A Rising Thunder. Honor Harrington, Book Thirteen. David Weber. David Weber, Advance Reader Copy. Unproofed. Cover art by David Mattingly. Peril and strife strike on a double front for Honor Harrington and company. After a brutal attack on the Manticoran home system, Honor Harrington and the Star. Thunder Vonna Harpe r MS Re ade r (LIT) ISBN # Mobipocke t ( PRC) ISBN # Othe r available for.

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Back | Next · Contents. To Bruce, Treysa, Mackenzie, and—especially—Indiana Graham. The good fight is hard, but earthbound mortals learn to fly by watching. David Weber - [Honor Harrington 13] - A Rising Thunder (ARC) - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. david weber pdf - download now for free pdf ebook a rising thunder honor harrington 13 david weber at our online ebook library. get a rising.

Maybe somebody had realized just how stupendous the price tag might become, given the size the Manticoran merchant marine might attain in the next three T-centuries, and declined to.

And even if they had, where was the government going to find the cash to pay it after the Yawata Strike? And especially if it was calling home the enormous merchant fleet which provided so much of its total revenue flow?

And then there was the minor question of just how the Star Empire of Manticore was going to manage to pay the bills for a war against something the size of the Solarian League. It sure as hell not a hole money comes out of! And what are you going to do if she refuses? HMS Cometary was a mere light cruiser.

In theory, he could order his Marines to take control of Vortrekker and force Captain Malachai and her own crew to sail directly to Manticore, yet he shied away from the possibility. She only looked back at him, blue eyes unaccustomed to asking for anything pleading with him to relent. He looked back at her, wrestling with those eyes and his own temptation. He had no doubt the Admiralty would have quite a few choice things to say to him if he granted an exemption from a nondiscretionary order.

And that meant he was supposed to have the guts to do what his orders required him to do…and to be willing. You took an oath to obey all legal orders. Especially not at a time like this! All of that was true. Cometary was only an old. You realize that? He let silence linger between them for two or three breaths. I swear. Is that perfectly clear? Get out of here before I come to my senses and change my mind! Lieutenant Aaron Tilborch. For a moment or two. On the whole. There were several reasons for that.

In point of fact. And Idaho. For Zunker. Prior to the discovery of the Idaho Hyper Bridge. Idaho had been a relative backwater. In fact. The hyper bridge between it and Idaho was over four hundred light-years long. That had turned both Zunker and Idaho into important feeder systems for the ever more heavily traveled Manticoran Wormhole Junction. Over the last fifteen T-years. The sudden influx of so much traffic. Yet that same abundance of cash had inevitably attracted the avarice of the Office.

The cascade of credits and the frenzied construction of shipping and support structures for the traffic that produced it had fueled an economic boom such as no Zunkeran had ever dreamed was possible.

Idaho mentioned the sudden upsurge in Solarian compassion and philanthropic urges to its neighbors and allies in Manticore. So when Frontier Security started sniffing around Zunker. The result was an official Solarian consulate in Effingham. The terminus itself. Which was how Lieutenant Tilborch and the crew of ZSNS Kipling came to have a ringside seat for what promised to be a most unhappy day in near-Zunker space.

His division of Saganami-C-class heavy cruisers was one ship understrength. On the other hand. He also had four Roland-class destroyers. Ivanov looked down at her image and raised his eyebrows. I mean. Or that it represents orders from their admiralty?

Either way. Whether or not the Solly flag officer assigned to the mission would share that belief was another question. The incoming icons had made their alpha translation the better part of fifty million kilometers from the terminus. Ivanov suspected the latter. That represented either pretty poor astrogation or else a deliberate decision to give any Manticoran warships plenty of time to see them coming.

At that rate. And after they demonstrate that they are. Rear Admiral Liam Pyun. To make matters worse. Hirokichi Floyd was scarcely unique among Solarian bureaucrats in having personal reasons to loathe the Star Empire of Manticore and its intolerable insolence.

Rear Admiral Pyun was only too well aware of that. Most of those bureaucrats. It was a rather uncomfortable silence.

Idaho was a Manty ally. Zunker Terminus Astro Control Service. Pyun reflected. Not surprisingly. A moment later. The Star Empire of Manticore has declared this volume of space a prohibited zone and will act in accordance with international laws governing such zones.

