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For the wild beast . . . freedom, even from compassion. For the person . . . all that is asked. -from the Physician’s Oath Varayla Ansegwe—perpetual student, aspiring poet, and scion of the (allegedly) criminal Syndicate—didn’t volunteer for this alternate-world mission, and the crew have had it up to here with this pampered noof. But when a strange creature appears, pursued by alien hunters and desperate for help, he insists on saving its life. Ansegwe sees a kindred spirit—a courageous, imaginative intelligence—but his team leaders perceive only an injured animal. He has leverage, as heir to the expedition sponsor, but his problems multiply when he takes the alien home. To prove the creature is a person, Ansegwe breaks free of his self-indulgent lifestyle and problematic family . . . shattering rules and making discoveries that will change his world. All That Was Asked is first-contact science fiction centered on the joys, challenges, and sometimes-hilarious consequences of forming friendships across barriers of evolution, culture, disability, and language. Narrated in the style of a lighthearted memoir by an older and wiser Ansegwe, it never misses a chance for the main character to laugh at the mistakes of his youth—and show how some of those errors led to great discoveries.