An elite squadron of space commandos battles against the deadliest dangers the galaxy has to offer, in this second novel of an action-packed military science fiction series.
In 2047, as the first Earth base on Mars became operational, our planet was contacted by an alien culture. We humans learned with stunning suddenness that Earth was only a small pawn in a vast galactic conflict being waged between three great empires, each including hundreds of star systems. All three were primarily human in nature - and in fact there were suggestions that Earth was once a part of these empires, prior to a calamitous war that raged 10,000 years ago.
In response to this new threat (and opportunity), the US military establishes a small force of elite commandos trained for combat in space. Drawn from the Navy SEALs, the new warriors are termed SEALS (representing expertise in Sea, Air, Land, and Space operations). In 2050, they are just completing training aboard a new space station when trouble strikes - on Mars, where the Earth governments have by now established a series of research stations and outposts.
The small detachment of SEALS, under Lieutenant Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson, travel to Mars aboard America's first military spaceship, the USSS Pegasus. They overcome ambush and sabotage to disrupt an operation aimed at breaking Earth's hold upon Mars - but in the process, Jackson and a small group of his men (together with a couple of civilians) are captured by troops of a hostile empire (the Eluoi) and taken to another star system. Once there, the SEALS manage to escape and raise considerable havoc among the Eluoi. Their mission objectives: Find a way to send a message back to Earth, and stay alive long enough for Pegasus to come and extricate them. It is not an easy task.