In the Stormy Red Sky – David Drake

In this installment of the RCN series, Captain Daniel Leary and librarian-turned-spy Adele Mundy are sent to shepherd a Senator in political eclipse after failing in a bid for leadership off to overawe the new leader of an allied planet.  But when they get there, they find that the local fleet has suffered a major defeat, and Cinnabar’s influence in the area is threatened.

What can one ship do?  Well, to start a distraction by taking a nearby Alliance base they need to first free the slave workers on a newly discovered hell-planet run by corrupt Cinnabarians, in order to use both the guards and the workers to take and hold the planet.  And when part of the Alliance fleet stumbles into a trap and is captured, of course the right thing to do is to man them with rescued naval POWs and try to drive the Alliance out of the sector entirely!

Well it makes sense if you hang around with Leary and Mundy for too long.

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