SFWRITER.COM > Novels > Alien Exodus Outline
George Lucas's Monsters and Aliens, Volume 1:
Outline by Robert J. Sawyer
January 1995 · 11,000 words
Copyright © 1995 by Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved.
A note from Rob (2003) [this note appears at the beginning
of both the sample chapters and the
In 1994, Ace Books which had just finished publishing my
Quintaglio Ascension trilogy
asked me to write a trilogy of novels outlining the origins of the races
that make up the Star Wars universe.
At that time, Ace was still negotiating the details of a licensing
agreement with Lucasfilm, and it looked like I'd be able to use
the actual alien races that had appeared in the original trilogy of
Star Wars films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and
Return of the Jedi).
I had never been keen on doing work-for-hire media tie-ins, but
my then-agent urged me to give this project a try.
So I wrote a 10,000-word outline for the
first novel, which I was going to call Alien Exodus, and
12,000 words of sample chapters.
However, there were considerable delays in finalizing the details
of the licensing agreement with Lucasfilm. By the time the book
contracts were ready for my signature, it had been established that
I couldn't use any of the actual races from Star Wars,
and so I bowed out of the project.
Ultimately, Ace brought in writer Deborah Chester to produce the books.
Deborah, of course, started from scratch, and created her own trilogy
with all new aliens; these books were published under the umbrella title
Lucasfilm Alien Chronicles.
Below is the outline for what I would have written; also available
are the sample chapters I wrote.
No violation of Lucasfilm's copyright or trademarks is intended.
I never signed a contract for this work, and was never paid for it,
so I offer this material here as fan fiction.
George Lucas's Monsters and Aliens, Volume 1:
Outline by Robert J. Sawyer
January 1995 · 11,000 words
In addition to the films of George Lucas, I have used the
following reference books in creating this outline:
- Carrau, Bob. Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas.
- Slavicsek, Bill. A Guide to the Star Wars Universe.
- Denning, Troy. Star Wars Galaxy Guide 4: Alien Races.
West End Games.
It is nighttime on the giant alien world of Forhilnor.
Cosmo Hender, a human, is imprisoned in a large domed
compound along with thousands of other humans, all clad in rags.
Several Gamorreans stout, piglike, green-skinned
aliens with upturned tusks march through the compound, armed
with blaster rifles. A bed-check is being conducted: the
exhausted humans are being inspected at the end of a day of slave
Once the Gamorreans leave, and the compound is sealed, several
humans help Cosmo escape through a secret tunnel that they have
dug with their bare hands and drinking bowls. It's clear that
the others look up to Cosmo as their leader and leader
material he is: handsome, youthful in appearance despite being
at least middle-aged, strong, mentally agile, and charismatic.
Cosmo kisses his mate, brave, good-hearted Sallee,
goodbye, and escapes into the night.
Once outside, we see that there are a total of nine domes spread
out over a vast walled plain, cleared from a forest of gnarled
alien trees. Cosmo catches sight of one or two other shadowy
figures, also moving against the night. Beyond the domes is some
sort of giant structure, obviously still under construction, only
half visible in the darkness. Cosmo looks at it with disgust,
but makes his way quickly to a hidden break in the wall
surrounding the domes, where he slips out into the forest.
The sky is usually cloudy, but tonight, through a break in the
clouds, Cosmo can see the Bloodstars, a small, densely packed
globular cluster that is passing through this arm of the galaxy.
Soon others arrive but they're not human. One representative
from each dome has escaped for this latest secret meeting; such
meetings are held only on the dark nights when Patroob, the
largest of Forhilnor's three moons, is in its new phase. The
represented races at the meeting, besides humanity, are
Bith, Ithorian, Kubaz, Ortolan,
Kitonak, Twi'lek, Mon Calamari, and
Together, the individuals form the secret slave council,
consisting of the leaders of each of the nine subjugated races
but Cosmo Hender is clearly the de facto head of the
Ridbrek, the wise, old Mon Calamari leader, complains that
conditions for the slaves are worsening; his job is tending the
herds of food animals that are used to feed the slaves but the
slave masters have cut the quality and quantity of grain
available to his herds, meaning that the meat yielded is of
inferior quality. Not only that, Ridbrek says he is getting too
old for this he finds himself more and more fatigued.
Jax Hobo, the Ortolan, says he, too, is fatigued, but he
blames it on a recent cutback in food rations. No one pays much
attention to this Ortolans are obsessed with food [and Jax
Hobo will provide Falstaffian comic relief throughout the novel].
Still, when Taffee McMal, the sturdy, stoic Kitonak,
observes that he, too, is fatigued, there's no doubt something
is definitely wrong. Munnin Munb, the Sullust leader,
turns to Cosmo: we have to get out, he says we have to find a
way to escape. Cosmo agrees. Sallee is pregnant with his child
he doesn't want his son or daughter to live a life of slavery.
But they've all been enslaved for five generations and none of
them have any idea how they can escape, or even where they would
The meeting breaks up, and the slaves make their ways back to
their domes. But on the way back, Hobo, the Ortolan, is
confronted by a Gamorrean guard who has been out patrolling the
area. The Gamorrean is about to shoot Hobo as a runaway slave,
but Cosmo intervenes, and he and Hobo together kill the
Gamorrean. They quickly hide the body, and hurry back to the
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Another place,
another time. A world called Earth, in its early 25th century,
is moving toward a totalitarian, computer-controlled society. An
underground has been resisting this. Among its leaders are
computer hacker Dale Hender [clearly a relative of Cosmo
Hender, hero of the preceding chapter]; dashing and adventurous
Paxton Solo; and his lover, the serious, tough-minded
Antonia Corelli, pilot of the spaceship Oort
Dale uncovers plans by the computers that control this society to
begin force-feeding drugs to the humans to reduce their passions.
Not only that, but the computers will soon start taking away
individuals' names and issuing them serial numbers. Indeed, Dale
has cracked the computer bank containing the number assignments:
his is to be the first of the THX series, THX 0001.
Dale has traced his own genealogy through computer records, going
back five hundred years. He knows all about his ancestor Curtis
Henderson, for instance [Henderson being the form of the family
name before the practice of using nonsexist, non-patronymic
naming was introduced in the 21st century]. But the new random
serial-number system will destroy the ability to trace family
ties, and take away much of their identity.
The underground is powerless to defeat the controlling computers,
and so they plan to escape Earth aboard the Oort Raider.
