With the defeat of the First Imperium Regent, the remaining survivors of Fleet Admiral Terrance Compton’s fleet had thought they would at last be at peace. They had settled on a beautiful world (Earth Two) that was once a safe haven for the Ancients. The Ancients were the race of pre-humans who were ultimately responsible for the First Imperium and the Regent. Through their complacency, they had allowed the Regent too much control until it decided it didn’t need the humans any more. So it wiped them out. Admiral Compton’s people had found a way to successfully destroy the Regent and any remaining rogue First Imperium squadrons. They then settled on Earth Two and began to build a new civilization.
Thirty years have passed since the death of Fleet Admiral Terrance Compton. Thirty years of relative peace except for the now internal struggles of a fledgling society that seems bent on destroying itself. Former Admiral Max Harmon was elected the first President of this new society and he had maintained control for all those thirty years gradually giving up more and more of his powers to the Assembly. Now he has decided that he needs to step down. Some of the policies he has enacted were not received favorably and he has lost a lot of backing. He’s decided to have free elections in six months. He does not expect to be re-elected.
Unfortunately, Earth Two is heading down the same path as the original Earth civilization. There are three distinct groups now, each with their own agenda. The NBs or Natural Borns are the original “Pilgrims” of this society. They were the original crew that survived the struggle to get here. They and their children are the majority, but not enough to support a planet-wide population on their own. So, they chose to begin cloning new humans. These clones or Tanks (due to their method of birth) were created quickly and then eased the burden of providing new bodies for industrial purposes and military purposes. Earth Two realized that the galaxy was a dangerous place so they didn’t let their space fleet just die away. They modernized new ships to operate with smaller crews, but still be very, very lethal starships. Then the Tanks got hit with a strange virus or Plague. It only affected a small percentage of them, but when it did, the diagnosis was also fatal. This plague did not effect NBs.
The third group of humans were also “created” by Dr. Cutter and Dr. Ana Zhukov. These beings were unique in that they were the product of gene splicing using genetic material of the Ancients and that of Dr. Cutter and other scientist of the original crew. These people grew rapidly just like the clones and soon were joining the rest of the population of Earth Two. They had one failing though and that was their inability to procreate. Initially, this set them apart from the rest of humanity on Earth Two and they were given the term “Mules” which over time became their accepted designation. Fortunately for the “Mules”, they were superior to NBs or the Tanks. Their intellectual and physical abilities were much greater than either of those two groups and they did not hide that fact. NBs and to some extent the Tanks were afraid of these “super” humans, so much so that they placed a Prohibition on any further creation beyond the original 116 Mules.
So, each of these groups has some grievances against the current government. President Max Harmon has tried to be fair to all which has failed. Now he has decided that it’s someone else’s turn to govern, but he doesn’t know who can hold this world together. Then, one of the Earth Two scout ships has found something that changes everything on Earth Two. The First Imperium might not have been completely destroyed. Thirty years of peace for Earth Two is about to end.
Good story and it doesn’t end here. I’m not sure why the author didn’t just start another series although there is a lot of references to the characters and actions of the original refugees. Some of those warriors are still around. I guess through genetic enhancements, aging has been pushed back so people like Admiral Erika West can still be on active duty even though she’s well into her sixties. Same for Max Harmon and many other who you’ll still read about in this book. There’s even some references to the fact that Fleet Admiral Compton could still be alive today if he hadn’t been killed in the last battle. Anyway, good book and looking forward to the next one in this series.