Andreas Nikolas had run into his share of alien species. He had attended the Academy with them, worked alongside them on starships, eaten with them, slept with them, laughed with them, and risked his life with them.
But he had never encountered anyone like the personage who towered before him in an otherwise empty corridor of the Yridian cargo hauler Iktoj'ni.This
alien was taller than Nikolas by half a meter and remarkably thick-chested beneath his coarse, dark tunic, giving the impression of enormous strength -- though he was quite clearly padded elsewhere with a surfeit of flaccid flesh. His...