In addition. He doubted. Not that the Manties are likely to start right out shooting at him if push comes to shove. I wonder how many missile pods they have? By any traditional measure. Whatever Floyd thinks. One of the nagging little problems with traditions.

His six battlecruisers were all Indefatigable-class ships. He was sure the official version was on its way to Genovese from Old Terra. Which meant all they really knew was what the Manties had told them. It took the better part of a Tmonth for anything from Old Terra to reach Genovese. Not yet. Rear Admiral Pyun was inclined to think Commissioner Floyd was an idiot. Zambezi Treasure and his battlecruisers had been in n-space for almost exactly ten minutes.

I also hereby inform you that I have no choice but to. Be informed at this time that while my Empress continues to desire a peaceful resolution to the current tensions between the Star Empire and the Solarian League.

Royal Manticoran Navy. I would prefer to avoid that. And that thirty million-klick tripwire of his is consistent with what they say happened at Spindle. Should you continue to approach this terminus without active transponders and close to a distance of less than thirty million kilometers.

I will engage you. Pyun stood gazing down at it for a heartbeat or so. No one could ever reasonably call Steven Gilmore an alarmist. Plenty of Frontier Fleet officers were just as wedded to the notion of Solarian invincibility as any Battle Fleet pain in the ass.

Which suggested the rest of their version of the Battle of Spindle was also at least reasonably accurate. Nor had they been in the vicinity when Sandra Crandall set out to avenge her fellow genius. Unlike Gilmore. Thirty million kilometers still sounded like too much to be true. Pyun had enjoyed the dubious pleasure of actually meeting Crandall.

They were as clear as they were nondiscretionary. Inform the Captain that I see no reason to alter our intentions at this time. Maybe it is. Yet despite that. As far as the lieutenant was concerned. The com officer started to say something else. No other possibility was admissible.

The possibility that he might see it very soon now had to be gnawing away inside him. There was no way. Zyndram thought. Nereu Zyndram had felt profound reservations about this operation from the moment Rear Admiral Pyun shared their orders with him.

You have seen combat. His older brother. Manticore would begin seizing control of every terminus it could. That was actually exceeding the letter of his orders. When that happened. But whether or not. Whatever that took. The fat is well and truly in the fire. If those bastards in Old Chicago were going to do the reasonable thing. Hiram Ivanov thought grimly. Unlike Battle Fleet. The rest of the. Whatever else happens.

The thought amused him. Because of that. At the moment. Yakolev and Cheetah. MDMs were in shorter supply than Mark 16s. Activate all Halo platforms now! As such. In practice. Pouchard had a point. In theory. Even with pods. To stand back just a bit and watch the flow of a simulation or training exercise. If those incoming missiles could maintain their current acceleration numbers all the way in.

Like an old pre-space wet-navy torpedo at the very end of its run. The actual vulnerable aspects of a modern warship were remarkably narrow. His attention was on his repeater plot. The new icons pulsed to draw. Dozens of point sources. Those things were less than ten thousand kilometers clear of his flagship! They just popped up a second ago when they cut their stealth.

The question was obviously rhetorical. Not that it would have made any difference at the moment. We are so going to get hammered. I think they are. Chief Elliott? Unless he was badly mistaken.

What mattered was that the Manties had managed to do it. Which meant their missile control loop had just been cut in half. There was no time for those who could actually see the displays.

The Solarian battlecruiser crews had never seen. The Manticoran missiles came flashing in. And they were out-classed. The other hundred and seventy-three streaked past every countermissile the Solarians could throw with almost contemptuous ease. The threat totally surpassed the parameters their doctrine and their systems had been designed to cope with. They came driving in through the desperate. But how could I have known? How could I really have known?

And even if I had— And then the Manticoran missles burst past the inner edge of the counter-missile zone. His people were doing their best.

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They managed to pick off another twelve missiles. They were going to— One hundred and sixty-three Mark 16 missiles. It was true. The rear admiral would dearly have loved to believe Halo had succeeded in its decoy function. Pyun actually felt his mouth twitch on the edge of a smile.

It had happened so quickly. No defensive system in the galaxy. But much as he would have preferred that. Retaliate took one hit and Impudent took two. Do you? Which suggests it was what the Manties intended to happen all along. There ought to be a ninety second-. From several other platforms.

They were still over a light-minute and a half from the Manties. I will have no choice but to continue this engagement. If you persist in approaching this terminus.

