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Timeframe: 1913 – 1914 PD
In the Havenite capital of Nouveau Paris, the enigmatic weapons dealer known as Charles is trying to sell electronic cloaking systems, the Echo (stealth technology) and the Redactor, to two representatives from a Havenite tech firm when news of Honor Harrington's miraculous return from the prison planet Hades arrives. The two agents leave, and moments later Charles is arrested by State Security.
During his interrogation, Charles gives the Havenites a message for Secretary of State Security Oscar Saint-Just: he knows about "Ellipsis", and in three days so will everyone else. Shortly after, he is brought to Saint-Just's office, where they have a talk about Charles' activities in the People's Republic. Charles also gives the StateSec director his information on the Manticoran heavy cruiser HMS Ellipsis, which the People's Navy captured early in the war and which Saint-Just now wants to use for a covert operation. Charles is taken aboard the Ellipsis along with a StateSec officer named Thomas Mercier, and ordered to install his stealth technology.
Meanwhile, Lyang Weiss, assistant military attaché in the Anderman Empire's embassy on Haven, receives a note from Charles, advising him to keep an eye on the Karavani System three weeks from now. He asks to speak with the ambassador, and is soon sent to a mining station in Karavani to investigate.
Eventually, the Andermani courier boat Hase detects two incoming ships, identifying themselves as the Solarian transport Winter Vixen and the Havenite freighter Figaro. They discover that the ships are on a rendezvous course. Just then, another ship appears, and the Winter Vixen turns to flee, but is soon destroyed by the newcomer. Hase's crew discovers that the energy spike from the newcomer appears consistent with a wormhole transit. The unknown ship is actually Ellipsis, having produced a false spike in order to fool the Andermanis into believing there is a wormhole terminus in the Karavani System that the People's Republic has not discovered, but the Manticorans have.
Weeks later, Charles meets with Weiss and feeds him more information on the "wormhole". By now, Andermani intelligence has identifyed the Manticoran intruder as the HMS Charger, just as Charles wanted them to. At this point, he tells Weiss that the "Karavani terminus" is connected to another one in the Andermani Empire, possibly in the Irrlicht System, near the Silesian Confederacy. Weiss concludes that the junction must be somewhere near Yeltsin's Star, and that this is the reason why the Manticorans allied with Grayson. Plans are made to have Charles and his "new partner" (Mercier) taken to the Empire to verify their claims.
Meanwhile, Ellipsis has been sent to Irrlicht to make it appear a Manticoran ship travelled there through the alleged wormhole. Captain Tyler, however, has made his own plans, and engages an Andermani convoy in the Mischa's Star System.
As a reaction, Hase changes course to Mischa's Star, where Weiss and his "informants" rendezvous with IANS Derfflinger, Großadmiral von Rabenstrange's flagship. They are brought aboard and questioned. Afterwards, the Derfflinger and two LACs travel to Irrlicht, just as Captain Tyler wanted them to – he has planted a minefield for the Andermani ships to sail into.
Admiral Rabenstrange, however, manages to evade the mines, and engages the "Manticoran" vessel, which identifies itself as HMS Charger, Captain William Grantley commanding. Yet, on the manipulated image of Charger's brigde, Honor Harrington appears in the background, making the Admiral realize the whole affair is a fake. Mercier tries to take Rabenstrange hostage, but is killed by the Herzog's Totenkopf Hussars. When Tyler realizes that his plan has failed, he scuttles his own ship with everyone still aboard.
In another interview with the Admiral, Charles tells him he works for a secretive group in the Solarian League that wants to change the war in Manticore's favor. How much of this is true remains unknown, and as Weiss later tells Honor Harrington when informing her of the entire incident, the mysterious weapons dealer has once again vanished without a trace.
Chien-lu Anderman, Herzog von Rabenstrange | Armond | Charles | Fisher | Forman | Honor Harrington | Greg Ibo | Ling | Thomas Mercier | Miklos | O'Hara | Rob S. Pierre | Preis | Ragli | Rubell | Oscar Saint-Just | Chiro Schmidt | Tyler | Avery Vaccares | Vien | Lyang Weiss
Alizon System | Andermani Empire | Earth | Grayson | Haven | People's Republic of Haven | Irrlicht System | Karavani System | Karavani 5 | Mischa's Star System | New Berlin | Smith-Nobuko Mining Center | Silesian Confederacy | Solarian League | Star Kingdom of Manticore | Nouveau Paris | Yeltsin's Star System
Clauswitz Conglomerate | Crippler | Echo | Eridani Edict | Imperial Andermani Navy | heavy cruiser | LAC | People's Commissioner | People's Navy | Redactor | Royal Manticoran Navy | Seydlitz-class | Solarian credit | Solarian League Navy | Star Knight-class | Star Universal | superdreadnought | technology | Totenkopf Hussars Regiment | Office of State Security | wormhole junction | wormhole terminus