Treachery and deceit threaten Harry Martel and his family's vast galactic wealth and power.

Because of the Martels and their discoveries of ancient technologies, a new frontier now reaches beyond the power of existing planetary governments. The frontier offers new opportunities, but also brings slavery, prostitution, wholesale murder, drugs, piracy and every other foul vice. Anything can be bought or sold for a price.

To make things worse, old enemies are lining up to seize the Martel fortune, murder Harry and torture those he loves. To win, he needs the help of the mercenary force called The Rats, and Pappy Doyle, a trusted veteran of many galactic battles. The war for control of the Martel cosmic empire - and the fate of the frontier - is about to begin.