Every soldier knows there are endless ways to die. Every Ubezhishche soldier knows there are far worse fates than death. Sevastien one zero two four, S line third modification, has survived the destruction of his own ship and an enemy station. But he was rescued by the wrong side -- by Nalyn Ila, captain of the Elysian destroyer Invictus. Now he's facing a difficult problem: How to persuade Captain Ila and her people that he is not an enemy combatant. That if there was an act of war, it was committed by her people, not his own. Sevastien is almost certain he was an innocent bystander of disaster ... unless his own people set him up, aiming to get him aboard Invictus for reasons he can't yet understand. Maybe they did. It's just the kind of thing Ubezhishche Command might do. Nalyn Ila is almost certain Sevastien is an enemy agent, placed aboard her ship by Ubezhishche Command. But no one, not her own people nor the enemy nor Sevastien himself, can possibly guess what use she might actually have for an Ubezhishche soldier. Even if he actually is an innocent bystander, she may be able to use him in her private long-laid plans. And if he's actually an enemy agent ... that might be even better.