A few years ago, a military doctor walking the corridors of New Jakarta Station saved Melati’s life. She signed up for the International Space Force to pay back her moral debt to him.
But her family thinks she has betrayed her people. It was ISF who forcefully removed their grandmothers and grandfathers from the crowded slums of Jakarta to work in interstellar space stations.
It is Melati’s job to teach six-year old construct soldiers, artificial humans grown in labs and activated with programmed minds. Her latest cohort has one student who claims that he is not a little boy, but a mindbase traveller whose swap partner took off with his body. It soon becomes clear that a lot of people are scouring the station for this fugitive, a scientist with dangerous knowledge.
The best place to hide in the station is amongst the many cultures and subcultures of the expat Indonesian B-sector. Looking for him brings Melati into direct conflict with her people. She does not want to be seen as one of the enemy, but if the scientist’s knowledge falls in the wrong hands, war will come to the station.