The three-fold coalition of Hebrides privateers, Shoultain warlords and traitors from within the ranks of the Federation, did not succeed in scuttling the Hettamir agreement. The Treaty was signed. The Federation has reinforced its border presence. Stratton is once again open and free to serve the traffic moving through the quadrant. Karin should be happy that she and Kitaya were pivotal in saving Stratton and everyone who was on the space station at the time of the attack. Yet she is listless and unable to re-focus once again on her work as a doctor. She and Kitaya have received an offer of posting on a one-of-a-kind starship, a prototype. She knows it’s what Kitaya deserves, but it’s not what Karin herself wants. Ever since she entered the Fleet as a teenager, Karin has avoided serving on starships. She prefers to serve on the fringe. High-profile anything is not what she is after. Except this time, there is another consideration. Karin needs to run. She can’t do that on a stationary space post. Kitaya, on the other hand, needs to find out just how does she measure up in the fleet service according to her chosen specialty–pilot and a navigator. A good friend will always see and feel the needs of the other, and place them far above her own. And Karin is and always has been the kind of friend that is hard to find…in any galaxy.