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In the Synfederation Era, one government, one society has unified human worlds in the Orion Spur… or so it believes.  

On a remote raft in the Fringe, the halo of territory beyond the control of the Synfederation, the headban of Odey Yards has made a deal with a pirate factory ship, Strange Attractor.   Jelic, the Odey Yards’ san and fan tech, doubts that the deal is good for the Yards.  She finds her loyalties challenged as the Strange Attractor causes the delicate balance of greed, self-interest and survival at Odey Yards to spin out of control.

In the wake of the Hallalabor disaster, Xandra Rekabi, HNN lead correspondent, takes on a new investigation.  Rumors of a revolutionary immersion gaming technology are sweeping through the student body at Uxji University in the Sigma Draconis System.  Xandra, at the behest of her friend, Elder Batterman, agrees to go undercover as a student to investigate the source of the rumor and the technology.  At the same time, Uxji City becomes the epicenter of a lethal epidemic of unknown origins.  Xandra discovers a connection between the epidemic and the immersion gaming technology.  Her investigation brings her to the attention of Commander Brian Hume of the Office of Public Safety.  Soon Xandra is assisting the OPS to track a far-ranging criminal conspiracy with links to influential corporations and organized crime. 

The operation to contain the epidemic and root out its source takes Xandra to Odey Yards in the Fringe where she glimpses a secret that threatens everything she believes of her recent past.

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