The world designated 49381D is a small backwater planet inhabited by simple agrarians. The Galactic Expansion Service has an agent posted there to slowly bring the native species under the auspices of the Galactic community. But the new Sector Chief, Harb Mallard, is a man of action. In less than two years he has attained his present rank and he is in a hurry to proceed even higher. With a display of false bravado backed up by hidden technological wonders, Harb Mallard infiltrates a warlike faction of the native population. He intends to rise swiftly to a position of power and then present the Galactic Expansion Service with a fully converted population in record time. But what Harb doesn’t know is enough to cost him his sanity. The ultimate lesson is learned too late, for the end is always a direct result of the means.
Call them the spare parts of people. They chose the risk – jail for convicted crimes or semi-freedom as someone’s bonded servant for the same term. The price was that they were body insurance. If their master lost a leg or an internal organ, they would have to supply the missing part. That was the risk. Sagar used bondsmen in his other-world farm where he raised exotic alien pelts to sell to the rich. He had no thoughts on the bondsmen problem, pro or con. But when Carioca Jones, 3-V star, visited him he met her bonded companion, the lovely girl with the musical talent. It’s dangerous to fall in love with a bondsmaiden. Doubly so when her mistress is in love with you. Triply so when it might set off the social explosion that had been smouldering beneath the delicately balanced surface of their post-cataclysmic Peninsula.