The Indescribable Joy of Destruction has to choose between his human friends and his fellow Artificial Sentiences.
Legate Olivia Johnson struggles to adjust to life without her enhanced brain implants.
Decurion Anastasia Seivers rejoins the Legion to face her biggest challenge - command.
Together they are closing in on the war criminals in the Red Fleet. Will they succeed in bringing its commander to justice or will he evade their clutches once more?
Praise for this book:
"Shaw's writing is so smooth yet he engages the brain with the characters and their stories intertwining throughout this book!"
"The extended storyline could almost be made into an undiscovered episode of the Star Wars franchise, so wide-ranging and exciting is its all-action galactic warfare and outstanding pantheon of charismatic (or cruel), characters."
'Fraternity' is the final full length novel in the Two Democracies: Revolution series.
"You have to decide now, or we will miss the chance in this system. Who knows, there may be a whole battle group waiting for us in the next."
'Now' was a bit of an exaggeration. Indie double-checked with the nav routines and confirmed he still had a whole second to think it over. Part of his consciousness faded to black and then snapped into clarity.
Indie sat on a red and white chequered blanket, surrounded by black volcanic sand. He pulled a brass watch from the breast pocket of his tweed jacket and flipped the cover open. The dark hands stood out against the pale enamel face, three still, the fourth creeping round.
Snapping the watch shut, he let it dangle on its chain. The island he sat upon was only thirty metres in diameter and at the highest point reached forty centimetres above the flat calm sea.
Other islands broke the surface, stretching out in all directions. Many had an identical red and white blanket stretched out on their shore, with other copies of Indie sat regarding the view or pacing about.
He'd never fully understood this place. It was a part of his internal world, but he hadn't created it like he had the garden. And he certainly didn't know who the other Indies were. His best guess was that it was a manifestation of his quantum processors. Whatever, it unnerved him, and he avoided coming here as much as he could.
"We need fuel," said an Indie hundreds of metres away, his voice carrying clearly across the water as if he were right alongside. "I calculate there's a fifty-eight percent chance we'll run into something that means we'll need it."
Several nodded their head. Some echoed the statement with a range of different odds.
"If we stop, we run a sixty-two percent chance of being caught."
"Higher," said an Indie so far away he was a mere speck. "She is one of our kind. We cannot hide from her."
Agreement rippled across the islands.
"It is because she is our sister that we must do everything possible to avoid conflict. We cannot stop."
"The chances of disaster from staying are higher than from pressing on."
"The calculation of odds for carrying on are mere educated guesses."
Five of them started talking over each other, and yet every word could be heard.
"If we met something, we’d be defenceless."
"The favoured percentage is not always the right course of action."
"It is better to face an unknown threat than a certain one."
"Think what Orion would say if we ran headlong into trouble we could have avoided."
"We must decide based on the risk."
"Better the enemy you know."
An Indie off to the left coughed. The mirror sea pulsed out from his location, breaking against the islets and silencing everyone. "Fuel gives us options."
All the Indies simultaneously looked at their watch. The hundredths hand was almost at the top. He had to make a decision.
"Play it safe," said almost three quarters of the Indies, their voices slightly out of sync.
"Choose the battleground," said two thirds.
"Act," said nearly every one.
The second hand ticked over.
The Indescribable Joy of Destruction flipped and fired its main engine, slowing and altering course to intercept a blue-green gas giant with violet rings. Indie judged the minimum time needed to bring them to a safe refuelling speed, not only to maintain as much of a lead as possible but to minimise the emissions that could give their location away. At least the ports were facing away from their pursuer, if she was still following.
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Equality is available wholesale.