A deep space mission sets out to terra form distant planets and construct a star portal, while an enemy within attempts to sabotage it
The new empires, which have arisen from the rubble of a devastating war, are looking with greedy eyes across the Great Rift to the untouched stars which lie there. Great riches and power will come to those who can control them. But a rival power is determined to hijack the attempt and has secreted an agent in the expedition to disrupt it with sabotage and murder. With the political and military personnel dead, the task of carrying on falls to the engineers and technicians. Their operation is further complicated by the fact that the far side of the Rift is not as uninhabited as it was supposed to be. Refugees from the earlier, destroyed civilization have already made a home here and they look upon the newcomers with decidedly mixed emotions. The crew must try to win the trust of the natives if they are to have any hope against the coming enemy attack.