First Lifewave Book #3
Unwritten and therefore this summary may bear no resemblance to the finished product.
Zref and Arshel are running a small, herb tea shop way beyond the edge of Hundred Planets space when the forces of improbability once again converge upon them. They have discovered that they are indeed Persuaders, and have cultivated the habit of guarding their every word lest they twist the wills of those around them.
For years, Khelin and Ley had fought the conviction that Zref and Arshel perished with the others as the Mazeheart Object self-destructed. Now, they have traced Zref and Arshel down, and things have been happening, dire things, things that have gone terribly wrong.
The public has not accepted that the Mazeheart Object has been destroyed, and so the goldrush-fevered search for it continues with escalating violence and sometimes planet-wide devastation. Rumors fly that Arshel and Zref are still alive and either have the object or have become Persuaders.
Even though suspicion that they are alive makes it dangerous, Zref has to open Interface occasionally to maintain sanity. At this prodigious distance, he has managed to elude detection. But Khelin and Ley bring rumors of a new Wild Interface.
Once before, the Wild Interfaces brought galactic commerce to a near halt. Now panic is spreading again. Zref quickly realizes the ghostly, un-trappable Wild Interface is himself. Though he has done nothing illegal, imagination is a powerful force.
Should they run further into nowhere? Should they turn themselves in to the Hundred Planets government and try to convince people there is no Object and never was -- and it does not in fact confer the Persuader's Power for there is no such thing?
They could probably Persuade people to believe it, but the very certainty shown by those who heard it directly from them would make others suspect they were in fact Persuaders.
They must return to confront their fate, and they know it. They do the best they can, but just as they expect, their Power turns in their hands and they find greed, fear, and the quest for power, motivations that cross all species lines, smothering Free Will in the Second Lifewave, as it did in the First Lifewave.
With proximity to the comnet, Zref becomes more and more deeply intwined in it, and with exposure of their secret, more and more a target. Eventually, one of the assassins succeeds, and Zref dies. Or his body does. His consciousness and personality is released into the comnet. He now commands the entire Interface Guild, infusing their spoken words with the Power of the Persuaders.
In the end, Zref must destroy the Comnet in order to save the Second Lifewave as he destroyed the First.
He dies, leaving Arshel to grieve and return to Mautri where her children are now students.
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This Page Was Last Updated by JL 07/26/15 02:24 PM EST (USA)
First Lifewave novels copyright © 1980, 1982, 1985, 2000 by Jacqueline Lichtenberg. All rights reserved.
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