Admiral Overton is crushing all new development at Bloemfontein Yards for all IDF ships that are built or overhauled there. His reasons seem reasonable, but nobody wants to get a ship that has been “Bloemed up”.
LT Zoe Fleischmann and her boss, Commander Brooks sidestep the Admiral to test Zoe’s Gaussian Funnel at the far distant Wolfram system. All goes well until the Admiral shows up in the middle of the test, orders it stopped, and orders the officers back to Earth.
Has Overton gone over to the Swarm? Zoe, Brooks, and the officers of the Malta must figure it out before Overton’s shuttle gets to Wolfram’s Q-Jump point and their careers are ruined. But how can an unarmed freighter hope to catch up to and stop an armed scout-class Admiral’s ship? Zoe has an idea.
Special added bonus: “The Science of Gauss”, my standard science commentary on the various things I had to look up in order to make the plot work, is incorporated with this work. That’s right–no need to perform a separate download to get the real lowdown on how Gauss came to be.