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Clay Tyler, former Iceman for Axis military intelligence, has been hired by the wealthy heir of Tiano-Song Empirix to locate a young woman who apparently doesn’t want to be found. But as he struggles to understand the shroud of mystery surrounding this assignment, it becomes increasingly—and dangerously—clear that TSE are not the only ones looking for her. Who is Truman Ferry, and what does she have that everyone wants? So begins an interstellar chase that crosses paths with a starship, The Bateau Ivre, captained by a young Terran national and the electronic ghost of his dead sister, Clay’s former wife; with the Giordano Bruno Resistance, a terrorist cabal fighting the chokehold of Solarian hegemony; and a smooth and elegant charmer, Rhay Sterling, who knows exactly who Truman Ferry is, and her value to a budding galactic struggle. “The light of every star,” says an Iceman slogan, “leads to Earth,” and it is back to Terra Alba and the Solarian enclave that all the parties find themselves rushing, each one seeking something different: art, commerce, techno-espionage, power, justification, and that most fragile and unstable of elements, love. And from somewhere outside the working senses of humans, a nebulous sentience is growing, watching from its pocket universe, and quietly waiting. Butfor what?

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