Timeframe: May – October 1922 PD
Cover Summary Edit
- The Mesan Alignment: a centuries-old cabal that seeks to impose its vision of a society dominated by genetic rank onto the human race. Now the conspiracy stands exposed by spies Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat — one an agent of Honor Harrington's Star Kingdom of Manticore, the other a Havenite operative. The outing of the Alignment has turned the galaxy's political framework topsy-turvy. Old coalitions have disintegrated. New alliances have been born.
- For starters, the long and hard-fought war between the Republic of Haven and the Star Empire of Manticore is not only over, but these bitter enemies have formed a new pact. Their common foe: the Mesan Alignment itself.
- But more information is needed to bring the Alignment out of the shadows. Now, defying the odds and relying on genetic wizardry themselves for a disguise, Zilwicki and Cachat return to Mesa—only to discover that even they have underestimated the Alignment's ruthlessness and savagery.
- Soon they are on the run in Mesa's underworld, not only hunted by the Alignment but threatened by the exploding conflict on the planet between Mesa's overlords and the brutalized slaves and descendants of slaves who have suffered under their rule for so long. But if Zilwicki and Cachat succeed in rooting out the ancient conspiracy, a great evil may be finally removed from the galaxy—and on a long-oppressed planet, freedom may finally dawn.
After bringing Mesan scientist Herlander Simões back to Haven, Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat decide to return to Mesa to obtain more information on the Mesan Alignment, using a Beowulf-designed physical disguise. They are accompanied by Thandi Palane, Yana Tretiakovna, Andrew Artlett and Steph Turner.
Zilwicki and Cachat's party enter Mesa in several different ways. While attempting to link up with Artlett and Turner, Palane and Cachat encounter an armed robbery attempt in Mendel's Lower Radomsko district and end up killing most of the gang. Cachat presses the survivors into his own newly formed organisation, and also makes contact with Cary Condor, Stephanie Moriarty and Karen Williams, the three survivors of Carl Hansen's seccy group whom he had previously worked with. Using his new position as a local crime lord in Lower Radomsko, Cachat establishes a connection with Jurgen Dusek, crime lord of Neue Rostock.
Meanwhile, Operation Houdini is being accelerated to remove evidence of the Mesan Alignment from the planet before the Grand Alliance can invade. Taking advantage of the supposed precedent of the Green Pines attack, the Alignment launches a series of "terrorist attacks" blamed on the Audubon Ballroom, causing thousands of deaths in which they can conceal the disappearance of people being removed under Houdini. The widespread fatalities, including among families of Mesa's security personnel, soon prompts violent reprisals by the government against the seccy population who are accused of aiding and abetting the Ballroom.
Cachat persuades Dusek to organise a resistance movement against the Mesan security forces, ahead of the crackdown and the eventual overthrow of the current regime. While Cachat, Palane and Tretiakovna aid the resistance effort, Zilwicki returns to Manticore to request a relief fleet from Duchess Harrington. When Office of Public Safety forces enter the seccy districts and begin slaughtering people indiscriminately, the gangs resist violently with stockpiled weapons, inflicting heavy losses on the OPS and driving them back. The Mesan Internal Security Directorate is sent in only to similarly suffer severe casualties until Hancock Tower is destroyed by a large kinetic energy weapon, which causes significant collateral damage in the citizens' area of Mendel. Finally, the Mesan Planetary Peaceforce is deployed to defeat Dusek's forces in Neue Rostock.
Though the MPP is able to finally bring Dusek to the brink of defeat after weeks of fighting, the damage has already been done: the seccy groups in the other districts and Mesa's other cities have managed to organize their own resistance movements, and the illusion of the security forces' invincibility has been permanently shattered. Then shortly before Dusek, Cachat and the others are to make their final stand, the Royal Manticoran Navy's Tenth Fleet under Admiral Gold Peak arrives and takes control of Mesa, bringing the bloody conflict to a close.
