Daniel Leary is a lieutenant in the Cinnabar Navy with no money and no prospects. Adele Mundy is a scholar whose family was massacred by the Government of Cinnabar. Kostroma is a wealthy planet which is under threat of invasion. Daniel, Adele, and the scratch crew they gather aren't much to stand in the way of a powerful invasion fleet. They have nothing on their side but each other — and heaven help whatever tries to stand in their way!