Picco’s moon was where it all began for Esen-alit-Quar, Youngest of Ersh’s Web. It was here where Ersh, the Oldest, had chosen to make her home; here, too, where Esen received her early training as a shapeshifter and a member of the Web.
When Ersh’s Web was destroyed, Esen and her human friend Paul survived, and together they founded Esen’s Web, a group composed initially of the two of them but one which expanded slowly to include a chosen few selected by Paul. For in their universe there were all too many species ready to destroy Esen, should they discover her true nature.
Still, despite the need for concealment, life had been good to Esen and Paul. They now had well-established identities, a thriving business, and numerous friends. It seemed as though they’d finally created a safe haven for themselves. At least until they received word that someone was mining Picco’s Moon, desecrating Ersh’s Mountain.
Esen and Paul had no choice. They had to go to Picco’s Moon and put a stop to the situation. But before they could even set out, they found themselves under attack on every front. Their carefully built haven gone, and loyal friends suddenly transformed into vengeful enemies, was there anywhere Esen and Paul could run, anyone they could turn to for help, any way to defeat a foe they couldn’t identify?
Caught in a web of her own making Esen-alit-Quar had violated the First Rule of her species when she revealed her existence to a human named Paul Ragem. And though both Paul and Esen had survived, others of Esen’s Web had not been so fortunate.
Es could hardly believe that fifty years had passed since the terrifying events which had nearly cost her her life and which had forced Paul to give up everything a human treasured―family, friends, even his own identity―to protect the secret of her continued survival. In that time they had built a new life together out on the Fringe.
They had a successful export company, friends and associates. Esen, now known as Esolesy Ki and wearing the form of a Lishcyn―a species rare enough in the Commonwealth and never seen in the Fringe―was perfectly content to remain on the world of Minas XII, leaving it to Paul to travel the starways on company business.
Meanwhile she used their vast information resources to search for any signs that others of her kind had found their galaxy. What neither Es nor Paul could foresee was that a simple “vacation” trip would plunge the two of them into the heart of a diplomatic nightmare―and threaten to expose both Es and Paul to the hunters who had never been convinced of their destruction.
United in their natural form they are one, sharing all their memories, experiences, and lives. Apart they are six, the only existing members of their ancient race, a species with the ability to assume any form once they understand its essence.
Their continued survival in a universe filled with races ready to destroy anyone perceived as different is based on the Rules. And first among those Rules is: Never reveal your true nature to another being. But when the youngest among them, Esen-alit-Quar, receives her first independent assignment to a world considered safe to explore, she stumbles into a trap no one could have anticipated.
Her only means of escape lies in violating the First Rule. She reveals herself to a fellow captive―a human being/ While this mistake might not ordinarily prove fatal, the timing of the event could not be worse. For something new has finally made its way into the Universe, the Enemy of the Web, bringer of death to all forms of life. And the hunt it about to begin.