With activists and media storming the Admiralty gates, First Lord Dix Harangay sends Minnow out on a makework patrol in the hope of calming the situation down. Inspector Mako Ireson goes along to investigate what's really going on. Mako has never been on a starship before. He can't tell port from starboard and doesn't know what the 0-G sign means at freefall hatchways, but the Minnow has good coffee so he's happy to head out into deep space with them.
As the Minnow responds to such urgent distress calls from other ships as "we're running low on sugar", and stops for shoreleave at a cold and stinking slimeworld, nobody is expecting that the "mission zero" they've been sent on will turn into a real operation. When it does, the Minnow's crew has to rise to the challenge as they face overwhelming odds.
This is the first mission of the legendary Fourth Fleet Irregulars; the people you send for when you need a miracle. For Mako Ireson, it will be the adventure of a lifetime.