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Dariat

An eighth generation descendent of Rubra. At age 14, he falls in love with Anastasia Rigel, a young girl who lives in Starbridge. He is swept up by her beauty, grace, and is interested in the primitive culture and lifestyle (he learns to milk a cow, for example). But Rubra refuses to allow Dariat to develop his association with Anastasia before it really gets started. Rubra teaches Dariat how to use the affinity bond with the habitat, to call upon the vast amounts of data and power that are there. But Dariat never could get over his attraction with his former lover. In an attempt to dissuade him from further thoughts of her, Rubra points out Anatasia’s real lover, Mersia Columba. Dariat, overwhelmed with jealousy, kills Columba. Upon this, Anastasia commits suicide. Dariat blames Rubra for all this and refuses to communicate with the habitat personality at all. Dariat’s hatred grows and festers for 30 years. Until, the Yaku arrives. Dariat, not afraid of the possessed as they begin to take over the population of the bitek habitat, welcomes them. He intends to use them to take revenge upon his most hated enemy, the habitat personality itself.

Dariat takes poison and kills himself in order to take over Horgan’s body. As he dies, he briefly experiences “the beyond.” As he takes over Horgan’s body he is simultaneously tormented by the conditions there. Hamilton writes, rather poetically: “Centuries which aches like a lover’s heart laid still. To leech and leech what is new to find only that which is stale. Yet even such an insipid taste surpasses the hell which lies further from the taunting glimmer of the lost home of our flesh. Madness and dragons lie in wait for those that venture away from what we discern. Safer to stay. Safer to suffer the known rather than the unknown.” Dariat then begins to feel Horgan’s tortured pain “flashing into the nothingness of the sixth realm.” Horgan, in his helplessness, accepts Dariat’s offer to “help” with the pain. But, it is all a trick. Marie (Kiera) has used Dariat. By showing him briefly what “the beyond” is like, he commands his obedience, not to take revenge upon Rubra, but to capture the habitat’s blackhawks for the possessor’s cause.

After taking on his new body, he relishes in its youth and uses his newfound energistic powers to transform himself into a physically fit 21 year-old. Four other affinity-capable bodies are possessed and he trains them on how to subvert Rubra's mental routines. In this manner, they isolate Tacoul Tavern from Rubra's control and seal the door into the establishment without anyone noticing. He then gets into an argument with Kiera Salter over the purpose of their little possessed group. For Dariat, it is revenge against Rubra that is sought. For Kiera and the others, it is to multiply the number of the possessed as fast as possible.

He becomes increasingly disenchanted with Kiera and her plans of conquest of Valisk. His hopes of inflicting some sort of revenge directly at Rubra are cast aside by the tide of events. But Kiera keeps him close to her side as and aid because no one knows as much about Rubra as he does. Dariat warns that Rubra could decide to contaminate the environment of Valisk in any number of ways. But, he adds, Rubra probably won't attempt such action because the possessed have hellhawks loaded with enough combat wasps to annihilate many habitats.

Dariat has taken the clever precaution of guaranteeing the cooperation of the hellhawks (as opposed to them flying off someplace else) by placing enough human bodies in zero-tau to give each hellhawk personality a body when Valisk is finally taken out of the universe.

He continues to get into trouble with the possessed when, upon assisting a small group headed by Bonney Lewin, Rubra makes affinity contact with him and throws him into an almost uncontrollable fit of rage. Bonney chastises him for his behavior, having no understanding of his past experience with Rubra. The incident draws the wrath of Kiera Salter herself, who threatens to send Dariat back to the beyond if he has another emotional outbrust. Dariat is flip to this, however. He knows they need his knowledge of Rubra in order to completely control Valisk.

He reluctantly accepts Rubra’s offer of assistance when he learns that Bonney Lewin is leading a group of the possessed to hunt him down. Dariat doesn’t realize that Rubra’s offer of assistance has a purpose. Soon, in order to avoid Bonney’s manhunt, Rubra leads him to Tatiana Rigel, sister to his long dead lover, Anastasia.

He and Tatiana manage to consistently escape Bonney’s hunting prowess. He is puzzled by how She continues to find the couple, however. (He doesn’t realize Rubra is helping both sides in the hunt, but keeping Dariat alive in order to “persuade” him to merge with the habitat’s neural strata.) In conversing with Tatiana, Dariat is told that Rubra is not the evil Starbridge realm Lord, Anstid. Rather, he is only a manifestation of Anstid. “Hatred isn’t going to vanish from the universe just because you nuke a habitat,” she wisely tells Dairat.

When Kiera Salter leaves Valisk to meet personally with Al Capone, Bonney uses the opportunity to take control of Valisk’s possessed population. She threatens to rip the habitat apart with nuclear devises and uses the population to mount a final man hunt for Dariat. Rubra tells him simply that he cannot protect him from such a massive search forces. This enough to finally get Dariat to agree to join with Rubra’s neural strata. But, only after he sees Tatiana off Valisk. Rubra agrees to request a voidhawk from the Kohistan Consensus to transport Tatiana.

What follows is an exciting and long chase literally through the bowels of Valisk as Rubra works to keep Dariat and Tatiana from Bonney’s searching horde until a voidhawk arrives for Tatiana. In the meantime, Dariat hears the souls in the beyond calling for anyone who knows anything about Dr. Alkad Mzu. The Capone organization is desperately searching for her.

During a brief pause in the chase, the Kohistan Consensus approaches Dariat via affinity. They make detailed inquiries into the nature of possession and the beyond. All of which Dariat answers to the best of his ability.

Dariat places himself and Tatiana in one of Valisk’s many space pods. Rubra blasts all the space pods out simultaneously. 100 voidhawks swallow in to retrieve the pod. They are capable of detecting which contains the couple while their numbers prevent Valisk’s hellhawks from targeting the pods for destruction. Dariat bids Tatiana farewell. She, in turn, tells him that her sister was right to love Dariat. This is a kind of redemptive blessing for Dariat. As he joins Rubra from the space pod, he allows Horgan to retake his original body.