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"Humans are no longer one species," Ryl continued, idly rolling the wine in her glass. "Some of us regressed a million years and leaped into a future that might have been, becoming Metas. On Earth, the Rhesus plague deleted a huge chunk of genetic diversity in humans, taking with it a very special gene. As you reach out to the stars, to explore new worlds, to seek the sanctuary planet, Gaia, you will meet other species and situations that telepaths cannot deal with. A dangerous toy, Dim5 travel, for it opens you to predation. As a small gift to help you on your journey, to warn you when the path to be trodden is perhaps not the safest one, twenty-five men and women from the twentieth century were taken, adjusted slightly and delivered to you. These are the C20s."

"All right, Meta, you called them gifts. Why gift them to us?" Captain Jassom asked.

"They're early warning devices," Ryl replied. She downed the last of her wine and meeting his eyes, added grimly, "Believe me, you're going to need them."

Welcome to a world where humanity's deadliest enemy is not a plague or warmongering alien species, but an insidious adversary that attacks from within. Welcome to the Ark Ship.

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