Two hundred years into the colonization of our galaxy, an alien signal is found, and they are practically on our doorstep. In the race to get to the source, Ethen Hill, a ship designer and pilot, wants to be first. He is ill-equipped to do so. His biggest challenge is himself, but a close second are the genetically altered terrorists that want him out of the way. With help from his android colleague, Ethen fights his way through underworld assassins, anti-alien mercenaries, and the dangers of interstellar travel.