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General Bel Riose, [[ReassignedToAntarctica banished to the edge of the Empire]], is the Military Governor of Siwenna. Siwenna appeared in "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces", where Hober Mallow visited Onum Barr. General Riose is visiting his son, Ducem Barr, who is now an old man. Barr convinces Riose of the existence of the Foundation, a [[GalacticSuperpower galactic nation]] who are [[TheProphecy foretold to conquer the galaxy]]. In disguise, General Riose travels there and confirms much of what Barr told him. So, to defend the great Galactic Empire (and to engage in the glorious war that he wants), Riose announces a campaign against the Foundation with ten massive Empire ships.

to:

General Bel Riose, [[ReassignedToAntarctica banished to the edge of the Empire]], is the Military Governor of Siwenna. Siwenna appeared in "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces", where Hober Mallow visited Onum Barr. General Riose is visiting his Onum's son, Ducem Barr, who is now an old man. Barr convinces Riose of the existence of the Foundation, a [[GalacticSuperpower galactic nation]] who are [[TheProphecy foretold to conquer the galaxy]]. In disguise, General Riose travels there and confirms much of what Barr told him. So, to defend the great Galactic Empire (and to engage in the glorious war that he wants), Riose announces a campaign against the Foundation with ten massive Empire ships.


* CargoCult: That's most likely what Sergeant Luk meant when he said one of the planets taken valued an old movie reel enough to build a huge building around it and defend it to the death.

Added DiffLines:

* FailedFutureForecast: Riose's certainty about the Empire being stable. At one point, hesays that the current Empire citizens are certainly safe from anarchy, and would have been even had they lived four times as long. The Emperor who is too ill to survive for more than a couple of years is the last strong ruler the Empire will ever have, and the complete destruction of the latter is about fifty years away.

Added DiffLines:

* CargoCult: That's most likely what Sergeant Luk meant when he said one of the planets taken valued an old movie reel enough to build a huge building around it and defend it to the death.


* TheDreaded: Privy Secretary Brodrig is this. Barr mentions that Brodrig once had one of every ten men in a planet executed when the planet was late in paying their Imperial taxes.

to:

* TheDreaded: Privy Secretary Brodrig is this. Barr mentions that Brodrig feared because he once had one of every ten men in a planet executed when the planet was late in paying their Imperial taxes.taxes.


During one of the first attacks into the FOundation, an independent Trader called Lathan Devers is captured and interrogated: Devers affirms that he does not care much about politics. However, when left alone with Barr, Devers shares his actual plans with the man: he's a spy sent to supply false information to Riose, find information on him and do anything he can to disrupt his plots.

to:

During one of the first attacks into the FOundation, Foundation, an independent Trader called Lathan Devers is captured and interrogated: Devers affirms that he does not care much about politics. However, when left alone with Barr, Devers shares his actual plans with the man: he's a spy sent to supply false information to Riose, find information on him and do anything he can to disrupt his plots.


General Bel Riose, [[ReassignedToAntarctica banished to the edge of the Empire]], is the Military Governor of Siwenna. Siwenna appeared in "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces", where Hober Mallow visited Onum Barr. General Riose is visiting his son, Ducem Barr, who is now an old man. Barr convinces Riose of the existence of the Foundation, a [[GalacticSuperpower galactic nation]] who are [[TheProphecy foretold to conquer the galaxy]]. In disguise, General Riose travels there and confirms much of what Barr told him. So to defend the great Galactic Empire (and to engage in the glorious war that he wants), Riose announces a campaign against the Foundation with ten massive Empire ships.

The reports he sends back to Emperor Cleon II results in Privy Secretary Brodrig, the EvilChancellor, being sent to keep an eye on him during the offensives. Once General Riose begins his attack upon the territory of the Foundation, Lathan Devers, a merchant for the Foundation with his own ship, is quickly captured. Brought back to General Riose's forward base, he's interrogated by each of them in turn; Riose, Barr, and Brodrig. He's stuck in the base for months while the Empire's fleet captures more and more of the Foundation's territory. Each planet is hard-won, and [[LaResistance maintains a constant resistance]] to his troops. Despite this, General Riose tells trader Devers that they've reached Loris, one of the Four Kingdoms, nearly twenty parsecs from Terminus itself.

