The second book in a thrilling spin-off of Tanya Huff’s Confederation military science fiction series.
The war is over, but the fight goes on and the Justice Department finds its Wardens unable to deal with violence and the people trained to use it.
Ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has a solution: Strike Teams made up of ex-military personnel, small and maneuverable, but able to work together if necessary. Justice has no choice but to implement her idea, and Torin puts her team of independent contractors back into uniform. It isn’t war — it’s policing — but it often looks much the same.
When the scientists doing a preliminary archaeological dig on a Class Two planet are taken hostage Torin’s team is sent to free them. The problem of innocents in the line of fire is further complicated by the mercenaries being both Confederation and Primacy and looking for a weapon able to destroy the plastic aliens who’d started and maintained the war.
If Torin weren’t already torn by wanting that weapon in play, she also has to contend with the politics of peace that added members of Primacy to her team. By the time they confront the mercenaries, Torin has to sift through shifting loyalties and discover that the line between “us” and “them” is anything but straight.