Trapped in no man’s land on an alien world.
When the Combined Service Cruiser Magnetar travels to the avian colony world of Elaninae to take delivery of a shuttle with classified technology, no one anticipates trouble. But Elaninae’s avians are dying of an unknown cause, and a traitor aboard the Magnetar thinks that Charlie and her friend, Bosun’s Mate William Wiley, may hold the key to a cure. Charlie and Wiley are invited to the planet’s surface only to find themselves trapped there. And they’ll have to escape on their own, once the Magnetar’s own crew begin to fall victim to the contagion.
Elsewhere, the avian Captain Ceyx arrives at Sol Gateway looking for the octopod terrorist Praetori. Praetori, too, may have answers the avians need. But Ceyx has his own agenda and his own methods, and he has trained his predator’s eye on one vulnerable human who might have information he needs: Jawaharlal Darad.
As Captain Chalk and the rest of the Magnetar’s crew scramble to find a cure for the avian plague and recover their missing crew, an avian battle group arrives with a sinister purpose. Charlie finds herself trapped in no man’s land, with a shooting war about to begin, and no way to get home. Will she get free in time, or will she find herself dead…again?
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