It is the 24th Century and humanity is just gaining a toehold out among the stars. Stellar Survey Starship Magellan is exploring the New Eden system when they encounter two alien spacecraft. When the encounter is over, the score is one human scout ship and one alien aggressor destroyed. In exploring the wreck of the second alien ship, spacers discover a survivor with a fantastic story.
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The expedition to the Crab Nebula has returned to Earth and the news is not good. Out among the stars, a million systems have fallen under Broan domination, the fate awaiting Earth should the Broa ever learn of its existence. The problem would seem to allow but three responses: submit meekly to slavery, fight and risk extermination, or hide and pray the Broa remain ignorant of humankind for at least a few more generations. Are the hairless apes of Sol III finally faced with a problem for which there is no acceptable solution?
The great debate is over. The human race has rejected the idea of pulling back from the stars and hiding on Earth in the hope the Broa will overlook us for a few more generations. Instead, the World Parliament, by a 60-40 vote, has decided to throw the dice and go for a win. Parliament Hall resounds with brave words as members declare victory inevitable. With the balance of forces a million to one against Homo sapiens' Terra, those who must turn patriotic speeches into hard-won reality have their work cut out for them.