Aboard the galactic cruise USS Michaelson, every sailor knows the dangers of life among the stars. But not all perils come from the cold of deep space—some come from within . . . When a freak explosion on the Michaelson takes out most of Forward Engineering, an investigation is ordered. It would seem that a chief petty officer—who was killed in the accident—broke regulations by making difficult repairs alone and caused the conflagration himself. But the ship's legal officer, Lieutenant Paul Sinclair, leams of evidence that points to a cover-up—involving a rising star in the officer corps who may have ordered the dead man to work alone. The problem is, all of Sinclair's evidence is circumstantial—and the suspect is the son of a powerful vice admiral. Now, pressured from all sides, Sinclair must risk his name, his naval career, and his future to find the truth and see justice done . . .