Defender: Book Five of Foreigner
C. J. Cherryh
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Nearly ten years after the unexpected return of the starship Phoenix, the alien atevi have three functioning space shuttles, and teams of atevi engineers labor in orbit to renovate the space station. But these monumental advances not only add a dangerously powerful third party to an already precarious diplomatic situation, but rouse pro- and anti=s[ace factions in atevi society to incendiary levels. To help negotiate these treacherous diplomatic waters, Tabini-aiji, the powerful head of the atevi's Western Association, has sent the only human he fully trusts into space: his own paidhi, Bren Cameron.
However, the threat of possible invasion by hostile aliens who attacked Phoenix's station in a far-off sector of space hangs over them all. And when one of the senior captains of the Phoenix confesses that this station was not completely destroyed, as had been previously thought, the crew mutinies. How can Bren hope to mediate on a station overcome by a rebellious crew intent on taking the Phoenix on a rescue mission back into hostile alien territory?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Defender is the 5th Foreigner book. It is also the 2nd book in the second subtrilogy.
group that had made that tape and challenged the technically untrained junior captain to find the log record—if he could. “But the captains all knew,” Bren surmised. “Sabin was there. She had to know the station wasn’t dead. Anybody on the bridge, any of the techs, they had to know, all along, didn’t they?” That had been a question before they launched on this mission. It looked darker and darker now, damning all chance of honesty between executive and crew. “It’s all numbers readout on those
sarcophagus to rescue that wayward, unseemly folio. In his haste it escaped his fingers on his retreat. Twice. Bren winced. Three times. The boy had it. Scrambled back to his place in the standing line. Cajeiri, Tabini’s and Damiri’s son, the hope of the Association, Tatiseigi’s grand-nephew—was the height and weight of the average human teenager—but not, by any means, average, human, or teenaged. Cajeiri tried—God knew he tried, but somehow his feet found obstacles, his hands lost their
record without a flutter. “The problem doesn’t go away,” Jase said. “You can’t wish it away. You have to deal with it. We have to deal with it. Ramirez lied to us, but it turns out he didn’t lie to the leaders of the planet. So it wasn’t that he didn’t care about the planet’s future. But the ship is fueled, and we’re supposed to go bring Reunion under our collective authority—” “And disrupt our lives, our futures,” Paulson said. Bren stopped typing. Lost the thread. Found his argument,
secrets. “Here is safe,” he said. “For one very practical reason—you may become a target—take my offer. And trust these people. Completely.” “I don’t trust. I don’t trust people.” “Learn. With them, learn.” Deep breath. “Listen to me,” he said. “You can’t debrief everything in your own language. You need atevi you can trust to talk to. If you’d had someone to ask about Tabini, in Ragi, it would have helped—wouldn’t it?” That made itself understood. Resistance weakened. “All right. All
dozens of memos, this and that tag-end of information and transmission of contact names and communications channels, all to release as the ship undocked, and he had to remember the content, in case there needed to be changes. There was a letter to the long-suffering staff on the planet, informing them they had to deal with one more set of requirements. Please assist Mercheson-paidhi and amend her errors fearlessly, as you have done mine. Her frowns are only for her own effort: she has a good