BY: Allen Steele
June 1, 2288-Europe's first starship, the EASS Galileo, launches on its maiden voyage to investigate an unidentified object, code-named Spindrift, which is traveling outside our solar system. An object that may be alien in origin. The Galileo disappears soon after...
February 1, 2344-The Galileo's shuttle returns to Earth carrying three surviving expedition members, who still appear to be the same age they were when they departed. They report that they have, indeed, made contact with an extraterrestrial race-and become enmeshed in a conflict that brought them face to face with the most apocalyptic force in the galaxy.
It is up to Director General John Shillinglaw to piece together the puzzle created by these events- for the survivors tell their stories from their own conflicting perspectives. And the truth is more difficult to glean than it appears.