were ready to take off for their respective planets. Dos-Tev and Mea-Quin sat warily watching, guarding against interference, while the delegates embarked.

“Ten minutes more,” breathed Mea-Quin, “and they will be safely off.”

“Yes,” replied Dos-Tev, “if the Wrongness of Space does not spring something new upon us now, Ay-Artz has all but lost his cause.”

“Perhaps,” sighed Mea-Quin. “Do not underestimate him. We do now know yet what front we will have at the battle line, and there is great probability of things going wrong on several planets.”

“The indicator,” warned Dos-Tev. “It reacts.”

Quickly he swept his gaze about the great crater. Something compelled him to stare at the great cone of the volcano in the center of the plain.

“It is out there that he is!” he exclaimed.

At that moment the indicator sprang into activity. Mea-Quin depressed the level of the aborption projector. But in spite of its action, a great globe of flame rose unmolested from the crater and floated slowly toward the fleet.

“We cannot resist it,” gasped Mea-Quin. “It is not in our dimension.”

A loud crackling noise, became apparent in the ship. The very air was alive with some weird power.

“It is the displacement of our own dimensions,” said Dos-Tev. “He means to fling the ships into another dimension. If he succeeds, they will be hopelessly lost!”

“We are helpless!” said Mea-Quin, hopelessly turning off the projector.

The giant form of the warrior, Bullo, stirred. “Master,” he exclaimed. “You forget, the bombs.”

“The bombs?” questioned Dos-Tev blankly. “They cannot stop this strange green thing.”

“Give me one of them, and I will go to the crater. Perhaps I can destroy the machine that is causing the green thing,” Bullo’s voice was eager. “I can travel very fast in this weak gravity.”

“It is a good idea,” said Mea-Quin. “Here, take this bomb and when you reach the crater, press this lever and throw it over the edge. I have timed it so that it will go off upon completing its trajectory.”

In a moment Bullo donned his space suit and leaped from the air-lock. The two Lemnisians watched him anxiously as he leaped like a giant frog toward the distant crater rim.

“He’ll have to hurry,” breathed Dos-Tev. “The green radiance is close to the ships.”

A half mile from the crater Bullo paused. Carefully he judged the distance, then pressed the lever of the bomb and flung it deliberately. Like a shot the bomb left his hand and arched over and went directly into the crater.

Suddenly a vast mushroom of flame shot into space from the crater, and it seemed as though dead volcanos belched anew.

“By Tor!” breathed Dos-Tev. “He is a true warrior. Well done.”

“But what of the green radiance?” cried Mea-Quin.

Dos-Tev wheeled to look. There was a flare of green light and he staggered back as the ship plunged violently about in a terrific moonquake. A great crevice opened in the valley floor, and a section of the crater rim winked out of existence, flung into another dimension but the released power of the green menace. One of the ships of the fleet, almost directly in the path of the unleashed power, tipped, fell sideways, and broke in two, the lower portion disappearing as had the crater rim.

“What ship is that?” cried Mea-Quin.

“The ship of James Tarvish,” answered Dos-Tev. “Come, we must go and see what damage has been done.”

“You go,” advised Mea-Quin. “Bullo’s bomb did not destroy the Wrongness of Space. It merely defeated his aim, and caused him to release the power before he was ready. He may have more up he sleeve.”

But the enemy seemed finished for the time, and after awhile Dos-Tev returned.

“We are fortunate,” he informed Mea-Quin and Bullo, who had returned safely to the ship, unharmed by the force of the bomb, “beyond a good shaking up, Tarvish and his companions were unhurt. However, their ship was completely out of commission, so I transferred them to Martin’s vessel. They will go to Earth with him. Look, they go now!”

And as they watched, the ships of the delegates left the surface, and flashed out into space, to prepare for the invasion of Ay-Artz. All but two of the ships continued in this manner, and these two disappeared in the wink of an eye.

“They go,” sighed Mea-Quin. “I hope they will all succeed!”

Read about the March, 1934 issue.
Read Chapter Eleven of Cosmos.

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