Loved this one!
The countries of Enith and Gaant are long-time rivals, and the tides of war have meant that at different times, different sides have been ascendant.
Military nurse Calla was once assigned to care for captured enemy soldiers. Once of those soldiers, Valk, was later her captor, when her unit became POW’s.
Now, an uneasy truce has been hammered out. And Calla goes to visit Valk in the hospital…
The ‘twist’ to the story is that the Gaant are telepaths. No one in Enith has this ability. The differences this has made in the two cultures is a linchpin of the story. How can you strategize when your opponent knows your every thought? Nevertheless, Calla and Galt have learned how to play chess with each other.
This game, and the cautious but warm relationship between the two players, becomes a delicate and effective metaphor for the war between the two adversaries, and the fragile potential for a larger peace.