promising young surgeon, Andrej Koscuisko, has come with great
reluctance to study at a military orientation center adrift in
black space. Against his will, he will train here to serve as
a "Ship's Inquisitor"a vocation that runs counter to his
deepest moral convictions.
During his tenure, Andrej will earn the devotion of his personal
slave. He will gain the grudging respect of the Station Administration.
He will make a deadly enemy of his fellow student. He will learn
a frightening truth about himself. And ultimately, he will be
forced to sacrifice all that he holds dear.
Vogel and Jils Ivers have just gotten clear of an administrative
mess, the Failure of Writ that Andrej Koscuisko declared at
the Domitt Prison and its judicial aftermath. Now they are free
to turn their attention to the increasingly troublesome problem
of the Langsarik pirates, newly pacified commerce raiders from
the disenfranshised fleet of a newly subordinated system under
a vanished prisoner leads Vogel to the slaves of the Malcontent,
the secret service of the Dolgorukij church. Against his better
judgment, Garol agrees to work with the Malcontent to solve the
problem of resurgent Langsarik predation; but the shocking outcome
of that joint venture shakes Garol's faith in Jurisdiction and
his place in it almost to its breaking point.