Beyond the boundaries of civilized space lies the region of the Muto Empire. Mutos are a mammalian race that resemble a cross between a human and a Terran rat. Though spread across thousands of worlds, mutos—or rhats, as they are sometimes called—trace their lineage to a single dark world that orbits a ruined sta— Enough of that! My name is Frohic, and I'm a muto. I've never seen the homeworld, and I couldn't care less about civilization, empires, or space. Especially space. All I want is to survive in a family that sometimes forgets I exist. My mother is always pregnant, my dozen siblings are swarming over available surface, and my father makes plan after plan to send us all away. Sure, our hovel is crowded, the food is sparse, but at least it's home. Then everything goes tails up. Next thing I know, I'm conscripted to a smuggler's ship and surrounded by enemies. I'm taken to a planet where I can barely see...to search for trinkets. Oh, and it is hot. Real hot. Plus there's strange hum at night. I'm a little worried about that hum. Yeah, being a muto is great. Empires, blah, blah. Ruined stars. Smuggling. Money. But destiny? Ha! Just give me a meal that isn't from a machine and a friend who won't try to steal it. Better yet, give me a ticket home.
About the author
Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates's minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a technophile and a movie buff. He is the author of several award-winning novels, including A Star Curiously Singing, Freeheads, and Amish Vampires in Space.
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