Benita Alvarez, a downtrodden Hispanic woman, is chosen by alien envoys to be the Intermediary in their bid to get humankind to join an interstellar federation of peaceable races who practise Neighbourliness and strive to live ethical and moral lives. But other alien races have their own plans for the verdant, over-populated planet and they have chosen their own contact: a down-and-dirty government Senator. They don't want mankind to join the Federation, though: they just want hunting rights of Earth . . . hunting rights on man . . .