Hey readers, a friend of mine wrote this and asked me to publish it for him. I personally haven't read the original book so any and all questions will be diverted to him, but now the mandatory disclaimer.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor I own anything in the Known Space universe, all rights for Protector go to Larry Niven (AN/ who rocks) [PN/ debatable].

Ten years after the events of Protector…

One hundred and sixty two years, the time until the Pak fleet reached humanity. Roy Truesdale, leading the Human Protectors, pondered over their attack strategy. Undoubtedly, there would be the breeder-carrier ships surrounded by an escort of protector ships. In case of an attack, the Pak warships would form a vanguard in front of the more vulnerable ships carrying the cryogenically-frozen breeders. This fleet would stop at nothing for their survival as the entire Pak race depended on them; the core explosion would spare none left behind on Pak-home. The escort ships would be in the outer layers of the hexagonal formation for ease of manoeuvre in combat situations; the Human Protectors would have a tough battle to overwhelm these protector ships. The breeder ships in the middle would still fight. If the Pak warships were destroyed then the breeder-ships would have trouble fighting off the Roy's fleet alone. However, counting on the pilots of the breeder ships, they wouldn't allow themselves to be divided and then conquered. The breeder ships would join in the fight against the Human Protector fleet. The reasoning of Pak logic is that a few ships, carrying breeders, could be lost but the higher chance of survival for any ships, which could then rebuild and repair, is the far better trade-off overall.

The ships carrying breeders would still be agile as the pilots are childless protectors; with the breeders frozen, the pilots could fly with just over eight gravities. They would know that they were expendable and would still be heavily armed. With the breeders being stolen from other Pak, the pilots could perform outlandish tactical decisions such as throwing their ram field across enemy ships, slingshots, self-destructs, polarizing through a ship and leaving their own debris as lethal shrapnel because they didn't care about any breeders which weren't their own. Those were only a small combination of events that the Pak could perform with their current technology. However, the Pak Protectors when motivated and co-operating would discover many ingenious techniques, which would make Roy's task harder. Roy had a small fleet of mainly prototypes but Roy was confident in his currently non-existent armada as there would be another forty years to expand the Human Protector force of ships. He knew his protectors would be every bit as cunning and audacious as the Pak would be; except the human protectors were more intelligent. His fleet would generate singularities within enemy lines, grapeshot undetectable micro-stasis fields, deceive with cloaking illusions, deploy turbulence with powerful gravity waves and carbon dust, launch fusion bombs with linear accelerators, drop anti-matter enclosed in stasis fields into their ram field and many other seemingly impossible weapons. This war wouldn't just be about numbers of ships and their armaments but about their tactical decisions. Roy's fleet would be smaller but with increased agility and accelerating potentials; these conditions favoured Roy's tactical mindedness.

Roy discussed with Len Bester, "The strategy department have to play a game of chess and to win we must plan the next hundred turns, after watching only our opponent's first move; will the ramjets be able to hold the strain of four continuous gravities whilst fighting in essentially an explosive blender?" Len replied, "As long as shielding is sufficient- the experimental ramjets can provide four gravities as long as no external stimulus interferes too greatly.", "Too greatly?", Roy asked quickly, "We need them ready for battle not the journey, as long as the battle takes place at least thirty light years closer to the galactic centre than here, we can settle for less; if they malfunction in battle then the shit hits the fan." Len countered, "We have forty years until we have to leave, we will probably have five G ramjets capable of withstanding a direct kinetic round at this rate of progress." Roy said, "True, report to me in a week; the strategists have to know everything." Roy turned and briskly walked away, marvelling at how much progress the co-operation of protectors could produce.

An offer of surrender would be a foolish idea; the Pak would know that their opponents were anxious. Roy knew that no agreement would be held as the Pak would break the terms of any offer, if it was beneficial to them. Roy would do the same in that situation. Communicating would give away information, Roy knew there could be no compromise therefore the point of communicating would be null. The Pak would upgrade and adapt in the time between battles; The Pak would copy superior technology, just as they had with the gravity generator. Roy played with the idea, a solution presented itself. There would have to be one final battle, one starting battle to be pedantic. The Pak would see us coming decades in advance. Both titanic fleets would be prepared for a decisive cataclysmic battle, the Pak could mine planets for more resources; Roy would come prepared. Roy didn't even feel any remorse at having to destroy a planet's hope for survival at first contact. Brennan wouldn't have.