© 2017 by Rachel Caine, LLC and Ann Aguirre. 

ABOUT THE HONORS

MARKO DUNAJSKI

Leviathan: Nadim

In the universe of the Honors, it all started with the dramatic rescue of dying astronauts from the International Space Station in 2030 ... and the entire world was united in horror as it watched the drama unfold. Though several nations tried to mount rescue missions, there was never a chance of saving them as the station's systems collapsed ... and then, miraculously, rescue arrived.

Someone ... no, something ... docked with the station, saved the astronauts, and brought them home.

Humanity named them Leviathans, since they had no name for themselves that they could explain to us. They found us locked in starvation and war, trapped on a polluted planet ... and they reached out to us, too. They offered us bioengineering to feed our people, rid ourselves of our toxins, restore our planet to full and beautiful life. In return, they asked for a chance to learn about us.

The Honors program began in 2032 ... a worldwide selection of the best of the best, who won the chance to go to space with young Leviathan on a one-year Tour to introduce us to the wonders of the galaxy ... and them to us. An exchange program, but one that benefitted humanity greatly. At the end of the first Tour, a few of our Honors were given the chance to go on what the Leviathan called a Great Journey--but it was a one-way trip. Still, some agreed. Some went forward into the universe, our first ambassadors.

As humanity rebuilt society into something peaceful and positive, the Honors program became a symbol of our progress. Our excellence. Our best.

So why, in the past few years, has that begun to change? Why are the Leviathan changing the selection to choose not the best, but some who might be charitably described as misfits, outcasts, even criminals? What are they not telling us?

And where are our Honors really going, when they take the Great Journey?