Stellar Patrol Colonel Brian Dowling is assigned to assist in the evacuation of a severely oppressed population from their original place on Terra and to accompany them to their new homeworld.
A heavily armed private army determined to annihilate the emigrants sweeps down on the spaceport. In the furious battle that ensues, only the raw courage and determination of the outnumbered rear guard, led by Dowling and Grace Forrest, admiral of their new planet’s navy, allows the final starships to escape the planned destruction.
Once on their new world, the colonists are welcomed by those who had arrived in earlier, secret waves and begin to settle in. It is a rich planet but one with its share of perils. Dowling, Forrest, and their associates encounter threats from deadly local life forms and from massive storms of almost inconceivable violence, but the worst danger they must face comes from the stars. A powerful battle fleet hurtles toward their solar system intent on obliterating the settlement.
Forrest prepares her navy to challenge it. Defeat is all-too-possible, and Dowling assists in organizing the on-world defense, grimly aware that it may have to become a resistance should their defenders fail to destroy the assailants.