But then he remembered all those grav pulses. You have ten minutes to reverse acceleration or. And tell him to get our hyper generators online. I will open fire once more. No one said a word. Then the admiral squared his shoulders. All eyes were on Liam Pyun as he stood continuing to gaze at the blank display from which Hiram Ivanov had disappeared. She leaned back. Not to mention being stuffed unnaturally full of Ballroom terrorists and Beowulfan commandos.

As for sociopathy. Zilwicki had observed that who was the sociopath and who was the defender of all that was right and decent often seemed to depend a great deal on the perspective of the observer. Ctéléchargement had never struck him as either stone cold or crazed. And sometimes the cigar really is a cigar. Zilwicki thought. The old. Over the course of their lengthy mission on Mesa. Yana had gotten past most of her own uneasiness with the Havenite.

And the four-month voyage from Mesa back to the Hainuwele System had finished it off. The trip had given them plenty of time to hone their cardplaying skills. That information was going to come as a particularly nasty shock to Beowulf intelligence.

Their operation had been jointly sponsored by the Kingdom of Torch. It was the closest safe harbor. Bearing all of that in mind. Both Anton and Victor had been vastly relieved to discover that no one had been actively shooting at one another any longer. In the process. Much as they might begrudge the month or so it would take Custis to make the trip to Erewhon.

Under those circumstances. No one expected it to be easy. But in terms of T-years. Now it opened rather abruptly. I suppose we have. Frank Gillich was a capable fellow. The sound represented at least grudging approval. Are you trying to claim the title of Paranoiac in Chief? One could never be entirely certain where Ctéléchargement was concerned.

He shrugged. Duchess Harrington arrived in Haven orbit. We were the last stop on the information chain. Duchess Harrington is in Nouveau Paris for the express purpose of negotiating a peace settlement between the Republic and the Star Empire.

But according to the summary she got from the home office. It stopped off at Torch. This time. President Pritchart is just as determined as the Duchess. So my thought is that we leave the recordings of our interviews with. Or whether or not Herlander is. And since Duchess Harrington actually believed both of us before we ever set out for Mesa. You mean a formal treaty? Redundancy is a beautiful thing. In the meantime. Chapter Five Innokentiy Kolokoltsov rose as Astrid Wang formally ushered his visitor into his office.

Not that our manners are going to make very much difference this time around. Astrid always did have a good set of instincts. Whatever else is going to happen.

His secretary was more subdued than usual. He felt things too deeply, without the professional detachment which ought to be brought to the task. That was a place for clearheadedness and dispassion, and a man who could be goaded into intemperance was a dangerous loose warhead for his own side. Carmichael smiled thinly, and Kolokoltsov smiled back. Whatever the official flowchart of the Solarian League Foreign Ministry might indicate, Carmichael knew as well as Kolokoltsov that Roelas y Valiente was no more than a figurehead.

Whoever the note might be addressed to, the Manticoran Ambassador was looking at its actual recipient. Not enough of. So my government has desiced to ensure that no more of them transpire. There is, however, another reason for the recall, as well. We appear to have been singularly unsuccessful in our efforts to accomplish that so far, so my government has decided to resort to rather more direct measures. It was one of the reasons so many Solarians so intensely resented and detested the Star Empire of Manticore.

But in all those years, Manticore had never threatened to actually withdraw its shipping from the League! Considering the current—and apparently still deteriorating—relationship between the Star Empire and the Solarian League, however, my government believes it will be safest all around for our merchant vessels to remain safely in Manticoran space—or, at least, outside of Solarian space—until the matters under dispute between the Star Empire and the League have been satisfactorily resolved.

At that time, of course, we would look forward to restoring our freighters and passenger liners to their normal runs. I suppose it would behoove both the Star Empire and the Solarian League to demonstrate to the rest of the galaxy that they wish to find an amicable resolution of all of the tensions and…disputed matters currently lying between them.

So am I. Some of those demonstrations had turned even uglier than their organizers in the Ministry of Education and Information had intended.

Book: A Rising Thunder

Unhappily, that situation obtains in the Star Empire, as well. In fact, many of them believe the RMN was. So my government has decided it will be best to separate our warships from proximity with your own…and with your merchant vessels, as well. Unhappily, that means our only alternative is to close all Manticoran warp termini to Solarian traffic, beginning immediately. Courier vessels and news service dispatch vessels will be allowed passage regardless of registry, but all Solarian registered freight carriers and passenger ships.

