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

By Donald Moffitt

The formidable Sultan of Alpha Centauri can in basic terms 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 in a position to conquer the numerous demanding situations offered via interplanetary commute. even if, the Sultan resourcefully enlists the aid of Abdul Hamid-Jones, a smart fugitive with a cost on his head and the legislations on his heels. Thrown into the bewildering global of the Sultan's schemes, Abdul gets a hasty advent to advanced physics and the much more advanced political intrigues of the Sultan's courtroom. chargeable for the winning execution of the Sultan's plan, Abdul slowly realizes with horror that the destiny of the total sun process can be resting on his shoulders.

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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.

I admit that when he first came here, I thought he was a little bit of a scamp. But he's changed his ways in the last month or so. He's really a different person. I think he's serious about someone. He puts on his best clothes and plenty of perfume when he goes out to see her, and when he's in the kitchen having a cup of coffee and letting his hair down, he talks about making something of himself. " "Come to think of it, he had his beard all primped and rib-boned when he went out," Yaqub said. " Roxane said.

It didn't have to be the same man he'd seen that morning. There were plenty of off-worlders on Alpha Centauri, and the polyglot Unbelievers' Quarter had more than its share of them. He took the turn ahead with abrupt footwork and immediately broke into a sprint. There was a fork at the end of the alley, and a heaped collection of garbage cans in front of the shuttered shop at the corner. Hamid-Jones dived nimbly to the side and crouched behind the cans—just in time. He heard footsteps pounding past, a moment of hesitation, and then the sound of his pursuer taking the left fork.

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