Fort Hope, Avalon, 2,000 light years from earth. The crew of the slingship 377, Cap. Boon, navigator Jojo, Doc the engineer, the Grakka Zylyn, and Daniel the newbie, guard the frontier from bureaucracy, Banshees, and good friends gone bad.
The alien, dimension-skipping Banshies attack a ship smuggling refugees. The bureaucratic and unpopular Weiss gives Boon permission to rescue a boy left on the ship, if he agrees to bring back a Banshie - alive.
Budget cutbacks, overwork, bureaucracy, and failing equipment push the crew towards breaking point. Weiss's idea of help proves very unpopular. Throw creepy master-criminal Isogul into the mix and sit back and watch the fireworks.
Marla, an old flame of Boon's, is at Fort Hope to broker a trade deal with the warlike Vee'lons - until Boon accidentally insults the Vee'lon prince. Faced with a death sentence, how can Marla, Boon - and his crew - escape their fate?
Washed-up old comedian Lenny Hacker crashes on the prison planet Catraz. Doc and Daniel insist they should rescue him, though avoiding General Kincaid's inspection visit may have more than a little to do with it - he's Daniels father.
Isogul frames Zylyn for the murder of the Graaka Karlat. Given overall human anti-Graaka sentiment, no one will testify on his behalf. Can Boon prove Zylyn's innocence before he does the honourable thing and commits ritual suicide?