Grey Lensman

1951 (1939/40 magazine publication)

Now revealed as a power in its own right, Kinnison and the massed fleets of Grand Fleet had converged on the Headquarters of Helmuth, speaking for Boskone, to reduce the stubborn base to atoms, but even as he brought Helmuth to his doom, Kinnison became aware of a ball of force.

As soon as he was safely back aboard the flagship, Kinnison activates that device and watches as the planet is blown apart, but he learns something even in the brief seconds of existence before then - that Boskone is not limited to just the single galaxy, but is intergalactic in scope!

In order to test this theory, Kinnison makes his way into the depths of intergalactic space to the nearby Lundmark's Nebula where he finds things are almost completely under the thumb of Boskonia - except for a single planet that attracts the attention of the Patrol vessel Dauntless and it's super powerful Main beams but it is the patrol men who are surprised when they land and find the whole planet is converted into a spaceship with the flick of a switch!

Finally, we get to meet the Council of Boskone - the Nine of the dread planet Jarnevon, as they work out why their plans had suddenly been reversed and they were suddenly threatened in a Galaxy long thought to be subdued. They perceive that Civilisation's sudden upsurge was the result of interference from the mysterious planet of Arisia so an expedition is launched that is supposed to blow this planet from the skies. But the Eich are ill informed about what they face and the Council of Boskone is soon looking for new members.

Meantime, Kinnison is being kept busy tracing the lines of communications of the surviving Boskonians in the First Galaxy but his first line of enquiry is thwarted so Kim has to disappear and Bill Williams is born!

First a wild meteor miner in the less-than-refined resorts of Euphrosyne, then when his job there had been done, the ritzy Crown-on-Shield in the Tressillia system saw a reformed William Williams, gentleman of Aldebaran!

But in between times there was the discovery that the Overlords of Delgon had allied with an unknown race to develop the hyperspatial tube and Kinnison, along with Worsel of Valentia and vanBuskirk of Valeria, has to trace it to its end! And there was Sir Austin Cardynge who demanded a place on the expedition to properly study the phenomenon. At the far end of the tube, the mighty Dauntless blasted the Boskonian base from this plane of existence and ran for home with Sir Austin and his notes.

Once his business at the Crown-on-Shield had been completed, it was time for William Williams to disappear and Kinnison to travel out of the Galaxy once more - to the next link in this increasingly complex chain.

From there he learnt that the next link was in the Second Galaxy and after reading the stored information, it was on to dread Jarnevon itself, home to the Eich. Not a warm, friendly planet such as Terra, but cold and with an unbreathable atmosphere was Jarnevon. With only Worsel along to make sure that any information gleaned was recovered, Kinnison made his way to this dread location and was taken by the Eich and tortured to reveal the secrets he carried. But it was not Kinnison's memories he carried for Worsel was a Master hypnotist and well able to hide his true thoughts from the Delgonian torturers as they reduced Kinnison to a shell!

What is Kinnison's future? Released from the torture chamber as an object lesson, he is merely a blinded, infected, shell of a human!

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