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Dushau by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
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When I found Farfetch(second in a trilogy) in a bookbox, I was immediately drawn to get the other books so that I could read the entire story. I've enjoyed Lichtenberg for many years, but only knew her through her Sime-Gen stories. Fortunately, I was able to located copies of Dushau and Outreach through Paperback Swap so that I could read straight through.Krinata is a debriefing officer employed by the Allegiency to work with the Dushau exploration teams returning from a search for habitable planets. The Dushau are a near-immortal species, some of whom possess the ability to form a telepathically linked group called an 'oliat'. Within the oliat, they are able to understand the ecology of planets they discover and determine whether colonization is possible without destroying either the indiginous species or the colonists themselves.When we meet Jindigar, he is one of the surviving members of his oliat and attempting to provide his report to Krinata in spite of the overwhelming grief he feels for the deceased member of the oliat. Unfortunately, the emperor demands that Jindigar's oliat come to report personally, in spite of the fact that such stress is likely to be harmful to the members of the oliat until after they have grieved and disbanded their telepathic linkages. During their meeting with the emperor, Jindigar acknowledges a growing rapport with Krinata as both are practical and pragmatic in spite of their personal idealistic goals. Recognizing that the empire of the Allegiency is imploding, Jindigar convinces Krinata to flee with him to a hidden planet where they can join a multi-species colony and ride out the coming chaos. ( )
  elsi | Jul 15, 2009 |
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Epigraph
    FOURTH OBSERVATION OF SHOSHUNRI


"It is incumbent upon The Incarnate to discern the Policy behind the Laws fo Nature so They can anticipate results of action/motivation during a Cyclical Hiatus when there is no evidence to reveal even tHe existence of such Policy.

    FIFTH OBSERVATION OF SHOSHUNRI

Disregarding the Fourth Observation is a capital offense.

From: Purpose and Method
By Shonshunri, Observing Priest of Aliom
Dedication
To Andre Norton 
for writing Star Rangers, AKA
To Jean Airey 
For hours spent on my back porch enthusing about Doctor Who until I lit up too.
To
Judy Bemis and the many fans
who've gone out of their way to show me tapes of Doctor Who You may not see the derivation of Jindigar form The Doctor, or you may feel it's spoiled by the admixture with Star Rangers, but to me, it seems Zacathans and Time Lords share the Same Tailored Effects with Dushau.
To
Don, Elsie, and Betsy - 
Fr the spark that lit the conflagration (and for a lovely breakfast at Chicon IV)
To
Marion Zimmer Bradley
for introducing me to Russ Galen
First words

    THE KAMMINTH OLIAT HAS RETURNED, AND IS SCHEDULED TO RECEIVE COLONIZABLE PLANET DISCOVERY HONORS.  ...
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    THE RACE OF IMMORTALS

     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 ...
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