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By S. M. Stirling

Ten years after The swap rendered expertise inoperable in the course of the global, courageous leaders equipped thriving groups in Oregon's Willamette Valley. yet now the armies of the totalitarian Protectorate are getting ready to salary conflict over the necessary farmland.

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Extra resources for The Protector's War: A Novel of the Change

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Not yet. The original A-listers are too young to have many adolescent children; it's mostly their younger siblings so far. But when their offspring are old enough, you're going to find they're a lot more than half the apprentice uptake. And watch who marries whom, too, which'll push the process along even faster—the more so since it's a coed setup. I watched the same thing happen in the business world back before the Change in the seventies, eighties. When lawyers and executives were all men, they sometimes married secretaries.

We've had three days of talk and we've all agreed to wait and see," Juniper replied. Much to your displeasure, Mike, and a bit to mine, but the Corvallis people aren't coming 'round this month; I think Abbot Dmowski scared them green with his talk of a Crusade to crush Evil, not to mention his anathemas against Arminger's own pet pope. " Unwillingly, Mike Havel shook his head. "Nah, he's too cautious," he said. " That argument was true—the spring equinox festival came very soon—and had the additional merit of being religious and hence unanswerable.

Otherwise only the apprentice candidates were present. There were seven this time—inductions were held every few months—all sternly controlling their excitement, all between eighteen and twenty-one, and showing the effects of a night spent sleepless and fasting. They were in the full kit of the Bearkiller elite, except for the helmet and blade. Havel stood beside the brazier where the iron heated, near a trestle that bore seven swords; the light crinkle of sound from the charcoal could be heard clearly; the only other sounds were the sough of the wind and an occasional chinking rustle from two hundred ninety-one chain hauberks.

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