Earth doesn't yet have interstellar flight, but the Oort
Raider is a giant ship, over ten kilometers long. Although
huge, it is capable of landing on Earth indeed, that's the
whole point of its existence. Its four vast storage tanks are
used to capture cometary nuclei from the Oort cloud at the
outskirts of the solar system. These are then hauled back to
Earth, where they are used for their water and other raw
The underground is making secret modifications to one of the
Oort Raider's four storage tanks to turn it into a habitat
capable of taking five thousand humans on a multi-generation
mission to Alpha Centauri, where the latest space telescope
pictures have identified an Earth-size planet in an orbit they
hope is appropriate to support life. There, they plan to create
a new, free society if, that is, they can escape from
The next day, Cosmo is hard at work, along with a mixed
human and Twi'lek crew, carving stone blocks in a quarry. The
humans are working in silence the masters don't allow work
songs or conversation. But the Twi'leks are talking amongst
themselves using intricate dances of their headtails. We see now
the giant, half-built structure that was only glimpsed the night
before. It is a vast stone temple, rising up a thousand meters
into the sky.
Leego, the task master overseeing the slaves, is a Rodian
green skinned, with large, faceted eyes, a tapir-like snout,
thick-stalked cup-ended antennae on his forehead, and long
fingers ending in suction cups. He is a sadistic, cruel being,
who delights in tormenting the slaves working beneath him. When
he approaches Cosmo, Cosmo fears he's in for a beating
something Leego enjoys inflicting without necessarily having any
provocation. But Cosmo is surprised when the Rodian simply tells
Cosmo that he's wanted at the Governor's palace in all his
years of slavery, Cosmo has never once been inside the giant,
opulent structure in which despotic Governor Kaxa and his
A Gamorrean guard escorts Cosmo to the palace, and we see that
the palace staff consists of about equal numbers of Gamorreans
and Rodians and we also see that there is no love lost between
those two races; although they work together, serving the
Governor, it's clear that Gamorreans and Rodians have an uneasy
alliance at best.
Neither Gamorreans nor Rodians are the true master race; that
role belongs to the Varlians cold, calculating
insectoid creatures, three times as large as a human. Cosmo is
taken to see Delba, the sole daughter of Governor
Delba seems surprisingly gentle for a member of the master race.
She tells Cosmo that she requires a new attendant on her staff,
for she is soon to lay an egg. Leego has identified Cosmo as one
of the strongest and brightest slaves. Henceforth, says Delba,
Cosmo will no longer have to work in the quarries; he is now part
of Delba's entourage, and will be quartered here at the palace.
Cosmo is very upset it will mean separation from his beloved
Sallee. He protests that his wife is with child, but Delba
dismisses his concerns; slaves have no choice in where they are
Reluctantly, as slaves have so many times before, he accepts what
he cannot change. At least the work will be infinitely easier
than carving stone all day and, he suddenly realizes, access
to the palace may be just the thing he needs to help the other
slaves escape ...
Delba is having a party to celebrate her forthcoming
egg-laying. She is surrounded by other Varlians, including her
father, Governor Kaxa, who is cruel, mean-spirited, and
Conversation amongst the Varlians turns to the topic of
economics. Cosmo, who is serving drinks, momentarily forgets his
place as servant, and chimes in with an opinion. Governor Kaxa
is about to order him killed for insolence when one of the
Governor's aides intervenes, observing that Cosmo's comment had,
in fact, been quite clever and insightful. "We could use more
slaves like him," the aide says. Kaxa relents, and the party
continues, Cosmo having barely escaped with his life.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Plans are
proceeding smoothly for the launch of the modified Oort
Raider, but the controlling computers are becoming
suspicious. The launch schedule has to be moved up. Five
thousand members of the underground cram into the rude quarters
that have been assembled in one of the giant comet-nucleus
storage tanks. But the computers have discovered the escape
plan, and a fierce laser battle ensues in the docking facility
between members of the underground and police robots. It looks
like the underground members will be captured, but some of them
sacrifice themselves so that the rest can escape and the giant
Oort Raider rises up into the sky ...
When the party is over, and Cosmo is busy cleaning up the
now-deserted room in which the party was held, Delba returns.
She's very intrigued by what Cosmo had said earlier about
economics, and engages him in conversation the first time
she's ever really spoken to him except to give orders. She's
simultaneously amused and surprised by the facility of Cosmo's
mind, and asks him if he's ever read the works of Balladda, a
great Varlian thinker. Cosmo is surprised by the question.
"Your highness," he says, "I can't read at all no slave can."
Delba sees an opportunity here: she will soon have to begin
teaching her own child to read. Why not practice her skills on
Cosmo? Cosmo points out that it's illegal to teach a slave to
read, but Delba counters that she is the Governor's daughter
she can do whatever she pleases. Besides, her Varlian friends
are a bit thick she'd welcome having someone clever around to
discuss Balladda's writings with.
Delba begins teaching Cosmo to read. He picks it up with
remarkable speed he's quite bright, and the process is made
easier by the fact that the Varlian alphabet is actually very
simple the letter forms match the shape of their insectile
mandibles as they make different sounds. Delba enjoins him not
to reveal his newfound skill to anyone else. Cosmo, feeling he
has earned Delba's friendship, asks a favor: he reminds her that
his mate, Sallee, will soon give birth. Could she, perhaps, be
transferred to the palace staff, too?
But Delba dismisses the notion she jokes that she doesn't want
to share Cosmo with anyone. Cosmo realizes there is more than a
grain of truth in that ...
Cosmo is in the palace when a commotion occurs. Three slave
leaders Jax Hobo the Ortolan, Ridbrek the Mon Calamari, and
Fob Discordia, the sly and cunning Twi'lek leader are
brought before the Governor. A Gamorrean guard has been missing
for some time now, and at last his body has been found by search
parties. He'd been murdered, doubtless by a runaway slave. As
punishment, says Kaxa, all slaves will have their workloads
increased by ten percent. Fob protests that the slaves are
already fatigued and at their limit of productivity, but Kaxa
says that any slave that cannot meet the new quotas will be
executed. Cosmo is enraged by this latest cruelty. He vows to
find a way to free all the slaves ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider is diving well below the ecliptic in its journey out
of the solar system, but robot mining ships from the asteroid
belt, loyal to Earth's controlling computers, try to intercept
it. There's a fierce space battle, in which the robot ships use
mass drivers to hurtle asteroidal rock at the Oort Raider.
The Oort Raider carries dozens of small auxiliary ships,
and these leave the mothership and engage the robot miners in
battle. Thanks to them, and to Antonia's skill in piloting the
mothership, the humans narrowly escape with only minor damage and
Cosmo's lessons continue, and soon he is reading at a
sophisticated level. It's time, says Delba, to try out
Balladda's books. She sends Cosmo to the palace library; as her
servant, he has the run of the palace. But when Cosmo arrives at
the library, the librarian is gone apparently out on an
errand. Although Cosmo isn't supposed to let anyone know that he
can read, he figures, what the heck, no one's here he'll just
wander into the stacks, find the book himself, and bring it to
But while searching for the Balladda book, he comes across
something else a book whose title is The Human Exodus.
