A NEW START—OR AN OLD CALLING?
Talia Merritt, a former military sniper once known as Death’s Handmaiden, is a woman haunted by her past. Her cybernetic arm and her phantom—the implant that allows her to control it—serve as a constant reminder of what she’s lost. But Talia is hoping to leave her past and her reputation behind and start anew on the colony world of Goruden, a hardscrabble planet of frontier-minded people seeking a better life. And she’s finally earned enough to start to make that dream come true.
In the bucolic town of Tsuri, she interviews for a job as a marksmanship instructor for local bigwig Signore Ferran Contesti. But Contesi is not what he seems. A recent arrival on Goruden, he hopes to mold the colony world in his own image—an image at odds with the unencumbered life free of government and corporate meddling that Talia has come to find.
Soon, Talia finds herself thrust into the start of another conflict. Talia desperately wants to stay out of it, but she may not have that luxury.
With the fate of a planet and her own peace of mind hanging in the balance, Talia must decide whether or not to once again take up the mantle of Death’s Handmaiden….