The third installment in the action-packed Sim War seriesThe Step, a faster-than-light method of travel, is humanity's greatest advantage in its interstellar war with the Sims. Olech Mortas, Chairman of the Emergency Senate, believes the Step could be used to contact an alien entity that might tip the scales in the conflict. And he's willing to risk his life to prove it.Olech's son, Lieutenant Jander Mortas, has recently survived his first battle as part of the elite Orphan Brigade. The Orphans' new mission is to investigate suspicious Sim activity on the jungle planet Verdur—but what they discover there is far worse than anything they could have imagined.Meanwhile, Jander's sister Ayliss has gone to the war zone as the governor of a new colony made up of discharged veterans. Ayliss soon realizes that she and the colonists stand in the way of both the Sim enemy and a sinister mining corporation with powerful allies.All three members of the Mortas family are about to step into dire situations.