Three thousand years ago the three races of Vinge, Human, Dak'or, and Fingalin, fled into space at the destruction of their planet. Now The Alliance between the three governments is at its breaking point. Between racial tensions caused by the elitist and wealthy Fingal trying to claim a divine right to rule, a deadly new quarantine-resistant plague that is sweeping through the primarily Drak'or outer colonies, and lack of funding and success in terraforming efforts, the treaty seems to be at an end. As people begin to turn to religion to save them, The Descendents, a powerful religious sect worshiping the Goddess Vyanna, readily fill the void.
Now the crew of a small mercenary vessel, captained by a man calling himself the devil, are on a relief mission to replace equipment for Deep Space Initiative Station 3122's failed life support. Lieutenant Commander James Aiunys, the newest member, and tactical officer of the legendary crew is shocked when they are unexpectedly pulled out of hyperspace, and informed that the quarantine zone has been expanded to include the station. The mysterious Drak'or captain is undeterred. In a feat that seems more like magic than science, he turns the battle on its head, defeating one of the most powerful warships in the galaxy, leaving it paralyzed in space.
Upon their arrival however, the station is not what they had expected. The crew becomes concerned when they discover the station empty, an eerie resemblance to another station they had visited at the bequest of strange women with silver hair who smelled of apple blossoms.
When the power core fails during their investigation, The Captain is once again forced to do the impossible, leaving James with more questions than answers. With the government collapsing into chaos, the crew of The Shade finds themselves on the run, caught in the middle of a sinister plot that will change the galaxy forever.
But there are darker shadows than the machinations of mortals lurking in the far corners of civilization. Brought face to face with their own humanity in a conflict older than the concepts of good and evil. They are forced to question everything they understood about themselves, religion, and even the very fabric of reality.