At the headquarters of the Interworld Corps, the matching of couples continues. Theo instantly warms to his prospective bride, until she frankly makes a confession that scandalizes the morally upright Gaean. Managing to control the violent emotions unleashed by her candid admission, the Captain narrowly avoids disaster. Jassy falls in love at his first sight of his prospective wife, but fails to realize that she endures bitter disappointment owing to his inability to rouse her
to passion. Arlen gives Dahl crucial insight into the thinking of the woman matched with him. Dahl makes an astoundingly gallant gesture that profoundly reassures the lonely widow he marries.
Having docked in Columbia on routine business, Evan, accompanied by Talley and two experienced spacer-fighters, negotiates with a demented hostage-taker levying demands the Interworld Corpsman knows he cannot grant. Utilizing techniques learned from Arlen, Evan resolves an incendiary crisis.
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