The H'Harn are an alien race featured in the Edmond Hamilton's book Return to the Stars, sequel to the book The Star Kings.
History of the H'HarnEdit
Originating in the Small Magellanic Cloud, which they called Amambarane, the H'Harn were, at first, but one of the many races, and not remarkable in any way. In fact, they were weak and stupid compared to many other races, and were used by them. However, eventually they discovered they had powerful telepathic abilities, and, after strengthening those power by selective breeding took first over their planet, which they shared with others, and then over the entire Amambarane. After that, they built a giant fleet, and went to the Milky way in order to conquer it. However, Brenn Bir, a ruler and scientist who lived at the time, used his creation, a superweapon called The Disruptor, to destroy the invading fleet, along with the occupied planets. That was a hard blow against their pride.
Eventually, after two millennia, the H'Harn were ready for a new assault on the Milky way. This time, they built a fleet which was composed entirely of cloaked ships, and hid them just outside the Galaxy. Not daring to assault it head on, since the Disruptor still existed and could be used, they instead planned to start a civil war, drawing the main powers away from the capital, and then to land their ships directly on the main planets, thus making the use of the Disruptor impossible.
However, before the plan could be executed, on the planet of Teyn, John Gordon, a man transported into the future from the twentieth century, encountered one of the H'Harn spies, and managed to escape with his life. On the capital world of Throon, the archives revealed that the creature he encountered was one of the race which invaded the Galaxy two millennia ago.
An expedition was sent to the planet of Aar, where there were signs of those aliens present. However, upon arriving, the expedition fell into a trap. All aboard the ship, except for John Gordon, and the ship's captain Hull Burrell, were killed. Receiving unexpected aid, they managed to escape. It turned out that the H'Harn wanted Gordon, to probe his mind for information about the Disruptor, which he once used.
After getting to the planet of Fomalhaut, and warning the government of the invasion, Gordon was captured by the H'Harn. Since no probing revealed any information about the Disruptor, a H'harn named V'Ril, obviously powerful even for his race, merged his mind with John's, knowing that this way, no information can possibly be hidden.
However, he was disappointed. John had no knowledge about how the Disruptor worked, only the knowledge of how to use it. However, during the merging of the minds, he learned the location of the H'Harn fleet. After he was rescued, and contacted the main forces with that information, the enemy was destroyed.
The H'Harn were not a beautiful race. Standing about the same height as a kneeling adult human, they were always fully covered by robes when dealing with humans. When the robes were removed, H'Harn's true appearance was revealed. Glistening, moist looking, like a small skinned man with gray-green flesh. The limbs moved with boneless fluidity. The flesh itself seemed to writhe and flow. The head was small and spherically shaped. The face was blank. A small mouth, nauseatingly pretty, two hole instead of a nose, and two big, filmed over, dull, obscurely opalescent eyes. They spoke in a sibilant whisper, which rose to a high, whistling pitch when they were angry.
Intellectually, H'harn were quite inferior compared to other races. They viewed all other sentient creatures as tools, considering the tool's breaking irrelevant so long as it could be replaced. The only thing that allowed them to dominate other races was their power of mental compulsion.
The mental power of the H'Harn was unmatched by anything in the known universe (although powerful telepaths from other races could shield against it for a time). This power allowed them to control any creature, to extract information from it, and even to destroy its mind. However, the power was limited in range, and could not be used against many creatures at once. The force could be used in such a way that the victim and those surrounding it were unaware of the control, but full possession made the control obvious through the blank face of the victim.