The title page says it's a new translation of an ancient human
text into Varlian by the Varlian historian Nalltba. Cosmo is
taken aback a human text? As far as he knows, humans have
never been able to read or write. He looks around the library
is still deserted. He slips the book into his bag, quickly finds
the book by Balladda that Delba wanted, and leaves.
Delba has Cosmo read to him from Balladda's book, The
Divine Varlian Destiny. It turns out to be a
manifest-destiny tract about how the Varlians are entitled to
subjugate all other lifeforms. Indeed, several hundred years
ago, the Varlians were almost wiped out by a deadly plague called
the Changa Bloodrot, characterized by purple and green splotching
on the skin the reason the divine one had visited it upon them
was that the then-emperor of Varlia had failed to enslave the
primitive Wookiee race when he'd had a chance. Cosmo, who had
begun to feel some measure of affection for his mistress, is
shocked to see that Delba fervently believes that what the book
says is true that the Varlians deserve to rule. He realizes
to his despair that there's no way by rational argument that
he'll ever convince Delba or her father otherwise.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider enters the Oort cloud, and tracks down three large
comet nuclei. These are maneuvered into the three currently
empty storage tanks. Comets are essentially dirty snowballs,
consisting mostly of water polluted by carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,
and nitrogen they will provide all the water, the
food-synthesis raw materials, and the reaction mass for the
ship's fusion motors for the long journey to Alpha Centauri.
True freedom is still years away, at the end of a long, arduous
journey but the men and women of the Oort Raider can
already begin to taste it.
Cosmo sees more and more of the Varlian civilization
indeed, he has free run of the palace, except for one heavily
guarded corridor, down which no one but the Emperor and two of
his most trusted advisors are allowed to go. Cosmo finds himself
feeling strangely energized whenever he's near this corridor.
Although slaves are much in evidence, performing personal
services, Cosmo is surprised to see that the Varlians also enjoy
a high level of technology. They have spaceflight, and many
kinds of machines. He looks out a palace window at the humans
struggling in the quarry. It makes no sense to him: the
Varlians could build the temple much better and much faster using
their machines. Why, he wonders, do they insist on having slaves
Cosmo is alone in his tiny quarters. He has no nighttime
lighting in his room, nor can he ask for any what would an
illiterate slave need with a lamp? But he sits near the window,
and, by the light of Forhilnor's three moons, begins to struggle
his way through the text of The Human Exodus. There are
many unfamiliar words, but Cosmo manages to decipher it all
and is shocked to read the humans once before had escaped
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider leaves Earth's solar system, the first manned ship to
do so. There's a shipboard celebration they're farther out
than any ship has ever gone before, and going fast enough that
they can't possibly be caught.
Everyone is settling in for the long voyage to freedom, when an
alarm sounds from the forward sensor array. Something is pulling
the ship off course. Antonia and her crew struggle to control
the ship, but nothing they try helps. Ahead, a cosmic whirlpool
has appeared all sorts of interstellar debris, falling into an
object that might be a black hole. It looks like the ship and
its valiant crew are doomed ...
Governor Kaxa comes to see Delba while Cosmo is with her.
The Governor, of course, ignores the slave, and simply speaks to
his daughter. She must leave tomorrow for the Varlian colony
world of Daltharg; Kaxa has arranged for the son of the Governor
of Daltharg to fertilize the egg Delba is carrying. Such an
auspicious union will do much to consolidate Kaxa's power.
Delba does not want to go she has no objection to the assigned
fertilization; that's the Varlian way. But she hates to travel,
and it will be a long voyage although the Varlians do have
hyperdrive, spacetime near Forhilnor is bent severely by the
nearby Bloodstars; this vast sea of red suns makes for very slow
Kaxa curses the existence of the Bloodstars, too Forhilnor was
used as a slave repository precisely because the globular
cluster's presence made it inaccessible, and Kaxa had been
assigned to this backwater of the galaxy because the Emperor
feared his ambition. But Kaxa will show him ... one day
he will be Emperor, and the alliance with Daltharg is
crucial to that.
Cosmo, assuming he will be traveling with Delba, is excited by
the prospect. Perhaps he will even be able to escape while
offworld himself, and find allies to return to free the other
Delba is packing for her trip; Cosmo, owning nothing, has
nothing to pack, but assists her. He asks how long they will be
gone from Forhilnor. Delba is sad. She will be gone for
three months, but Cosmo won't be coming with her; her father
feels she is too attached to Cosmo as is, and says the separation
will do her good. She will be taking two Kubazi handmaidens
instead. Cosmo is shocked, wondering what will become of himself
while she is gone. Delba leaves for the spaceport. Kaxa wanders
by his daughter's chambers, sees that Cosmo is still there, and
orders him sent back to the quarries. A Gamorrean guard comes to
take him back, forcing Cosmo to leave at once. But Cosmo can't
allow himself to leave without his book. He dupes the Gamorrean
into allowing him to return briefly to his quarters, and he hides
the book in his clothing. The book has become an inspiration to
him, and he knows it will be an inspiration to the other slaves,
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider falls into the whirlpool. The giant ship goes on a
wild roller-coaster ride as it becomes clear that they've
encountered not a black hole but rather an interstellar wormhole
a passageway between distant points in space. The ship
sustains heavily casualties and damage during the passage, but
then emerges out into what seems to be normal space. Normal, but
not familiar the sky is densely packed with blue and white
stars, meaning they're likely inside a galaxy, rather than a
globular cluster, but dominating the view is another nearby
spiral galaxy. The conclusion is inescapable they are no
longer in the Milky Way. Nor are they in its near vicinity: the
visible spiral galaxy matches the arm pattern of neither
Andromeda nor the Milky Way.
Antonia orders a computerized search for radio signals. But
almost at once Dale Hender reports a startling result. His radio
equipment is designed, of course, to ignore the 21-centimeter
wavelength, where the three-degree-Kelvin cosmic microwave
background radiation is found. (The cosmic background radiation
is the heat left over from the original Big Bang explosion. It
has cooled over time to just three degrees above absolute zero.)
But, as Dale explains to Antonia, the three-degree band is clear;
instead, there's uniform background noise at seven
degrees. There's only one possible explanation: they've been
displaced not only in space, but in time, as well: the universe
is billions of years younger, and so the microwave residue of the
Big Bang explosion hasn't cooled as much. Antonia makes the
announcement to the crew: it is now a long time ago, and they
are in a galaxy far, far away ...
Leego, the Rodian task master, relishes having Cosmo back
but remarks that the human has grown soft during his stay at the
palace. He says with sadistic glee that an extra half-shift each
day will toughen Cosmo up, and so when the Twi'lek and human work
crews retire for the day, and a group of nocturnal Sullust and
Ithorian workers take their place, Cosmo must continue working,
cursing the job even more now that he's seen that such slave
labor isn't necessary, given the machines the Varlians have ...
