Sergeant Jerry Harper recently caused an interstellar incident. As a result, tensions are high, and the Reliants of the Mentarchy have offered to host a conference to settle the matter peacefully. Jerry is ordered by his government to attend the talks and testify. He travels with the rest of the Agrarian diplomatic delegation to the planet Cortex, home of the Mentarch.
Cortex is supposed to be neutral ground, but that changes when an assassin targets the Agrarians. Jerry chases the shooter, but the pursuer quickly becomes the pursued, and he's forced to go on the run. While Jerry's wandering in the wilderness, the Mentarch activates its anti-gravity jammer, blockading space travel. The Agrarian delegates are now stuck on the planet, and Jerry is the only one in a position to do anything about it. He's tasked with disabling the jammer.
Jerry has no idea how he's going to do it, but he sets out anyway. Along the way, he starts to get a strange feeling about Cortex, some weird interaction between the planet and his psychic gift. He's not sure what's going on, but he suspects the Mentarch is up to something. Jerry must find a way to disable the jammer while also dealing with the Mentarch's mind games. And if he wants to get his people off Cortex alive, he must do it before the place turns into a war zone.