Four years have passed since the defeat of the Tottalax and the Federation’s war with the Brotherhood still rages. Despite their superior technology and the successful elimination of a number of enemy bases, the Federation struggles to ward off the ever-growing Brotherhood. Ming, Roritat and the spy called Sisopan are still free, wreaking havoc on the Federation with their own technology, including the strange and powerful asteroid-ships, as well as the terrorists known as the Reduviids.
The asteroid-ships appear to be nearly impenetrable and they are able to travel faster than Federation ships. The Brotherhood has discovered the secret to using the Deep-Space Communicators, which now affords them the same instant transmission and reception of messages over the vast distances of the galaxy that has, until now, been an advantage exclusive to the Federation. Hence, the Brotherhood is now able to coordinate their strikes and plan their assaults on a broad scale.
The Brotherhood also continues to successfully hide their asteroid-ship production sites, while repeated attempts by the Federation to identify the source of the asteroids and gain clues as to the production site locations meet with failure.
Ongoing efforts by the Federation to plant a spy on the planet Esprit, where the Brotherhood is believed to have headquarters, have also failed. The Federation’s search for Sisopan and the abducted Professor Fass Hakwin, the Gravity Wave scientist believed responsible for the faster Brotherhood ships, has yet to reveal any solid clues as to their location or movements.
Ming has expanded the Brotherhood’s violence and criminal destruction to include random acts of terrorism carried out by a group specifically organized for these activities – a group called the Reduviids; a reference to a type of insect found on old Earth commonly known as assassin bugs. With the attacks from both the asteroid-ships and the Reduviids on the rise, the Federation finds it necessary to divide the fleet into five separate fleets, all still falling under the command of Fleet Admiral Tibby.
In order to increase combat capabilities, Tibby forms a new unit of highly trained fighter pilots from the mercenaries of the Ruwallie Rasson and equips them with newly-designed small, but extremely powerful fighter ships. In the meantime, the Brotherhood is moving forward with plans and surprises of their own; and Tibby finds himself leading the Federation into a huge battle fought on multiple fronts that results in devastatingly high casualties, which could spell the defeat of the Federation.
As these developments unfold, Lunnie and Reidecor are growing up; and Tibby finds that navigating fatherhood is sometimes just as complicated as wartime maneuvers. His life is complicated further when he learns he must battle an even more difficult war – one that impacts not only the fate of the Federation, but also his own life.
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