Pyre's humans suffer multiple cultural shocks. They discovered the Messinants dome, an ancient construction that houses a quantum-coupled gate. More shocking, they find that sentient alien races utilize a network of these domes to journey between their far distant worlds in pursuit of alliance matters. If humans wish to join this elite collection of sentients, they must contribute significantly in trade, tech, or something of equal value. Her Highness Tacticnok, the Jatouche heir, makes Captain Harbour, a Pyrean empath, a tempting offer. Accepting Tacticnok's offer has the potential to dramatically change the future of the struggling Pyreans for the better. However, Harbour must strike a balance with the various dysfunctional factions of her society if she wishes to engage the Jatouche. Neither Tacticnok nor Harbour has any idea what the two races might discover mutually beneficial, but the Jatouche do have problems. Despite the superior medical services the Jatouche provide to every other species, they're viewed as junior members of the alliance by the council, the Tsargit, and they dearly want that changed.
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by S.H. Jucha
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