Sunday, 21 December 2014

Military Intelligence

Poul Anderson presents detailed descriptions of battles in space in Ensign Flandry, The People Of The Wind and The Game Of Empire, e.g., see here, here, here and here. Mirkheim gives us a tangential perspective on a similar battle.

The space navies of Babur and of the Solar Commonwealth clash at Mirkheim but our heroes are not in the battle. The consciousness-level computer-spaceship, Muddlin' Through, arrives just after hostilities have begun. Only one of her three crew members is human and none has Solar citizenship. Their job is to spy for a private company, Solar Spice & Liquors.

They destroy a missile launched towards them by a Solar craft and watch the battle without intervening. When a Baburite craft has been destroyed, they board it to gather information and evidence. How did the Baburites arm so quickly? Where did their space technology come from? The incompetent Solar Navy will probably not gather intelligence but the SSL crew, by reporting back to their employer, Nicholas van Rijn, might help to end the war.

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