Nellie Joanne Kinnan is an Advanced Cadet in the Black Core Program at the Detta training center. Weapons and violence are second nature to this twelve-year-old, but she is never exactly sure what it is she is being trained for. Nellie is a dedicated and skilled cadet. She knows she wants to serve the Goddess and the Empire. But there is so much that she doesn't understand. When a weapons training session brings her face-to-face with her twin, Nellie's world is thrown into turmoil. Suddenly she questions her commitment to the violence that has dominated her young life. As she slowly learns to trust her rebellious twin, she comes to realize that much of what she has been taught about life in both the Interior and the Outbacks is not true. Faced with this reality, Nellie must find new weapons and new strength in her struggle to continue to serve the Goddess.