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And so it starts. The prologue has begun. On the second interstellar voyage of the first manned interplanetary vessel, its destination system proves to be already occupied by another, much larger ship. They confirm their location, the presence of the seven known planets, begin imaging them all — then notice a subtle pinging like a soft radar pulse. Somewhere only a few light-seconds away, a stranger watches, and as they locate that stranger, it waits, until they pulse a similar signal back to it and it matches theirs.

The careful dance of understanding is begun…

Five months later, back in Sol System, Dayna Kingsley’s holiday is drawing to a close, and she waits to board her shuttle to the Moon, where the Solar Police have their headquarters, to receive her next assignment…

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