Author(s): Stephen R. Donaldson
A powerful and intense sf tale from a master storyteller
In the far future, gap drives faster-than-light deep space travel, but sometimes this afflicts some with irreparable brain damage. A Zone Implant can turn such a person into a zombie, to protect his shipmates, but it's highly illegal.
Ensign Morn Hyland works for the United Mining Company, which is in charge of law enforcement throughout known space. She lives aboard a police ship, together with most of her family; their job is to chase down pirates and other illegals who prey on the weak, or smuggle goods into forbidden space. Her life is nothing out of the ordinary - until she falls in with the pirate Captain Nick Succorso. All of a sudden, the young, strong, beautiful police officer appears to be falling in love - well, lust at least - with the murdering pirate, or so it appears to the folk at the space station's bar.
But the real story was quite different ...