Cameron Alvarez and his wife Vicky are stuck with Colonel Hachette or not! They went after the Thani Colonel Zan-Thint and they had caught him, but now things have settled down and they feel their mission is over. Now they just want to go back home or at least in the “cluster” that home resides. That doesn’t appear possible unless they can find the gateway back to the Earth cluster. And the only way to find that is to find the Predecessors.
Meanwhile, they have an unstable truce with Col. Zan-Thint and his Karai faction that he currently sides with on this planet. Of course, Col. Hachette, Captain’s Alvarez and Sandoval, along with others that came with them have sided with the Vergai who have decidedly less technology, but plenty of will to stand up to Zan-Thint. As long as the humans are with the Vergai, Zan-Thint won’t attack or at least it’s expected he won’t attack. Captain’s Alvarez and Sandoval have been up-training the Vergai and they might just make a decent deterrent given enough time.
But, time isn’t something the humans have in abundance. Neither is resources for their starship and everything else they brought with them. There isn’t any place in known space that has the technology to manufacture replacement parts for the starship, their weapons, their ammo or even the fuel it requires to go from planet to planet. They need to find the gateway and that’s what Colonel Hachette now wants to do.
He’s got some leads so he’s taking all his people and their starship to follow these leads in hopes of finding the Predecessors or some clue as to where they might have left the gateway back to Earth. He knows he can’t go jumping around in space looking at every possible location, he’s already very critical on starship fuel. They can transition out to a new system, but will only just have enough fuel to get back to where they are now and that’s it. Once the starship runs out of fuel, they are going to be stuck on whatever planet they orbit, like, well, forever! That’s not appealing at all to anyone from Earth.
So, what if they can find the actual descendants of the Predecessors. They have clues they exist, but nothing definite. And if they do find them, how will they know that the dreaded Skrela haven’t already destroyed the gateway, or worse yet, that the humans led the Skrela directly to the Predecessors hidden planet! All of that is possible. If the Skrela find them or the Predecessors, it’s all over. Everyone dies. But, that might not happen in this book.
It’s a good story but I think Captain Alvarez and Captain Sandoval are getting a little fed-up with this whole thing. If they can find their way back to Earth, I don’t think they are going to be leaving again and they are definitely not staying in the Marines. This whole thing has to end some day and it just might in the next book, but not in this one!