"I can get you a cheaper ticket if you let me amputate your legs: I can even take your thighs as a deposit," said the travel agent. He was clearly trying hard to be helpful: "It's not as if you'll need them where you're going, is it?"
In this new story, Charles Stross goes back to the universe he originally introduced in Saturn's Children, where the human species has gone extinct to be replaced by metahumans. Krina Alizond-114, scholar and financial expert, discovers during an academic pilgrimage that her sister has gone missing. As she travels with pirates and dodges assassins through interplanetary space she discovers clues that link her family to a two thousand year old scam, and she has the evidence that could be worth more money than anyone could have imagined.