The dark days are over The secret religious police, Kesek, no longer holds sway over the Realm of Five. Freedom of belief is returned. Now Lieutenant Commander Brian Gaudette of Rescue Operations doesn't have to hide his own beliefs. He can read his Bible in peace. Too bad he doesn't even want to look at it. He has a new, state-of-the-art starship ready for its maiden cruise-but the first officer is an ex-pirate, and the crew fight over suddenly legal religious differences. The Crown Marshals want their people aboard to hunt down Kesek's remnants. His wife has taken his daughter away for fear of his beliefs. And Brian has to wonder whether his God-who never seems to be around-will ever give him a straight answer. When his ship responds to a distress call on a remote planet, Brian will find his faith and duty challenged in ways for which he is unprepared. Because Kesek is not gone. They are biding their time. And they have found a weapon that can threaten the balance of power in the galaxy . . .