Finally, exhausted after his work back in the quarry, Cosmo
has a touching reunion with Sallee. In his absence, she has
given birth to a son, but has held off naming him until she and
Cosmo were together again. They agree the child's name will be
Freedom, something they fervently hope he one day will have ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider was badly damaged coming through the wormhole.
Repairs are made, and the crew begins arguing about whether they
should risk heading back through the wormhole again.
On the one hand, they'd never intended to return to the
oppressive Earth anyway, but on the other, they at least had
suspected a habitable planet awaited them around Alpha Centauri.
They may find nothing here at all.
Antonia decides that they will attempt another passage through
the wormhole, and orders all the auxiliary ships, which have been
out exploring, to return to the mothership. But suddenly the
whirlpool begins to fragment. It is, apparently, a transient
phenomenon. They can race toward it, and probably make it
through before it collapses completely, but one of the auxiliary
ships, the Century Eagle, piloted by Paxton Solo, has been
exploring far from the Oort Raider. Antonia has to
choose: either make a mad dash for the wormhole, possibly just
barely squeaking through, or waiting for the return of the
Paxton urges her to go, to save everyone, but at the last second,
Antonia aborts the maneuver, unable to strand her lover alone in
a strange galaxy. The wormhole collapses. They are now here for
A terrible accident occurs in the quarry. Munnin Munb, the
Sullust member of the secret slave council, is killed. All the
Sullust slaves stop working under Sullust religious law, five
days of mourning must be observed for the death of a leader. The
slave masters threaten to kill the Sullusts if they do not return
to work, but they insist: in their culture, one who strives for
power is damned, and a leader is consigned to the Sullust version
of hell unless his subjects pray for him upon death. It's the
power of their positive thoughts that lift him from hell to
heaven. Munnin Munb had been kind and well-liked, and the slaves
will not abandon him.
Leego is prepared to open fire on the Sullusts, to kill all those
who won't return to work. But Cosmo intervenes. He insists that
the Sullusts be allowed their religious observance. Leego is
about to gun down Cosmo, but a Gamorrean stops him Munnin Munb
may have been leader of the Sullusts, but Cosmo is de
facto leader of all the slaves. Kill him, and there will
doubtless be an uprising.
Leego is unwilling to decide Cosmo's fate himself. He drags
Cosmo in shackles off to see the Governor.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Several small
auxiliary craft are sent out to do parallax studies, to try to
identify nearby stars. It turns out there is a yellow dwarf
G-class star less than half a light-year away. The wormhole may
have turned out to be a blessing in disguise: their journey to a
new world may have now been cut considerably in length. (Indeed,
the astrophysicists among the crew suggest that wormholes can
only appear between points deep in a gravity well in other
words, it's not coincidence that they came out close to a star;
they had to just as the wormhole that had temporarily appeared
on the outskirts of Sol system had had to appear at such a
location.) The ship starts in toward the yellow star.
Anticipation is high but it quickly turns to concern when
radio signals are detected. Someone or something is
already there ...
Cosmo, emboldened by what he has been reading about human
ingenuity and the desire for freedom, tells Governor Kaxa that a
society built on slaves cannot endure. Eventually, the slaves
will rise up. To avoid that, he must free the slaves after
all, he doesn't need them, anyway.
The Governor laughs at this notion the workers of Forhilnor
have been enslaved for centuries. They know no other life.
Cosmo insists that he should let them go. Some of the Governor's
aids urge Kaxa to kill Cosmo at once, but others advise that
Cosmo will become a martyr if that happens. He should be left
alive, they say, but his spirit must be broken.
The Governor considers. He will allow the Sullust slaves their
five days of mourning. But Cosmo will be caged for those same
five days, without food and with only minimal water, kept on
public display outside the palace. Disobedience will be seen to
not be tolerated.
Ugerat, a Kubaz, is the slave community's resident
shady character, ingratiating, conniving, and able to procure
things others cannot. Still, she is loyal to Cosmo, whom she
sees as her best chance of escape. Her diet, like that of all
Kubazi, consists of insects, and every night, she drives swarms
of glocka beetles into Cosmo's cage beetles that are almost
pure protein. Cosmo surreptitiously dines on these ...
Fob Discordia, the cunning Twi'lek slave leader, arranges to do
work outside the palace. Although he can't speak to Cosmo,
during Cosmo's long shifts with the human/Twi'lek quarry crew,
Cosmo has learned to read Twi'lek headtail-dancing the
intricate pattern of movements of the two Twi'lek headtails that
can be used to communicate without words.
Mon Calamari, meanwhile, have keen, almost telescopic vision when
working in the air (a side-effect of them having eyes that can
deal with multiple refractive indices, being also capable of
working under water). Ridbrek, working across the square,
watches the movements of Cosmo's fingers Cosmo can, after a
fashion, imitate Twi'lek tail-dancing with hand sign language.
Ortolans, meanwhile, can generate subsonic sound by vibrating
their elephantine trunks they are capable of talking amongst
themselves over great distances without appearing to talk at all.
Ridbrek relays what Cosmo is saying to Jax Hobo, and Hobo and the
other Ortolans pass on Cosmo's instructions to the rest of the
slave population. Even apparently isolated in a cage, Cosmo is
coordinating a complex plan ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider is rapidly approaching the alien star system and it
soon becomes apparent that the radio signals aren't coming from
any of the system's planets, but rather from a fleet of
spaceships approaching the system from the other side. There is
one planet in the star system's habitation zone close enough
that it will have a surface temperature above the freezing point
of water, but not so close as to be too hot for life. In the
ship's telescopes, it's seen to have a very high albedo
meaning it likely has clouds and oceans. But there's no
artificial radio noise at all coming from it. The crew realizes
that they and whoever is approaching from the other side may have
stumbled on the planet at the same time. The humans, of course,
are willing to share there are only five thousand people
aboard the Oort Raider, after all. But what will the
intentions of the approaching aliens be?
At the end of his five days of confinement, Cosmo is brought
before Governor Kaxa, who expects to see a broken man. Instead,
Cosmo is healthy, and apparently undiminished in strength. Cosmo
warns the Governor: The spirit of the slaves is stronger than he
thinks. Let them go!
The Governor, although less cocky than the first time, again
ridicules this suggestion. The nine races will always be slaves.
Cosmo is told to return to his normal work in the quarry work
that he will do until the day he dies, says the Governor.
Cosmo again entreats mercy for the slaves. They are being worked
too hard, he says many are abnormally fatigued. Indeed, he
says, although they've been keeping it a secret, many have died
recently. There seems to be a disease spreading through the
slave quarters. The slaves have been burying their dead in
secret since the disease infects across species boundaries,
they feared the masters might try to stop the plague by killing
those who had contact with ones who had succumbed to it. In
fact, he says, Munnin Munb died of this very illness the
accident in the quarry was faked, to hide the true cause of his
death, and it's only because he was the Sullust leader that his
body, too, hadn't been buried in secret.
