Spectrum of a Forgotten Sun
1976

Plot
Dumarest is on Hoghan serving as a mercenary with Haitenís Corps, a position he took simply to get off the last dead-end world he visited.† His side has lost a battle and he is soon captured.† However, Major Kan Lofoten, the man who interrogates Dumarest, enlists him, along with Dephine, a beautiful accomplice, in a seemingly simple scheme to heist some of the best booty that has been looted during the war.† Lofoten implies that he knows Earl is on the run from the Cyclan, so Earl agrees to the scheme.† Earl realizes itís a set-up to place the blame on Dumarest and Dephine for items Lofoten has been slowly stealing for years, but doesnít care as long as he gets off-world quickly.† Unfortunately, a plague is breaking out and in the ensuing chaos the caper goes askew.† Dumarest and Dephine escape from Lofoten, leaving him to be captured by his own secret police (who donít look very favorably on looters or corrupt officers, especially during wartime).† Dephine, somewhat predictably, falls head-over-heels in love with Dumarest.

Unfortunately, the ship has already been infected with the plague.† The captain sets an automated course to put them in orbit of a world with advanced medical facilities, but everyone aboard perishes before they arrive except Dephine (who has natural immunity), and Dumarest (who is kept alive until they reach the hospital by a crude serum Dephine makes from her own cells).† During Dumarestís delirium, he babbles about many things, including Kalin.† After Dumarest recovers, Dephine asks him to accompany her to the homeworld she left under a cloud of scandal many years ago, and serve as her champion in case any challenge her right to return.† Since she saved his life, he agrees.

Emijar is a fairly primitive world with an archaic code of honor, and of course Dumarest is forced to kill one of Dephineís challengers in a duel to the death almost immediately.† He helps Navalok, the relatively level-headed heir (who, for not being a psycho, and because he has never passed the rite of manhood, is labeled a coward by his detractors) become a leader who might someday break the cycle of violence.† Navalok, who is fond of antiquities and knows the planetís history, leads Dumarest to a cave with ancient artifacts left by the original settlers.† Dumarest kills an olcept, a big, nasty predator indigenous to the planet, and since this happens to be the rite of manhood on Emijar, he gives Navalok credit.† Since Navalok was knocked unconscious during the fight, he believes it and this gives him the confidence to stand up to his enemies.† Dumarest gains his best clue yet about Earth and prepares to leave.

Dephine is heartbroken, and after all of her feminine wiles fail to persuade Earl to stay, the truth comes out (along with the henchman and the guns).† Dephine actually learned inadvertently from Lofoten that the Cyclan was interested in Dumarest.† She has been playing him the whole time (including her desperate efforts to keep him alive on the plague ship), and only has to kill another day or two until the Cyclan arrives.† Navalok provides a distraction and Dumarest kills the henchman, who accidentally kills Dephine in the ensuing firefight.† Navalok takes Dumarest to the starport where he will have a razor-thin head start on the Cyclan, who are due to arrive any day.† Dumarest seems a bit testy, perhaps because the Cyclan is so close, but maybe also somewhat because he trusted Dephine way too much and way too long, and actually liked her.

Clues of Earth
Dumarest learns of an ancient sect called the Guardians of the Sun which may have originated on Terra.† He learns that the planet Emijar was probably settled by colonists from Terra (and based on which I personally speculate the Guardians of the Sun may be related to The Original People).† Most importantly, he obtains a spectrogram of Terraís sun.

The Cyclan
Although no Cybers appear in this story, the entire novel is based on the failed attempt of one of the Cyclanís human agents to keep Dumarest in one place long enough for them to come collect him (and surprise, surprise, she dies).

The Journey
Dumarest begins Book 15, Spectrum of a Forgotten Sun, on Hoghan and claims during a lie-detector test (which he passes) that he traveled from Elmish to Ragould to Hoghan.† Dumarest books passage on a ship bound for Malach, but the ship changes course and goes to Shallah because of an outbreak of Chelha plague on board.† From Shallah he goes to Emijar; it is mentioned that Dumarest and Delphine visit at least three worlds between Shallah and Emijar, but they are not mentioned by name.† He ends the book on Emijar waiting for the ship on which he has booked passage to depart, without mentioning its destination.

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