Desperate to save the Foundation, Devers and Barr escape, but what can they do to stop the power of the entire Imperial fleet against Terminus or Siwenna?

to:

General Bel Riose, [[ReassignedToAntarctica banished to the edge of the Empire]], is the Military Governor of Siwenna. Siwenna appeared in "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces", where Hober Mallow visited Onum Barr. General Riose is visiting his son, Ducem Barr, who is now an old man. Barr convinces Riose of the existence of the Foundation, a [[GalacticSuperpower galactic nation]] who are [[TheProphecy foretold to conquer the galaxy]]. In disguise, General Riose travels there and confirms much of what Barr told him. So So, to defend the great Galactic Empire (and to engage in the glorious war that he wants), Riose announces a campaign against the Foundation with ten massive Empire ships.

The During one of the first attacks into the FOundation, an independent Trader called Lathan Devers is captured and interrogated: Devers affirms that he does not care much about politics. However, when left alone with Barr, Devers shares his actual plans with the man: he's a spy sent to supply false information to Riose, find information on him and do anything he can to disrupt his plots.

Riose's
reports he sends back to reach Trantor and Emperor Cleon II II, which results in [[EvilChancellor Privy Secretary Brodrig, the EvilChancellor, Brodrig]] being sent to keep an eye on him during the offensives. Once General Riose begins his attack upon the territory of the Foundation, Lathan Riose. Brodrig bribes Devers, a merchant for who lies to him by telling the Foundation with his own ship, is quickly captured. Brought back to General Riose's forward base, he's interrogated by each of them in turn; Riose, Barr, and Brodrig. He's stuck in Privy Secretary that Riose seeks the base for months while the Empire's fleet captures more and more of Imperial throne, which he may be able to achieve by using the Foundation's territory. Each advanced technology in his favor.

A few days later, Riose meets again with Devers and Barr and reveals that Brodrig's throwing his full support behind Riose, the opposite of what Devers had hoped. Riose states that, after weeks of requiring each
planet is hard-won, to be hard-won and that [[LaResistance maintains all of them maintain a constant resistance]] resistance, led by the merchants]], he suspects there is more to his troops. Despite this, General Riose tells trader Devers than thought. Barr knocks Riose out and both Trader and Siwennian escape on Devers' ship. Devers, knowing that they've reached Loris, one of the Four Kingdoms, nearly twenty parsecs from time is running out for Terminus itself.

Desperate
and Siwenna (as most of the planet is getting ready to save rebel the moment the Empire loses power in the region), proposes a risky plan: go to Trantor and use Riose's actions to convince the Emperor that the General and the Privy Secretary are plotting to take over the Empire.

After several weeks of using Brodrig's money to bribe successive levels of bureaucrats, though, one of them turns out to be a member of the SecretPolice and tries to arrest them. Devers and Barr escape just in time - learning as they do so that Cleon II has had Brodrig and Riose arrested and executed.

With the end of the war, Siwenna rises up against the Empire and joins
the Foundation, while Devers and Barr escape, are decorated for their (unnecessary) efforts. Barr then explains the reason why Riose would have failed: had he been a weak general, he wouldn't have had any success. Had he been a strong general, but what can they do to stop the Emperor a weak man, then he would have gone after the throne. Cleon was a strong Emperor, though, so Riose could only project his power of outside the entire Imperial fleet against Terminus or Siwenna?
Empire - but Cleon was a strong Emperor because he suspected of anyone that had enough power to begin to rival his, so when Riose and Brodrig became too powerful, he had them both executed to secure his throne.



* AllForNothing: In the end, Devers' and Barr's efforts to meet the Emperor to convince him of Riose's and Brodrig's treason were for nothing -- because the Emperor already suspected treason and had sent for them to be judged and executed. Devers and Barr learn of this just as they are escaping Trantor.



* TheDreaded: Privy Secretary Brodrig is this. Barr mentions that Brodrig once had one of every ten men in a planet executed when the planet was late in paying their Imperial taxes.



* {{Irony}}: Devers had expected to have to bribe Brodrig to bring him around his plans, but in the end Brodrig is the one that bribes Devers, who runs with it and just tells Brodrig what he wants to hear.



* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture: When Lanthan Devers gives Ducem Barr a bracelet, he claims it normally sells for twenty-five credits. Privy Secretary Brodrig, however, [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribes Devers]] with thousands of credits. Devers soon escapes and uses Brodrig's credits on Trantor to [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribe other officials]].

to:

* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture: When Lanthan Lathan Devers gives Ducem Barr a bracelet, bracelet that can be used to block listening devices, he claims it normally sells for twenty-five credits. Privy Secretary Brodrig, however, [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribes Devers]] with thousands of one hundred thousand credits. Devers soon escapes and uses Brodrig's credits on Trantor to [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribe other officials]].



[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/riosegeneral.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:General Riose inspecting evidence for the "magicians".]]