Governor Kaxa orders the body of Munnin Munb exhumed. There
are purple and green splotches on it. The Varlian doctor who
exhumed the body is terrified. The marks are just like those of
the Changa Bloodrot, the plague that devastated the Varlians on
their home world centuries before.
The doctor makes his report to the palace by radio, and
immediately quarantines himself. Precautions must be taken to
ensure that no Varlian comes in contact with the plague it
will infect any species whose DNA codes for the blood protein
fibrinogen including all the slave species, the Varlians, and
the Gamorreans. Only Rodians are immune Rodia is unique in
the galaxy in having intelligent lifeforms based on RNA rather
than DNA. Kaxa is furious: he would have soon launched his plan
to seize the Emperorship, but now everything is threatened by the
plague. He needs the slaves alive for his plan. He gives orders
to put his plan into effect early. If the slaves are dying off,
he must act at once.
An earthquake occurs. The temple, still under construction,
tumbles to the ground. There is destruction and death
everywhere, but Cosmo heroically saves several other slaves, and
even one Gamorrean, who was pinned by a large piece of rubble.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Oort
Raider reaches the new world first. It's everything the
humans could have hoped for: a land-water world, with an
atmosphere they can breathe, covered with vegetation, many types
of animal life, but no indigenous intelligent life. Indeed, it
seems a tropical paradise, a second Eden absolutely beautiful
There's no way the Oort Raider could make another
interstellar journey, and the humans want very much to stay here.
Antonia lands the giant ship on the planet.
But three other large ships arrive, landing in a small valley a
few kilometers from where the Oort Raider has put down. A
land speeder brings a crew from the alien ships to meet the
humans, providing their first contact with other intelligent
beings. The reader recognizes the aliens as Rodians and they
are carrying what appear to be formidable sidearms.
With them is one member of another race, a thin biped with a huge
cranium, large, black, lidless eyes, and folds of skin covering
the lower part of the face a Bith. It becomes clear that the
large-headed creature is a linguist. It has a phenomenal vocal
range, an apparently perfect memory, and a vast intelligence. In
short order, it learns English from Antonia, Dale, Paxton, and
the others, simply by having them point at objects and say their
names, or perform actions and say the verb associated with those
The Bith tells the humans that his personal name is
Laximas. Everything is going fine first contact seems
peaceful enough, and, although the humans can't talk directly to
the Rodians, at least the Bith interpreter seems quite friendly,
although the Rodians do seem to treat the Bith rather callously.
To the humans' amazement, Laximas explains that the Rodian ships
had been traveling in hyperspace a technology far beyond what
the humans have when they detected the presence of the
transient wormhole. Such wormholes can wreak havoc on hyperspace
travel, and so they'd dropped down into normal space.
Apparently, they are carrying some sort of valuable cargo, and
wanted to take no chances with it. Once in normal space, they'd
detected the Oort Raider by its fusion exhaust, and had
decided to have a look at it.
Antonia is pleased by their good fortune at meeting friends so
soon, but Paxton and Dale are suspicious. Something about the
Rodians' behavior is very ominous ...
To Cosmo's surprise, the masters do not seem upset that the
great temple has been destroyed; they're only sad about other,
more practical buildings that have been damaged. Leego orders
that the slaves start again building the temple, but he takes a
number of slaves, and orders them to work on the rebuilding of
the damaged buildings including the library. Only slaves
unaffected by the Changa Bloodrot plague can be allowed to work
that close to the palace, so Cosmo is amongst those selected.
Leego has a secret meeting with the other Rodian guards.
Although they are better off than the slaves, they are still
under the command of the Varlians, and they have to share what
wealth the Varlians dispense with the disgusting Gamorreans.
Perhaps this plague isn't such a bad thing after all, he says, if
it will eliminate the Varlians and leave the Rodians as
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: After nightfall,
Paxton and Dale make their way under cover of darkness to the
Rodian landing site and are shocked by what they see. One of
the landers has its cargo bay open, and inside are hundreds of
Biths, crammed into filthy living conditions. The Rodians are
slavers, and their "valuable cargo" is a load of Biths. As the
two humans watch, one of the Biths tries to escape, and a Rodian
gives chase. The Bith is no match for the Rodian's tracking
skill, and although Paxton tries to create a diversion without
giving his presence away, the Rodian hunts down and kills the
The moon Patroob is in its new phase again; it is time for
another meeting of the secret slave council. Cosmo slips out to
attend it. As usual, the sky is mostly overcast, but Cosmo
observes that the Bloodstars seem to cover a smaller amount of
sky than he'd remembered.
At the meeting, Jax Hobo, the Ortolan, is quite agitated the
stars are out of alignment, he says, portending very dangerous
times ahead. Cosmo dismisses this as just renowned Ortolan
Cosmo realizes that knowledge is the key to the slaves'
salvation. He secretly beings to teach the Bith slaves,
including one named Galarax, to read. With their huge
brains and flawless memories, it takes but a single lesson to
teach anything to a Bith and they, in turn, will go out and
teach the members of other races.
Leego the Rodian goes to the library, and finds the old
records related to the Changa Bloodrot. He has a plan that will
lead to the downfall of the Varlians ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Paxton and Dale
return to the clearing. The other Biths are being forced into
arduous physical tasks, and the ones that fail are being shot.
Paxton spots Laximas, the translator, amongst a group waiting to
be tested. He makes his way through the dense foliage until he
is close to Laximas. He manages get his attention, although
Laximas seems quite myopic, unable to make him out until he is
very close; he later explains that Biths have microscopic vision,
but this skill is at the cost of not being able to see distant
objects clearly. The Bith speaks to Paxton in low tones: the
Rodians intend to take the humans as slaves there's a
high-price market for exotic slaves. They've got a load of
15,000 Biths in captivity, but are going to weed it down by a
third, to make room for taking the 5,000 human captives the
Rodians figure an exotic human slave might fetch a price ten
times what a common Bith gets.
Paxton tries to create a diversion to help Laximas escape with
them. In so doing, he opens one of the other Rodian cargo holds
and is shocked to find a giant, two-headed dragonlike creature
within. It is also part of the Rodian cargo, a rare monster
collected from very distant lands to be sold to the highest
Paxton, Dale, and Laximas escape into the forest.
An earthquake aftershock occurs and this time, it's the
Palace Nursery that's in danger. The Gamorrean in charge of
rebuilding the library grabs Cosmo, the Kubaz named Ugerat, two
Biths, and five super-strong Kitonaks, and takes them to the
nursery. They have to evacuate the young Varlians before the
whole building collapses.
