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The Book


"A few weeks ago," the Commandant said, "one of our amateurs had a lens on the Hole, just looking. He saw a glow. He reported to us; we checked and saw the same thing. There is a faint light coming out of the Hole -- obviously, a sun, a star inside the cloud, just far enough in to be almost invisible. God knows how long it's been there, but we do know that there's never been a record of a light in the Hole. Apparently this star orbited in some time ago, and is now on its way out. It is just approaching the edge of the cloud. Do you follow me?" "Yes, sir," Beauclaire said. "Your job is this: You will investigate that sun for livable planets and alien life. If you find anything -- which is highly unlikely -- you are to decipher the language and come right back. A Psych team will go out and determine the effects of a starless sky upon the alien culture -- obviously, these people will never have seen the stars." Hide synopsis

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