A starship on a circuit to service earth's colonies is sabotaged and winds up irrevocably lost in space. The only option is to find a habitable planet to live on. Aboard the ship is a contingent of convicts bound for a prison planet, an army company rotating to one of the colony worlds, government officials and scientists going or coming from the colonies, a contingent of prospective colonists going out to pioneer and a miscellany of other passengers. A crew of two hundred fifty is now responsible for a thousand people after they finally find a new world to settle on. Add in a mad captain, combative convicts and some unworldly aliens and it becomes all that acting Captain Travis Callahan can handle-and then some!