The Vindication of Man
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Innumerable ages have passed since Menelaus Montrose last beheld his loved Rania, who departed the Milky Way long ago to plead for humanity before the authority whose inhuman laws govern the Orion Arm. Man has altered himself by forced evolution and created godlike machines, larger than worlds, which now determine human destiny. But a new star burns in the skies of Earth: it is the celestial vessel of Rania, returning, Montrose hopes, with the cliometric equations promising equality, peace and liberation.
In the barren wastes of Torment, the world that is home to the last and most distant human colony, Montrose and his equally immortal rival, Del Azarchel, meet again, this time in a common cause to discover the fate of Rania, of humanity, and of the galaxy itself.
The alien monstrosities of Ain at long last are revealed, their hidden past laid bare, along with the reason for their brutal treatment of humanity and all the species seeded throughout the Orion Arm. And they have still one more secret that could upend everything Montrose has fought for and lived so long to achieve.