The Eleventh Gate by Nancy Kress
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 3.3 MB
What Lies Beyond The Eleventh Gate . . .
Despite economic and territorial tensions, no one wants the city-states of the Eight Worlds to repeat the Terran Collapse by going to war. But when war accidentally happens, everyone seeks ways to exploit it for gain. The Landry and Peregoy ruling dynasties see opportunities to grab territory, increase profits, and settle old scores. Exploited underclasses use war to fuel rebellion. Ambitious heirs can finally topple their elders’ regimes-or try to.
But the unexpected key to either victory or peace lies with two persons uninterested in conquest, profits, or power. Philip Anderson seeks only the transcendent meaning of the physics underlying the universe. Tara Landry, spoiled and defiant youngest granddaughter of dynasty head Rachel Landry, accidentally discovers an eleventh star-jump gate, with a fabulous find on the planet behind it. Her discovery, and Philip’s use of it, alter everything for the Eight Worlds.
The wolves needed dusting again.
Sloan Peregoy rose from his massive karthwood desk and ran a finger over the film on the animals’ gray pelts and yellow glass eyes. The cleaning bot should be able to do better than this. He said to the wallscreen, “Note to Morris: reprogram J84. Dusting.”
Sophia entered Sloan’s office. “Father, two more appointments.”
Sloan glanced appreciatively at his daughter. His dead wife had chosen for Sophia the genetic template of a Mayan princess rather than Yvette’s’s own watery Nordic beauty, and the choice suited Sophia. Tall and strong-featured, she had inherited her father’s drive, competency, and preference for formality. You couldn’t engineer personality, but Sloan’s famous luck had held with Sophia. She ran as much of Peregoy Corporation and its three worlds—four if you counted Prometheus, not technically a Peregoy planet but no one else was on it—as Sloan did, and Sophia was his sole heir. He’d made sure of that. Neither her sister nor Sloan’s son, dead in the same plague that had killed Yvette, had possessed ability or inclination to govern.
But in line after Sophia—
Sloan didn’t choose to ponder that long-term problem right now. He was tired. It had been a long day; beyond the window, two moons gleamed above his corporate headquarters’ soaring towers. Sloan wanted his dinner, whiskey, and bed. The rejuv treatments could do only so much for someone as old as he was, and it was unlike Sophia to allow appointments this late. In fact, Sophia rarely facilitated appointments at all—that was Morris’s job—so these must be important.
“Who are they?” He’d had his biweekly meeting with the full Board of Directors just this afternoon; it was unusual for something urgent to arise since then.
“SueLin,” Sophia said. “I’m sorry, Father. She insisted.”
Of course she did. Still, Sophia could have denied SueLin if she’d wanted to. That SueLin was here was testament to the one thing Sloan and Sophia disagreed on, which it looked like he couldn’t avoid after all. Some distant day, SueLin, as Sloan’s oldest grandchild, would inherit Peregoy Corporation. Sophia wanted her trained for that, which was why she maximized SueLin’s time with her grandfather. Sloan, however, had other plans that he did not yet choose to share with Sophia. Too vague, still.
“Who’s the other appointment?”
The sharply angled planes of Sophia’s beautiful face hardened, which meant that she considered something important. “A spacer from Polyglot, who—”
“Why would I see a spacer from Polyglot?”
“—claims to have discovered something important. He’s been vetted, and I think you should hear his story.”
“You’ve already heard it?”
Sophia said no more, and it wasn’t like her to be so mysterious. Sloan didn’t like it, but he trusted her judgement, even though Polyglot wasn’t to be trusted. The planet was weak because it was not unified, a patchwork of individual nations. Nations, that outmoded concept, could never equal the efficiency and strength of a corporate state. It was amazing that once, on Terra, they ever had. Or so Luis Martinez informed Sloan.