Like many insectoids, Varlians have a larval stage. In this
stage, they are sluglike beings larger than a human, with two
small arms; giant mouths slitting their massive heads, and huge
golden eyes. The reader is shocked to recognize the description:
larval Varlians are much like the creatures they know as
Hutts. Cosmo and the others help evacuate several larvae
and several more Varlians in a cocoon state. Once they have
gotten the young to safety, Cosmo watches in wonder as a
metamorphosed adult emerges in fully insectile Varlian form from
Ugerat, the sly Kubaz, is an expert in insectoid lifeforms;
after all, her entire diet consists of bugs. And Ridbrek, the
Mon Calamari, is well-versed in genetics and selective breeding;
he is responsible for tending the herds of animals used to feed
the slaves. And Galarax, like all Biths, has eyes capable of
seeing at a microscopic level. Although Cosmo's secret plan is
working, they figure it's better to have two separate thrusts at
gaining freedom. Together, the three of them come up with an
idea ... but they'll need more information to carry it out.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: While heading back
toward the Oort Raider, Paxton, Dale, and Laximas are
attacked by the escaped two-headed dragon. Paxton is almost
killed, but knowing he has to get back to warn the others gives
him the strength to defeat the beast ...
Leego meets with Gondo, a mad-scientist-type Rodian
chemist. The book on the Changa Bloodrot plague is frustrating.
It's an old, damaged volume, and predates any notions of
chemistry, so there's no information on the actual plague
micro-organism. But it's clear that blood plasma carries it
and that contact with the blood of a victim causes almost instant
Cosmo returns to the rebuilding of the library. The
aftershock has damaged it even more. Cosmo almost breaks down
and weeps at the sight of so many ruined books, so much lost
knowledge. He begins sorting through the volumes that are now
lying in a heap on the floor.
A piece of the ceiling begins to cave in it's going to crush
Cosmo's Ortolan friend, Jax Hobo. Too far away to intervene, he
shouts a warning to Hobo, who looks up and sees the ceiling
coming down. But, as the roof collapses, something remarkable
happens: the pieces of debris deflect away from Hobo. The
terrified Ortolan ends up standing, untouched, surrounded by a
ring of rubble ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Paxton, Dale, and
the Bith translator Laximas quickly brief Antonia Corelli and the
rest of the humans. They've got only a few options, the best of
which seems to be to try to strand or kill the Rodians, free the
Biths, and escape with them in the Rodians' fleet of
faster-than-light craft. But they only have a matter of hours to
prepare. The Rodians are heavily armed and technologically
superior. Still, Dale estimates there are only a few hundred of
them, and if the tide could be turned, and the Biths would join
the fight, they might easily be defeated by the combined total of
almost 20,000 humans and Biths.
Governor Kaxa is furious. He confronts his advisors
they'd promised him infinite power; how will he be able to attack
the Emperor if Forhilnor is reduced to asteroids? They protest
that the earthquakes are Kaxa's fault he'd demanded they begin
enacting his plan early than scheduled, and some settling-in
difficulties have to be expected ...
Still in the library, Cosmo is amazed by what happened with
the collapsing roof. Although he's ashamed to admit it, Cosmo
had closed his eyes when the roof had started to collapse. But
still he could see, he says, exactly what was happening, and he
could feel each piece of rubble, as if he were touching it with
ethereal fingers ...
Hobo hears something another Ortolan calling to him
subsonically, passing on a message from Ugerat. They need books
on a particular topic ...
The next day, at a meal break, Cosmo manages to slip over to
a Kubaz feeding group. Leego, the Rodian taskmaster, is amused
by this, and tells Cosmo if it's bugs he wants to eat, then bugs
he'll have. Leego smashes Cosmo's food bowl, and forces him to
dig in to the disgusting Kubaz fare. But the meeting has served
its purpose: Cosmo has succeed in smuggling a special book to
Ugerat, a book with two intertwined spirals on its cover ...
A palace messenger arrives. Delba has returned to Forhilnor, and
is asking for Cosmo. She's furious that he'd been sent back to
the quarries in her absence. The messenger taunts Leego that he
will feel Delba's wrath for mistreating her pet ...
Cosmo gets a final moment with Sallee and baby Freedom before he
is dragged off once again to the palace. Just before he leaves,
he gives Sallee instructions to pass on to the Kitonak leader,
Taffee McMal ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Although the human
technology is inferior to that of the Rodians, the Oort
Raider has one thing the Rodians do not: three giant cargo
holds containing the nuclei of captured comets. When out in
space, the nuclei had been frozen solid giant, dirty
snowballs. But since landing the ship on this temperate world,
the nuclei have melted, filling the holds with cubic kilometers
full of dirty water, and that gives the Bith named Laximas an
The Oort Raider does a low-level flight over the low small
valley in which the three Rodian ships have landed, and it opens
its massive cargo holds, dumping the cometary meltwater into the
valley, flooding it. Laximas had revealed that Clak'dor VII, the
Bith homeworld, has many oceans, but Rodia is a jungle world
where rain evaporates as soon as it hits the ground, meaning
there are no open bodies of water. So, Biths are accomplished
swimmers, but Rodians are unable to swim at all. The slavers are
drowned in the cubic kilometers of cometary water, while the
thousands of Biths swim to the surface, then to shore, and
But one Rodian gets away he uses his blaster to kill a
half-dozen Biths, then lashes their bodies together, forming an
escape raft. Antonia chases after him, but he manages to send a
radio signal before he is captured ...
Cosmo is reunited with Delba. She had laid her egg on the
Daltharg colony, and it hatched there. She is now accompanied by
her son Gelleda, a baby Varlian larva, already a meter
long and growing rapidly.
Delba seems genuinely upset at how Cosmo was treated while she
was gone. Things will be different from now on, she promises.
Her father has begun to enact his plan to seize control of the
Varlian Empire, and soon they will have unlimited wealth.
Ugerat, Ridbrek, and Galarax have completed their secret
work, using the information they have found in the book Cosmo
smuggled to them. A sealed glass vial is prepared ...
While Delba sleeps, Cosmo slips away. Human slaves are a
common sight in the palace, and no one pays him any attention,
since he is walking purposefully, as if in the process of running
an errand. He meets up with Taffee McMal, the Kitonak, who is
also in the palace apparently on business. Taffee has brought
with him a small stunner stolen ages ago, with only five shots
left in it, used by the slaves only when absolutely necessary.
They make their way down the palace's one forbidden corridor,
using up three of the five remaining stunner shots to subdue
guards. They place a jug of Gamorrean wine next to each of the
Whatever, the Governor is up to, the secret must lie behind that
door, and perhaps it can be used to help the slaves gain their
freedom. Cosmo and Taffee make it to the end of the corridor and
pass through into the secret chamber ...
Inside is a massive blue crystal, measuring a meter across
and, floating above it, levitating in the air, is the Governor
Kaxa himself. He seems to be enjoying himself immensely. Cosmo
and Taffee remain hidden behind some curtains, but, to his
surprise, Cosmo finds himself rising into the air ...
