In 2050 the first wave of colonists left Earth for the nearby solar system of Tau Ceti, as the first wave of man's greatest adventure. On the inhospitable desert world of Tau Ceti III, a new life began. In 90 years thirty great cities were built, until without warning a great plague decimated the new world. The remaining desperate colonists were evacuated and in time a cure was found. An expedition force was dispatched and then destroyed by the now-malfunctioning defense systems. The only way to incapacitate the automatic defenders was to shut down the massive fusion reactor that fueled the planet. It was decided that a single highly skilled pilot in an armed ground skimmer might succeed where 50 would surely fall. Like a fool, you volunteered.