A six man crew is sent to a rebellious colony called Hel in the Hades system. They’re aboard Nightrider. It’s the ultimate war weapon that doesn’t really need humans but in case of any improvisation needed a crew is on board. Good thing because things start to go wrong.
The rulers of Earth want to make an example of the rebels that built a colony on Hel. They’re concerned that one day they’ll have the technology to start an empire of their own. The rebels are called The Outsiders. It’s to be a total annihilation of their base.
As they approach the planet four of the crew go onto a lander while the other two orbit the planet. Now the problems begin. The lander goes to destroy the base. One problem…they can’t find it. The mapping program isn’t working properly.
In orbit an Outsider ship fired a missile at Nightrider and just missed and may have more to come. During the evasive maneuver the crew has something else to worry about. Nightrider is starting to argue with them.
On the planet they finally find the base and fire on it and then discover twenty clones. They take some prisoners but two clones are missing. They have a tractor….and weapons.
The novel is slow up to this point but stay with it. Things really start moving.