A continuation of the book “The Line”. John and Gwen had made a comfortable life for themselves in the city of Sevilla on the planet Arieta. But it did not last long. They were... More > discovered, pursued, and had to resort to summoning the Waps for rescue. Back through space at The Line they settled down again, but it was not to last. The Erch, the foes of the Waps, attacked human space. John was asked by his friends, the Waps, to go back to space as a liaison with the humans, as their warships tried to prevent the Erch take over human space. The Erch had got as far as Arieta, on which they had landed, but several space battles later the combined Human-Waps fleet had prevented the Erch penetrating further. Then John landed on Arieta, and inspired the population to resist. Now a hero, John was asked to go to Earth to recommence his role as adviser to the Waps in their negotiations with the humans, and was reunited, to his surprise, with Gwen and the kids. But Rick had not forgotten them!< Less
A young man travels through space to The Line to trade for gold with aliens. But things go awry. He takes a desperate girl under his wing, and eventually they are forced to cross The Line into the... More > aliens' territory, normally a fatal action, where he is requested to represent the aliens in their negotiations with humans.< Less
Gold and trade. The aliens exchanged gold for trade goods at the Line, a line etched north-south across the soil of a continent of a neutral planet. If any human or alien crossed this line to the... More > other side they were killed. If any trader did not meet the specified requirements of their trade goods they were killed.
This high-risk activity employed traders who for a short time were willing to take the risk in return for a lot of gold. But it got very risky when a starting trader took a desperate girl under his wing, and was eventually forced to cross the Line into alien territory, to become a negotiator on the side of the Waps, the alien creatures on the other side of the Line.