Charon was the most ruthless and brilliant criminal of the twenty-first century, a practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. He is dead now, and General Thomas Wharington believes his team of experts has deleted all the electronic copies the megalomaniacal inventor created of himself. However, one major problem remains: Alpha, the only android survivor of Charon's cybernetic empire. Outwardly indistinguishable from a human woman, Alpha has superhuman strength and speed, and perhaps even more deadly capabilities still unknown. Thomas's superiors want her dismantled and studied, but to Thomas it feels like murder. He stalls for time, a move that could prove disastrous. Alpha escapes from an escape-proof compound, kidnaps Thomas, and takes him to one of Charon's hidden installations. Charon might be dead, but Alpha continues to carry out her late master's orders, and she refuses to elaborate on what those orders entail. Her behavior is becoming more human or so it seems. Is she developing emotions and a conscience, or is she just learning to counterfeit them as a means of carrying out her enigmatic orders? And do those orders include Thomas's death sentence?"
Catherine Asaro has an M.A. in physics, and a Ph.D. in chemical physics, both from Harvard. She has done research at the University of Toronto, The Max Planck Institute, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A former ballet and jazz dancer, she founded the Mainly Jazz Dance program at Harvard and now teaches at the Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet. She has written fourteen novels in the popular Skolian Saga, the latest being "Schism" (Tor, 2004) as well as two near-future technothrillers, "The Veiled Web" and "The Phoenix Code." She currently runs Molecudyne Research and lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.
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