HUMANS HAD FORGOTTEN
UNTIL IT CAME
LOOKING FOR THEM!
After the collapse of the galactic Web, civilizations crumbled and
chaos reigned on thousands of planets. Only on planet Bellevue was there
a difference. There, a Fleet Battle Computer named Center had survived
from the old civilization. When it found Raj Whitehall, the man who
could execute its plan for reviving human civilization, he and Center
started Bellevue back on the road leading to the stars; and when
Bellevue reached that goal, Center sent copies of itself and Raj to the
thousands of worlds still waiting for the light of civilization to dawn.
On Hafardine, civilization had fallen further than most. That men
came from the stars was not even a rumor of memory in Adrian Gellert's
day. The Empire of Vanbret spread across the lands in a sterile splendor
that could only end in another collapse, more ignominious and complete
than the first. Adrian Gellert was a philosopher, a Student of the
Grove. His greatest desire was a life of contemplation in the service of
wisdom . . . until he touched the 'holy relic' that contained the
disincarnate minds of Raj Whitehall and Center. On that day, Adrian's
search for wisdom would lead him to a life of action, from the
law-courts of Vanbret to the pirate cities of the Archipelago and
battlefields bloodier than any in the history he'd learned. The prize
was the future of humanity.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and
events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real
people or incidents is purely coincidental.
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Printed in the United States of America
Copyright © 1999 by S.M. Stirling & David Drake
All rights reserved, including the right to
reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.
A Baen Books Original
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Typeset by Windhaven Press
Electronic version by WebWrights