By Timothy Zahn
HUMANITY'S final wish It starts while a guy provides a message for former govt agent Frank Compton--only to fall lifeless at his toes. The message is a summons from the Spiders, the unique and mysterious creatures who run the Quadrail, a major transportation process connecting civilizations around the galaxy. The Spiders think that somebody or whatever is getting ready to assault their whole community and the worlds it serves, through smuggling battleships throughout the Quadrail--something that should still be most unlikely to do. Compton, because of a gorgeous yet enigmatic agent of the Spiders, is their final wish. simply because not anyone else has been capable of finding the elusive enemy who seeks to enslave the whole galaxy…and Earth is its subsequent objective.
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Extra info for Night Train to Rigel
The inside of the maintenance building was pretty much the same as the one I'd seen once at Terra Station: big and open, with enough room for a Quadrail engine or a couple of cars. Crane tracks crisscrossed the high ceiling, the cranes themselves looking hefty enough to pick up one end of a car without exerting themselves. The Quadrail tracks on the floor mirrored me crane tracks above mem, with one set coming straight dirough me doors at either end while omers angled off to miniature sidings along the walls.
There was something about me wheels that seemed a little different, possibly an upgraded set of shock absorbers, and at me roof edge there were some embedded greenstone highlights. "Not quite what I expected," I commented. "It's designed not to be ostentatious," Rastra explained. " "I would think the flaunting would be the best part of being in the Peerage in the first place," I suggested. "The Halkas have always had ambivalent feelings about such things," Rastra said. " "There are ten sleeping compartments, plus dining and lounge areas and a small kitchen," Rastra said.
Reaching the second door, I touched the release and went inside. The Spiders had made a career of moving people around the galaxy in compartments this size, and they'd obviously put a lot of thought into the design and furnishings. Form following function and all that, there had been little the Halkan designers had been able to do to improve on the basic layout, so they'd contented themselves with simply upgrading the pretension level. That meant more carved wood on the walls, more furstone mosaic on the floor, more gold and crystal and marbling everywhere else.
Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn