The newly formed Commonwealth has united the disparate colonies of humanity into one interstellar union. After making first contact with the ancient and sophisticated Arkari, mankind has discovered that the galaxy is teeming with life. A new pioneering age of prosperity, discovery and progress now beckons.
Yet already the Commonwealth is imperilled. The rush to the stars has created undreamed of wealth for some, yet there are many less fortunate have been left behind, alienated by the rapid pace of change, exploited or trampled underfoot by ruthless corporations and left to fend for themselves in frontier systems where death or destitution can come quickly to the unwary. As resentment grows beneath the surface, there are those who would exploit the forgotten and the dispossessed for their own ends.
However, there is a much greater threat from without: the K'Soth Empire. Ruling over a vast domain, the reptilian K'Soth have conquered, exterminated and enslaved all in their path in the name of their all powerful Emperor and their fanatical religion. Their legions and fleets are almost without number, their methods brutal in the extreme, and their authority maintained by oppression, terror and force of arms.
In a desire to avoid a conflict, the Commonwealth concocts a secret diplomatic mission to initiate contact with the K'Soth using their one ace in the hole, Doctor Marcus Cuvier, the very man who was the key to humanity's successful encounter with the Arkari.