Ensign Stone's goals were to make his way in the Empire's navy, make his family proud of him, and make love to his fiancée. No matter which way he turned, someone was conspiring against him. Disgraced and humiliated, he is court-martialed, discharged, and abandoned.
Accepting what he thinks is a lowly busy-work position on a beat up old family business space freighter travelling at the edge of human space, he hopes to earn back the trust and respect he lost. The Empire's political powers and his family have different goals. Stone faces humanity's enemies in a do-or-die operation.