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We’re back with the surviving humans from the Solar System. As you remember, they got chases away from Earth by the Carin and fled through the “Passage” to this unexplored part of the galaxy. What they thought was a nice peaceful planet, has turned out to be pretty deadly. They haven’t been able to establish the colony on the planet yet due to the massive number of “Cavers” that keep attacking. These Cavers live in an underground city complex that is proving hard to explore because it also has a tendency to collapse. Colonel Beth Warwick is in charge of clearing out this complex and she is pushing more and more troops into the tunnels.

Meanwhile, the scientist have come up with the idea that all these Cavers are clones. They are being produced automatically via some kind of cloning machine and that needs to be located. So, while the troops are just trying to defend themselves, they are also trying to find the source of these cloned monsters. The Cavers appear human, but they have some kind of protective force field around them and also have extremely sharp claws which can tear through dirt and about anything else. They can travel underground by making their own tunnels which makes predicting where they will show up very difficult.

Two soldiers MSG Ashton (Ash) Brooks and 1st Sgt Dina Curran are the main characters you’ll follow in the tunnels. They are pretty brave, but had to do some very difficult fighting. They also have a nasty habit of getting cut-off from the main body of troops. Whether they can be rescued this time is questionable since they believe they are near the source of the cloning machine. If this machine starts producing even more clone Cavers, then they may easily be overwhelmed before being rescued.

Back out in space we find Tori and Willy have crashed on a planet held by the Ghrell. She and her small crew are attempting to fix her ship and get back in orbit and then go back to where the rest of Alpha Colony resides. Two or her party have been scrounging around some wrecked Ghrell buildings for parts and come across a Ghrell that wants to surrender. She is a technician and doesn’t agree with the aggressive actions of her Ghrell military. Whether they can trust her or not is something they will have to learn, but she might be able to help them repair the ship and that’s a positive action.

And finally, the Alpha Colony is attempting to. host a conference of all the newly found alien groups in hopes of forming a mutual support alliance against the Ghrell. Everything seems to point to a good probability of this happening except the Ghrell spring a surprise attack against Alpha Colony and they don’t have the ships to fight them off. This could mean the end of the Alpha Colony before it even gets started.

Another very good book which gets very exciting at the very end. The story continues in book 5, “Ultimatium” and then book 6, “Portents”.

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