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Synopsis

A secret agent aboard an intra-galactic “railroad” must derail a sinister scheme to enslave the universe in this nonstop science fiction thriller from Hugo Award–winning author Timothy Zahn

The universe is a dangerous place, a fact violently brought home to Frank Compton for perhaps the thousandth time when a stranger delivering a message dies right in front of him. An operative for Western Alliance Intelligence until his whistle-blowing activities got him fired, Compton is now being sought out by the Spiders, the robotic alien beings responsible for the upkeep and operation of the Quadrail transportation system, which connects the galaxy’s twelve inhabited empires. The discovery of a sinister plot to use the Quadrail for ill has brought the Spiders to Compton—for only someone possessing the former agent’s unique skills can stop the scheme for good.
 
But when Compton leaves Earth behind—joining forces with Bayta, the Spiders’ beautiful, half-human representative aboard the Quadrail—the terrifying scope of a vast, galaxy-wide conspiracy begins to reveal itself. Targeted on all sides by alien assassins of every shape and species, Compton and his enigmatic new partner are suddenly in a race against a clock ticking down to an irreversible doomsday, one in which the galactic night train will derail, carrying all members of humanity screaming to their deaths.
 

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