At the close of the 24th century, a series of revolutions has caused the galaxy to descend into chaos. With the Galactic Union Army stretched thin, mercenary units have arisen for those who have the need - and the means - to hire them.
Kay, the alien member of the Cutter Force Initiative, has returned to her brutal home world of Vast on a mission of mercy. Before she joined the merc team, she was a great healer. And now her skills are sorely needed. Hundreds of Vastalimi - including her blood-kin - are mysteriously dying. But is the plague a work of nature? Or is it a bioengineered virus, purposefully unleashed? Kay and Doc Wink will have to find out the hard way.
With the Cutter Force light-years away, the two find the odds against them - and on a planet like Vast, where violence abounds and life is cheap, they may be facing a foe they can't defeat.