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I Remember Lemuria, by Richard S. Shaver, [1948], at

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A Valuable Chunk of Meat

The awe-struck Aesir with me didn't guess that the voluptuous, desirable women around Sathanas were poor mindless creatures; machine-made to appeal to base masculine senses of some members of the immortal Elder Races. They didn't know that what they gazed upon was false and inhuman. They knew only that they saw here women beautiful and desirable beyond their wildest dreams—the fevered dreams of the Earthmen that they were. Here were dream creatures smiling at them through half-lidded eyes . . . sending their blood racing. And mirroring the gaze of Sathanas’ women, the eyes of the young Aesir were pinwheels of hungry fire.

Although it takes several moments to tell, I knew instantly what these women were—and a quick look at my new friend from fair Mu confirmed the fact that the agents and mech controllers of Sathanas had done their work well—the Aesir had lost their senses to the lure of the devil's women.

I looked at Arl. She, too, knew what lay behind all this unholy scenery and her little nose was raised, proudly disdainful. Her eyes stared past Sathanas and all the false finery around him.

"My lovely Arl is just going to ignore all this. Good girl!" I chuckled to myself. But the chuckle died in my throat as I came to a halt in front of Sathanas—the hidden, deadly evil, ill-concealed in those smoky eyes didn't promise much of enjoyment for us captives standing before him.

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He glanced up from the snowy throat he'd been kissing, and our eyes locked. At first, there was just that evil stare. Then . . . recognition! With that, he became alive and casually tossed the attentive female from his lap, as a normal man would dispose of a puppy when other business called. With a displeased frown the poor creature glared at me for interrupting her pleasure, but she scurried to one side, followed by the hungry eyes of the Aesir, for she was about the same size as they. Evidently she was a new acquisition. After dismissing her, Sathanas had placed both hands on the arms of his "stim" chair and looked at us from under his dark brows.

Finally the dog deigned to speak.

"Ah, my dear Mutan Mion," the words were like the treacherous hiss of a deadly snake, and the smile that went with it was equally reptilian. "Ah, yes, and his lovely wife, the beautiful Arl."

When he mentioned her name, I would have strangled him had I been free to move . . . his using her name was profane. He had bowed as he spoke it.

"You know, Fair Lady, the tales that are told do not do justice to the beauty that you do have. I am honored by this visit from such a famous pair. I have many times read the record of your progress in the past centuries. I am grieved that I must welcome you in such poor surroundings as my little craft provides."

I said nothing. In fact, I tried desperately not to think of anything that his thought-readers might find of value.

"Oh, come, Mion, surely you haven't lost that oratorical tongue that we have heard of so much? Can't you speak?"

"The less I say, the better, O mighty Sathanas. I am not numbered among your admirers."

At that he frowned. There was no use to hide the truth or crawl to his ego. I knew that a dozen telaugs were

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playing over us and certainly some of them transferred our thoughts to him. I didn't care for him or any of his kind.

Sathanas had looked like he was going to lose his temper, but he recovered his front of suavity. Just as he was ready to speak again, he was interrupted.

The Aesir, Tyr, was more accustomed to lacing such characters than I and he had immediately adopted the best possible attitude for the moment.

"Your majesty!" said Tyr, "the Arch-Angel of the heavens, the one mighty man of blood and war that I have always wanted to meet! Oh! Mighty One, that black flag of yours is the banner and desire of every warrior who reiishes true freedom!"

Even with the information that his "spy" rays were undoubtedly sending him, this spontaneous flattery from Tyr caught Sathanas momentarily off his guard, and he frowned darkly . . . puzzled.

"Why the gloomy frown?" asked Tyr. "Is the mighty Sathanas displeased at the offer of service from such fighters as these?" Tyr indicated the others. "Why only today, My Lord, we put the mighty Jotun to flight outside our city of Asgard . . . what better recommendation could a warrior bring you?"

Tyr was doing a valiant job of bluffing, but he couldn't know that the only "war" that Sathanas ever had any contact with was drunken space-men's brawls, or violent kidnapings and perhaps in arranging the monetary details of warfare on some of the other "der" planets. The Aesir tried, but his bluff failed.

At the mention of the battle outside the walls of Asgard, Sathanas blackened and shot to his feet. Some trinket or other that he had in his hand went violently to the floor.

"So! . . . so!" The huge fiend was raging but not saying much. I could see his lips quivering with self-indulgent

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anger. "So! It was you, Mion, who pierced the hull of my best and newest battle ship! You . . . you are the upstart who is poking his nose into my affairs here in my refuge!"

He had bunched his fist and stood shaking it under my nose while I stood still, not moving a muscle.

"You insolent . . . you uncultured freak. It will not be you that carries the tale of my doings back to Nor! You can take the word of the Lord Sathanas for that!"

The miserable cur emphasized his last remark with a slap on the face that would have earned him death had I not been held in the grip of a watching control-ray. I kept silent. There was nothing for me to say. Sathanas ranted on.

