Dying is easy. Coming back to life is hard. At least that's what Miles Vorkosigan thinks, and he should know, having died once already. That was when he last visited Jackson's Whole, rescuing his brother. Thanks to quick thinking on the part of his staff and incredible artistry on the part of the specialists who brought him back to life, his first death won't be his last. As for the Great Mystery, "Thank God that's over" is his attitude.
But is it over?
After he returned to duty, dying seemed to have had a greater effect than he's willing to admit. Unfortunately, his weakness revealed itself to the world at large at just the wrong time and in just the wrong way: in the middle of a rescue mission when Miles passes out while in the act of firing— and shoots off the legs of the man he's come to rescue. Elli Quinn and the Dendarii mercenaries recover their man (and his legs), but Miles is summoned home to face Barrayaran Security Chief Simon Illyan.
Things look bad, but they are far worse than he imagines. Even after he is dismissed from the service, he will discover his worst nightmares about Simon Illyan don't compare to Simon Illyan's worst nightmares— or are they memories?