Chilleau Judiciary’s senior administrative officer has been murdered in the very heart of Chambers. Bench Intelligence Specialist Jils Ivers has been unable to ferret out the perpetrator, and that means she’s the Bench’s prime candidate for execution –- so that justice may be seen to have been done, whether or not she is guilty. Andrej Koscuisko means to take this opportunity to execute a daring theft -- stealing six bond-involuntary Security slaves to send them away beyond the Bench’s reach to Gonebeyond Space. But the corruption of the Bench extends even further than its use of institutionalized torture as an instrument of State. Before Jils Ivers realizes who killed the First Secretary and why, the rule of Law will be rocked to its very core, and the fundamental nature of the Bench will be changed forever.