Other men had arrived, men whom he met in his work. But there were Venerians here, too, in their protective suits, insulated against the cold of Earth, and against its atmosphere. "First, though, gentlemen, allow me to introduce Stel Felso Theu of the planet Talso, one of our allies in this struggle, and Zezdon Afthen and Fentes of Ortol, one of our other allies.
Planets it formed, we know, by a process such as can happen when only this man-made accident happens. But the ship fled on, its great coils partly discharged, but still far more charged than need be. It was minutes to Talso where it had been hours with the Ancient Mariner, but now they traveled with the speed of Thought!
It had held for hours, thanks to the tremendous tubes that Talso had in their power-distribution stations, but in the end had fallen, but not before many of their largest cities had been similarly defended, and the people of the others had scattered broadcast.
Talso too was the scene of a battle, and more of a battle than Ortol had been, for here where more powerful defensive forces had been active, the Thessians had been more vengeful. All their remaining ships seemed concentrated here. And the great molecular screen that terrestrian engineers had flung up here had already fallen.
"We do, heartily, and are heartily sorry that one of our race has acted in this way. Let us proceed to Talso, as soon as possible. You might send Fentes down in a shell of artificial matter," suggested Zezdon Afthen. "Which," said Arcot, after this had been done, and they were on their way to Talso, "shows the danger of a mad Thought!"
Torlos of Nansal, that planet Arcot had discovered on his first voyage across space, far in another Island of Space, another Island Universe, was not constructed as are human beings of Earth, nor of Venus, Talso, or Ortol, but most nearly resembled, save in size, the Thessians.
"We at least have all the time we could possibly use to determine the things we want for this fight. We might even do a lot of exploring for the archeologists of Earth and Venus and Ortol and Talso. As to getting back that's a question." "Which is," added Arcot, "easy to answer now, thank the good Lord. All we have to do is wait for our time to catch up with us.
No fleet had kept the Thessian forces out of this atmosphere, but dozens of more adequately powered artificial matter bomb stations had taught Thett respect for Talso. But Talso's own ray screen had stopped their bombs. They could only send their bombs as high as the screen. They did not have Arcot's tremendous control power to maintain the matter without difficulty even beyond a screen.
Also, the uncompleted calculations in regard to another matter, a weapon which our ally, Talso, has given us, in exchange for the aid we gave in allowing them the use of one of our generators. Unfortunately the ship could not spare more than the single generator. I strongly advise rushing a number of generators to Talso in intergalactic freighters.
You have been swept by their terrible rays that fuse mountains, then hurl them into space? Our world and the world of each of these men is similarly menaced. "See, here is Zezdon Afthen, from Ortol, far on the other side of the galaxy, and here is Stel Felso Theu, of Talso.