Ordered out on a scientific expedition, Captain Thomas Cochrane of the Centauri Royal Navy would rather fight pirates instead of hunting floating slime in the atmosphere of a gas giant. But his enemy and former superior, Captain Shelley, is hatching plots against him, and his admiral wants him safely away. Natural philosopher, Bertrand Lile, struggles to balance his duties to Tom, his friend and captain, and to Concordia, a society of secrets, some that may tear apart the Centauri Empire. What he discovers on the mission will force him to choose between force and friendship, between the world he knows and the world he hopes to build. In this second book of the Concordia Series, old certainties fall away, comrades turn to betrayal, and the foundations of everything Tom and Bertrand have believed in get shaken. They must risk everything on one gamble for a future they can only glimpse. No matter what they desire, if they want peace, they have to prepare for war.