Omtale fra Den Norske Bokdatabasen
Føderasjonen begynner å forfalle politisk og økonomisk. Quinn Dexer er løs på Jorda der han gjør stor skade. Louse Kavanagh prøver å spore han opp. Hun rekrutterer noen Fremmende som er sterke og kraftfulle, men det viser seg at de har helt andre mål en det hun har.
Serie The night's dawn trilogy
Genre Science fiction
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You can do all that, you can hurt me until I denounce everything I believe in. But you can never change what I am right now. And that's all that matters. I'm true to me. I've already had my victory.
The gravity fluctuation which appeared five hundred and sixty thousand kilometres above Jupiter’s equator was detected instantaneously. It registered as an inordinately powerful twist of space-time in the distortion fields of the closest three hundred voidhawks. The intensity was so great that the gravitonic detectors in the local SD sensor array had to be hurriedly recalibrated in order to acquire an accurate fix. Visually it appeared as a ruby star, the gravity field lensing Jupiter’s light in every direction. Surrounding dust motes and solar wind particles were sucked in, a cascade of pico-meteorites fizzing brilliant yellow.
Consensus went to condition one alert status. The sheer strength of the space warp ruled out any conventional starship emergence. And the location was provocatively close to the habitats, a hundred thousand kilometres from the nearest designated emergence zone. Affinity commands from Consensus were loaded into the combat wasps drifting inertly among the habitats. Three thousand fusion drives flared briefly, aligning the lethal drones on their new target. The patrol voidhawks formed a sub-Consensus of their own, designating approach vectors and swallow manoeuvres to englobe the invader.
The warp area expanded out to several hundred metres, alarming individual Edenists, though Consensus itself absorbed the fact calmly. It was already far larger than any conceivable voidhawk or blackhawk wormhole terminus. Then it began to flatten out into a perfectly circular two-dimensional fissure in space-time, and the real expansion sequence began. Within five seconds it was over eleven kilometres in diameter. Consensus quickly and concisely reformed its response pattern. Approaching voidhawks performed frantic fifteen-gee parabolas, curving clear then swallowing away. An extra eight thousand combat wasps burst into life, hurtling in towards the Herculean alien menace.
After another three seconds the fissure reached twenty kilometres in diameter, and stabilized. One side collapsed inwards, exposing the wormhole’s throat. Three small specks zoomed out of the centre. Oenone and the other two voidhawks screamed their identity into the general affinity band, and implored: HOLD YOUR FIRE!
For the first time in its five hundred and twenty-one year history, the Jovian Consensus experienced the emotion of shock. Even then, its response wasn’t entirely blunted. Specialist perceptual thought routines confirmed the three voidhawks remained unpossessed. A five second lockdown was loaded into the combat wasps.
What is happening? Consensus demanded.
Syrinx simply couldn’t resist it. We have a visitor, she replied gleefully. Her entire crew was laughing around her on the bridge.
The counter-rotating spaceport was the first part to emerge from the gigantic wormhole terminus. A silver-white disc four and a half kilometres in diameter, docking-bay lights glittering like small towns huddled at the base of metal valleys, red and green strobes winking bright around the rim. Its slender spindle slid up after it, appearing to pull the dark rust-red polyp endcap along. That was when the other starships began to rampage out of the terminus, voidhawks, blackhawks, and Confederation Navy vessels streaking off in all directions.
That was when the other starships began to rampage out of the terminus, voidhawks, blackhawks, and Confederation Navy vessels streaking off in all directions. Jupiter’s SD sensors and patrol voidhawk distortion fields tracked them urgently. Consensus fired guidance updates at the incoming combat wasps, determinedly vectoring them away from the unruly incursion.
The habitat’s main cylinder started to coast up out of the terminus, a prodigious seventeen kilometres in diameter. After the first thirty-two kilometres were clear, its central band of starscrapers emerged, hundreds of thousands of windows agleam with the radiance of lazy afternoon sunlight. Their bases just cleared the rim of the wormhole. There were no more starships to come after that, only the rest of the cylinder. When the emergence was complete, the wormhole irised shut and space returned to its natural state. The flotilla of patrol voidhawks thronging round detected a capacious distortion field folding back into the broad collar of polyp around the base of the habitat’s southern endcap that formed the bed of its circumfluous sea.
Consensus directed a phenomenally restrained burst of curiosity at the newcomer.
Greetings, chorused Tranquillity and Ione Saldana. There was a distinct timbre of smugness in the hail.
It was party time in Tranquillity. The whole population had come up out of the starscrapers (using the lifts’ emergency power reserves) to wait in the parkland around the lobbies until the electricity was restored. Elderly plutocrats sat on the grass next to students, waitresses shared the queue to the toilets with corporate presidents, Laymil Project researchers mingled with society vacuumheads. Everybody had grabbed a bottle on the way out of their apartment, and the galaxy’s biggest mass picnic had erupted spontaneously. Dawn was now five hours late, but the moonlight silver light-tube only enhanced the ambience. People drank, and ran stim programs, and laughed with their neighbour as they told and retold their personal tale of combat-wasp-swarms-I-have-seen-hurtling-towards-me. They thanked God but principally Ione Saldana for rescuing them, and declared their undying love for her, that goddam beautiful, brilliant, canny, gorgeous girl in whose habitat they were blessed to live. And, hey, Capone; how does it feel, loser? Your almighty Confederation-challenging fleet screwed by a single non-military habitat; everything you could throw at us, and we beat you. Still happy you came back to the wonders of this century?
"I'm here to bring Night to the Earth as our Lord bids," Quinn said.
"He bids nothing of the sort, you pathetic little prick."
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