WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?
Millennia have passed. Earth is no more than a hazy memory. The colonists of the planet Myphid are within a few generations of successfully transforming the surface. The new starship is ready. It is a time of triumphant and expectation when an unwanted visitor arrives, a starship from Earth.
The Pinnacle is ancient, yet much of the crew has survived, frozen in stasis. The ship has been in transit for five thousand years. The only creature that is awake claims to have once been human. The chairman of Myphid sends his most effective weapon to investigate, a genetically engineered assassin called a warden. The mind of a gentle academic, an expert on ancient Earth, is chosen as the database to be inserted into the programmable portion of the warden's mind. But, the transfer of data goes awry, and unselected memories pour into the assassin's brain.
The "hardwired" warden is in conflict with his new, undisciplined database. He has a job to do. A dangerous alien presence is detected. Myphis is at risk. Yet, his brain is filled with nonsensical thoughts of the woman who was awakened from the Pinnacle, a strange pull toward children and flowers, and a burning question to be answered.
"A hard-tech story with a human heart. This is a writer with promise." C.J. Cherryh