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It was a week before the Lhari ship went into warp-drive, and all that time young Bart Steele had stayed in his cabin. He was so bored with his own company that the Mentorian medic was a welcome sight when he came to prepare him for cold-sleep!  The Lhari are the first space faring race, have made contact with humans and established spaceports and trade. There is just one problem; they are keeping the secrets of their space drive to themselves. Humans are resentful and feel like second class citizens. The Lhari use humans on starship trips, but put them in deep sleep during warp drive, ostensibly to protect them from death due to exposure to the drive's effects.

Bart Steele a 17 year old novice astrogator is in a Lhari spaceport to meet his father, but quickly becomes embroiled in a plot to wrest the secret of the drive from the Lhari. At first he shares the human prejudice against the Lhari, but contact with them in an intimate way (which I won't give away) allows him to get to know them and see both sides of the issue. This then puts his humanity and courage to the extreme test.

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