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When Raf Kurbi's Terran spaceship burst into unexplored skies of the far planet Astra and was immediately made welcome by the natives of a once-mighty metropolis, Kurbi was unaware of three vital things: One was that Astra already harboured an Earth colony--descended from refugees from the world of the previous century. Two was that these men and women were facing the greatest danger of their existence from a new outburst of the inhuman fiends who had once tyrannized Astra. Three was that the natives who were buying Kurbi's science know-how were those very fiends--and their intentions were implacably deadly for all humans, whether Earth born or Star Born.
The travelers had sighted the cove from the sea—a narrow bite into the land, the first break in the cliff wall which protected the interior of this continent from the pounding of the ocean. And, although it was still but midafternoon, Dalgard pointed the outrigger into the promised shelter, the dip of his steering paddle swinging in harmony with that wielded by Sssuri in the bow of their narrow, wave–riding craft.The two voyagers were neither of the same race nor of the same species, yet they worked together without words, as if they had established some bond which gave them a rapport transcending the need for speech.Dalgard Nordis was a son of the Colony; his kind had not originated on this planet. He was not as tall nor as heavily built as those Terran outlaw ancestors who had fled political enemies across the Galaxy to establish a foothold on Astra, and there were other subtle differences between his generation and the parent stock.
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