A 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.