So many bones, buried so deep. But not deep enough.
After eighteen years, Captain Jani Kilian's life as a fugitive has ended. Captured by the Service, she now faces court martial. It will surely lead to her execution.
But relations with the idomeni have deteriorated. Jani's knowledge of that alien race and her friendship with Nema, their ambassador, earn her a reprieve. And if she is able to help stabilize the crisis, she may be in line for a pardon.
Jani knows she should grab this second chance and hang on. But as tensions between human and idomeni mount and her genetically-modified body breaks down, she finds herself locked in a struggle with an adversary who has as much to lose as she, and who will do anything to ensure their secrets remain buried.
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Almost two decades ago, Jani Killian served on a diplomatic mission to the Idomeni. Her superior officer broke regulations and interfered in the local civil war. In the subsequent dispute, Jani kills him, but almost dies too from an explosion. The doctors on board, Shroud and Parini saved Jani's life when they introduce Idomeni DNA into her body. Jani went underground so she would not face charges of mutiny and murder. Eighteen years later, her body seems to be rejecting the foreign DNA. Desperate for help, Jani checks into an obscure off-world medical facility where her past still catches up with her. However, instead of a trial and conviction, Jani, accompanied by an intel officer and an archivist, begins to investigate what really happened on Idomeni and why everyone who was involved wants it kept buried at all costs. RULES OF CONFLICT is an exciting science fiction tale that proves Kristin Smith's debut novel (see CODE OF CONDUCT) is no fluke. The story line is complex due to the interstellar conspiracy to hide the past. Surprisingly, and this further demonstrates the author's talent, the intricacy of the plot actually augments the non-stop, fast-paced action. Ms. Smith's talent resides with her characters who appear real whether they are Idomeni, earthlings, or the reengineered hybrid heroine. Ms. Smith takes the X-Files into outer space. Harriet Klausner