The war is over. Hurray! Half the fleet is back in mothballs. But out on the rim of human space, ships are disappearing. Some are merchant ships going about their business. Others are exploration ships on deep space probes. What's happening to them?
Captain Rita Nuu Longknife is ready to take the heavy cruiser Exeter to space and see what's out there. She may have a nursery next to the captain's cabin, and a two month old baby on her hip, but she's taking a warship out there and nobody better get in her way.