Pat Howe, skipper and sole crew member of the space tug Skimmer, sensed trouble as soon as he accepted the commission from the Zede businessmen. Why were they willing to pay so much for him to transport medicine to Taratwo? And why did they insist on having Skimmer, a fully armed and notoriously fast tug, bring an unnamed passenger back for Taratwo? But Pat never dreamed when he blasted off that he’d taken the first step on a journey that would bring him to an unknown corner of the universe, where the flames of a millennium-old rebellion were about to be fanned into a threat to the entire civilized universe. Cover art by┬áJohn Harris and Dean Morrissey.