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\n[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/riosegeneral.png]]
png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:General Riose inspecting evidence for the "magicians".]]



* AntagonistTitle: The title refers to General Bel Riose of the Galactic Empire, who wages war against the Foundation. The final line of Chapter 3 summarizes the conflict; "a dead hand against a living will." The 'dead hand' refers to [[ThePlan Seldon's Plan]] while 'living will' refers to General Riose's determination.

to:

* AntagonistTitle: The title refers to General Bel Riose of the Galactic Empire, who wages war against the Foundation. The final line of Chapter 3 summarizes the conflict; "a dead hand against a living will." will". The 'dead hand' "dead hand" refers to [[ThePlan Seldon's Plan]] while 'living will' refers to General Riose's determination.



Brodrig - the faithful favorite, who had to be faithful, since unless he owned the fastest speed-ship in the Galaxy and took to it the day of the Emperor's death, it would be the radiation-chamber the day after.
* FinaleTitleDrop: When this story was [[OrwellianRetcon revised]] for publication in ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire'', the original title "Dead Hand" was [[TitleDrop reused]] for chapter 3, "The Dead Hand". The last line of Chapter 3 is General Riose summarizing the conflict; "a dead hand against a living will."

to:

Brodrig - -- the faithful favorite, who had to be faithful, since unless he owned the fastest speed-ship in the Galaxy and took to it the day of the Emperor's death, it would be the radiation-chamber the day after.
* FinaleTitleDrop: When this story was [[OrwellianRetcon revised]] for publication in ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire'', the original title "Dead Hand" was [[TitleDrop reused]] for chapter 3, "The Dead Hand". The last line of Chapter 3 is General Riose summarizing the conflict; "a dead hand against a living will."will".



* ImpoverishedPatrician: General Riose, of the Galactic Empire, approached Ducem Barr to learn about the Foundation, due to the rumours of what happened to Onum Barr during his impoverishment. He promises to restore the family's lands and titles if Ducem agrees to cooperate. [[spoiler:He worked against them because his family had already decided that it would be better to join the Foundation than to stay with the Empire.]]

to:

* ImpoverishedPatrician: General Riose, of the Galactic Empire, approached approaches Ducem Barr to learn about the Foundation, due to the rumours of what happened to Onum Barr during his impoverishment. He promises to restore the family's lands and titles if Ducem agrees to cooperate. [[spoiler:He worked works against them because his family had has already decided that it would be better to join the Foundation than to stay with the Empire.]]



** [[KingBobTheNth Emperor Cleon II]] is in charge of the Galactic Empire while it is strong enough to assault the Foundation, but he is the first and last one to do so. His namesake was Emperor Cleon I, who was the last emperor before the Empire began losing territory.

to:

** [[KingBobTheNth Emperor Cleon II]] is in charge of the Galactic Empire while it is strong enough to assault the Foundation, but he is the first and last one emperor to do so. His namesake was is Emperor Cleon I, who was the last emperor before the Empire began losing territory.



* MonsterOfTheWeek: General Bel Riose is a massive threat against the Foundation, fully immune to their previous tactics, as political maneuvers are useless on him, the Foundation's religion is long dead and nuclear embargo can do nothing to him as he has Empire technology. He manages to severely weaken the Foundation's hold on the Periphery, and even lay siege to the Foundation's doorstep by taking some of the Four Kingdoms, its inner core worlds. He's also [[HeroAntagonist surprisingly likable, fairly noble, and philosophical]]. His main concern is reigniting the glory of the Empire, with no ulterior motives whatsoever, [[spoiler:which makes his inevitable defeat by the politics of the inner court of the Empire rather heartbreaking]]. The timing of the attacks favoured him, too; the Foundation government is much weaker than the capitalists running the corporations. We have {{foreshadowing}} that a class struggle between the plutocrats and the common traders is forthcoming.
* MortonsFork: Any Emperor who tries to go against the Foundation themselves will have to either return home or lose their throne to a usurper. Therefore, [[OrcusOnHisThrone the emperors must remain on Trantor]], and only an Imperial general can threaten the Foundation. However, if the general is strong enough to challenge the Foundation, yet didn't take over the Empire himself, that means the Emperor is one who knows how to remain in power... which includes [[TallPoppySyndrome removing any underlings who might grow strong and popular enough to challenge them]] - like, for example, by becoming a conqueror.

to:

