Space is a dangerous place, but human-populated worlds are the most dangerous of all.
The ship is life! Save the ship.
The Cygnus-12 crew did just that, losing a quarter of their number repelling boarders. They returned home with news that they’d found an outpost of humanity, hostile, like Cygnus VII used to be.
Cain is challenged with building a small military unit to protect the deep space explorers. With the AI’s help, he determines that Earth’s Marines would fill the role best. Five millennia had passed since such a unit last existed, so Cain learns from old Marine Corps manuals and videos like the Sands of Iwo Jima, The DI, and The Siege of Firebase Gloria. With only that to go on, he recruits from a number of species to flesh out the ranks. The Hillcats decide that their role is critical in the overall success of the Cygnus Marines, and they invite themselves along for the ride.
When the ship returns to Concordia, will the Marines and the cats be enough to help them?