With no one to help him, it seemed the General was lost. But the enemy was soon to discover that—
course had already been chosen and fed into the automatic computers under him. He merely gave the signal to execute. In response, the ship seemed to pick itself up and hurl itself down the radius of the circle to the waiting enemy fleet.
He could not see them, but he knew that, behind him, lay the other nine ships of the flight, in column, spaced so close that an error in calculation of but a few millionths of a second would have caused disaster. But the automatic and inconceivably fast and accurate calculators in the ships, tied together by tight communication beams, held them there in safety.
As he came within range of possible enemy action, Dennis pressed another button, and the Random Computer took command. Operated by the noise a vacuum tube generates because electrons are discrete particles, it gave random orders, weighted only by a preference to bring the ship's course back to the remembered target.
The column behind obeyed these same orders. The whole flight seemed to jitter acro
Shallow, and short. Despite this, it is an interesting read.
The Jupiter Combine wiped out Venus' space fleet, and Earth politicians are sure they'll do the same to ours. But General Oldman is sure our fleet could whup'em, given the chance. So, he manipulates a few things . . . .
There's a bit of an interplanetary chess game and some hand-waving explanations, but it's not a bad story. Everybody in this universe is male.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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