For the first time in decades, his carefully cultivated professional composure deserted him and he stared at the Manticoran incredulously. It would constitute an act of war! Unfortunately, the. The Shingaine Convention had been sponsored by the Solarian League seventy T-years ago expressly as a means to pressure the thenStar Kingdom of Manticore.

Nor had Manticore ever shown any particular desire to kowtow to Solarian pressure on the matter. However you may care to dress it up, it does constitute an act of economic warfare, as your government is perfectly well aware, Mister Ambassador! My government has attempted from the very beginning to resolve the tensions between the Star Empire and the League without further bloodshed.

Your government has steadfastly refused to meet us halfway. Or even a third of the way. You may not believe me, but my government is trying to prevent that all-out war.

None of that appears to have moved the Solarian League in any way. But it will pursue its own foreign policy, and if we cannot get you to listen to reason one way, we will seek another. No, thank you, Mr. The president settled himself behind his desk once again, and the permanent senior undersecretary crooked a mental eyebrow. Letting him play with the pretty bauble of the presidency kept them happy and him from interfering with anything truly important like the family business.

That was one reason it was unheard of for the president to actually invite a permanent senior undersecretary to an audience. Including the fact that however ineffectual he might be. And at any other meeting Kolokoltsov could think of. There were other factors.

And to give the man his due. There was no point being impolite now that he was here. He most definitely would not have re-seated himself behind the desk. Even for Kolokoltsov it was more an intellectual awareness than anything else. Had anyone been paying any attention to the Constitution. Prime Minister Shona Gyulay would have been the actual head of government. The attractive. The dark-haired. Between them. There were even places where people still believed the delegates they elected to the League Assembly were supposed.

But there were other planets. By now. And that being the case. Old Terrans understood how the game was played. Sure it is.

He still keeping his thumbs out of the soup. Nathan MacArtney. The light-speed delay would be almost. The permanent senior undersecretary of commerce was a striking woman.

I thought we could just take his excuses and posturing as a given and get on with business. She had no doubt Nathan MacArtney was exactly where Kolokoltsov had said he was. I feel pretty confident that while. That was inevitable. I think we ought to be thinking about how we want to respond—not just in private. Under the circumstances. In that sort of terms.

Something even an economic ignoramus can grasp. I think. Hadley was a prime example of that. That gelded body had exercised no real power in centuries. It was equally fortunate the newsies knew as well as anyone that the Assembly possessed no real power.

Hadley had also been warning anyone who would listen from the beginning that the League was playing with economic fire. After all. And another ten or fifteen percent of it travels in Manty bottoms for up. Almost thirty percent of it travels in Manty ships all the way from point of origin to final destination. If transit times double. And that assumes they stop at closing just their termini. A lot worse. Reports of withdrawing Manticoran shipping had been trickling into news accounts for weeks.

The shipping networks have always been incredibly complex and fluid. It was only to be expected. It had taken people a while to notice what was going on. By this time. Although exactly what else we should be calling what happened at Zunker eludes me. The reports from Zunker and Nolan had arrived. Kolokoltsov thought bitterly. The Zunker Terminus was officially the territory of a Manticoran ally. Even more unfortunately.

The fact that the local Manty commander had actually fired on Solarian battlecruisers showed just how far the Star Empire was prepared to escalate things. And when the terminus astro control staff—all of them Solarians—had refused transit to the Manticoran freighters queuing up to return home he made a mental note to remind Abruzzi to play down any references to the Shingaine Convention when he spun that one. When they recognized the implications of that… As far as public opinion was concerned.

Unlike Zunker. Kolokoltsov could already hear how. The other thirty percent derives primarily from protectorate service fees. That was one reason—indeed. Unbelievable that the monumental stupidity of just two people could set something like this in motion! Kolokoltsov thought for far from the first time. Damn it. Most of the system governments. If they throw us back on our own shipping resources.

In a lot of ways. He should have known better than to listen! And it still may be. It had to be that way. When he turns up in their own backyard. If the Manties defeated Filareta—and especially if they also turned the economic screws Wodoslawski and Quartermain were describing—it would be impossible to convince the public that a return to diplomacy stemmed from anything but fear of still worse to come. Of ineffectuality.

It would be seen as an admission of impotence. But until this moment. Patience was not a Solarian virtue. But whatever else may have happened. Even completely leaving aside personal consequences.

