SACOM, the galactic navy, plans to build a nuclear superweapon capable of destroying an entire planet. The Xetians, expecting to be the victims of this weapon, want to stop them. Someone else, however, wants the plutonium for their own purposes and will do anything to get it.
While escorting the plutonium from their robotic mine to a secret processing factory, the entire First Fleet is attacked with staggering losses and the cargo ship vanishes into the asteroid belt.
Having lost his space cruiser in the battle, disgraced Commander Benjamin Segal knows his worst transgressions have not yet been discovered and needs a scapegoat to hide his actions. Fortunately for him, his demotion and assignment to desk duty put him in an excellent position to shift the blame.
Meet Carl Wilkins, the best space salvage operator in the star system, all-around decent guy, and chosen scapegoat. Accepting a “too good to be true” contract, steered to him by Segal, Carl loses everything, including his reputation.
Destitute and unemployable, lured by vengeance and the promise of a fortune in cash, Carl gets drawn into a conspiracy to strike back at SACOM. One problem with conspiracies is it isn’t always possible to tell who the bad guys are. Carl soon discovers his fellow conspirators pose a greater threat to him than SACOM does. He now has two very powerful enemies.
Fearing for his life, Carl vanishes along with the plutonium, triggering a galaxy-wide manhunt by both SACOM and his coconspirators.
Nolan Peters and Megan Carson, worried about Carl’s safety, begin investigating his mysterious disappearance. They end up uncovering an even greater conspiracy—one that threatens the security of all settled worlds in the galaxy.
SACOM, having no luck finding Carl, turn their attention to Nolan, hoping Carl’s close friend will lead them to him and the missing plutonium. Meanwhile, Nolan and Megan search for answers, fighting to remain one step ahead of SACOM while discovering their growing feelings for each other.