Two extraordinary young women, each harboring a terrible secret and each burdened with a tragic past, penetrate several layers of security to gain access to a fearful prison planet. There they search for a traitor who wants to steal a newly developed weapon and sell it to the enemy of the Galactic Confederation.
Karin is a prodigy. She psychoanalyzed a roomful of medical professionals at seven. She sliced her first cadaver—for real, not plasmaflesh—at twelve. And she rescued a traumatized youngster on a distant Rimworld at fifteen. Then offered to be her friend and mentor. The world sees an extraordinary young woman wasting her talent and potential serving as a field medic on dilapidated freighters and destroyers. What the world doesn’t see is what drives Karin to do what she does. A need for revenge so deep-seated it corrodes her every dream. Karin is like a diamond emblem on a shuttle-wreck floating in a junkyard.
Kitaya is a foundling. Her savage name makes her an outcast. History full of tales of enemy spies inserted into the ranks of humans as clones, is a padlock on her rightful place in the ranks of the DeWynter aristocracy. She is alternately feared and scorned, depending on what relative crosses her path. She backs away from every conflict before it even starts to heat up. Retreat makes her invisible. It’s precisely what Karin told her to do in order to safeguard her future…and that of every living creature in the galaxy.
But there is one conflict that rises in their path that neither Karin nor Kitaya can ignore.