Coming of age can be hard for anyone. But for Blackmon Perry Stone it is life threatening. At 15, he barely manages to graduate from the empire's cadet training by a talent for unusual problem solving. He has trouble settling into navy life, but life becomes harder when he uncovers a ring of thieves aboard the huge ship. Life becomes difficult when they killed him.
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Perry Stone hasn't gotten over his fear of being outside and he still hasn't settled into life in the Empire's Navy. After months of legal wrangling over his last assignment, he has been given a new assignment. He was looking forward to getting a new posting on a spaceship or a station. The problem is that his new job is on a planet.
Stone's fist, secure in the combat suit and hidden by camouflage, impacted the Hyrocanian mouth before it closed around the baby. Stone grabbed the helpless piglet with his free hand and tossed it to a startled female. The piglet, the last of her kind on the delivery shuttle, grabbed the baby and ran. Stone twisted his fist, trying his best to break every tooth in the Hyrocanian's mouth. Suddenly, his fist broke free from the shattered teeth. Opening his fist, he felt something soft and squishy at the back of the alien's throat.
Ensign Stone's goals were to make his way in the Empire's navy, make his family proud of him, and make love to his fiancée. No matter which way he turned, someone was conspiring against him. Disgraced and humiliated, he is court-martialed, discharged, and abandoned. Accepting what he thinks is a lowly busy-work position on a beat up old family business space freighter travelling at the edge of human space, he hopes to earn back the trust and respect he lost.