FOR THE GOOD OF THE PLANET? OR THE DESTRUCTION OF AN ALLIANCE?
Several years after resolving a crisis of treachery on Doona, the Humans and Hrrubans encounter a new threat to their peaceful coexistence …
The Gringgs are not the first alien visitors to Doona, but they are the first to offer friendship—and a proposal to partake in a trade agreement being drawn up by Doona’s leaders. Some are willing to trust the Gringgs; others question their true motives … and a battle of diplomatic unrest ensues.
With Doona’s military forces at the ready, the planet once again falls under the dark shadow of uncertainty—and the threat of self-destruction …
AN URGENT PLEA
“I’ll have to put the matter to the Amalgamated Worlds Administration on Earth before we can discuss this further,” Smitral was saying. “In the meantime, I am glad to see we continue with the spirit of cooperation that has characterized this world of Rraladoon for thirty years.”
“Pardon me,” Todd said, edging adroitly between the two diplomats, I see little evidence of cooperation in your faces but a lot of wariness. Speaker Hrrto, would you like to know what the Gringg asked for in our talks?”
“Reeve, no!” Markudian cried, outraged.
“Markudian, yes!” Todd said, rounding on him. “ I see this as a real test of Rraldoonan integrity, not Hayuman/Hrruban competition. Consider this,” he went on urgently, looking around the circle. “One of the reasons the Gringg thought we were a single species was the way we worked together. I was delighted by that because it showed we’d learned to trust each other. But the first stir of the pot from outside and we separate into distrustful—and greedy—strangers.” Todd stared at each one in turn, his glance gliding over Greene’s smug expression. “So let’s reinstate the honesty we have always used in dealings on Rraladoon.”