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CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR The Black Hole of Centauri

The Fleet made its way back along the warp chain down which the enemy had been lured. There was no opposition, yet even with damaged units under tow, the enemy was too fast to overhaul, and the blocking force had been trapped and expended for minimal results. Its extermination had further weakened the Fleet, but now the survivors of all the attack forces had gathered, joined by the first of the special ramming units. It was the most powerful force the Fleet had ever assembled-not simply in this war, but ever-yet its catastrophic gunboat losses imposed delay. It dared not confront enemy attack craft without a powerful gunboat force, and so all of those massive starships waited while the small craft it needed were rushed to it.

* * * | In Death Ground | * * *