Esen-alit-Quar had violated the First Rule of her species when she revealed her existence to a human named Paul Ragem. And though both Paul and Esen had survived, others of Esen's Web had not been so fortunate. Es could hardly believe that fifty years had passed since the terrifying event which had nearly cost her her life and which had forced Paul to give up everything a human treasured - family, friends, even his own identity - to protect the secret of her continued survival. In that time, they had built a new life together out on the Fringe. They had a successful export company, friends and associates.
Esen, now known as Esolesy Ki and wearing the form of a Lishcyn - a species rare enough in the Commonwealth and never seen in the Fringe - was perfectly content to remain on the world of Minas XII, leaving it to Paul to travel the starways on company business. Meanwhile, she used their vast information resources to search for any signs that others of her kind had found their galaxy.
What neither Es nor Paul could foresee was that a simple "vacation" trip would plunge the two of them into the heart of a diplomatic nightmare - and threaten to expose both Es and Paul to the hunters who had never been convinced of their destruction...
Julie E. Czerneda (born 1955) is a Canadian science fiction and fantasy author. She has written several science fiction novels, including the Prix Aurora winner In the Company of Others, a number of short stories. She has also edited several anthologies.
Julie E. Czerneda has won several of Canada's prestigious Aurora Awards, was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, and made the Nebula preliminary nomination list with her second novel.