Author(s): Allen Stroud
AD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. Captain Ellisa Shann commands Khidr, a search and rescue ship with a crew of twenty-five, tasked to assist the vast commercial freighters that supply the different solar system colonies. Shann has no legs and has taken to life in zero-g partly as a result. She is a talented tactician who has a tendency to take too much on her own shoulders. Now, while on a regular six-month patrol through the solar system, Khidr picks up a distress call from the freighter Hercules. Shann decides to investigate and orders a course correction, but during this, the ship's hydroponics specialist is killed in an apparent act of sabotage. Shann puts her pilot, Major Angel Le Garre in charge of the investigation. Meanwhile, en route to Hercules, tenacious Communications Specialist April Johansson, a talented, junior officer who sees Shann's approval as essential to her own advancement, begins to decipher a set of strange fragmented audio transmissions the Khidr has picked up. These suggest that the Hercules was attacked.