Hmm, good point. Could perhaps be a low-gravity planet, though; really big glider wing planes with a long cruising duration, like some of those hypothetical Mars designs.The Lyranian planes were described as 'biplanes and triplanes', so I originally pegged their tech level (or, at least, their aerospace prowess) at a early to mid twentieth-century level. However, this plane has flown all the way from the tropics to the polar region, without, apparently, re-fuelling.
I think it has more to do with human sexuality. Men are generally better at bullying themselves to the top of the heap. Men at the top of the heap see access to young and attractive women as a perk of the position.Hmm. Boskone sexuality:
On the other hand, Lyrane II was described as a near-twin of Tellus, and Dr. Smith makes no mention of reduced gravity.Hmm, good point. Could perhaps be a low-gravity planet, though; really big glider wing planes with a long cruising duration, like some of those hypothetical Mars designs.
I think it has more to do with human sexuality. Men are generally better at bullying themselves to the top of the heap. Men at the top of the heap see access to young and attractive women as a perk of the position.
Boskone turns up, sees it. Thinks we can use that.
Worsel is accompanied by the Valerians, and the flanderisation of the latter is completed.Second Stage Lensmen - page 143 said:Worsel himself had taken the lead in the clean-up of Delgon. He was afraid, of course. Any Velantian was and is frightened to the very center of his being by the mere thought of an Overlord. He cannot help it; it is in his heredity, bred into the innermost chemistry of his body; the cold grue of a thousand thousand fiendishly tortured ancestors simply will not be denied or cast aside.
Many of the monsters had succeeded in fleeing Delgon, of course. Some departed in the ships which had ferried their victims to the planet, some were removed to other solar systems by the Eich. The rest were slain; and as the knowledge that a Velantian could kill an Overlord gained headway, the emotions toward the oppressors generated within minds such as the Velantians' became literally indescribable. Fear was there yet and in abundance--it simply could not be eradicated. Horror and revulsion. Sheer, burning hatred; and, more powerful than all, amounting almost to an obsession, a clamouring, shrieking, driving urge for revenge which was almost tangible. All these, and more, Worsel felt as he waited, twitching.
Nadreck joins the party out of sheer curiosity.Second Stage Lensmen - page 144 said:The Valerians wanted to go in because it meant a hand-to-hand fight. Fighting was their business, their sport, and their pleasure; they loved it for its own sweet sake, with a simple, wholehearted devotion. To die in combat was a Valerian soldier's natural and much-to-be-desired end; to die in any peaceful fashion was a disgrace and a calamity. They did and do go into battle with very much the same joyous abandon with which a sophomore goes to meet his date in Lover's Lane. And now, to make physical combat all the nicer and juicier, they carried semi-portable tractors and pressors, for the actual killing was not to take place until after the battle proper was over. Blasting the Overlords out of existence would have been simplicity itself; but they were not to die until after they had been forced to divulge whatever they might have of knowledge or of information.
Tregonsee was there as well.Second Stage Lensmen - page 144 said:Nadreck of Palain wanted to go in solely to increase his already vast store of knowledge. His thirst for facts was a purely scientific one; the fashion in which it was to be satisfied was the veriest, the most immaterial detail. Indeed, it is profoundly impossible to portray to any human intelligence the serene detachment, the utterly complete indifference to suffering exhibited by practically all of the frigid-blooded races, even those adherent to Civilisation, especially when the suffering is being done by an enemy. Nadreck did know, academically and in a philological sense, from his reading, the approximate significance of such words as "compunction", "sympathy", and "squeamishness"; but he would have been astounded beyond measure at any suggestion that they would apply to any such matter-of-fact business as the extraction of data from the mind of an Overlord of Delgon, no matter what might have to be done to the unfortunate victim in the process.
Nadreck immediately falsifies the above description of him.Second Stage Lensmen - page 145 said:Kinnison went in because he felt that he had to. He knew full well that he was not going to get any kick at all out of what was going to happen. He was not going to like it, any part of it. Nor did he. In fact, he wanted to be sick—violently sick—before the business was well started. And Nadreck perceived his mental and physical distress.
If that isn't some form of sympathy...Second Stage Lensmen - page 145 said:"Why stay, friend Kinnison, when your presence is not necessary?" he asked, with the slightly pleased, somewhat surprised, hellishly placid mental immobility which Kinnison was later to come to know so well. "Even though my powers are admittedly small, I feel eminently qualified to cope with such minor matters as the obtainment and the accurate transmittal of that which you wish to know. I cannot understand your emotions, but I realise fully that they are essential components of that which makes you what you fundamentally are. There can be no justification for your submitting yourself needlessly to such stresses, such psychic traumata."
I'm now imagining Worsel in full mostache-twirling melodramatic villain mode.Worsel: "And, now Overlord, we will discuss the location of the hidden Eich base."
