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Two men, two empires. Jaibriol ruled the Eubian Concord:
over two trillion people across more than a thousand
worlds and habitats. Kelric ruled the Skolian Imperialate.
War had come before-ten years ago, Jaibriol had lost his
parents in the final battle of the Radiance War between
the Concord and the Imperialate-and it might come again,
devastating vast swathes of the galaxy. Neither Jaibriol
nor Kelric wanted war, but neither was complete master of
his realm. And each hid a secret that, if revealed, might
be his downfall. Jaibriol was a secret psion, with
telepathic abilities, and to be a psion in the Eubian
Concord was to be a contemptible slave, eventually to be
tortured for the pleasure of the slave's owner. Kelric,
years ago, had disappeared for nearly two decades. He had
been a prisoner and slave on the planet Coban, part of
neither empire, until he had managed to escape. And if the
Skolian Imperialate knew of his captivity, there would be
demands for vengeance, ravaging Coban-and killing the wife
and children Kelric had left behind when he escaped.
Neither man knew how much longer he could keep his secret-
nor how much longer they could hold back the threat of a
war that could incinerate hundreds of inhabited worlds.
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