Task Force 92 was murdered in minutes.
Fleet intelligence theorizes they were attacked by Sarn strike fighters. The admiralty can't believe that, of course. The very idea is preposterous. The Sarn Empire has no fighter technology!
Yet four starship crews were lost so quickly they weren't able to transmit a coherent distress signal.
Skywatch line officers have long been trained to avoid speculating. Their duty has always been to the here and now. If Imperial warships are openly attacking Skywatch picket formations in Alliance space, the inevitability of a second Praetorian war has been rendered academic. The issue now is where will they strike next?
Captain Enrique Santiago should have had some kind of warning. The El Rey system is deep inside Core Alliance space. They couldn't possibly have been attacked. Such a strike would have been a blatant act of war.
Admiral Benjamin Powers knows humanity's lack of foresight is putting more starships at risk. The admiral also knows civilian populations will fall under attack next. Even he doesn't realize how accurate his fears are.
The Imperial High Command has a new weapon with a deadly and treacherous objective. They have another Skywatch formation in their sights, and the only man who can stop them is the captain of the battleship Argent.