University student David Asbury trusts no one and wants nothing more than to be left alone to study alien languages. For three years he has managed just that as an undergraduate at Shel Matkei Academy. But his scholarship, which is his only means of support as an orphan, requires him to become a diplomat in the InterStellar Commonwealth.
Now he's on a team of aliens learning how to broker peace treaties and trade deals. Some of them hate him. Some just think he's strange. And one won't let him hide away and waste his life.
Just when David decides there's reason to hope for a better future in this world of codes and customs, everything falls apart.
More alone than ever, David now has to fight his way to justice, with all the odds, and some very powerful aliens, arrayed against him. But even solving the mystery of who is responsible may not be enough to put the pieces of David's life back together.
About the Author
A. Walker Scott's love for science fiction was born one dark night, at a drive-in movie theater, when the words "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away" scrolled up the screen. Now he is a lightsaber-wielding Browncoat with an IDIC on his lapel. He will read any novel with a good alien, twice if it has an alien language! He has taught English in Taiwan, awakened in the wrong city in Romania, and done linguistic and cultural fieldwork in Solomon Islands. And he has been creating his own languages since just before his 12th birthday. He collects far too many collections, and the books have started reproducing on their own. He lives in a sleepy Texas suburb, where he writes about aliens while listening to Bach fugues...when not rendering homage to a pack of slobbery Basset hounds.