The Imperial Astrophysical Institute's official position is that, as a planet, Demeter should not exist. In a stellar system far older than Sol's, the lack of metal should have prevented any planet from forming around the weak red sun. But Demeter overcame the odds and the planet and its life survived for billions of years, even after the first human settlers arrived. Now something has happened to catch the eye of the Church Universal.
The Church Universal is the glue that holds the Second Empire together, and their Tawiin, handpicked squads of assassins, are a messy, but necessary part of that. However, on Demeter, the Tawiin forgot their cardinal tenet, "Make No Martyrs." As a result, a rebellion is in full flower on this impossible planet near the galactic core.
At first glance the deck appears stacked against the rebellion. On the Imperial side is the infamous General Amatos of the bloody Kelevian skirmishes. Amatos came prepared with battlecruisers, flitter gunships, hovertanks, and several battalions of Imperial Marines, all of which deployed in an indecent hurry, even before the rebellion started. The Imperial forces, the Imps, have the numbers and the technology, but for some reason the Butcher of Kelev seems to be pulling his punches.
Meanwhile, the rebellious settlers, their backs to the planet, are fighting for survival. But how do you fight without enough metal even for bullets? Much to the annoyance of the Imps, both the rebels and the planet itself seem to have some ideas along that line. But nobody, Imp or rebel, seems to have the answer to the biggest question of all. Just what did a group of archaeologists discover that was so important that they were killed and a rebellion provoked to cover it up?
Metallicity is the second book of the Eichi Testaments, delving deeper into the questions raised in Make No Martyrs. Questions such as how do you hold a galaxy-spanning civilization together, what makes someone a human, what price does genetic purity demand, and what role do worms really play in surgery?