A seasoned military officer uncovers a deadly conspiracy on a distant, war-torn planet.
War heroes aren't usually called out of semi-retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation.
So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend, he knows it's something big - and he's not being told the whole story.
A high councilor's son has gone MIA out of Cappa Base, the space station orbiting a battle-ravaged planet.
The young lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated - but there's no record of him having ever arrived at hospital command.
The colonel quickly finds Cappa Base to be a labyrinth of dead ends and sabotage: the hospital commander stonewalls him, the Special Ops leader won't come off the planet, witnesses go missing, radar data disappears, and that's before he encounters the alien enemy.