Finally, when the picture filled the entire visiplate, they arrived at the outermost edge of the galaxy.
He knew that he was seated motionless in the operator’s chair in the base of the rigidly anchored primary projector, and by taking his eyes away from the visiplate before him, he could see that nothing in the laboratory had changed, except that the pyrotechnic display from the power-bar was of unusual intensity. Yet, looking into the visiplate, he was out in space in person, hurtling through space at a pace beside which the best effort of the Skylark seemed the veriest crawl.
Ten enormous supporting forces held the lens of neutronium immovable in the exact center of the upper end; at intervals down the shaft similar forces held variously-shaped lenses and prisms formed from zones of force; in the center of the bottom or floor of the towering structure was the double controlling system, with a universal visiplate facing each operator.
‘I say, skipper,’ said the man whose face showed in the vision-plate, ‘what are you doing there? Someone monkeying with things?’
He went straight to his bunk, reached down into the dark space directly beneath it, pulled hard at something metallic, and withdrew a tiny, compact black mechanism, with a little silver visi-plate inset in its exact center. Grant snapped a control-switch to contact, and waited while the small screen swiftly brightened.
Costigan turned away from the absorbing scenes pictured upon the visiplate and faced his two companions.
They had a scanner on it now and by stepping up illumination to the utmost, and magnification to the point where the image was as rough as an old-fashioned half-tone cut, they brought the strange ship to the visiplate as a six-inch miniature.
The visiplates showed the strange space ship clearly, now, even without magnification.
‘Needlers, fire at will!’ barked Kinnison, and even that feeble resistance was ended. Keen-eyed needle-ray men, working at spy-ray visiplates, bored hole after hole into the captive, seeking out and destroying the control-panels of the remaining beams and screens.
The rest of the ship was cut in by visiplate.
That nondescript dot of light in the visiplate represented the enemy.
Ellie shrieked, and threw her purse over the visi-plate. ‘Don’t listen to him!’ she ordered Nadine. ‘See if you can find a way of turning this thing off!’
E.E. 'Doc' Smith, 'Skylark Three'
Last modified 2020-12-29 14:18:52
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.