On Logis, Dumarest rescues a stranger from a bloodthirsty mob that accuses her of being a witch.  The woman is Kalin and it turns out she is one, in a way: she is a sensitive with the ability to see probable futures in varying shades of detail.  She foresees a catastrophic hijacking attempt on their ship and she and Dumarest get into an escape pod before the ship explodes.  Their “rescuers” only agree not to sell them into slavery after learning how much credit Dumarest has; however, they take everything and leave him and Kalin stranded on a dead-end world.

As they build a stake to leave (she by winning just enough gambling so as not to rouse suspicion of her talent, and he by hunting dangerous game that sometimes contains an extremely valuable glandular growth), Dumarest realizes what an unusual woman Kalin is (I mean, besides the whole precognition thing, which is admittedly pretty unusual in itself, there is something else intangible about her spirit that attracts him) and they fall in love.  Little does he realize what that intangible “something” is… (yeah, heavy-handed foreshadowing, but Tubb has 200 pages to work with and I only have a few paragraphs).

Dumarest figures out how to find the animals with the most valuable tumors and convinces some other stranded travelers to accompany him, but on the hunt he is grievously wounded and struck blind by one of the creatures.  Fortunately, he was right about the growths, and his fellow hunters are appreciative enough of the loyalty he had shown them earlier that they don’t just steal his cut and run.  Dumarest is healed, and he and Kalin travel to her homeworld, Solis.

Solis is a lovely pastoral place where Dumarest can forget his hopeless quest for the long-lost Earth, settle down and raise a family with the woman he loves.  The only twitchy thing is that there is now a Cyber advising the family.  What’s a Cyber doing on a lovely pastoral world of no strategic importance, advising a family with no great wealth? 

It turns out Kalin is actually a terminally ill woman whose body lies comatose in the family home.  Her husband Brasque was a brilliant bio-engineer who, after failing to discover a cure for her illness through conventional means, managed to steal the “affinity twin” from the Cyclan.  This technology allows one person’s mind to totally take over the body of another person.  Brasque administered this to Kalin and a servant girl and then disappeared.  Kalin’s mind now occupies the servant girl’s body – the body that has accompanied Dumarest on their adventures.  Dumarest learns this and confirms that he loves the woman, not the body.  Unfortunately, the Cyclan is now here, and they want their secret back.  The “healthy Kalin” senses impending doom, and gives Dumarest a ring that was given to her by Brasque immediately after he performed the affinity twin procedure.  The Cyber kills Kalin’s diseased body while trying to torture the secret out of her, and Dumarest kills him.  The servant girl’s own mind is now returned to control of her body, but from Dumarest’s perspective, “the lights are on, but nobody’s home”.  The woman that he loved is gone.  He resumes searching for Earth.

A Note on the Affinity Twin
It's worth noting that Kalin's experience with the Affinity Twin differs slightly from its effects later in the series. First, in all later novels the recipient of the dominant half is completely comatose, while in this book both Dumarest and the Cyber communicate with Kalin while she is in that state. Also, Kalin's "precognition" seems more akin to the probabilistic prediction that Cybers perform than an actual psychic power. It isn't clear whether Kalin was a sensitive before using the Affinity Twin, or if her ability was triggered by the procedure. This is pure speculation on my part, but given the similarities between the Affinity Twin and the Homochon Elements used by Cybers to communicate with the Cyclan gestalt, it seems possible that her "psychic" talent was the result of being connected to the periphery of the Cyclan Central Intelligence on a subconcious level. The link between the Affinity Twin and psionic powers resurfaces in Book 17, Prison of Night, when quiescent remnants of the Affinity Twin in Dumarest's brain enable him to communicate telepathically with the alien inhabitants of that world, so it seems plausible that the Affinity Twin might behave differently in a user who is already psychic. At any rate, I see at least three possible explanations for the differences. 1) The Affinity Twin's effect on Kalin was different than on other users because she was a latent sensitive to begin with. 2) The Affinity Twin that Brasque stole and administered to Kalin was a prototype or had a manufacturing defect with side effects that are not present in the production version. 3) The effects appear different, but really aren't; communication with users of the dominant half of the affinity twin is always possible but no one since then has tried hard enough, and Kalin's precognition was completely unrelated.

Clues of Earth

The Cyclan
The Cyclan: Dumarest learns of the affinity twin and unwittingly takes receipt of the correct sequence to reproduce it, contained in the ring given to him by Kalin.  He doesn’t know it yet, but the Cyclan will pursue him relentlessly for the rest of the series because of this.  In hindsight, this is ok, because it will give him the opportunity to kill them by the dozens, a deed of which he will never tire because of what they did to Kalin.

The Journey
Book 4, Kalin, begins on Logis.  Dumarest and Kalin travel from there to Chron and then on to Solis.  Dumarest then travels from Solis to Hope, the headquarters of the Universal Brotherhood, after Kalin’s death.

Dumarest Home