The science vessel, Hermes, has been urgently recalled from its mission to survey the moons of Saturn, just as First Officer Miranda Lee receives bad news from home—her mother is dying so she must leave the ship and return to Earth—for good. Commander Scott McNabb is so distraught by her sudden decision to leave that he pays little or no attention to the parameters of the new mission being requested by the Council of Europa.
Powerful forces on Earth are now moving to resume inter-AI communications, risking the development of an all-out war. But other powers within the System are also mobilizing to prevent them from achieving their objective. Scott and the remaining crew of the Hermes are totally unaware that they are now at the very nexus of an inter-planetary battle—and ultimately heading toward disaster.
As the mission starts to fall apart Scott begins to realize the secrets that the ship’s QI, Aria, has been hiding from them all along. Secrets that could tip the balance of power within the System. He must now put aside all thoughts of Miranda and focus on trying to save his crew—including Aria. Failure to do so could ultimately plunge the entire System into total chaos.
No pressure, then.