Avilon Revid knows he was once a terrorist and a mass murderer, but has no recollection of anything before the beginning of his sentence in the Special Legion. His first memory was of being on a military transport heading into a war zone.
With the help of Jaz Baldrik, a man from that unknown past, Avilon survived the five years needed to qualify for release. But first, he needs to convince the authorities that he should be discharged.
“I want to try civilian life. I have never known any other life than the Legion, sir.”
“Exactly. And many people might say that is an excellent reason for remaining with us – albeit in a less rigorous capacity. What would you say to them?”
“I do not think many people have lost their entire life history and woken to find themselves paying for crimes they cannot even recall. I would like to experience what those ‘many people’ would consider a normal productive life as I have not yet had the chance to do so. Sir.”
But even if he is released from the Special Legion he has nowhere to go except the ‘City, on a promise that might not be kept.
And what to do when that promise is broken?
“I just need to speak with Jazatar Baldrik. He is expecting me.”
The woman’s eyes swept up to his own again and the line of her mouth became a fraction tighter with some inner resolution.
“I told you, Jaz is gone. I don’t know where he is.”
She started rising and Avilon fought back his desperate need to grab her hand and make her sit, make her stay, make her tell him. But civilian rules of behaviour did not permitted that. It could count as assault and an assault charge would have him returned to the Specials without any appeal. So he let her stand and watched the emotions raw on her face, so personal and revealing she could have been standing naked before him. But one of the emotions looked like courage and another, maybe, compassion – or something as kind.
“If it is any help, I think he’s left the ‘City. You hear – things – sometimes. He made some people feel unhappy when he came back. I think he tried hard to keep legal – maybe too hard. Sometimes people don’t let you walk away from who you were.”
Alone in the ‘City, looking for Jaz, Avilon has to face up to who and what he was – and try and work out who he now wants to be.