Solely because of his brilliant leadership and daring tactical skills, renegade Lieutenant-Colonel Anton Vereshchagin has been lured out of retirement by a representative of His Imperial Majesty's Japanese government -- the same government Vereshchagin betrayed when he led the planet Suid-Afrika in a successful revolt, after he had commanded the Japanese campaign to conquer it.|
Now Vereshchagin's dangerous mission is to make the first manned contact with the inhabitants of the newly discovered planet Go-Nihon. The potential benefits to mankind are enormous, but so are the perils. For beneath the planet's alien beauty lurks a civilization whose technology is in some areas slightly ahead of man's -- and a race whose instincts may be far deadlier.
When Vereshchagin's tiny fleet enters orbit around Go-Nihon, it is met with nuclear rockets. But those are easily destroyed, so the planet's rulers agree to negotiations and all seems to be going well. Then, in a surprise attack, the aliens kidnap the entire negotiation team, and Vereshchagin has to coordinate the assaults from space, ground attacks, and commando missions to rescue the prisoners and convince the aliens of the value of peaceful coexistence.
It's a lesson Vereshchagin and the men of his 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry (Rifle) could die trying to teach...