It has been four years since an explosion and fire on the exploration ship Galileo forced the seven survivors to land on the planet Angar, the story told in Across the Plains of Angar. A crash landing near the equator put them in the Hotmo Empire where they were captured. The three women among the survivors were kept as hostages by the Hotmo king, while the men were made to be Godly Messengers, telling the people to obey the King as the Chosen of the Greatest God, Kala, and to perform 'miracles' with their gear as proof of Divinity. Agents from the free republic of Siva-Tonka, the sworn enemy of the Hotmo, are sent to investigate. As told in Across the Seas of Angar, they found the survivors, rescued them and fought their way back to Siva-Tonka. Now the survivors live, teaching Tonkans the ways of Earth science, medicine and technology. Knowing there is no way back to Earth, they have all made lives, in their different ways, and become citizens of the Republic.
None of the survivors has followed a stranger path than Major John Hocta. A career soldier, he entered the Tonkan military, sweated his way through officer’s training school, and learned to fight with pre-gunpowder weaponry, and now serves the Republic as commander of the 7th Mobile Unit, patrolling the Republic’s boundaries, on watch for incursions by the Nomads who inhabit the vast grasslands east of Tonka. Using tales of Custer’s 7th Cavalry as inspiration, he has turned the 7th in to a crack unit, the best on the Frontier. The one detail of the story he left out was the defeat of the 7th Cavalry and Custer’s grisly fate. His soldiers are confident as they leave on an expedition to punish a band of Nomads for a raid on a Tonkan settlement. But now, out on the plains, surrounded by three Nomad hordes, Hocta wonders if he might be in the same kind of trouble that Custer found. Is he smarter than Custer or has he led his men to their deaths? The decisions he must make could change life on the Frontier forever – and bring himself and his men safely home.