Book 4 of Shadow Gods Saga
Safely returning Lauren Hopking and Bill Faroway to Earth, First Scout Terrllss-rr was glad to be away from the place; the problematic mission to destroy an old scoutship found at Comalcalco still fresh on his mind.
On his way home to Taltair, his ship is intercepted by an Orieli Technic Union survey cruiser. Its presence sends ripples of concern throughout the Serrll Combine, a conglomeration of 247 star systems, but Sargon seeks to turn this to an advantage, promoting the merger with the Palean Union.
The Orieli send an Observer to study Earth, but the mission goes horribly wrong, leaving the Observer stranded on Earth. On Taltair, Terr and his Wanderer brother Dharaklin are given a new mission. They are to infiltrate an Askaran raider operation, suspected of being involved with the AUP Provision Committee who organized raids on Pizgor systems. If a link could be established with the Committee, it would frustrate the Sargon/Palean merger and possibly prevent war within the Serrll.
Returning home, the Orieli ship encounters an unknown warship, which attacks without warning. Destroying the alien, the Orieli must now confront the Celi-Kran, machine constructs bent on annihilating all organic intelligent life the Orieli discovered five years ago.
Terr’s operation progressing smoothly, it was time to force the issue and penetrate the raider organization and uncover a link to the Provisional Committee. Before he can complete his mission, his cover is penetrated and Dharaklin is placed in mortal danger. To extricate themselves, both have to raise the hand of Death. Although his mission is compromised, Terr has established a link between the local raider network and the Paleans, which seriously disrupts raider operations in the sector, but Terr’s hunt for raiders is not over yet.