The alien fleet orbited Penum IV and used colorful incinerating death rays on the planet rotating below. When the inhabitants of the globe were annihilated and everything left worth pillaging stowed on black-hulled plunder ships, the fleet moved on to the next inhabited human world, unopposed except by…
The warship Preceptor, commanded by Pier Norlin, a junior officer on a ship with only a skeleton crew. The ship lacks proper armament, the crew is mismatched and fighting among themselves--and the mission is not sanctioned by the Empire. For Norlin, these are only small obstacles to be ignored. He is on a personal mission of revenge against the aliens until…
Command of the Preceptor is given to the genetically enhanced superman, Pavel Pensky. Pensky is brilliant—and quite insane. Will his daring schemes bring victory against the aliens or deliver rainbow death to Norlin and the Preceptor's crew?
Norlin has one small advantage other ships of the Empire lack: he has a captured alien energy weapon. But even this energy cannon is worthless against the waves of decadence flowing from the Emperor's Court where the magnitude of the threat is ignored.
Rebellion is brewing among the frontier worlds and Norlin finds his sympathies increasingly lie with them although his pledge of honor as an officer is to maintain and defend the Empire against all enemies.
The Death Fleet is on course for Earth, and Pier Norlin and the crew of the Preceptor are determined to stop them. True to his duty as an imperial officer, even if a self-appointed one, Norlin is determined to carry the warning of impending invasion to Emperor Arian.
The reality, though, is that the empire is corrupt and the emperor is a perverted, sadistic madman. Hailed as a conquering hero after he survives one of Arian's "war games," Norlin discovers he's a target for both those determined to stay in power and the factions seeking to overthrow the government.