Aaronson | Jürgen Acker | Giacomo ibn Giovanni al-Fulan | Hamish Alexander | William Alexander | Caspar Alpina | Alvin | Gustav Anderman | Jwei-shwan Anderman | Nancy Anderson | Levi Andrade | Hugh Arai | Ariel | Seleven Arpino | Jubair Azocar | Isabel Bardasano | Oravil Barregos | Kayla Barrett | Bark Chewer's Bane | Amos Barkley | Byrum Bartel | Tunni Bayano | Beatriz | Skylar Beckert | Benjamin the Great | Andries Benkô | Chyang Benton-Ramirez | Jacques Benton-Ramirez y Chou | Lily Berenger | Jeremy Binford | Caroline Bogunov | Sophie Bordás | Roldão Brandt | Harper Brantley | Camelia Brockmann | Elfride Butre | Victor Cachat | Harriet Caldwell | Thomas Caparelli | Carla | Catherine the Great | Jules Charteris | Lisa Charteris | Chaz | Anastasia Chernevsky | Filiberto Chernevsky | Jackson Chicherin | Triêu Chuanli | Xavier Conde | Cary Condor | Henry Copper | George Couch | Aidan Crowder | Tabitha Crowley | Thomas Crunn | Loren Damewood | Vittoria Daramy | Davenport | Sheila Dawson | Octavian De Brassieres | Aldokim de Castilho | Albrecht Detweiler | Benjamin Detweiler | Cecilia Detweiler | Collin Detweiler | Leonard Detweiler | Athanasios Diasall | Gillian Drescher | W.E.B. Du Havel | Raphael Durkheim | Jurgen Dusek | Edson | Bachue Emmett | Csilla Ferenc | Connor Ferguson | Massimo Filareta | Kyle Fraenzl | Maysayuki Franconi | Loretta Frasch | Jack Fuentes | Geerard | Arnold Giancola | Giselle | Patricia Givens | Hasrul Goosens | Irena Gnoughy | Alexi Grigorev | Yves Grosclaude | Grosvenor | Kevin Haas | Thomas Hall | Hancock | Hanratty | Spencer Hawke | Carl Hansen | Bjørn Haraldsson | Honor Harrington | Béla Harsányi | Alessandra Havlicek | Spencer Hawke | Bea Henderson | Michelle Henke | Bohuslav Hernandez | Tamara Hess | Genora Hinkley | Adolph Hitler | Bentley Howell | Firouz Howt | Florence Hu | Walter Imbesi | Ingraham | Lajos Irvine | Bertie Jaffarally | Jenney the Hand | Jernigan | Frank Johnson | Bill Jokela | Stefka Juarez | Sharon Justice | Ayibongwinkosi Kabweza | Marilyn Kalanadhabhatla | Brad Kempthorne | Henry Kham | András Kocsis | Innokentiy Kolokoltsov | Mary Kyllonen | Bryce Lackland | Anthony Langtry | Loriane Lansiquot | Laski | Mark Lewis | Liam | Anthony Lindstrom | Jerome Llewellyn | Ragnarr Loðbrók | Kimmo Ludvigsen | Luke | James MacGuiness | Liang MacHowell | Teodosio MacKane | Magda | Denise Malden | Freddie Martinez | Janice Marinescu | Constance Mastroianni | Matheson | Benjamin Mayhew IX | Katherine Mayhew | Elaine Mayhew | Arianne McBryde | Jack McBryde | Zachariah McBryde | Christina McBryde | Shasta McGuire | François McGillicuddy | Genevieve McGillicuddy | McLeod | Timothy Meares | Mendez | Shai-gwun Metterling | Sergio Metz | Milla | Mitch | Mitchell | Catherine Montaigne | Ondøej Montoya | Leslie Montreau | Stephanie Moriarty | Juan Morris | Arkaitz Ali bin Muhammad | Randall Myers | Jean-Claude Nesbitt | Márton Neveu | Rudrani Nimbakar | Nimitz | Nine-Finger Jake | Lara Novakhovskaya | Audrey O'Hanrahan | Nolan Olsen | Thandi Palane | Michael Parmley | Calantha Patwary | Brianna Pearson | Dothan Perelló | Anton Petersen | David Pritchard | Eloise Pritchart | Toby Qorolas | Yuri Radamacher | Janine Riccardo | Sepp Richter | Rick | Meryl Rodman | Luis Rozsak | Samantha | Brock Sanchez | Oscar Saint-Just | Scott | Mason Scribner | Lee Seagraves | Fran Selig | Serengeti | William Shakespeare | Gavin Shultz | Claire Shwang | Herlander Simões | Macauley Sinclair | Zoltan Somogyi | Charlene Soulliere | Regan Snyder | Borisav Stanković | Stefan | Sugase | Grace Summers | Natchaya Suramongkol | Gunther Surekha | Anichka Sydorenko | Takahashi Ayako | Teddy | Tengku | Guillermo Thatcher | Thomas Theisman | Timmons | Donald Toussaint | Wilhelm Trajan | Yana Tretiakovna | Fred Trujillo | Marième Tsang | Nancy Turner | Steph Turner | Waldemar Tümmel | Wat Tyler | Yael Underwood | Kevin Usher | Kirsten van Noort | Joseph van Vleet | Sebastián Vandor | Jeffrey Vaughn | Malissa Vaughn | Veronica | George Vickers | Aatifa Villanueva | Ted Vlachos | Voigt | Leandro Wallace | Brandon Ward | Jiri Watanapongse | James Webster | Gail Weiss | Janice Wendel | Willi the Chin | Karen Williams | Phuong Wilson | Elizabeth III Winton | Ruth Winton | Jeremy X | Saburo X | Supakrit X | Marcos Xiorro | Alex Xu | Magda Yunkers | Zeno | Anthony Zhilov | Anton Zilwicki | Berry I Zilwicki | Helen Zilwicki | Helen Zilwicki Senior | Lars Zilwicki
Royal Torch Navy
Royal Manticoran Navy
