The end of the galactic civilization was coming. Jindigar was certain of it. Like other Dushau, his living memory spanned several thousand years, and he viewed events from a perspective few short-lived mortals could fully appreciate - or begin to understand.
He knew that when the newly crowned Emperor of the Allegiancy accused the Dushau of traitorously withholding surveys of distant planets, his real intentions were far more sinister than the execution of Jindigar and other Dushau. The emperor's ultimate goal? Complete and utter genocide of all the immortals.
As a human, Krinta was fiercely loyal to the Allegiancy Empire, but in her ten years as a debriefing officer she had never met a dishonest Dushau. She knew
Jindigar was not holding back survey material, that he was no traitor. She could not let the Emperor kill him. But how could just one woman oppose the might of the Empire?
"Take me to Planet Margo," said Krinata.
AND SHE LOOKED DEEP INTO THE MIND OF THE DUSHAU
An awesome three-dimensional image formed in the green haze of the debriefing cone. A sheer cliff of red marble rose to a magenta and silver sky. A frothy white waterfall crashed downward.
Krinata's imagination transported her into a waking dream She became
one of the Dushau Oliat officers walking the surface of the new planet. AN image of a hillside farm etched through her mind and she was there. Oliat perceptions extended; she walked toward the farmhouse. but a part of her mind complained she was sinking too deeply into the dream state and searched out a question: What dangers lurk here in the wilderness?
Suddenly the sky was swept with darkness as purple, black and yellow clouds boiled along the horizon. a funnel cloud dipped down and ripped a channel across the harvested field, its deafening roar shaking the earth as it corkscrewed toward her, gathering dirt and chaff - and several human bodies.
"NO!" Krinata screamed, as the battering monster violently sucked her up ...