Former Stellar Patrol RangerHerrel Meridian signs on Caelia Sept Owen's Sunstone for a mercy mission to discover why the scientific team located on the planet Kore has failed to make its scheduled reports and to render assistance if required only to discover everyone slaughtered with singular brutality. Caelia's husband is among them, but he had survived long enough to learn and record the assailants' purpose and the probable location of their base.
With their own and the camp's communications equipment destroyed and fearing to risk an escape in their starship, the pair have little option but to go after the raiders themselves, before the young colony that is their true target is also annihilated.
Their journey across Kore's immense glacier proves one of intense difficulty and ever-present peril as they endure the merciless arctic cold, concealed crevasses a thousand feet deep, and massive storms whose winds and gale-driven ice particles can strip the flesh off the bones in a matter of minutes. At its end is a pirate base whose destruction rests on a daring plan which would have challenged a War-time Commando unit. Fail, and all their sufferings and the scientists' deaths will be in vain.