Suddenly one of the Governor's aides enters, furious. He's found
the Gamorrean guards apparently passed out from drinking in the
corridor, leaving the crystal room unguarded. Kaxa's mind is on
other things, though: how long till they arrive back at the
Cosmo thinks he must be mishearing arrive back? But he picks
up from the conversation the horrible truth about what's been
going on. The building of the temple was just a make-work
project to occupy the minds of the millions of slaves on
Forhilnor. Kaxa's aides have discovered the existence of some
sort of hitherto unknown Force, innate to living matter
and this giant crystal acts as a lens for that Force, channeling
it in a single direction. Kaxa is using the Force harvested from
the millions of slaves to actually move Forhilnor and its sun out
of the dead region of the Bloodstars and into the mainstream of
Varlian space, where, with millions of slaves as his soldiers, he
will storm the imperial palace and make Forhilnor capital of the
Varlian empire. The earthquakes were caused by the planet's
inertia as it resisted being moved through space.
Cosmo seems to have a native ability to tap into this Force.
Being close to the crystal, which has stored a huge supply of it,
he manages with great mental effort to levitate Taffee. The two
of them silently rise up, escaping in the nick of time through
the chamber's ceiling ventilation ducts.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: With its initial
fuel supplies gone and its cometary tanks empty, the Oort
Raider can't take off again until the tanks are refilled with
water from this beautiful world's oceans. Work begins on that.
But now that the transient wormhole is gone, starships can exit
hyperdrive directly inside this star system, and suddenly a giant
warship appears orbiting above the planet. A shuttle comes down
from it, disgorging large green piglike aliens with upturned
tusks. The Bith translator recognizes them at once
Gamorreans, sometime enemies of the Rodians, but currently their
trading allies. This time, hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned,
all the humans and the Biths are taken prisoner.
At Cosmo's request, the Ortolans use their ability to call
to each other subsonically to summon an emergency meeting of the
secret slave council ...
Cosmo and Ridbrek tell the other slave leaders what they've
discovered about the Force, and explain that the fatigue the
slaves have been feeling has been caused by having their Force
drained from them by the mysterious crystal.
The others slave leaders are dubious they, and generations
before them, have worked so long on the temple, they are having
difficulty accepting that it was a meaningless make-work project.
Even though they hated every moment spent in its original
construction (and are hating the time being spent on its current
post-quake repairs), they wanted to know that it would stand for
a thousand centuries, that people in millennia to come would look
upon it and marvel and know that, once upon a time, there had
been beings who had built it, that in some small way they would
But Cosmo demonstrates the truth of what he's been saying. He
closes his eyes and concentrates so hard that sweat flows from
every pore. At first nothing happens, and Ridbrek and Hobo turn
to go, but then slowly, very slowly, Cosmo rises into the air,
levitating high off the ground.
"I didn't do this on my own," he says. "I did it by tapping into
this Force I've told you about." With proper mind-training, he
believes any living being can tap into the Force and all of
them, all the millions of slaves, must learn to do that, if they
are to be free. Taffee confers on Cosmo the nickname "Skywalker"
for his ability to levitate ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: In short order,
more Rodian ships arrive. An argument ensues amongst the
Gamorreans and the Rodians. The former claim half the slaves as
fee for rescuing the lost cargo. The Rodians offer a bulk
payment of just 500 Biths and 100 of the exotic new humans as
payment. It looks as though in-fighting between the two slaver
races may escalate enough that the humans and Biths might be able
to escape ...
Nighttime. Ugerat, who, like all members of the Kubaz race,
has excellent night vision, escapes the slave compound through
the secret tunnel, and makes her way toward the reservoir that
stores the palace's water supply. She empties the vial into the
water, and slips back into the Kubaz slave dome.
Delba has come to the communal nursery. It is the three
hundredth day of her son Gelleda's larval state the day on
which he should spin his cocoon and begin his metamorphosis.
Because he is destined to become an important Varlian leader, the
event is shrouded in ceremony and ritual. But the day passes
without the slightest sign of the larval child beginning to
secrete a cocoon casing ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Gamorreans and
the Rodians come to an agreement on dividing up the slaves. The
Rodians can keep three-quarters of all the Biths, but the
Gamorreans get the remaining quarter, plus half the humans. The
humans are divided into two groups with Paxton Solo being put
in one, and Antonia Corelli into another. They plead, through
Laximas, that they are mated, and shouldn't be separated, but the
Gamorrean slavemaster laughs slaves don't get to choose their
own mates. Get used to it, says the Gamorrean: for humans,
freedom is a thing of the past.
It is now several days past when Gelleda should have begun
cocooning. Delba demands that a Varlian doctor examine him. The
doctor says Gelleda has failed to develop the cocooning
apparatus. Delba is devastated.
Leego and the other Rodians raid the slave compounds,
exhuming and confiscating the bodies of deceased slaves. They
are taken to Gondo, who prepares spray guns filled with blood
plasma extracted from the corpses.
Two more Hutt-like Varlian larvae are due to enter the
cocoon state today, but both of them fail to begin the
metamorphosis. And Gelleda is growing bigger; he is now weeks
past the point at which his larval stage should have ended, and
so is larger now than any larva anyone has ever seen before, a
slathering monstrous being, five meters long ...
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: Isolated from the
second group of humans, Antonia and those with her organize a
daring plan to try to seize the Gamorrean shuttle. They
undertake it, but it looks like all is lost until Paxton and
some of the humans from the other group appear. They'd come up
independently with a similar plan to seize the shuttle. They
make it aboard, along with some of the Biths, including Laximas,
who knows how to fly the ship. They take off but the
Gamorreans radio after them that they will kill the remaining
humans and Biths unless they return. Antonia figures they are
bluffing why kill thousands of valuable slaves to regain only
a few hundred?
But the Gamorreans and Rodians do start executing the slaves, a
hundred at a time. Laximas admits that it's him they are after:
having been used in many negotiations, he knows valuable secrets,
including a plot by the Rodians to betray the Gamorreans at an
upcoming trading session. The Rodian slavers will indeed kill
all the others just to get Laximas back.
Antonia returns the ship to the ground and surrenders. The
Rodian leader is about to execute Laximas so that he can never be
a threat again, but Paxton and Antonia intervene and Antonia
takes a blaster shot intended for the Bith. She lays dying in
Paxton's arms. He promises her that she'll always be remembered.
While the slaver ships are being readied for launch, Dale and
Paxton bury Antonia the one human who will remain behind on
the beautiful planet.
