Firebird Author:Charles L Harness Little ship, who gave thee fire — And did with silver thee attire? — Who gave thee wings to bear this love — And blend these hearts like hand and glove? — For centuries, an underground organization called the Diavola has labored secretly to destroy Control, the immense empire of databanks that rules the cosmos. Now, Control has initiated Project Can... more »celar in an attempt to annihilate the universe by creating a temporary loss of mass during a matter-to-energy transformation: If it succeeds, Control will become immortal.
Control has begun Project Cancelar by destroying an entire star cluster, and the Diavola have become desperate, for if they cannot thwart the megalomaniacal project, there will be no hope for life. The Diavola's sole chance for survival is to restore the transitory loss of mass, and this might be accomplished by a ship whose velocity was great enough to create relativistic mass.
This hypothetical ship would have to remain in flight for eons, and a human pilot would be required for its navigation. To keep the man sane, he would need a companion. To make the duration of the journey bearable, she must also be his lover.
When Dermaq, a young courier for Control, arrives on his ship Firebird, his purpose is to fulfill his duty to the technological sovereign: to transport the Princess Gerain to her pre-arranged and involuntary marriage to the King of Kornaval. But due to the machinations of the Diavola, the two drink wine that has been transformed into a might love potion, and together they flee from Control on board Firebird.
In the course of their escape, they are given refuge by the Diavola, who entreat their aid in the mission to counteract the infamous Project Cancelar. So, with no attractive alternative and an enraged Control in uncomfortably close pursuit, the lovers embark aboard Firebird on a bold and perilous lifelong quest - to save the universe!« less