This short novel takes place in the universe of Walter Jon Williams' Dread Empire's Fall series. Three years after the Naxid war, Lord Gareth Martinez has accepted a meaningless post as Inspector General of Chee, a newly-settled world. Intending nothing more than a pleasant vacation with his family, Martinezirst discovers corruption among the contractors engaged to develop Chee . . . but then he finds something far more dangerous--- a literal cosmic menace that threatens to wipe out all life on the planet.