Calculated Risk [To Find and Not to Yield]

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Categories: Science Fiction
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Double Dragon eBooks | Date published: 09/24/2006


Lacey, formerly a captain in Arlen's Special Force, finds the idle life of a wealthy ship-owner boring. When he seeks information regarding the issuance of government shipping contracts from Darley, an official, Darley offers to introduce him to Adrienne. Lacey's preconceived notions having shattered when he attends Adrienne's nightly gathering, he becomes her lover, displacing Marcus, the corrupt Minister of Internal Resources, thereby making a dangerous enemy. Lacey grows to love the legendary courtesan. Persuaded by Neville, First Minister, to host a gathering of the merchant spacers whom Arlen and Signe wish to meet, Lacey does Signe a welcome favor. Out of spite, Marcus directs the Co-Commanders to Cyril's, at the hour when Lacey customarily escorts Adrienne there. Faced with handling a socially incendiary situation, Arlen reacts in a way that stuns the patrons of the coffeehouse. Signe offers Lacey an advantageous shipping opportunity. About to go to space again, Lacey persuades Adrienne to marry him. Exquisitely conscious of her status as social outcast, the ex-courtesan deftly handles an embarrassing situation arising during the offloading of cargo. When a member of Lacey's social set frostily refuses to speak to him, Adrienne wonders bleakly what effect a succession of such slights might produce on his touchy pride. Provoked into dueling Rupert, Yancey's second officer, Lacey prevails. Before Lacey arrives in Gaea, Brendan, the industrialist to whom Signe recommended him, discovers that Lacey married a courtesan, but the shrewd judge of character divines why Signe condoned his act. Lacey meets a former enemy, and behaves most gallantly. Lacey and Adrienne impress Brendan and all of his family members but one. When that one insults Adrienne in the privacy of the bathcabin, Jess utterly routs Morgan's spiteful relative, thereby astonishing the ex-courtesan. Adrienne finds to her delight that the men and women of the Interworld Corps accept her on her merits. Commissioned by Brendan to sell Gaeanite in Columbia, Adrienne achieves a stunning economic breakthrough, thereby infuriating Marcus, who draws Yancey, a shipper hated by all Gaeans, into a plot to kill Lacey. Kerry, a renegade backed by a crew of ruffians, captures Lacey, Adrienne, Morgan and Jess. Adrienne outwits Kerry, enabling Lacey, Morgan and Jess to overcome the surviving outlaws. Arlen, Signe and Basil investigate the daring attempt at piracy aimed at blasting the accord between Columbia and Gaea. This stirring narrative, the first volume of the two-volume eighth novel of the series, continues an ongoing saga of futuristic action, adventure and romance.