Rajani has to be right about that. It gives us time to work on ways to negate their combat advantages. It had taken Caddell-Markham years to master the art of moving only one eyebrow while the other remained motionless. Given that Sung was only forty.

Some senior government officials might have taken that explanation amiss.

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Sung had performed his own military service in the Biological Survey Corps. It would have taken someone who knew him as well as Sung did to notice. I think she has to be here about Filareta. As I said. Sung smiled slightly. Then the smile vanished. Caddell-Markham suspected. At any rate. He also had dark hair which was turning white. Director Longacre. Secretary Pinder-Swun. The political cartoonists just loved it. And the snowiness of his hair made a nicely distinctive visual contrast with the darkness of his bushy mustache.

As far as. He was almost thirteen centimeters taller. His colleagues in the Chamber of Shareholders and Chamber of Professions had returned him so persistently to the Board because of his demonstrated ability as an all-around troubleshooter.

Despite that. A physician by training. She does have a reputation as an operational planner. Neither was any stranger to the. As nearly as I can tell. Kingsford—or Jennings. Those eyes were his most striking feature—especially against his dark complexion and depilated scalp—but his powerful.

Caddell-Markham had always thought that with the possible addition of a golden earring. Longacre would have made a wonderful HD pirate. Although his official title was simply Secretary of the Planetary Board of Directors.

One that involves us. But think about this. I mean—are. In the end. At least four members of the Planetary Board of Directors. More than that. So by this time.

What do you think they might want to do about that? If we help them attack Manticore. And one way to do that might be to get us involved in the attack. The Navy wants our assistance in carrying out its attack on. CaddellMarkham reflected. Pinder-Swun himself was an outstanding example of why that was true. Under Article Five of the Constitution. Which means that if we. They might not want to download that interpretation. Maybe they want the BSDF to participate actively.

Kolokoltsov and the others may actually believe Filareta can win. You can bet your bottom credit. I doubt any of them think they could count on brushing us permanently out of their way—even in the League. The CEO nodded. Caddell-Markham was pretty sure most of the others were thinking the same thing he was.

It sounded like the hunting cry of some forest predator.

That meant the largest force the SLN could throw through the Beowulf Terminus in a single wave would be about thirty of its Scientist-class superdreadnoughts. The ceiling on any simultaneous mass transit of the Manticoran Wormhole Junction was around two hundred million tons.

That sounded like a lot of ships…until one reflected that a single missile salvo from a force composed solely of cruisers and battlecruisers had completely destroyed twenty-three units of the same class in the Battle of Spindle.

Her smile actually looked genuine. Can I offer any refreshment? And I appreciate your forethought. Assuming it does. Even guileless. Level Seven classified material. Simpson paused for a moment. According to the dossier Mikulin had shared with him. In the Solarian classification system. In particular. It does seem probable that she…mismanaged the situation badly.

Be that as it may. Our analysts are firmly of the opinion that the missile performance we observed at Spindle never came from anything that could be launched from cruiser or battlecruiser missile tubes. But even with that caveat—even assuming what they actually used were heavy system-defense missiles—their capabilities were.

Both Beowulfers had their expressions as thoroughly under control as her own. CaddellMarkham suspected. God only knows how many of our own people would get killed along the way. At the very least. Even if not everyone agreed with her logic. Or any of the rest of its foreign policy over the last. As fantasies went. Caddell-Markham reflected. Or would have. Her lips. Caddell-Markham and Miternowski-Zhyang only nodded courteously. ONI is working overtime to figure out who it could have been!

At the same time. I assure you. None of which has done anything to mitigate Manty ambitions. To be honest they seem to have become even more ambitious—or aggressive. Failing that. They should reach Manticore no later than the middle of June.

Within the next two or three weeks. The idea is to demonstrate to the Manties that whatever their present. Admiral Simpson. Which is what brings me to Beowulf.

Admiral Simpson! First and foremost. Everything we have heard and been able to piece together. Especially when. Trying to coordinate simultaneous assaults between two forces which are literally months apart in terms of communications time strikes me as a recipe for disaster. Manticore may be only a single wormhole transit from Beowulf. The sudden arrival of another task force that powerful in their rear should certainly drive home to the Manties the sheer disparity between our resources and theirs.

As Director CaddellMarkham just pointed out. A hundred and eighty thousand men and women onboard?

