All humanity is at peace. The Diamond Library contains all wisdom, and has incarnated itself as the semi-divine Treasured King. But now the peace is threatened by the alien Sang, a species bent on conquest, and humanity’s response is fatally divided. At the height of the crisis, the Treasured King is found dead, and a dangerous new incarnation is born-- beautiful, seductive, erratic, and very possibly mad. Walter Jon Williams combines cutting-edge science, Tibetan Buddhism, and hard-nosed political reality in this novelette, which was nominated for a Nebula Award on its first release.