When a desperate attack on the Kilrathi homeworld destroyed the entire planet, with the Emperor and his warlords, the demoralized Kilrathi colony worlds surrendered. After thirty-five years of war, Earth and its own colonies welcomed "peace in our time". But the ominous reality was that plenty of independent Kilrathi warlords survived and commanded a formidable array of warships and weaponry. War weary Earth turned a deaf ear to reports of Kilrathi belligerence, preferring to look forward to a tranquil and prosperous future. But it was only the calm before a new storm....