"Centuries ago, you came to the Council Chambers on Nor and received more honors and recognition than all my labors have ever brought me. You rose steadily in power in the so-called government of Nor. And, as the final insult, you approach, no, you even eclipse the power of men three times your age!"

He was being carried away by his own thwarted ambitions. The more he raved, the more he became flecked with foam, like a stallion raced too hard. He was stomping back and forth in front of us. Every eye in the room was watching him, and it was only our little group that wasn't cowering at the sight and sound of his anger.

"But, my dear MUTAN MION! Your . . . luck . . . has . . . ended! You are in my power now—I, who am now the open enemy of all the base servants of the Nor Empire, and I will see that you die . . . slowly, painfully!" He threw back his head and laughed like a man gone mad. "Haw! and those so dainty hounds of our so high God-head—that thrice cursed Nor Patrol—will receive the complete sensation record of your death, with my compliments!"

That must have pleased him for he calmed down and smiled. "Ah ha, THAT should keep them somewhat less

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hot on my trail, knowing the painful fate of the great Mu-tan Mion who unluckily caught up with me. Me . . . Sathanas!"

And he didn't mean to miss any nuance of sadistic pleasure. He pranced over to where Arl was standing, his black cloven hooves making the only sound in the room. She still was staring past him as he stroked the little black beard he affected.

His fevered eyes gazed up and down the glorious body of my beloved Arl and I swore to myself that if I were ever free I would tear those insulting eyes out with my own bare hands.

"Beautiful!" He nodded. “Mion, your Arl is a very valuable looking chunk of meat 18.

At least, she will be valuable when my colleagues get finished with a few slight mental operations on her. No doubt you are familiar with the slight adjustments that we make on these lovely women's minds to enhance their value? No? That's a pity. And she is big, too. I'm sure there are some among the Nor men that will pay a pretty price to have such a sturdy plaything to take with them to the heavy planets. Perhaps I shall keep her here for my own use . . . for a little while, anyway. And, then, maybe I can reward one of the Jotun chiefs with her for certain favors that they have done me in the past.

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Mustering his courage, he reached up, and stripped Arl of the few garments that she wore, the better to inspect his new property.

"They say that Mion's Arl is one of the most expert manipulators of the 'stim' machines. Mmmm, I believe I know where such a woman of her size and ability with 'stim' would bring a fortune, and the size of a Ruler's ransom, too."

Evidently he was tired of merely taunting his captives without them saying anything, for he suddenly ordered, "Take them away!"

Obeying his command, the heavy ray that had held us captive was released and some of the ship's crew with small hand rays shackled us with them.

They didn't have them turned up to full power—they couldn't have, because all I could feel was a slight drag. As soon as I realized what was up—that I was free—I raced for the throat of the fiend now returning to his couch, hurling his sycophants and dancing girls to the right and left like a farmer sowing grain. Just as my fingers were about to clench about his neck, a beam from one of the ever watchful servitors struck me down at his feet, a contorted bundle of agony. The epilepto-ray 19 that they used was the most painful known to Nor science—forbidden except for experimental laboratory work to discover a counter for it.

I rolled in tortured convulsions on the floor. Just as my last grip on consciousness slipped from my grasp, I saw my lady Arl folding like a wounded bird and something that she had tried to use as a weapon fell from her grasp . . . or was that blood!

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165:18 MEAT: Cannibalisim has been practiced for centuries in the now almost sterile caverns—dero eating tero, perhaps tero eating dero; both, it is suspected, capturing by means of the ancient "mech" (mechanism) surface people for food. They consider surface people merely a higher species of food-animal. Throughout the caverns, we of the surface are referred to, not as "surface" people, but "meat" people.

No doubt the European dero ate heartily beneath the concentration camps. We suspect that it was they who activated the Nazis guarding the camps to the abysmal depths of depravity to which they descended. For centuries, the dero have been doing the same things—and worse—though on a smaller scale.

The Jotuns were, no doubt, dealers in "meat" delicacies.—R. S. Shaver.

166:19 EPILEPTO RAYS: The epilepto ray was originally intended for the use of the Elder Race's Police. By means of it, primitive tribes, wild animals, and even rioting or uncontrollable members of the race itself could be broughtunder control, harmlessly. However, as with all the ancient mechanisms, the Elder scientists continually improved them, and at times these improvements called for regulation by the Ruling Council to limit their use to p. 167 insure the general safety of the entire race.

Some of the epilepto ray projectors are still extant in the caverns here an Earth, and their use by the dero (degenerate humans) cause torment and paralysis to a lot of the surface people.

The ray itself, in action, contorts every muscle of the victim's body by means of an alternating current of synthetic pain-ray electric, the pulsations resulting in that spasmodic jerking so apparent in one suffering a so-called "epileptic" fit.—Author.

Next: Chapter VIII. Under The Pain Ray