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!"