A B7 prequel/novel by Judith Seaman, chronicles Avon's employment as a professor on the Aquitar Project. Also key to the story is an enthusiastic young scientist named Con Conradin, who learns early on that a number of his Project colleagues are involved with something called the Freedom Party, led by up and coming dissident Roj Blake.
Though a tentative effort is made to recruit him, Avon has no interest in political insurrection. His only concerns arc his work and a Gamma grade woman named Amrya whom he has rescued from street thugs and given refuge in his residence. When security agents begin watching the flat, it becomes apparent that Amrya is of interest to someone in high places. Avon learns who, and sets out to foil the man's efforts to intimidate Amrya. Meanwhile, a certain Delta thief is 'hired' by the Terra Nostra to break into the Project and copy computer disks. Vila gets caught by a late working Avon, who allows him to copy the data if he will first open a particular door...
As always, Judith weaves a well crafted tale of intrigue and political machination around a cast of fully fleshed out, credible characters. We see less of Blake than many fans would like, but his influence is clearly felt in these early, idealistic days of the Freedom Party's formation. And when young Conradin is snared by Central Security's cruel and torturous system, another of Judith's original characters surfaces and vows revenge against Avon, whom Servalan has conspired to blame for Con's plight. More familiar names begin appearing as Aquitar nears its dramatic conclusion: Travis, Bartolomew, Shrinker. As the London takes off for Cygnus Alpha, they are all poised to set off the familiar chain of events we saw on screen. Or are they? We get the distinct impression that any sequel to Aquitar may have some surprises in store.
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