The superstitious call them Ghost Ships. Experts say they are scanner echoes tossed out of the past by the Phenomenon. The rumors and a cryptic entry in an ancestor's diary propel Lieutenant-Commander Mart Britlot of the Confederation navy into the dangerous Sivon sector of space. There, Britlot hopes to find help for the Confederation, now facing a two-front war.
As the last living Confederation descendant of the Adian nation, Britlot is obsessed with finding the ghost ships, believed destroyed during a mass emigration 300 years in the past. He dreams of riding to the rescue at the head of the never defeated Adian fleet; he dreams of finding family after the death of all his near relatives at the hands of the Combine. He'll drive his ship and crew beyond endurance to achieve this.
The felid Tlartox Empire, eager to avenge their humiliating defeat at the hands of the Confederation, has voted to annul the long-standing peace treaty. The glory of The Hunt beckons. Admiral Tood Tlomega has focused on the human planet Lormar, with its great naval base, as a fitting target for retribution. She will return dignity to the people of Tlar. She will return them to the path that Tlar illuminated so many centuries ago.
But a small band of Tlartox subversives intend to rake a claw across the plans of the war-mongers, and give both the Empire and the Confederation something they hadn't counted on.