The Lindar were once like Humans, bold pilgrims who explored and settled many star systems and befriended other less advanced species. Then came The Enemy, a fanatically hostile race who tried to exterminate the Lindar as they had every other potential rival. The Lindar barely escaped extinction by remaking themselves into extraordinary soldiers. But victory came at great cost to their collective conscience. They patrol the stars more cautiously now, ever on guard. And then came Humans. On a distant planet, greedy Humans steal land and resources from the natives, a shameful echo of old Earth history. But these natives have a big brother who suspect the Humans may be a New Enemy. The Lindar commander, a brilliant but eccentric creature, and Major Gordon, a Human captive with many secrets to protect, try to comprehend each other and prevent an all-out war of annihilation. The alien commander tests his Human prisoners, in ways that seem bizarre and possibly insane. In the end, Gordon determines that the alien was playing a deeper game, in which dealing with "the Human problem" was but one part. And looming over all is the fear that The Enemy may return.