When Angel's Luck was blown to space junk, trader James May and his crew could not collect their reward for retrieving the stolen Essence Phials, which held the extracted minds of humanity's greatest geniuses. So they were grateful to be rescued by the luxury liner Hergest Ridge, even if the commander was May's ex-wife, who had made it plain she never wanted to see him again.
Commander Margaret O'Hearn had problems. Among her passengers was a delegation of Arcolians, aliens only recently at peace with humanity. And there were rumors of an anti-Arcolian blockade along her route and the possibility of terrorists on board her ship. So the last thing Maggie needed aboard was her ex-husband and his crazy copilot Duke, who had sampled an Essence Phial and was now possessed by a second - and extremely xenophobic - personality.
Somehow May had to help Maggie prevent the outbreak of another human-alien war, while protecting Duke from himself and saving his own precious cargo...