By William C. Dietz

Second within the duology that all started with At Empire's Edge - from the nationwide best-selling writer. In a far-distant destiny, the Uman Empire has conquered and colonized worlds. as soon as suggestion invincible, its reign is now fragile as alien matters and enemies conspire opposed to it.

On vacation within the capital urban, cop Jack Cato will get a glimpse of the Emperor - and realizes what he is taking a look at is a supposedly lifeless shape-shifter. His mortal enemy remains to be alive and once more at the run. And the destiny of the Empire - and Cato's personal honor - are at stake....

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Notwithstanding now not allowed to forestall and check up on them, Alamy received the effect that the scenes stamped into the sheet steel have been historic in nature simply because she stuck glimpses of stylized Vord-on-Vord battles, difficult searching motifs, and durable castles that sat on islands or have been perched excessive on hilltops. as though to signify an extended interval of extended family conflict sooner than the production of a ruling council and the following conquest of different planets. yet as will be anticipated on a warship, so much of what Alamy observed have been the locks that resulted in secondary gun emplacements, what have been evidently lifeboat bays, fast glimpses into berthing components, what could have been the hydroponics part, and an area that smelled like a clinical facility. Then, after many twists and turns, the adventure used to be over. a couple of armed guards got here to the Vord model of recognition, and there has been an trade of guttural phrases because the hatch irised open. “This is the ship’s brig,” Umji defined as he motioned for the Umans to go into. “Heyavu is the single prisoner for the time being. ” the crowd entered an oblong house that fronted a row of 4 cells. A forlorn-looking Vord sat head down in a single of the barred booths. Alamy spotted that the prisoner was once connected to what seemed like an intravenous drip. used to be it supplying him with at the least a few of the chemical compounds Ya typically could? sure, that appeared logical. “Bring him out,” Umji ordered gruffly, and the mobile door made a steady damn noise because it slid out of how. Heyavu was once wearing the Vord identical of blue overalls and wore slippers on his toes. A protect driven the IV stand alongside because the prisoner shuffled out to the purpose the place a steel desk used to be welded to the deck. “Sit down,” Umji ordered, and Heyavu obeyed. The mechanism that managed the IV beeped each sometimes as though to turn out it was once nonetheless operating. Alamy checked out Cato and questioned what he was once considering as he took his position throughout from the accused assassin. Then, as she grew to become her head a bit of, she observed that willing was once eyeballing her and knew what he used to be pondering. might be Madam Faustus used to be correct. . . . possibly all males have been alike. As Cato “looked” at Heyavu, he was once instantly aware of the truth that anything used to be lacking. It felt as though the Vord used to be a member of a wholly various race. simply because whereas every one person member of a selected species was once detailed, there have been frequently loads of commonalities, which he considered “flavors. ” And the Vords have been no exception. but the prisoner in entrance of him “felt” extra like a human than a Vord. Why? the most obvious rationalization was once the absence of his Ya. Now that he was once face-to-face with a parasite-free Vord, Cato learned the level to which every Vord and Ya harmonized to undertaking a unmarried emotional “voice. ” nonetheless, with the second one a part of the emotional signature stripped away, Cato may “feel” the suspect’s feelings much more essentially. He was once apprehensive but hopeful one way or the other. as though he believed that his present situations might ultimately result in whatever stable. And that struck Cato as unusual.

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