Free Download of : First Contact – Timothy Zahn
Smuggler Talon Karrde and his lieutenant Quelev Tapper travel to Varonat to investigate private Morodin-hunting safaris held by Gamgalon, a Krish. Karrde suspects that Gamgalon is up to something worth knowing about. Karrde fakes hyperdrive problems in order to stay on the planet long enough to take part in a safari. Before leaving on the safari, Karrde meets the hyperdrive mechanic working on his ship, Celina Marniss. Karrde immediately senses that there is more to her than meets the eye.
On the safari, Karrde and Tapper discover that Morodin are a sentient and peaceful species that are butchered during these safaris. Before they can escape, Karrde and Tapper are caught by Gamgalon and his crew. Gamgalon reveals that aleudrupe berries grown in soil rich with Morodin slime have specific chemical properties that allow them to serve as a catalyst useful in blasters. The safaris are a mask for the planting and harvesting of the Yagaran aleudrupe plants.
Tapper attempts to fight his way out of the Krish trap, but is killed. Karrde survives when the hyperdrive mechanic, Celina Marniss, arrives in the jungle and kills all of the Krish. In return for saving Karrde’s life, Marniss wants only one thing: a job. Karrde agrees and Marniss reveals her true name: Mara Jade.
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