* MonsterOfTheWeek: General Bel Riose is a massive threat against to the Foundation, Foundation and fully immune to their previous tactics, as political maneuvers are useless on him, the Foundation's religion is long dead and nuclear embargo can do nothing to him as he has Empire technology. He manages to severely weaken the Foundation's hold on the Periphery, and even lay siege to the Foundation's doorstep by taking some of the Four Kingdoms, its inner core worlds. He's also [[HeroAntagonist surprisingly likable, fairly noble, and philosophical]]. His main concern is reigniting the glory of the Empire, with no ulterior motives whatsoever, [[spoiler:which makes his inevitable defeat by the politics of the inner court of the Empire rather heartbreaking]]. The timing of the attacks favoured favours him, too; the Foundation government is much weaker than the capitalists running the corporations. We have {{foreshadowing}} that a class struggle between the plutocrats and the common traders is forthcoming.
* MortonsFork: Any Emperor who tries to go against the Foundation themselves will have to either return home or lose their throne to a usurper. Therefore, [[OrcusOnHisThrone the emperors must remain on Trantor]], and only an Imperial general can threaten the Foundation. However, if the general is strong enough to challenge the Foundation, yet didn't take over the Empire himself, that means the Emperor is one who knows how to remain in power... which includes [[TallPoppySyndrome removing any underlings who might grow strong and popular enough to challenge them]] - -- like, for example, by becoming a conqueror.



-->''"They have built up a filthy trading community that curls its tentacles about the systems further than their toy ships dare reach. For parsecs, their Traders - which is what their agents call themselves - penetrate."'' -- '''General Bel Riose'''

to:

-->''"They have built up a filthy trading community that curls its tentacles about the systems further than their toy ships dare reach. For parsecs, their Traders - -- which is what their agents call themselves - -- penetrate."'' -- '''General Bel Riose'''

Added DiffLines:

%%https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v35n02_1945-04_dtsg0318-LennyS_mod-color/page/n5

[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/riosegeneral.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:General Riose inspecting evidence for the "magicians".]]

->''BEL RIOSE... In his relatively short career, Riose earned the title of "The Last of the Imperials" and earned it well. A study of his campaigns reveals him to be the equal of Peurifoy in strategic ability and his superior perhaps in his ability to handle men. That he was born in the days of the decline of Empire made it all but impossible for him to equal Peurifoy's record as a conqueror. Yet he had his chance when, the first of the Empire's generals to do so, he faced the Foundation squarely....''
-->-- [-''[[EncyclopediaExposita ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA]]''-], 116th edition, published in 1020 F.E.

First published as "Dead Hand" in ''Magazine/AstoundingScienceFiction'' (April 1945 issue), by Creator/IsaacAsimov. This ScienceFiction {{Novella}} takes place after the events of "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces" and in 1996, it earned second place in the 1946 Retro UsefulNotes/HugoAward (losing to "Literature/TheMule"). After many decades of growth, the [[RisingEmpire Foundation has expanded]] near enough to the borders of the [[VestigialEmpire shrinking Empire]] that they've been noticed. Despite being only a quarter of its previous size, the Empire is still much larger than the fledgling Foundation. How can the [[PosthumousCharacter dead hand of Hari Seldon]] defeat a living will?

General Bel Riose, [[ReassignedToAntarctica banished to the edge of the Empire]], is the Military Governor of Siwenna. Siwenna appeared in "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces", where Hober Mallow visited Onum Barr. General Riose is visiting his son, Ducem Barr, who is now an old man. Barr convinces Riose of the existence of the Foundation, a [[GalacticSuperpower galactic nation]] who are [[TheProphecy foretold to conquer the galaxy]]. In disguise, General Riose travels there and confirms much of what Barr told him. So to defend the great Galactic Empire (and to engage in the glorious war that he wants), Riose announces a campaign against the Foundation with ten massive Empire ships.

The reports he sends back to Emperor Cleon II results in Privy Secretary Brodrig, the EvilChancellor, being sent to keep an eye on him during the offensives. Once General Riose begins his attack upon the territory of the Foundation, Lathan Devers, a merchant for the Foundation with his own ship, is quickly captured. Brought back to General Riose's forward base, he's interrogated by each of them in turn; Riose, Barr, and Brodrig. He's stuck in the base for months while the Empire's fleet captures more and more of the Foundation's territory. Each planet is hard-won, and [[LaResistance maintains a constant resistance]] to his troops. Despite this, General Riose tells trader Devers that they've reached Loris, one of the Four Kingdoms, nearly twenty parsecs from Terminus itself.

Desperate to save the Foundation, Devers and Barr escape, but what can they do to stop the power of the entire Imperial fleet against Terminus or Siwenna?

