Chapter Fifty-Two

The Empire's defeat was complete. They could not hold any of the systems they had taken, but were forced to withdraw back to their own territory. For two months all wondered what move they would make next, when Bright Star entered Morn's office with a message. North happened to be there at the time, discussing the upcoming arrival of The Peepian Emissaries.
2 Morn wanted as big a show militarily as North could put on. He wanted The Peepians impressed. "If the battle we have just fought and won," North complained, "does not impress them, I don't know what will! But I'll give them a full fly-by anyway!"
3 North was about to say more when the Aide entered. "My Lord," he announced, "I hate to interrupt, but it is good General North is here. The Lord God has just sent word he wishes a parlay. He wishes to discuss, face to face, the possibility of peace between our forces. He suggests that we meet in a colony North forced them to evacuate. That each of us brings three warships of our best class. It will be permitted that a single scout ship from each side be able to enter the surrounding systems to assure no fleet waits in ambush. He proposes this meeting take place in three days under a signal of truce."
4 Morn took the paper, glanced through it, and handed it to North, who did likewise. North whistled. "NEVER!" he gasped; "NEVER has a Lord God negotiated with Rebels! We must have them backed into a corner! But he barely gives us time to make the arrangements. I don't doubt his sincerity. He wouldn't break his word and violate a signal of truce, but why the haste?"
5 "Perhaps they're planning a big push," suggested Morn, "and he wants to meet with us before it's too late to cancel the assault."
6 ''That could be right. Well, do we go or not? If it's go, I've got alot of work to do!"

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