- It is 2008, and a new era of prosperity is dawning for animal society. SV is a young man who intends to make this prosperity his own. But to become made in the animals' primordial society, one is required to offer innovations which may be turned into technology. He has a plan. One of his teeth has been stunted as a result of an episode with his brother. If he can understand the force which caused his tooth to stop growing, he may be able to harness it. But this is a problem all unto itself. If this force is "malice," how does it work to stunt growth? He enrolls in the services of a scribe to a classmate as he ponders the problem, struggling to keep his mindframe outside of convention. But the answer he seeks is in the very hands of his employer.
From Secretary's summary