The Terran military, the Astral Force, launches a mission to crush a colonial rebellion on the colony of Cerberus. The results of that mission ripple across the planets of the Centauria, and place the entire system on the brink of war. Lieutenant Katja Emmes is a platoon commander, leader of the 10-trooper strike team aboard the fast-attack craft Rapier. Although fully trained, she has never led troops in real operations before, and lives in the shadow of her war-hero father. Sublieutenant Jack Mallory is fresh out of pilot school, daydreaming about a fighter pilot position in the space fleet and in for a rude awakening. Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kane uses a six-month deployment in command of Rapier to secure his rise to stardom within the military. As violence erupts, each will be tested as never before. How they respond may decide the fate of Terra, and Earth.