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Welcome to the Spectral Empire—a galactic empire enfolding hundreds of colony worlds governed by the Twenty-Five Prime Worlds, who are in turn ruled by the Imperial Council and the Emperor. It is a society of great advancement, but broken and under threat. My name is Rylynn Sinclair of Colony Lenti. I lived there with my Aunt Sylvie for as long as I can remember. We were by no means rich, but we were happy. We had a roof over our heads and food on the table. So what if the neighbor was a mean drunk and I was often bullied by the resident gang? I had a home. My simple life had a hole blown into it when I was thirteen. My home was destroyed the day before the mercenary scourge of the Empire came. War—in all but name—had begun. And because certain interests were left alone, no help was forthcoming from our noble Prime World. Survival became the only playable card. When I saw that my group of hopeful escapees was in danger of being killed by a pair of hunting Telmicks, I traded my life for their chance to escape.