Chapter 2.

8 Feb

Raxis Absum instantly decided that all necessary resources had to be furnished for the new project aimed at testing the ideas of Grue. “Too much time has been wasted,” he told his son. “We must start things going at once. I authorize you to use all of our companies and their personnel and properties on this enterprise. We must not stint on anything, in any way whatsoever.”

“I intend to devote my full time to it,” vowed his son. “All my mind will be focused on achieving energy transmission through the mind. I shall concentrate completely on that goal.”

The Deliverer furrowed his forehead in inner thought.

“It is very important that secrecy be maintained,” he declared. “No one on the outside who may have selfish interests should have any knowledge of our activities, especially concerning successes that occur. Therefore, management of the project must be in the hands of someone who is trustworthy. Overall responsibility for supervision must be yours, Bave. But there has to be an expert who is adept in electromagnetic transmission in charge of the technical operations. I hope that Hail Grue will nominate someone for that demanding post, a person he is sure can carry it out.”

“I can ask him for a recommendation when I see him next,” volunteered his son.

It was early the next day that Bave did just that.

The pair took an early walk through the narrow, winding streets around the apartment of Hail. In a split second, the old man came up with the name of a person competent to do the job.

“I have a talented nephew, Zaigl Grue. He worked for Piezoelectric for ten years, but has now become an independent designer of electricomagnetic systems. He is a creative individual. We have not met or spoken for a number of years, but I am certain he would be willing to take up technical matters for us. Zaigl possesses an adventurous spirit and readily takes to challenges.”

“How skilled is he in a telepathic sense?” inquired Bave, his curiosity rising.

Hail briefly hesitated. “I cannot say for sure, because he and I have not seen each other for a considerable number of years. But I recall that he showed wide mental gifts as a child and later as a young man. They must have grown and improved over time.”

“Could you arrange a meeting with him for me?”

“Yes, I can echophone him at once. He is certain to be interested in our project. When would you like to get together with Zeigl?”

“He can come to the entrance of the Creational Museum. The two of us can walk around inside and discuss the general plan we have so far mapped out. Yes, that may be the best conceivable environment for enlisting your nephew, sir.”

Hail promised to call and invite his relative to the rendezvous.

A museum dedicated to Velvet inventions and scientific discoveries was packed with displays from different decades and generations. Only one type of advancement was omitted: telepathic development and psychic breakthroughs. In those areas the problem was how to set forth and represent the steps forward through visual materials and presentations. Therefore, the inevitable emphasis of the Creational Museum had to be limited to substantive and mechanical subjects that could be seen.

Dynamos, generators, hoisters, ascensors, infundibula, siphons, and other working machinery filled a series of interconnected gigantic halls. An endless number of engines and devices filled large spaces. Motors, appliances, lifts, belts, gears, toggles, and ratchets were visible in whatever direction one looked.

Bave stood in the lobby of the ferroglass structure, waiting for the engineer described for him by Hail. At last, a short, pudgy individual in a light gray laineux suit appeared. His resemblance to his uncle was plain to see. The two men approached each other. After conventional greetings, Bave proposed that they take a walk together through the magelectrical section. Zaigl agreed and they headed for that particular hall.

The pair examined displays that summarized the history of magnetism on Velvet. They read about the historical and archeological studies that proved that the magnetic poles and fields of the planet had more than doubled in strength since earliest recorded times. The magnetic shield of nature had grown firmer and more protective than ever, protecting the surface from cosmic radiation of all sort. There was no known planet in any system that possessed as much magnetic force and energy as did Velvet. And the quantity of the magnetism had never been as high as at the present time. It was only natural that this particular form of energy should be so developed by science and technology on such a magnetically blessed and endowed world.

Bave decided to get down to the purpose of their meeting at once.

“Are you willing to take charge of a program aimed at attaining what your uncle has long thought about and advocated, a combination of energy distribution and psychic transmission? Could you put all your mind and energy into such an endeavor? I cannot promise any high salary or monetary rewards.”

Zaigl stopped before a gigantic turbosupercharger. His galenic gray eyes suddenly took on a hypnotic sparkle as he began to speak.

“My uncle was long considered an impractical dreamer, primarily because no method of reception of magnetized telesthetic waves was thought of to exist or be possible. His attempts in that direction was attacked as not feasible. I myself, for a long time, had doubts that I would ever see any progress on that front in my lifetime. But there have been some important technical developments in recent years. I have tried to keep up with the subject as much as I can. My perspective has expanded and widened. What previously was not practical now can be contemplated. I think the job can be done here and now. A great effort will be called for. So, I am willing to lead the people who will work on it. The time is ripe for psychic transmission and reception of electricomagnetic energy.”

Bave could not conceal his gratification with the acceptance of the post offered.

“When can you begin your work?” he excitedly asked.

“Immediately, at once,” replied Zaigl. “I have a clear idea of what the main problem is: building a device that can do what a telepath is able to. That will necessitate an exacting study of how mental waves affect magnetic pulsation. It may take quite some time to solve the mysteries that are known to hinder direct reception.”

“My company will provide all the people and equipment you will need,” promised Bave. “I want you to keep me abreast of what happens as this goes forward.”

“Yes, and I intend to inform Uncle Hail as well.”

The pair walked out of the Creational Museum separately, each of them in high, positive spirits.

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