In this, the sixth and final novel in the New Earth miniseries, we find the focus of the main plot shifted away from the usual gang of Kirk and company. Rather, the main character is Commander Nick Keller, who we are introduced to as the second officer of the U.S.S. Peleliu. The Peleliu is a Starfleet picket ship, assigned as Enterprise’s replacement at Belle Terre. En route to her new assignment, the Peleliu comes under attack by the Kauld. The first officer is killed, and Keller must step up into the position. As the captain of the Peleliu becomes more and more erratic, Keller finds himself in the unenviable position of deciding whether or not he should be relieved of command.