He’d been a colonel. A crimelord. A king. A clone. Well, a bunch of clones, actually.

Now what was he? Colin Frederick Neidermeyer, a gray-bearded relic gathering dust and wrinkles in the bowels of some living starship in a galaxy crawling with aliens that he had been taught from childhood to mistrust; to hate.

Here, he was nothing. No one. In Hiverspace, aboard Comorro Station, he was so much wasted potential.

For the past few years, ever since the crossover from the multiverse nexus, Neidermeyer had been biding his time, scraping just enough together to get by while he watched, waited, and listened for the right moment to arrive.

“I’ll do the job,” he had agreed when the contract was offered. “But I don’t want to be paid in any stinking Hekayti credits.”

“No?” Lord Akazar inquired, inching forward on his rusty iron throne in the region of Comorro known as the Forgotten Quarter. “What do you want inzzztead?”

“Riftdrive passage to the reality of my choosing,” Neidermeyer answered.

The Lotorian underworld kingpin grinned, whiskers flaring on either side of his snout as the glow of plasma lanterns glimmered in his dark eyes. “Done.” He nodded to a Lyiri to his left, the one carrying a sword in one hand and a hooded robe in the other. “Try not to get caught, outverser.”

The ex-soldier responded with a mordant grin of his own. “Don’t worry about me, space weasel. I can handle a little wet work.”