written by Isaac Asimov
published in 1945
Part 1 of the title Foundation and Empire
Set in the Foundation universe
The General tells how the Galactic Empire, now well into its collapse but led by skilled General Bel Riose, launches an attack against the Foundation. The Empire still retains far more resources and personnel than the Foundation and Riose is willing to use that advantage to its fullest. Devers, a native of the Foundation, intercepts a message that summarizes the General's doings, and escapes to Trantor, trying to see the emperor and show him the message. He fails and is nearly killed, but the emperor finds out anyway. In the end, the emperor decides that Riose is a threat to his status and to the balance of the Empire and has him executed.