Genellan—a beautiful, Earthlike world where intelligent cliff dwellers waited in fear for the day the bear people would return, killing them for their fur . . . Genellan—the only refuge for a ship's crew and a detachment of spacer Marines, abandoned by a fleet fleeing from alien attackers. Stranded on Genellan, the humans struggled to make a home for themselves until—they hoped against hope—the fleet would return to rescue them. Lt. Sharl Buccari tried desperately to hold on to the threads of command over the spacers and the Marines—to keep her crew together and alive. Winter was coming. No one knew if the winged natives would be friend or foe. And now the bear people were returning, intent on destroying the humans—but not before stealing the secret of hyperlight drive, the key to interstellar flight . . .