A Gathering of Stars (Book Two of the Mechanical Sky) by Donald Moffitt

By Donald Moffitt

The bold Sultan of Alpha Centauri can simply declare the illustrious identify of Caliph if he makes a ritual pilgrimage to the holy urban of Mecca. This trip accomplished, he'll rule the complete inhabitants of the higher Islamic universe. yet human wisdom has no longer but been capable of triumph over the numerous demanding situations provided by means of interplanetary shuttle. besides the fact that, the Sultan resourcefully enlists assistance from Abdul Hamid-Jones, a smart fugitive with a cost on his head and the legislation on his heels. Thrown into the bewildering global of the Sultan's schemes, Abdul gets a hasty creation to advanced physics and the much more complicated political intrigues of the Sultan's courtroom. accountable for the winning execution of the Sultan's plan, Abdul slowly realizes with horror that the destiny of the full sunlight method can be resting on his shoulders.

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A door opened down the shabby hallway leading to the back of the house. A yellow night-light within splashed a dim glow across the hallway ceiling. " the landlord called. The gun prodded him in warning. "Answer him," came a whisper. " "Yes, ya Yaqub," Hamid-Jones replied. " "Everything's fine. " He added a yawn. " The door closed. The gunman herded him upstairs, past the doors of other sleeping tenants. He seemed to know where he was going. Hamid-Jones's flat was above what had been a stable in better days, across a bridge from the upper floor, apart from the main house.

Awad—a home office where he could keep secret files. Hamid-Jones sweated as he bent to the lock. What he was about to do was no longer merely a personal transgression, but a breach of government security. He removed the large, showy ring that had been provided by Aziz. Mrs. Awad had complained that it scratched her. The oversize synthetic ruby and the heavy gold mounting contained a miracle of compressed electronics. It must have cost a fortune on whatever black market it had been obtained—but the Chris-tian Jihad had plenty of funds, thanks to Colonel Ish-Shamaal.

Something about his work has him frightened out of his wits, but he keeps dancing around the subject. Oh-oh, I better go. He's trying to stand up. " Now the bounteous Mrs. Awad confirmed Aziz's diagnosis of her husband. "I know, ya Abdul," she said, pressing against him. "He stays out all night when he gets in these moods. Poor Izzat's been drinking more and more, lately. " No wonder, Hamid-Jones thought. Being involved in the mur-der of an entire planet was not the kind of subject one cared to discuss, even with one's wife.

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