In 1952, "The General" was [[OrwellianRetcon revised]] and included as the first half of ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire''. Not to be confused with ''Literature/TheGeneralSeries'', another retelling of the 6th century Eastern Roman Empire (also known as the Byzantium Empire) campaign by UsefulNotes/FlaviusBelisarius.
----
!!"The General" provides examples of:
* TwoDSpace: General Riose is [[AvertedTrope averting]] the two-dimensional concept of space by organizing his ships into an "Inclosure", a 3D sphere of ships where the enemy cannot escape. As the Inclosure tightens, he advances through the Foundation's territory and maintains a supply line for his fleet.
* AbsurdlyHugePopulation: The planet Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, is populated entirely of government administrators, and their population is said to be 40 billions, requiring the combined output of twenty [[AgriWorld farm planets]]. This is Trantor ''after'' [[VestigialEmpire decaying to only the core galactic worlds]], though citizens believe themselves to represent the Empire's peak because they have grown so large.
* AgriWorld: Sergeant Mori Luk comes from the Pleiades sector, which has multiple agricultural planets. The only escape from a life of farming is to join the military.
* AntagonistTitle: The title refers to General Bel Riose of the Galactic Empire, who wages war against the Foundation. The final line of Chapter 3 summarizes the conflict; "a dead hand against a living will." The 'dead hand' refers to [[ThePlan Seldon's Plan]] while 'living will' refers to General Riose's determination.
* BlindJump: Devers tries to escape from General Riose's fleet after escaping from their forward base by making hyperspace jumps without proper planning. He explains the danger to Ducem Barr. It isn't very risky, as the most likely destination if you vaguely target empty space is empty space... but since they don't know ''where'' they've ended up, it takes quite some time poring over starcharts until they can pinpoint their location.
* BodyguardBetrayal: A subplot that occurs during the [[DistantSequel gap between]] the previous story, "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces", and this story. Ducem Barr had managed to rise high enough in military rank to be part of the guard for the Governor-General who had unfairly punished his home planet of Siwenna. He killed the General in retribution for the atrocities committed on his family and planet.
* BribeBackfire:
** When [[EvilChancellor Privy Secretary Brodrig]] interrogates the Foundation merchant Devers, he expects to be bribing the Privy Secretary into working against the Emperor. What he doesn't expect is Brodrig trying to bribe ''him'', but [[GuileHero he adapts]] and convinces Brodrig that General Riose is actually trying to overthow the emperor and take control of the Empire. This convinces Brodrig to support Riose instead of reporting it to Emperor Cleon II.
** When Devers goes to Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, he and Barr try to bribe their way up the ladder of bureaucrats so they can see the Emperor and get General Bel Riose recalled. They eventually run into one who's actually an Imperial Police lieutenant. He's under orders to arrest them [[spoiler:for conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor, not for bribing officials]]. Their effort was effectively pointless, because [[spoiler:the only reason Emperor Cleon II had survived as long as he had was to be suspicious of ''everything'' his subordinates did, and they had been using [[EvilChancellor Privy Secretary Brodrig]]'s funds]].
* DecadentCourt: The inner court of Emperor Cleon II is full of sycophants and back-stabbers, each looking to secure their position for when the Emperor dies and possibly taking the throne for themselves. Despite his [[SoapOperaDisease painful and incurable disease]], Cleon keeps an eye out for possible revolts and betrayal, including young generals popular with the military.
* DistantSequel: The events in this story begins over forty years after "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces" (roughly 200 F.E.), and [[SpinOffspring Ducem Barr]] (the offscreen son of an old man) is now, himself, an old man. Hober Mallow is gone, replaced by [[SpinOffspring Sennett Forell]] (his bastard son). The other characters have all died from old age.
* EncyclopediaExposita:
** When published in the original ''Magazine/AstoundingScienceFiction'' magazine, chapters 1 & 2 have an italic paragraph to help introduce the setting, describing Trantor's and Terminus's governments. No attribution is given here, but they are [[OrwellianRetcon replaced with]] ''Encyclopedia Galactica'' entries.
** When published in ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire'', three ''Encyclopedia Galactica'' entries were added. Chapter 1 has an entry on Bel Riose, chapter 2 has an entry on the Foundation, and chapter 4 has an entry on [[KingBobTheNth Cleon II]].
* EveryManHasHisPrice:
