The Shogun's right hand man investigates an impossible murder and stumbles across a conspiracy that threatens to undermine galactic society.
Centuries from now, society has found a more humane way of dealing with murderers and rapists: Rather than execution, the criminals are given implants that allow a benevolent AI, Amida-Buddha, to control their bodies and counsel their minds inside the timeless reality of Dainichi, the cosmic buddha. The system has long thought to be foolproof, and the control of Amida absolute, until a former criminal-turned-monk murders one of his fellows in cold blood on a backwater world.
Ellison, the Shogunate's top agent, is a man who has exposed countless conspiracies and thwarted dozens of rebellions before they began. A natural choice for the investigation, Ellison arrives on site to find that the murder is really only incidental to far more disturbing events.