Gielle Paliter has always been fascinated by MindWalkers: small mammals that drink blood and, on rare occasions, Bond with a human Keeper, joining their two minds together. Information on Walkers is restricted, though, as the Walker-Keeper Bonds form the elite corps of the Kylton Alliance's defense, due to the mysterious Mental Strike ability that people whisper can wipe a brain clean - and then shut it down.
Gielle's immersed in the Walker Project when she and her father are invited to Lycaon to negotiate for Meris' entry into the Alliance. Invited to visit Alpha Station, the heart of the Project, she's introduced to both Bonded and unBonded Walkers - including a youngster named Irif. Then her world collapses when her father is attacked and left with only the slightest remnant of a brain - and no marks on his body. Confronted with the news, she demands to return home, then threatens a declaration of war when the Chancellor orders her to be locked at the Station. However, the danger isn't all external, as Irif attacks her, leaving her bleeding, weak, with a tiny voice in the back of her mind that isn't her own: "Gielle mine."
Still recovering from the Bonding, Gielle finds herself in a position of power as the Senate turns to her for a decision on the Alliance. Meanwhile, the assassin is still on the planet, and the Project believes he has an accomplice - one with the ability to harvest a mind.
Dragon Riders of Pern meet Night of the Living Dead. Film rights should bring millions.
This is a mess right now. Focus. Let me say that again: FOCUS. Don't build worlds. Don't explain. Get to the problem. She's got a bug in her brain and ...what? I'm not exactly sure.