** Privy Secretary Brodrig tells Lathan Devers that he has somehow resisted the General's MindProbe, but that he has a better one, one which 'can make any man talk'. Brodrig's Probe turns out [[spoiler:to be [[WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture a big wad of cash credits]]; he bribes Devers to tell him what the General is really trying to do]].
** SubvertedTrope when Devers and Barr are bribing their way up the chain of Imperial bureaucrats (nobility would have been faster, but ''their'' price is beyond the budget). Just a couple of bureaucrats away from the Emperor, the one they're bribing turns out to be a quite incorruptible Imperial Police Lieutenant. The police had noticed their efforts at bribing the lower-ranked officials and arranged a sting operation.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Privy Secretary Brodrig dismisses General Riose's (honest) claim to be devoted to the Imperium -- the only reason Brodrig can imagine for embarking on a war is to seize power for oneself. Devers confirms his belief, so he begins sucking up to Riose by getting him the reinforcements the general wants.
* EvilChancellor: Privy Secretary Brodrig provides an unusual [[InvertedTrope inversion]] because he is as selfish and scheming as any other member of Emperor Cleon II's DecadentCourt, but because everyone aside from Cleon hates him, he is also the only utterly loyal and helpful member as a result. He's never really given an opportunity to betray Cleon II ([[spoiler:and he's arrested and executed for conspiracy to commit treason before he can do more than dream of it]]).
-->The low-born, faithful Brodrig; faithful because he was hated with a unanimous and cordial hatred that was the only point of agreement between the dozen cliques that divided his court.\\
Brodrig - the faithful favorite, who had to be faithful, since unless he owned the fastest speed-ship in the Galaxy and took to it the day of the Emperor's death, it would be the radiation-chamber the day after.
* FinaleTitleDrop: When this story was [[OrwellianRetcon revised]] for publication in ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire'', the original title "Dead Hand" was [[TitleDrop reused]] for chapter 3, "The Dead Hand". The last line of Chapter 3 is General Riose summarizing the conflict; "a dead hand against a living will."
* FullCircleRevolution: Lathan Devers, a Trader from the Foundation, points out that when one government is toppled, all it really does is replace who's in charge, and people like him would be pretty screwed anyway. That's why he doesn't mind if the Empire wins the war against the Foundation. [[spoiler:He is a spy sent to find out as much as possible about the Empire, so he's saying this to General Riose to gain his trust.]]
* GoneHorriblyRight: Imperial General Bel Riose comes the closest to toppling the Foundation during his campaign to "pacify" the Periphery. His plan is ultimately foiled by [[spoiler:his own Emperor, who, [[TallPoppySyndrome paranoid of Riose's success and popularity]], has him recalled and arrested on trumped-up charges of treason]].
* GuileHero: Lathan Devers allows himself to be captured by General Riose in order to spy on events from the Empire's side. There are a couple of instances where he makes use of blasters and shields, but he spends most of his time trying to convince people to see things the way he wants them to. He convinces General Riose that he's a mercenary merchant without patriotism, he convinces Privy Secretary Brodrig that Riose is chasing the secrets of cheap transmutation, and he bribes the guards into giving him extra information.
* HeroAntagonist: General Bel Riose ([[AntagonistTitle the titular character]]) is surprisingly likable for an enemy of the Foundation, and the narrative begins with his perspective. He demonstrates himself to be fairly noble and philosophical. His main concern is reigniting the glory of the Empire, with no ulterior motives whatsoever, [[spoiler:which makes his inevitable defeat by politics in the inner court of the Empire rather heartbreaking]].
* HyperCompetentSidekick: General Bel Riose apparently exemplifies this trait (a loyal subordinate who is more powerful than their superior) so thoroughly that his emperor, Cleon II, is later remembered merely as "[[RedBaron Riose's Emperor]]". Much like the character's real-life inspiration, Belisarius, [[spoiler:this results in his recall]]. Unlike Belisarius, however, [[spoiler:[[TallPoppySyndrome Riose is executed for treason]], because his competency puts the Emperor at risk of revolt]].
* ImpoverishedPatrician: General Riose, of the Galactic Empire, approached Ducem Barr to learn about the Foundation, due to the rumours of what happened to Onum Barr during his impoverishment. He promises to restore the family's lands and titles if Ducem agrees to cooperate. [[spoiler:He worked against them because his family had already decided that it would be better to join the Foundation than to stay with the Empire.]]
* KingBobTheNth:
** The current Emperor, Cleon II, follows in memory of Cleon I, under whom the Empire reached its zenith. Cleon II likely surpassed his namesake, because Cleon I was not a forceful monarch and he preferred letting his First Ministers do the real governing, but Cleon II was a very active and powerful emperor.
** Ducem Barr mentions Emperor Daluben IV, who reigned during Hari Seldon's development of psychohistory.
** The narration introducing Cleon II mentions a previous Galactic Emperor; Stanel VI.
** Riose mentions the campaigns of Loris VI, which occurred two thousand years ago, when describing his Enclosure of Terminus.
* MeaningfulName:
