It is the time of the gathering and all nations must pay tribute--Why Must They? Kurt wondered, as the decrepid destroyer JAGER wallowed through uncharted waters on its way to Gibralter, the Gathering of the fleet, and the final meeting with the Enemy. It was sad to think how man fad fallen from the days when such vessels as the JAGER had been built. Now the last men struggled on in isolated communities, maintaining machines they could no longer build, ruled wner by the distant Pllitical Office in the person of the much despised and universally feared Political Officers. These black phantoms ruled manking, telling one how to think, how to act, and when to obey the call to the Gathering. And now the call had come for Kurt to sail off to Gibraltar to the Gathering--the ritual massing of the fleet for the War, the Gathering from which no one had ever returned.
Used availability for Glen Cook's The Heirs of Babylon
December 1972 : USA Mass Market Paperback