PHOENIX MEMFILES: DEPT HUMAN SCIENCES:HISTORY(HS/H)SUBFILE: WAR OF THE TWIN PLANETS (3208–3210):PELADEEN REPUBLIC: LETTAPE #61:FROM LORD ELOR USSHER PELADEENTO DR. ANDREAS RIISI JANUAR 3210DOC LOC #819/8–232016–1618–122016 #61: 32116/118–113210My dear Andreas,I’m touched by your appeal to join you “underground,” and I admit I was tempted; itisn’t easy to face the prospect of one’s imminent death. But I took the Crest Ring of Peladeen from my father’s dead hand, and I swore the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic.These are both life vows, and I will not betray them.I must also decline for another reason. The Concord cannot let me live. The House of Peladeen must be destroyed or the memory of the Republic will continue to be a thorn in itsside. The Directors will demand my corpse. If they don’t find it, they’ll hunt me down eveninto the remotest parts of the Centauri System, and they might discover your existence in theprocess. The survival of the Society of the Phoenix is too important for me to justify thatrisk.I considered sending the Lady Manir and our son, Predis, to you for sanctuary. I have nosecrets from Manir, and she knows about the Phoenix. However, she refused this alternativeas she refused to seek sanctuary of her relatives in the House of Kalister on Terra, which, asshe said, would necessitate a public repudiation of me and the Republic. I would urge her todo so if it would save her life, but she’s a proud woman, and beyond that knows full wellthat the Kalister aren’t likely to risk the ire of the other Lords of the Concord to protect avery distant cousin so unfortunate as to be my wife.Manir might have considered the sanctuary of the Phoenix if she thought our son couldbe saved, but she sees no hope for him. The Concord can’t let Predis live for the samereasons it can’t let me live. He’s only a child, and it seems doubly cruel, but he might growup to become the focus of future revolt, and so he must die, as I must, for the Concord’speace of mind.I speak too much of death, but you’ll understand that. The end is closer than I thoughtwhen I last ’taped you. Pollux is lost, and by the time this reaches you, I’ll have retreated tothe Helen estate on Castor. That planet is less hospitable to human life, and invading armies,than Pollux. This may be my last opportunity to communicate with you, Andreas. I have nosolemn words to leave you, but I’m offering something more useful—the pragmatic fuel of existence, money. My messenger will be carrying a case with a lock keyed to your voice.Only part of this last bequest is in cash; I’ve had no opportunity to gather much in ’cords,and Republic drakos will soon be worthless. Most of this bequest consists of jewelry andunset stones; its total value is probably in excess of five million ’cords.I’m relieved to hear that the installation of your facilities is so near completion. It comesnone too soon. I’ve assigned my chief ministrator, Master Hamner, the task of checking theRepublic Archives to be sure no record of the original geophysical station remains in thememfiles. I have complete faith in Master Hamner; he will not fail you.Andreas, we won’t meet again, but I face defeat without despair knowing the Phoenixlives. I will be the last Lord of the House of Peladeen, and if the Republic goes down inhistory bearing the Peladeen name, I doubt the Concord will let it be spoken with pride. TheSociety of the Phoenix is my only hope. My hope for humankind, and my hope forimmortality. If the time ever comes, Andreas, when the Phoenix rises from the ashes of thisdisaster like its namesake, let it be known that the Lord Elor had some part in its birthing.