Jasper van Ruiker is an elderly algae farmer, drafted into the local militia to defend his village from the invading Tenners. Lieutenant Castor “Mountie” Klocek is a Navy pilot, shot down during an air-to-ground mission. Lance Corporal Javier Julio Gregory Portillo and Sergeant Gary Go are Marine combat engineers, the only survivors of a deep-recon mission to destroy a bridge.
All four are thrust together by chance, and they must learn to work together if they are going to survive, Jasper to search for his wife and grandchildren who fled their destroyed village, and the three servicemen to reach Federation forces far to the north.
Surrounded by enemy troops, they have to decide what “duty” means. Do they attempt to avoid the enemy and exfiltrate to friendly territory to live and fight another day, or do they aggressively prosecute the war despite overwhelming odds?
This novel is set in the United Federation Marine Corps universe, 200 years before the previous series. It is a stand-alone book that does not directly tie into any of the other UFMC novels.