Where do you go after you’re torn from the only planet you’ve ever called home? What do you do when your new home despises foreigners?
Who do you blame when they kill someone you care about….and how do you take revenge?
Terson Reilly, a young pilot from a rough colony, finds himself on the planet Nivia when his homeworld is evacuated. He knows that things won’t be the same, but he has difficulty adjusting to a society that strives for minimal population growth, is zealously environmental, and generally dislikes immigrants, to boot.
Naturally, Terson gets off to a bad start in his new home, but finds motivation to fit in when an appointment with his probation officer leads to an introduction to Virene, a young woman with her own authority issues. Their relationship flourishes despite the disapproval of her family, but two such independent souls can’t stay out of trouble for long.
When a romantic getaway results in an attempt to rescue the crew of a crashed spacecraft, the pair unwittingly catches the attention of a powerful criminal organization using Nivia’s strict environmental charter to camouflage its activities.
To Halsor Tennison, heir apparent to a Family empire, Terson and Virene are nothing but a pair of troublesome, no-account locals who may have seen something they shouldn’t have. The solution is simple: eliminate them. But when he botches the job, he finds himself caught between an angry Family and Captain Maalan Bragg, a tenacious Nivian Federal Police investigator who eventually realizes that his own government might be harboring the Family.
Tennison sets out to clean up his mess and regain the Family’s regard, and to that end sets a trap for Terson Reilly and Maalan Bragg in Nivia’s primitive and uninhabited outback. But who, exactly, has managed to trap who?