Contact with the strike cruiser DSS Dunkerque was lost only minutes after the repeater at Uniform Oscar received her last routine log update. The position report put the flagship inside the contested Gitairn Sector. Vice Admiral Charles Hughes is in command. The vessel and her crew have now been officially listed as missing for nearly 90 hours.
Captain Jason Hunter, the new skipper of the battleship Argent, is ordered to investigate. He sets course for the admiral's last reported position, knowing full well once he leaves Alliance space he may face alien warships, hidden traps or any number of other threats, including the grim possibility his enemies just might turn out to be human.
Hunter recruits the pilots of his former strike fighter squadron to serve as his senior officers. They counsel the young captain to be cautious, even as they prepare ship and crew for the possibility of all-out war to rescue the officer Hunter regards as both friend and mentor.
There is no margin for error and no time for uncertainty. A young man in command of a five-million-ton weapon must find the courage to lead more than 100 combat spacecraft and nearly four thousand fleet and marines against enemies seen and unseen.
When Argent discovers a Sentinel planetary defense battery and surrounding deployment of lethal mines in a treacherous asteroid field where no human should be, the captain realizes he has flown into a powder keg.
And his ship might be the match.