So, 5'11" tall, or 1.8 m, and 180lb, or 82 Kg.Second Stage Lensmen - page 146 said:There stood the Lyranian queen; a full five inches taller than Clarissa's five feet six, a good thirty five pounds heavier than her not inconsiderable one hundred and forty five. Hard, fine, supple; erectly poised she stood there, an exquisitely beautiful statue of pale bronze, her flaming hair a gorgeous riot. Head held proudly high, she stared only slightly upward into the Earth-man's quiet, understanding eyes.
So Lyrane joining Civilisation is a distinct, if distant, possibility.Second Stage Lensmen - page 146 said:"Uh-uh, Helen," Kinnison denied, gently, making no motion to grasp the proffered hand—which was promptly and enthusiastically withdrawn. "Nice, and it's really big of you, but don't strain yourself to like us men too much or too soon; you've got to get used to us gradually. We like you a lot, and we respect you even more, but we've been around and you haven't. You can't be feeling friendly enough yet to enjoy shaking hands with me—you certainly haven't got jets enough to swing that load—so this time we'll take the thought for the deed. Keep trying, though, Toots old girl, and you'll make it yet. In the meantime we're all pulling for you, and if you ever need any help, shoot us a call on the communicator we've put aboard your plane. Clear ether, ace!"
"Clear ether, MacDougall and Kinnison!" Helen's eyes were softer than either of the Tellurians had ever seen them before. "There is, I think, something of wisdom, of efficiency, in what you have said. It may be... that is, there is a possibility... you of Civilisation are, perhaps, persons—of a sort, that is,—after all. Thanks—really thanks, I mean, this time—good-bye."
Helen's plane had already been unloaded. She disembarked and stood beside it; watching, with a peculiarly untranslatable expression, the huge cruiser until it was out of sight.
Dauntless, once again, bootlegger turns and heads back to the Lyrane system.Second Stage Lensmen - page 150 said:Why was not Lyrane II defended? Worsel and Kinnison had already answered that one. Secretiveness and power of mind, not armament, had always been the natural defenses of all Overlords. Why hadn't the Eich interfered? That was easy, too. The Eich looked after themselves—if the Overlords couldn't, that was just too bad. The two ships that had come to aid and had remained to revenge had certainly not come from Eight—their crews had been oxygen-breathers. Probably a rendezvous—immaterial anyway. Why wasn't the whole solar system ringed with outposts and screens? Too obvious. Why hadn't the Dauntless been detected? Because of her nullifiers; and if she had been spotted by any short-range stuff she had been mistaken for another zwilnik ship. They hadn't detected anything out of the way on Eight because it hadn't occurred to anybody to swing an analyser toward that particular planet. If they did they'd find that Eight was defended plenty. Had the Eich had time to build defences? They must have had, or they wouldn't be there—they certainly were not taking that kind of chances. And by the way, hadn't they better do a bit of snooping around Eight before they went back to join the Z9M9Z and the Fleet? They had.
Kim: "But we would like to study it, and perhaps copy it, if you so allow."Second Stage Lensmen - page 152 said:The Tellurian's already great respect for this retiring, soft-spoken, "cowardly" Lensman was increasing constantly.
To be continued...Second Stage Lensmen - page 153 said:Slowly, furtively, a perfectly absorptive black body sinking through blackness so intense as to be almost palpable, the Palainian speedster settled downward toward the Boskonian fortress of Lyrane VIII.
Me too! Though somehow I imagine Palainians being more angular than the Traders.I always imagine the Palainians as being sorta like the Traders from GURPS Aliens:
So, lots of seemingly unconnected bits (unconnected in our space, that is), phasing in and out of our space, growing from nothing to something and back again, semi-transparent with fluids flowing through and around. I typically imagine Nadreck in shades of blue and aquamarine, but looking at that amoeba and thinking that he's from a dimly-lit world, maybe he's like deep-sea fish and has bright colours when looked at in our light (or through image intensifiers or with Kim's colour 3D sense) with reflective flashing bits.
Does that sort of stuff exist in the Lensverse? I seem to remember an awful lot that seems like it should be automated being done by hand. Remember the race to see who can stay to press a button then sprint away? Whenever anyone wants to keep an eye on a world they always turn up themselves. Then again Helmuth's base was mostly automatic so arguably it should.OOC: Given Boskone's obvious interest in the Lyrane system, I do wonder if Kim might have suggested to Helen that he'd really like permission to put an automated watch-sat in orbit, just in case, or something.
Well, earlier in this book they had semi-autonomous battleships, and it will later turn out that they had robots before Civilisation was formed.Does that sort of stuff exist in the Lensverse? I seem to remember an awful lot that seems like it should be automated being done by hand. Remember the race to see who can stay to press a button then sprint away? Whenever anyone wants to keep an eye on a world they always turn up themselves. Then again Helmuth's base was mostly automatic so arguably it should.
The robots I consider a blatant retcon. There is no way they exist in the world as depicted in the main four books.Well, earlier in this book they had semi-autonomous battleships, and it will later turn out that they had robots before Civilisation was formed.
OTOH, some of Smith's tech extrapolations have been a bit weird.