- Asian Confederacy
- Republic of Beowulf
- Cepheus Bond
- Republic of Erewhon
- Grand Alliance
- Protectorate of Grayson
- Republic of Haven
- Star Empire of Manticore
- Mesan Alignment
- Renaissance Factor
- Silesian Confederacy
- Solarian League
- Kingdom of Torch
Board of Directors | Congress of Republic of Haven | Directorate of Culture and Information | General Board of Mesa | Interservice Verification Agency | Long-Range Planning Board | Procurator of Public Safety | Tableland Auditor Board
Battle Fleet | Battle of Carson | Battle of Monica | Battle of Torch | Second Battle of Yeltsin's Star | Beowulf System-Defense Force | Biological Survey Corps | Cataphract | Condor Owl class | destroyer | frigate | Frontier Fleet | Imperial Andermani Navy | John Brown class | LAC | light cruiser | Mesan Planetary Peaceforce | Nat Turner class | Operation Serket Breach | Queen's Own | Royal Manticoran Navy | Royal Mouser Corps | Royal Torch Army | Royal Torch Marines | Royal Torch Navy | Shrike class | Solarian League Gendarmerie | Solarian League Marine Corps | Solarian League Navy | superdreadnought
Security Forces Edit
Central Security Agency | External Bureau | Federal Intelligence Service | Federal Investigation Agency | Genetic Advancement and Uplift League | Mesan Internal Security Directorate | Mesan Office of Investigation | Office of Public Safety | Special Intelligence Service
Political Groups Edit
Criminal Groups Edit
Andalaman Exports | Axelrod Transtellar | Cerberus Security | Cybercom of Mesa | Jessyk Combine | Maidenstone Enterprises | Manpower Incorporated | Mesan Genetic Consultancy | Noroguchi Nanotech | Orion Transit Enterprises | Rensselaer Industries | Technodyne Industries | Tobias Lines
Atkinson, McGillicuddy & Shivaprakash | Banco de Madrid | Bateson University | Final War Museum | Museum of Science and Technology | New Mali Central University | New University of Landing | Solarian Military Museum
Artinstute | Blue Lagoon Amusement Park | Brookner Plaza | Crawford Sports Complex | Dedrick Tower | Eaker Boulevard | Franklin Tower | Gamma Center | Hadar Tower | Hancock Tower | Hugo de Vries Park | Jarrett Tower | Lindbergh Tower | Kovaleski Tower | Masten Tower | McClintock Island | Mount Royal Palace | Neue Rostock Tower | Rasmussen Tower | Saracen Tower | Stamford Tower | Suds Emporium | Sukharov Tower | Trondheim Park | Vesey Boulevard
anti-alcohol preventatives | Auger anti-armor missile | Banshee | Black Widow | ceramacrete | cloning | credit chip | Faber-Knapp battery | flechette gun | genetic sheathe | hyper generator | inertial compensator | Lancer anti-armor rocket | kinetic energy weapon | memory foam | missile | nanotech transformation | neural disruptor | neural whip | papic | plasma rifle | pressor node | pulser | shuttle | spider drive | streak drive | stun gun | tri-barrel | Warshawski sail
Abbasid Caliphate | The Annals of Ayutthaya | Beijing Coup | Beowulf Biosciences Code | Blue Mountain Dancing Clan | Butre Clan | Operation Capone | Cherwell Convention | Chasnikov trunk corridor | coffee | Copacabana | death penalty | Deneb Accords | Detweiler family | Diaspora of Man | Dobzhansky terrorist attack | Earth's Final War | The Envoy | Eridani Edict | genetic slavery | Gladstone trunk corridor | gross system product | Havenite-Manticoran Wars | Operation Houdini | Ibanez trunk corridor | Mack the Knife (song) | Magellan | Malsathan unbeatables | Manpower Incident | Merriwell trunk corridor | Neue-Stil Handgemenge | Operation Oyster Bay | Patterson trunk corridor | Protector | Operation Rat Catcher | Scrag | Severesky trunk corridor | Solarian credit | spacing | Tester | treecat | The Truth Will Out | Yawata Strike | whisky | Whitman trunk corridor | Zanj Rebellion
- Cauldron of Ghosts on books.simonandschuster.com
- Working title reveal at ericflint.net with information from the author in comments 169 and 195
- Snippets of the novel on Eric Flint's website
|Book Companions||Ad Astra Companions|
|HOS||House of Steel Companion||SOTF||Ships of the Fleet Calendars|
|HOSH||House of Shadows Companion||SITS||Saganami Island Tactical Simulator|
|HOL||House of Lies Companion|
|Jayne's Intelligence Review||Jayne's Fighting Ships of the Galaxy|
|JIR1||The Royal Manticoran Navy||SB1||Ship Book 1: The Havenite Sector|
|JIR2||The Havenite Republican Navy||SB2||Ship Book 2: The Silesian Confederacy|
|JIR3||The Silesian Confederate Navy||SB3||Ship Book 3: The Short Victorious War|