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Commonwealth Universe, Age 1: Volume 3: Slipping the Weave
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Commonwealth Universe, Age 1: Volume 3: Slipping the Weave

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Before the Commonwealth existed, there was an expanding, multi-galaxy civilization referred to by its descendants/survivors simply as "First Civ". Due to the combined effects of a too-aggressive policy of expansion, civil unrest, the inequality and abuse of the classes, and the categorizing of augmented humans as a slave class, First Civ disintegrated.

The period of darkness and barbarism that followed is referred to as the Downfall. Various groups of people fled First Civ as they became endangered or more powerful people tried to have them classified as mutants or non-humans, and either sterilized or made them into slaves. Among them were the Khybors, the ancestors of the Leapers.

Some groups of people managed to get hold of ships and flee to distant galaxies. Using sleeper ships, they could spend centuries in travel and no one would age. This caused problems later, when different waves of refugees landed on the same planet, and the newcomers came into conflict with those who'd been there for centuries.

Khybors flee to Norbra for a safe place to raise their children, far from enemies who want them declared non-Humans, or want to enslave or annihilate them entirely. Like the selfish, arrogant queen of legend for whom the planet is named, Norbra has a reputation for destroying all life. Elin and those who settle the planet believe no one else will want it. They hope their enemies will leave them in peace while they wait for Norbra to do the hard work of destroying their troublesome race.

However, Khybors are made to survive. They make Norbra their home and use the dangers of the planet for their own defense. Then. as the generations go on, they make a long-range plan for survival, aware that their enemies won't give up. The only way for Khybors to survive as a race is to withdraw so far away that the Set'ri and other enemies will never find them, and in time, may even forget about them.

Rorin Pace comes to Norbra to win Elin's heart, to follow his dream of piloting one of their ships, and to find a way to protect all Khybors. Kheeran, their daughter, reaches new dimensions as a pilot. Their son Banjer dives deeper within the computer world and discovers the vital element in the Khybors' long-range plans of escape to the far reaches of space.

Zeph, a Wrinkleship pilot, allies with the Khybors in building their fleet and brings them a damaged ship called the Nova Vendetta, full of prisoners, pirates, and a growing artificial intelligence.

Errien, Kheeran's daughter, leads the pilots who search for new gateways to other universes. 

Meanwhile, their enemies grow stronger and come closer, and the countdown begins to the destruction of the Central Allied Worlds.

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