The economies of Earth's nations were tanking. It was a world full of desperate people; the homeless and dispossessed were everywhere. It was a world ripe for human Separatists, whose survival depended on building a legion of human fighters, to go recruiting. The Separatists broke away from the rest of humanity centuries ago and developed their own technology, but now they must return to the home world in order to build an army. Lieutenant Commander Edgar Fitzpatrick is sent to begin the recruiting effort, right under the noses of Earth's governments. A 29-year-old escaped prisoner, 1553441, who had been a college professor before he annoyed the government, was one such man. The 16-year-old runaway, Argentina de la Fuentes, was another such perfect recruit. Two strangers from backgrounds worlds apart, along with thousands of other undesirables are to be trained to fight a terrible enemy, huge Reptilian beings who live to fight. Yet the Separatists, who recruited them, have their own dark secret, a secret that would threaten them all and could lead to the destruction of worlds including Earth.