The planet Korwar was a glittering jewel of a world, inhabited by the galaxy's wealthiest, visited by the upper classes of other worlds in search of diversion. The jewel had a flaw: the Dipple, its name coming from a contraction of "displaced person," where the misfits, the hopeless, the penniless eke out a wretched existence on the dole. Two young men hoped to escape from the Dipple:
Troy Horan was deported from his own planet after it lost an interstellar war. When he had a chance to work in an unusual pet shop, offering exotic creatures from other worlds to the wealthy, he though his luck had changed. But the owner was playing a dangerous game of intrigue, and when he was murdered Troy barely escaped with his own life. Aided only by telepathic animals from old Terra who had befriended him, he had no choice but to hide in ruins left behind by the now-vanished original inhabitants of Korwar; ruins which explorers had entered without returning. . . .
Nik Kolherne had a face so cruelly scared and disfigured that he wore a mask to cover it. When he was recruited with a promise of being given a new face, a face which would make a young heir think he was someone else, he was uneasy, but accepted the offer. Then he found out that he was party to a kidnapping for more sinister purposes than he had been told, and he was the only hope of the young heir's survival—if the two of them could survive on a planet veiled in eternal night, swarming with dangerous predators. . . .
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