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Take up the Gauntlet of Civilization!
Faster-than-Light travel is a risky enough business by itself. Add to this the fact that a hundred Rechargers made the FTL journey to Earth essentially unshielded, and you add an element of risk to Terra's Patrollersto anyone willing to accept the challenge of the Gauntlet.
The Rechargers themselves admitted that a portion of their number failed their self-checks, detected their own flaws, and self-destructed before reaching Earth.
Some. But not all.
Add to this the untimely visit of an extra-dimensional superbeing with the power to alter reality itself, and you had a disaster just waiting to happen.
Most Patrollers and Rechargers copedwhat other choice did they have? But Thomas Willrew took up a Recharger that was too intelligent to willingly surrender its newfound sentienceand he bent before its power.
And a city came disastrously to the attention of the Emissaries.
And a top-secret government site was obliterated in the span of minutes.
And Boston disappeared from the face of the Earth at the order of a madman possessed of almost unthinkable power...