ISBN 1153826801 (1-153-82680-1)
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Softcover, RareBooksClub.com, 2012
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Book summary: Excerpt: ... shrugged. "Suit yourself. It's your funeral if you've guessed wrong." "There was nothing," Quillan told Marras Cooms, "that you could actually put a finger on. It was just that the commodore and Ryter may have something up their sleeves. Velladon's looking too self-satisfied to suit me." The Brotherhood chief gnawed his lower lip reflectively. He seemed thoughtful, not too disturbed. Cooms might be thoroughly afraid of the escaped Hlat, but he wouldn't have reached his present position in Nome Lancion's organization if he had been easily frightened by what other men were planning. He said, "I warned Movaine that if Velladon learned we'd checked out the Hlat, he wasn't going to like it." "He doesn't," Quillan said. "He regards it as something pretty close to an attempted double cross." Cooms grinned briefly. "It was." "Of course. The question is, what can he do about it? He's got you outgunned two to one, but if he's thinking of jumping you before Lancion gets here, he stands to lose more men than he can afford to without endangering the entire operation for himself." Cooms was silent a few seconds. "There's an unpleasant possibility which didn't occur to me until a short while ago," he said then. "The fact is that Velladon actually may have us outgunned here by something like four to one. If that's the case, he can afford to lose quite a few men. In fact, he'd prefer to." Quillan frowned. "Four to one? How's that?" Cooms said, "The commodore told us he intended to let only around half of the Seventh Star's security force in on the Hlat deal. The other half was supposed to have been dumped out of one of the subspace section's locks early today, without benefit of suits. We had no reason to disbelieve him. Velladon naturally would want to cut down the number of men who got in on the split with him to as many as he actually needed. But if he's been thinking about eliminating us from the game, those other men may still be alive and armed." Quillan...
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