** [[KingBobTheNth Emperor Cleon II]] is in charge of the Galactic Empire while it is strong enough to assault the Foundation, but he is the first and last one to do so. His namesake was Emperor Cleon I, who was the last emperor before the Empire began losing territory.
** Bel Riose is loosely based on General [[UsefulNotes/FlaviusBelisarius Flavius]] '''Bel'''isarius, of the 6th century Eastern Roman Empire (also known as the Byzantium Empire). Both are/were loyal members of their emperor, and led campaigns to reclaim lost territory.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: General Bel Riose is a massive threat against the Foundation, fully immune to their previous tactics, as political maneuvers are useless on him, the Foundation's religion is long dead and nuclear embargo can do nothing to him as he has Empire technology. He manages to severely weaken the Foundation's hold on the Periphery, and even lay siege to the Foundation's doorstep by taking some of the Four Kingdoms, its inner core worlds. He's also [[HeroAntagonist surprisingly likable, fairly noble, and philosophical]]. His main concern is reigniting the glory of the Empire, with no ulterior motives whatsoever, [[spoiler:which makes his inevitable defeat by the politics of the inner court of the Empire rather heartbreaking]]. The timing of the attacks favoured him, too; the Foundation government is much weaker than the capitalists running the corporations. We have {{foreshadowing}} that a class struggle between the plutocrats and the common traders is forthcoming.
* MortonsFork: Any Emperor who tries to go against the Foundation themselves will have to either return home or lose their throne to a usurper. Therefore, [[OrcusOnHisThrone the emperors must remain on Trantor]], and only an Imperial general can threaten the Foundation. However, if the general is strong enough to challenge the Foundation, yet didn't take over the Empire himself, that means the Emperor is one who knows how to remain in power... which includes [[TallPoppySyndrome removing any underlings who might grow strong and popular enough to challenge them]] - like, for example, by becoming a conqueror.
* TheNamesake:
** The original title, "Dead Hand", refers to Hari Seldon's [[ThePlan Plan]] created by [[PrescienceByAnalysis psychohistory]]. Seldon has been dead for centuries, yet Ducem Barr contends that it is more powerful than the Galactic Empire.
** The revised title, "The General", refers to General Bel Riose of the Galactic Empire, who hears about [[ThePlan Seldon's Plan]] from Ducem Barr but wishes to [[AntagonistTitle conquer the Foundation]] despite it.
* NamingYourColonyWorld: Loris is a region in the Four Kingdoms, under siege by General Riose. The region is named after Locris, a region of {{UsefulNotes/Greece}} (the province was established in prehistoric times and still existed until 2006), and appears again as Captain Pritcher's homeworld in "Literature/TheMule".
* OrcusOnHisThrone: General Riose is a strong subject who served a politically savvy, but [[SoapOperaDisease incurably ill]], Emperor. When he tries to conquer the Foundation, we learn why psychohistory predicts that the [[VestigialEmpire collapsing Galactic Empire]] cannot do so. The Galactic Emperor cannot leave their throne (represented by Trantor) to lead troops into battle and expand the territory of the Empire because civil war will draw them back home. If the Emperor is weak, they will be deposed by stronger subjects. If the Emperor is strong, they [[TallPoppySyndrome cannot allow strong subjects]] to grow because they risk being deposed like a weak Emperor.
* OrwellianRetcon: This story was originally published as "Dead Hand" in ''Magazine/AstoundingScienceFiction''. When it was republished in ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire'' as "The General", many minor edits occurred, such as giving every chapter a name (Chapter 3 [[RecycledTitle reuses]] "The Dead Hand") and replacing italicized exposition with ''Encyclopedia Galactica'' entries. Another minor revision is that Hari Seldon was changed from being "the pride of Siwenna" (implying citizenship) to having "once visited Siwenna", in ages past.
* ProudMerchantRace: The Foundation had enjoyed a booming economy and expansion in the forty years since Master Trader Hober Mallow had a single ship and crew under his command. Now his illegitimate son, Sennett Forell, has a fleet of trading ships that answer to him, and works with a cabal of similarly powerful executives.
-->''"They have built up a filthy trading community that curls its tentacles about the systems further than their toy ships dare reach. For parsecs, their Traders - which is what their agents call themselves - penetrate."'' -- '''General Bel Riose'''
* ReassignedToAntarctica: In chapter 1, General Riose explains to Ducem Barr that the reason why he had been posted in Siwenna is because he was politically foolish. He had joined the military to fight and defend the Empire, yet being raised through the ranks meant elbow-rubbing with the nobility, until they banished him to the outer provinces of the current Galactic Empire.
