“This is 911, what’s the nature of your emergency?

“—Yes, ma’am, that’s fine, your local Lensman will be with you shortly. —No ma’am, I couldn’t say just when. The coatings on the new nonferrous speeders make them .999999999999999% undetectable, which means we can’t detect them either, as our hardware’s only good to six figures. —Yes, ma’am, that’s the government for you…

“…Of course he’ll have identification, ma’am. He’ll hold it up to the peephole for you. Plus the wide-open 2-way that follows may clue you in. But one thing, ma’am. When he lets you in, don’t do like you do with the cable guy and the gas man and try to hold his ID yourself. —No, ma’am. —No, it’s nothing like that, ma’am. It’s just that if he’s not touching it, his ID will kill you.

“Yes, ma’am. —That’s how you tell he’s for real, ma’am. If anyone tries to wear a Lens and they’re not a Lensman, it kills them. —No, honestly, ma’am, it’s a really nice ID, especially when it coruscates. It’s polychromatic, and— No, ma’am, we don’t let them near children. —Yes ma’am, I know that children do teethe, and if a Lensman— No, ma’am. No. No, sorry, ma’am, a female Lensman wouldn’t make any difference. No, I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t send her, she’s busy.

“—Yes, ma’am, just the one. —Ma’am, I don’t think this can realistically be considered a discrimination issue. You see, Mentor—uh. I mean, a certain entity— Ma’am— …No, I really don’t think writing to John Ashcroft would help, ma’am. For one thing, he’s not the Attorney General any more, and for another, if he saw how our one lady, uh, I mean woman Lensman was dressed right now, he’d have a— No, ma’am, it’s just that on Lyrane— 

“Ma’am, please, would you just tell me, where is your cat at the moment…”

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Stephen Clark August 18, 2016 - 1:01 pm

I don’t think the Lens kills others when it’s actually being worn by its rightful possessor.

dianeduane August 18, 2016 - 1:29 pm

Quite right. Added a few words to clarify. Thanks for that. 🙂

Ryk Spoor August 18, 2016 - 4:15 pm

Thanks for this! Someone just pointed me to it, and as a very long time Doc Smith fan it’s very amusing to see this.

dianeduane August 18, 2016 - 4:30 pm

A pleasure. I grew up on the Lensman books & love(d) them to bits. 🙂

Comments are closed.

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