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FRANK COMPTON

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Full Name: Frank Compton
Series Name: The Quadrail Series
Nationality: Terran
Organization: The Spiders
Occupation Agent

Creator: Timothy Zahn
Time Span: 2005 - 2012

ABOUT THE SERIES

Frank Compton is an agent with the Spiders.

That is a pretty odd introduction but then again, the Spiders are pretty strange themselves and they are just the representatives of the even stranger Chahwyn and ... I am going too fast.

First, I need to state that all this is taking place in the future. What year it is, I cannot say, but it is quite some time from now. Earth is part of the Terran Confederation, a 'empire' of five worlds. That is but one of 12 recognized 'empires' in this region of the galaxy.

Compton was an agent with Western Alliance Intelligence. He was a highly respected and valued operative with that organization for several years, being "a well-trained observer, investigator, and analyst" up until the time they left him go for "professional indiscretion". That is a fancy way of saying he had "sparked a major furor in the press, been responsible for a handful of political scapegoats having their heads handed to them in the hallowed halls of the United Nations, and earned myself the permanent loathing of both the secretary-general and the Directorate in the process".

Because he spoke up when he felt he had to, despite being told not to, he was out of a job and needing work.

That is when the Spiders came with an offer. These alien people (best learned of by reading the adventures) maintain the impressive Quadrail system of transportation throughout the known galaxy. When they come across worrisome intel that a major disruption of the system is being planned, they know they need someone to investigate it and, when appropriate, take action. They need someone like Compton.

When we first meet him, Compton is 32 years old, single, and getting increasingly bored with not having something to occupy his time and mind. That might be why he is somewhat receptive to the overture made by the representative of the Spiders to get him to help them out; that and The Girl.

That is how he initially thought of Bayta before he was introduced to him.

She is around 22 years old with short dark brown hair and eyes that matched the hair, possessing a "slender, trim figure of someone who exercised to keep in shape... Her face was pretty enough, but there was a strange sort of distance to her eyes that was more than a little disconcerting". She also works for the spiders and when Compton agrees to go to work for them, she becomes his side-kick, so to speak. Though she looks very much like a human, she is actually a "symbiotic hybrid of Human and Chahwyn" who is able to use telepathy to communicate with both the Chahwyn and the Spiders.

BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2005
Last Appearance:2012

1 Night Train to Rigel Night Train to Rigel
Written by Timothy Zahn
Copyright: 2005

"The discovery of a sinister plot to use the Quadrail for ill has brought the Spiders to Compton—for only someone possessing the former agent’s unique skills can stop the scheme for good.
But when Compton leaves Earth behind—joining forces with Bayta, the Spiders’ beautiful, half-human representative aboard the Quadrail—the terrifying scope of a vast, galaxy-wide conspiracy begins to reveal itself."
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2 The Third Lynx The Third Lynx
Written by Timothy Zahn
Copyright: 2007

"Frank Compton saved the universe once—and for that he must die. Having temporarily stalled the Modhri, a sinister alien group intelligence, in its evil schemes for universal domination, the former Western Alliance Intelligence operative just wants to relax in first class with his stunning, half-human partner, Bayta, aboard the worlds-linking intra-galactic transportation system, the Quadrail. But when their peace is disturbed by an annoying human passenger spinning wild tales of alien art objects, and the pest is discovered dead soon after, Compton and Bayta realize there can be no rest. The galaxy remains in grave danger."
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3 Odd Girl Out Odd Girl Out
Written by Timothy Zahn
Copyright: 2008

"Frank Compton is glad he’s finally back on his home planet of Earth—galaxy-hopping aboard the Quadrail on his continuing mission to prevent the Modhri group mind from ruling the universe is exhausting business—but hadn’t expected to find a young woman waiting for him in his New York apartment with a loaded gun in her hand. Ignoring her demands that he rescue her 10-year-old sister, the former Western Alliance Intelligence agent sends his unwelcome guest packing—only to find himself under arrest the following day for her brutal murder."
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4 The Domino Pattern The Domino Pattern
Written by Timothy Zahn
Copyright: 2010

"While the Quadrail is en route to the farthest edge of the galaxy, a murder by poison occurs—then another and another—dark happenings that are not only disturbing but also technically impossible. The system Compton and Bayta have been charged with protecting is in grave danger of derailment, and unless they can get to the deep roots of a sinister conspiracy, chaos will come to the ordered universe."
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5 Judgment at Proteus Judgment at Proteus
Written by Timothy Zahn
Copyright: 2012

"Arriving at Proteus Station under a cloud of suspicion, ex-government agent Frank Compton finds he must answer for the death of six members of the Filly elite, a crime for which he has been falsely accused. Filiaelian captivity, however, is the least of Compton’s worries, for his horse-faced alien accusers are guarding a terrible secret that dates back centuries: the Shonkla-raa, a race of super-soldiers believed to be extinct."
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MY COMMENTS

I became a fan of author Timothy Zahn many years ago when I read a lot more science fiction that my schedule allows today - what with all these terrific spy-fi adventures to study and write about. But I do remember with great fondness his earlier singlet novels as well as his Blackcollar and Cobra tales. Awesome stories told by a true master of his craft.

Imagine then my glee when I learned that there was a five-book series by this terrific writer which qualified for membership in this compendium and that meant that I needed to check them out. I mean, I had to, right? Yeah, I knew you'd agree.

And if you read these books yourself, you will see why they deserve to be here and they deserve the grade I gave them. And then there is Bayta. She alone deserves attention.

GRADE

My Grade: A

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