Aboard the star vessel Sunlace, Dr. Cherijo Torin and her husband have found refuge from the Hsktskt, the League, and her half-mad creator. Now they intend to find Cherijo's foster mother--and the truth behind the subliminal messages she left in Cherijo's brain. But first they have some promises to keep--promises that put them in the middle of an interstellar war. Everything Cherijo ever fought for is put on the line--including her solemn oath to protect life. Beginning in Stardoc--a novel hailed as one of the best science fiction books of the year by Science Fiction Chronicle--S. L. Viehl's smart, savvy surgeon, Cherijo Torin, has ventured across the universe in and out of danger and love, driven by two great forces--her sworn duty to heal the sick and her constant fear of the demented man who created her.