Spartan is a living legend, a veteran of the Alliance Marine Corps, victor of a multitude of military campaigns including the horrific Biomech War. He is both loved and reviled by friend and foe alike, and now lives out on the fringes of the Alliance. He has fought for money, for his people and for the very survival of his species, and lost everything in the process. But when two of his closest friends are captured supplying weapons to the desperate Byotai settlers of Karnak, the fight becomes personal.
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The newly formed Interstellar Assault Brigade has been tested in secret, but their first official combat action will send a shockwave through the Alliance. On the opposite side of Alliance space is a deadly new threat, a massive spacecraft that is heading directly for the colonies of T'Karan. A heavily armed destroyer is diverted to intercept, and apparently lost with all hands in a matter of minutes. There is only one unit capable of performing a rescue operation in the limited time remaining.
A new conflict is growing, and it will soon escalate into all-out war. A war that will engulf the colonies of a hundred worlds and could spread to the fragile Alliance. Massive fleets of ships engage in battle, and conflict rages far below on the disputed worlds of the Tenth Quadrant. The valiant defenders desperately need help, but none of the major powers will intervene and risk bringing war to their own territory. There is only one man who will do whatever it takes.