Life hasn’t been easy for Siobhan Dunmoore and many of her fellow veterans since the Shrehari War ended.
The Fleet’s quick return to a mundane peacetime footing left them unmoored and incapable of fully readapting after years engulfed in an existential struggle. Meanwhile, the memories of all those hard-won lessons, paid for with humanity’s dearest blood, are fading as careerists, bureaucrats, and politicians in uniform replace the leaders who brought about the war’s end.
Yet an increasing number of senior officers understand true peace is illusory. Without an external threat to unify them as a species, humans have resumed their favorite activity — fighting each other in dark and dirty wars for power, profit, or glory. And this despite the risk of eroding the Commonwealth’s delicate social and political balance and triggering violent unrest. Ironically, those best suited for stopping nasty, albeit minor conflicts before they escalate, are the very veterans on which the Fleet turned its back.
Will Siobhan Dunmoore and her comrades find a new role in halting what could become fatal to human unity, or will they fade away, unwanted, while the Commonwealth begins a long slide into civil discord?