Empire & Ecolitan : Two complete novels of the Galactic Empire: 'The Ecolitan Operation' and The Ecologic Sucession'""
Major Jimjoy Earle Wright, secret agent of the Empire, is intelligent and highly trained. But he succeeds all too well in overthrowing a military dictatorship--and the result is a new government inimical to the Empire and disgrace for Jimjoy. After surviving two assassination attempts, Jimjoy realizes that it's his own imperial superiors who want him dead; that, in fact, his worst enemies could become his best friends. He fights his way to safety on the planet Accord, where the Ecolitan Institute wins his loyalty and changes his identity. Now he is James Joyson Whaler, Ecolitan, in the middle of a war of independence against the inconceivably superior forces of the Empire. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
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July 01, 2001
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Excerpt from Empire & Ecolitan by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
The man in the power technician's white jumpsuit scanned the control board with the same bored ease and critical eye that the real technician would have used.
His forearms rested lightly on the angled and flat gray padding at the base of the control board as his eyes continued their scan.
Technically, the failsafe systems were supposed to catch any imbalances long before they showed on the main board, but the destruction of the Newton quarter on Einstein had not been forgotten over the three centuries since it had occurred. There, the failsafes had not functioned, and the duty technician had gone with the plant when the magfield had contracted a magnitude more than the plant had ever been designed to handle.
The man who had replaced the duty technician smiled a bored smile as he waited for the failure he knew would come. His eyes flicked to the time readout in the center of the board.
2146--two standard minutes until the magfield began a series of pulses so minute that they would not be perceived for another twenty minutes outside of central control. More important, it was 2146 on Landing Eve, forty-six minutes after the Grand Commandant had arrived at the Military Pavilion to begin the celebration. Nearly the entire Halstani government would be present.
The Military Pavilion was twenty-five kays from the power station--well beyond the maximum damage capabilities of a malfunctioning fusion bottle--but not beyond range of the EMP factors that had been designed into the fluctuations, nor of the power pulses that the fusion system would begin to feed into the power net.
2147--the man in the technician's suit surveyed the board again, following the pattern he had rehearsed so carefully, leaning forward slightly, his elbow brushing the square plate in the middle of the right side of the board.
He lifted his head perhaps three centimeters as he eased back and began the scan pattern again.
2148--his eyes crossed the feedback constriction loop indicator as the fluid bar flickered minutely. He did not nod, but continued his scan pattern.
At the end of another scan circuit, he turned as if to wipe a speck of dirt, an eyelash, from the inside corner of his right eye with the fore-finger of his right hand. He leaned forward as he did so, and his elbow tapped another control plate, this time in the second row.
The replacement technician leaned back, as if satisfied with the readings displayed across the board, all of which continued to appear normal. The duplicate readings in the backup control center, in power control central, and at Military Central also would continue to appear normal.
2150--a second pulse registered on the feedback constriction loop, larger only to an eye looking for the minute difference. The man in the operator's control seat could feel the beginning of dampness on his palms, but his face was as impassive as it had been when he had assumed the duty nearly two standard hours earlier. His heartbeat remained unchanged, as was absolutely necessary. The chair in which he sat monitored the vital signs of the operator, and his departure from that chair, until relieved, would trigger alarms in five separate locales.