-->''"That's why they sent me here. I'm too troublesome at court. I don't fit in with the etiquette. I offend the dandies and the lord admirals, but I'm too good a leader of ships and men to be disposed of shortly by being marooned in space. So Siwenna is the substitute. It's a frontier world; a rebellious and a barren province. It is far away, far enough away to satisfy all."'' -- '''General Bel Riose'''
* RecycledTitle: When this story was [[OrwellianRetcon revised]] for publication in ''Literature/FoundationAndEmpire'' as "The General", the original title "Dead Hand" was reused for chapter 3, "The Dead Hand".
* RedBaron:
** The ''Encyclopedia Galactica'' entry for General Riose references a nickname given to him by historical records, "The Last of the Imperials". The title is a reference to his role in conquering several star systems and expanding the territory of the otherwise VestigialEmpire.
** The ''Encyclopedia Galactica'' entry for Emperor Cleon II references two titles. The first is "Cleon the Great", because his leadership caused a brief surge of political and artistic innovation, but his other title is "Riose's Emperor", due to the General directly attacking the Foundation while the Emperor was [[OrcusOnHisThrone restricted to the capitol planet Trantor]] due to a [[SoapOperaDisease painful and incurable disease]]. Foundation citizens, therefore, remember him only in relation to General Riose.
* SoapOperaDisease: Emperor Cleon II suffers from some painful and unknown disease which no one can cure.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: General Bel Riose uses giant spaceships to encircle (more like "ensphere") a solar system just like RealLife Admirals [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale use their fleet to blockade an island]].
* SpinOffspring:
** Sennett Forell, one of the richest of the Association of Independent Traders, is known to be a distant relative of Hober Mallow, from "Literature/TheMerchantPrinces" (actually his bastard son). He appears in only two chapters, being the one to send Lathan Devers to spy on General Riose.
** Ducem Barr is the son of Onum Barr, who had been offscreen in the previous story.
* StrongEmpireShriveledEmperor: Cleon II is the last strong Emperor of the Galactic Empire, yet he's bedridden due an [[SoapOperaDisease unknown and painful disease]]. He's highly skilled at managing a [[DecadentCourt court full of ambitious sycophants and politicians]], but cannot even hold court every day.
* TallPoppySyndrome: After winning battle after battle, showing himself to be a powerful and popular leader, General Bel Riose is summoned before the Emperor and killed (off-screen). It gets pointed out that a strong general would've overthrown a weak emperor, and a weak general wouldn't be able to beat the Foundation in battle. With a strong Emperor on the throne, they must cull their strongest subjects due to fear of overthrow and rebellion.
* ThisPageWillSelfDestruct: The Foundation's secret messages are sent on a medium that oxidizes to gas within a minute after exposure to air. They're kept safe inside an airtight "personal capsule". Lathan Devers thinks that because the Empire isn't able to oxidize their messages, this is evidence that the Foundation is technologically superior, despite the Empire having more power.
* TropeMakers: The [[CityPlanet city-wide planet]] idea was first proposed for Trantor, seen when he published "[[Literature/TheGeneralFoundation Dead Hand]]" in ''Magazine/AstoundingScienceFiction'' (April 1945 issue). Trantor would inspire the TropeCodifier, Coruscant from ''Franchise/StarWars''.
* UnintentionalBackupPlan: Devers constructs an elaborate plan to defeat General Bel Riose and the First Galactic Empire, only for it to do nothing. Instead, political infighting on Trantor wins the war for them. This is taken as a sign of the inevitability of [[ThePlan the Seldon Plan]]'s success.
* UnwittingPawn: General Bel Riose actually thought he would win and came close, but was inevitably called back to Trantor and executed on grounds of believed disloyalty. The pawn here is Emperor Cleon II, who could've trusted in his subordinate (although historical evidence said that he'd be betrayed sooner or later, and [[TallPoppySyndrome executing overly successful subordinates]] was the only way to survive).
* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture: When Lanthan Devers gives Ducem Barr a bracelet, he claims it normally sells for twenty-five credits. Privy Secretary Brodrig, however, [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribes Devers]] with thousands of credits. Devers soon escapes and uses Brodrig's credits on Trantor to [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribe other officials]].
* YouCantFightFate: The protagonists' efforts to stop General Riose from defeating the Foundation end in failure at best. Instead, it's a demonstration of how powerful [[ThePlan the Seldon Plan]] is; no matter how powerful the general, no matter how powerful the emperor is, the First Foundation cannot be defeated by the First Galactic Empire.
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