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Because several file types (including this one) were created from a single file, I had no control over special characters. So to avoid any oddities on your e-reader, I have removed all squiggles, dots and indeed whatnots from the book. If I have missed any instances, I apologise.



Prologue

Ordassi Space,
1348 Hours,
Year 2342:

Had Jemaal Grath known death awaited him, he would have ignored the distress signal. As it was, he did not.

The signal appeared on Grath’s sensors almost twelve hours after he had left the Terran home world, Orion. The simple beacon, sent at the touch of a button, foretold a grim tale of the Kharaluka space station’s plight. Or of a careless administrator’s elbow.

Grath looked upon the wall of darkness outside the window. Much of the power was out across the station, and only one other ship was docked. Something was very wrong here. He had to get inside and see what he could do to help.

Frigid air rushed in to meet his wondering face and tickle the base of his four small horns as the passenger ramp slowly whined open. Flashlight and meagre medical kit in hand, Grath descended the ramp, where his ears met with complete, deafening silence.

In stark contrast, the corridor beyond was bright, lit by large, pure white panels set into the ceiling and humming quietly. White, white, white. Grath shuddered. For some reason, it gave him the feeling of a psychiatric hospital.

Perhaps there had been a power issue of some kind, and the administrator feared the life-support shutting down. That would explain the beacon and the sporadic power distribution.

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