The Varlians now realize that there is indeed a plague upon
not just their slaves, but on the Varlians themselves. None of
their offspring are entering the cocoon stage and since it's
only after metamorphosis that Varlians are capable of
reproduction, it begins to look like this will be their final
generation. Perhaps the Changa Bloodrot has mutated, and is
causing this new effect. Kaxa and his aides debate whether to
summon help from the Varlian homeworld. His aides tell him not
to do that if the plague is contagious, it might spread
throughout their entire species everywhere in the galaxy. But
Kaxa orders a call be made to the homeworld.
Ugerat, Ridbrek, and Galarax are perplexed. They had
designed their serum to prevent Varlian larvae from entering the
cocoon state, and had assumed the larvae would simply die once
they had failed to do so. They hadn't anticipated them simply
continuing to grow, and they now admit to the other slave leaders
that they have no idea how long each larva might live it could
be centuries, or even tens of centuries. And, although they can
never reproduce naturally, since they will never enter the adult
state, they might be able to continue on through cloning
Cosmo is disgusted. The adult Varlians were bad enough, but
these giant larvae are even worse being cruel and greedy, as
only children can be.
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The slaves are
rounded up and apportioned again between the Gamorreans and the
Rodians. They are ready for departure; all that remains is for
the Bith translator to be executed. But suddenly another
starship arrives in orbit around the planet. This one is of an
unknown design, but is clearly superior to both the Rodian and
Gamorrean forces. Laximas is left alive, in case his translation
services are needed. A crew shuttles down from this new ship.
The creatures aboard are giant insectoids this is the first
contact with the Varlians.
Laximas establishes that the Varlians, too, had detected the
transient wormhole by its hyperspace signature, and had come from
their very distant home sector to investigate. By the time they
got here, the wormhole was gone, but their scanners showed life
on this planet, which the Varlians now summarily claim for the
Varlian Empire. They announce that Varlians will now be moving
into this part of the galaxy, taking it over.
Cosmo demands an audience in front of the Emperor. Kaxa,
devastated by what is happening to his people, grants it. Let
the slaves go, Cosmo demands. The plague is raging amongst them
Cosmo removes his tunic and shows that he himself now has the
telltale purple and green splotches on his arms and chest. The
Emperor, terrified of further infection, relents at last there
already is a fleet of ships ready for his attack on the Emperor's
homeworld enough to carry all the slaves away. Take them, he
says take them and get out!
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The Gamorreans and
the Rodians, realizing that they are no match for the superior
Varlian technology, make a shrewd decision. They give all 20,000
Bith and human slaves to the Varlians, as an act of tribute, and
ally themselves with the insectoids, promising to help them
subjugate all other races in this sector. Thus the deadly
pattern of Varlian overlords, aided by Gamorrean and Rodian
henchmen, is established a pattern that continues to plague
the galaxy to this day ...
Cosmo assembles a team of slaves for a very special mission.
There's one final task they need to perform before leaving
Forhilnor behind ...
He leads a commando-like raid, using the final stunner charges
left in their one stolen weapon, but the key to the operation's
success is Cosmo's ability to skywalk.
Still, during the operation, Cosmo is cornered at last by a
Gamorrean there's no way to escape, and the stunner is empty.
The Gamorrean has a blaster and can kill Cosmo where he stands
but he does not. This is the same Gamorrean Cosmo had saved all
that time ago during the earthquake. He lets Cosmo go.
The vast fleet of ships lift off on autopilot with the
millions of slaves aboard, heading at last for freedom ...
Leego and his lieutenants march into the Governor's court.
The Governor's is shocked by the intrusion, but Leego tells him
to shut up. His lieutenants spray the Governor and everyone else
in the room with the plague serum. "We're sick of serving under
you," says Leego. "And now, you're all going to die." At this
very moment, he says, Rodians are dumping Changa Bloodrot serum
into the palace water tanks but Leego wanted the Governor to
know who had bested him before he died.
The Governor and the others Varlians panic they have only
moments left to live. Kaxa curses Leego, who is savoring this
moment of triumph ...
But nothing happens the plague serum is ineffective; no one is
Leego realizes he's made a big mistake the Gamorreans
guards swarm and dismember him. But the Governor realizes that
he's made an even bigger mistake himself he let the slaves go
when there no plague at all! The slaves had faked the signs of
the Changa Bloodrot in order to gain their freedom. Kaxa orders
his Gamorrean guards to take off after the slaves and bring them
An excerpt from The Human Exodus: The human and Bith
slaves are all en route to Forhilnor, a harsh, giant
planet where the Varlians intend to imprison the civilian
populations of all the worlds they conquer. As Paxton Solo and
Dale Hender look back on the green-blue paradise of a world they
are leaving behind, they agree that it should be named Corellia,
in honor of their dead Captain, Antonia Corelli. They vow that
one day they will return, and make that lush world their peaceful
The Gamorrean fleet is in hot pursuit of the escaping
slaves. Incredibly, the slaves are heading toward the
Bloodstars even though Forhilnor itself has moved far away
from them. The Gamorreans are delighted the slaves will never
be able to escape that way ...
Guards burst into the throne room the Force crystal is
Cosmo leads the millions of slaves in seeing with their
minds: they all close their eyes, and see beyond their ships'
hulls, see the tightly packed red stars of the globular cluster
blocking their path. They concentrate, concentrate,
concentrate ... and the Bloodstars stars begin to move,
parting in a huge pyrotechnical display, making way for their
ships, as millions of minds focus all their access to the Force
through the stolen crystal.
The crystal begins to vibrate under the strain. Cracks are
appearing in it. As the crystal begins to show signs of fatigue,
so does Cosmo himself. Without knowing it, he's been sustaining
himself all these years by drawing power from the crystal ...
The Gamorreans are still in hot pursuit, but, at last, the
ships carrying the slaves make it past the Bloodstars. Finally,
under the strain of pushing the stars aside, the crystal
shatters, and Cosmo collapses to the ground. Over the course of
a few minutes, he ages forty years, growing gray and wrinkled and
The red stars rush back together under their own gravity,
crushing the pursuing fleet, hundreds of Gamorrean craft crashing
into the great fiery orbs ...
Free of the combined gravity well of the Bloodstars, the escaping
ships go to hyperdrive, setting a course for Corellia, the
verdant, unspoiled world Cosmo has told them about ...
It will still take weeks of travel to reach Corellia weeks
that Cosmo no longer has left. Fading rapidly, he names his
successor: Ridbrek, the Mon Calamari, will be the new leader of
the freed slaves, taking them into the promised land.
Sallee and young Freedom are with Cosmo as he passes on. They
promise to bury Cosmo with honor next to the fabled tomb of
Antonia Corelli on Corellia. And they promise that, like her, he
won't be forgotten Sallee will write down the history
of their slave days, and teach all of their descendants to read
the story of their savior, Cosmo Hender, the Skywalker ...
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Science Fiction Trivia Quiz by Robert J. Sawyer
Original Novels by Robert J. Sawyer