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Synopsis

The second instalment in the chronicles of Isambard Smith - Captain in the service of the British Space Empire - and of his android pilot Polly Carveth and loyal and noble friend the psychopathic alien headhunter, Suruk. Tea... a beverage brewed from the fermented dried leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis and imbibed by all the great civilisations in the galaxy's history; a source of refreshment, stimulation and, above all else, of moral fibre - without which the British Space Empire must surely crumble to leave Earth at the mercy of its enemies. Sixty per cent of the Empire's tea is grown on one world: Urn, principal planet of the Didcot system. If Earth is to keep fighting, the tea must flow. When a crazed cult leader overthrows the government of Urn, Isambard Smith and his vaguely competent crew find themselves saddled with new allies: a legion of tea-obsessed nomads, an overly-civilised alien horde and a commando unit so elite that it only has five members. Only together can they defeat the self-proclaimed God Emperor of Didcot and confront the true power behind the coup: the sinister legions of the Ghast Empire and Smith's old enemy, Commander 462.

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