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The survey flotilla slid stealthily in-system. It was a powerful force, for the Fleet believed in surveying in strength, yet detection would doom it; that much had been evident from its first long-range scan. A light cruiser had been dispatched homeward the instant the entry warp point was identified as a closed one, fulfilling the most critical component of its mission, but the Fleet needed more data. The survey ships' total destruction would be a paltry price for a strategic prize of this magnitude, and so the main body swept onward, passive sensors busy. Eventually, it would be detected, attacked, and-undoubtedly-destroyed, yet it would learn a great deal first.

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE "Security is relative." | In Death Ground | * * *