Assistant Director. And that has to be especially true after they. And whatever they may have used at Spindle. Caddell-Markham thought. I think we can safely assume they have even. She shook her head yet again. I hope the Chairman will at least consider the…advisability of providing that minimal level of support to an operation of such obviously critical importance. Then she shrugged. I will of course present it to Chairman Benton-Ramirez.

I suspect the Planetary Board will officially go on record as opposing the entire operation as hasty. Fermented from the Mayan golden plum. Then again. And Oravil. I built all my. Our mistake—my mistake—was to assume that if they were using Solarian-built units. If they had been towing pods.

And there was no sign they had any missile pods on tow. But I wanted to get right in on the edge of their powered envelope. I may not be an admiral. And no plan survives contact with the enemy. We always knew we were going to have to make a lot of it up as we went along when the token finally dropped. Then he smiled. It works both ways. They may have surprised you with the range of their missiles. But this is a little different from defending Torch against an Eridani violation.

We have to come out into the open. We just have to be ready to improvise and adapt when Murphy starts throwing crap at us on the political front.

All right. If I push the button on Sepoy. But that could still happen.

He stayed that way for a while. No one in the Maya Sector was yet clear on exactly how much damage the Manties had taken from. What they did know.

Terre Haute. That had to have serious implications in any conflict with the League. It had happened barely five weeks ago. That had been part of his own core planning from the outset. And even if they do go down. On that basis. Whatever happens with the Manties. And skydiving in a thunderstorm never was the safest hobby. And as the admiral had also suggested. Oravil Barregos had known from the beginning that his plans were going to require fancy footwork.

He took another sip of wine. Making decisions. He knew it himself. Proving he was smarter. And as he did. Whether or not he and Luis Rozsak and the other men and women committed to the Sepoy Option succeeded.

And that was really the point. When that storm broke. Barregos actually cared about the people he governed. He looked across the table at the admiral who was not simply his accomplice in treason but his closest friend and smiled.

On oh so many levels. And for him to prevent it. They were going to sweep across the Maya Sector. To stop the warlords. Harrington's trap involves another Grayson SDs lying in stealth in front of 11th Fleet, while Haven's SDs drop out of hyperspace behind it. The Second Battle of Manticore, like the first, sets a record as the largest space battle in history.

Filareta realizes that his position is hopeless and orders a surrender, but his operations officer, a victim of the Mesan nanotech, instead triggers a wild launch of unarmed missiles and then a hidden bomb, destroying the flagship's bridge and killing everyone therein including himself. The resulting "battle" ends with nearly Solarian ships destroyed at the cost of only a few LACs, and 1.

Upon news of 11th Fleet's destruction, the Mandarins find themselves having to deal with the resulting blow to the League's prestige. They accuse Manticore of perfidy and Beowulf of treason for its discordance with League policy towards Manticore.

Their efforts to sway the public are successful. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth helps organize the marriage of the heir apparent , Prince Roger, to which much of Haven's political leaders are invited.

President Pritchart announces that their peace treaty has been ratified by the Haven senate and that the Second Havenite-Manticoran War is officially over. Admiral Rajampet is forced to kill himself by Mesan nanotech control.

He informs Kolokoltsov that Manticore's technological advantage is so overwhelming that any further military confrontations would be a one-sided massacre similar to the Second Battle of Manticore. Even worse is the economic and political analysis. Ultimately, Kingsford presents Kolokoltsov with their only option: fighting a commerce-raiding war, until they can match Manticore's military capability or sue for terms.

Kolokoltsov convinces the other Mandarins that their best chance to stay in power is to adopt Kingsford's recommendations, score some victories and only then attempt a negotiated settlement. They also have the Beowulfan government investigated for treason to divert attention away from their own failings.

This maneuver results in the head of the Beowulf delegation to the Assembly declaring that her government intends to invoke a never-before-used section of the League constitution which allows member systems to secede from the League, to be confirmed by a referendum of Beowulfan voters which is certain to pass by a huge majority.Which suggests it was what the Manties intended to happen all along. Say what the most bigoted Manticoran might. Whatever that took.

Over ten minutes since hed bidden Chalker good day, he noticed. Captain, he said finally, first, I dont see how you could possibly be accused of piracy. If the talks had come apart spectacularly. Rear Admiral Pyun was inclined to think Commissioner Floyd was an idiot.

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