The Four Lords of the Diamond Author:Jack L. Chalker Four complete novels in one: — LILITH: A Snake in the Grass — CEREBUS: A Wolf in the Fold — CHARON: A Dragon at the Gate — MEDUSA: A Tiger by the Tail — The assignment was irresistible. — Four Lords of the Diamond. Four keys to an enigma that could spell the end of humanity. Four enormously powerful, clever people to kill. — Consisting of four o... more »ddly different worlds, the Warden Diamond system is a natural prison. There, microscopic symbiotic organisms called Wardens invade the cells of all matter. Leaving the Diamond, for some reason, causes the Wardens to die - and with them, their hosts, in excruciating and hideous ways. So, for centuries, the Confederacy has been sending to the system its most creative, brilliant and individualistic criminals - minds too rare to waste by "wiping" or execution.
But for those imprisoned, there are hidden benefits. On each of the planets, the Wardens have unique side effects, bestowing strange powers. On the paradisaic Lilith, where the Wardens allow nothing artificial, no Technology to exist, people with the power can manipulate matter - and their fellow beings. The watery Cerebus, run as a highly computerized corporation, offers its inhabitants the ability to switch minds with others, sometimes not voluntarily. Charon, filled with vast deserts and jungles, allows humans to create illusions - and to make them real; while on icy and forbidding Medusa, bodies can change to adapt to any environment. Each world is ruled by a Lord - a master criminal who rose to power through brilliance and ruthlessness.
Now, from within the Diamond, there comes a danger that threatens the very existence of the Confederacy itself. Working in alliance with the Four Lords, a technologically superior, crafty and unnervingly elusive alien race has been infiltrating the Confederacy's most secret military centers, gathering information that could render it helpless.
To stop them, the Confederacy calls upon its best agent, a Master Assassin, with a daring plan. He will make the one-way trip into the Diamond--or rather, his mind will. Four people are stripped of their own personalities, and his imposed on their bodies instead.
The mission: working alone, using nothing more than their naked abilities, the surrogates must each find one of the Four Lords, kill him, and take over his link with the aliens--knowing full well that even should their mission succeed, they are trapped in the Diamond forever!« less