The true magnitude of the Ithis threat slowly emerges!

Skywatch is surrounded.

The Imperial High Command is confident their delployment of the Kraken World Burner along the Manassas Frontier will give them an insurmountable advantage when they move on Siege Island. If they succeed, they will divide the Alliance Fleet at its most vulnerable point and isolate the captains and crews of Task Force Nine at the moment they need their supply lines the most.

But if the defenders of humanity's first outpost in space are to be defeated, they will sell their lives at a high price. When the Imperial Scimitar flagship arrives, it may find itself up against more formidable defenses than the High Command expected.

Commander Torrelon Zweiger is Admiral Ben Powers' wild card. He is leading a squadron code-named "Lycan Spear" consisting of four Delaware-class assault destroyers. They are the admiral's wolfpack, and their mission is to chase down the empire's most dangerous warships. When the commander recognizes one Sarn formation's deception, he moves quickly to seize the initiative and shows up just in time to give the Siege Island defenders a fighting chance.

Meanwhile, Jason Hunter has been sent back to Epsilon Gamma Three. Not to recover, as originally reported, but to investigate a rumored Sarn attempt to slam the door on any hope of retreat should Skywatch fare badly in its attempt to hold the line at Rho Theta and Athena's Shield. All he has are his wits and his fugitive pirate queen comrade. He also has a lead: One that might drag the battleship Argent back into the war at a time least convenient for her enemies.

Now, with a 200-ship enemy armada bearing down on Rho Theta Four and at least five Imperial battle groups loose in Core Space, the key to the Alliance's first victory may lie inside an underwater fortress not far from the Sarn fleet's first target. What happens next will depend on Annora Doverly's flying, Colonel Moody and his Proximan comrade's timing and an honest-to-goodness mad scientist's view of the war from 500 years in humanity's past!

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