Drifting in space, sabotaged by a crewman tainted with an alien mutagen, the starship Trumpet broadcasts to any ship in range the formula of the mutagen's antidote--a drug the United Mining Companies has suppressed for its own sinister purposes. Aboard the crippled ship, the fugitives and survivors--Morn Hyland, an ex-UMCP cop, Angus Thermopyle, a newly freed cyborg, and unwilling saboteur Ciro Vasaczk--must make a desperate gamble. Pursued by the UMCP ship Punisher, threatened by the return of an Amnion combat vessel, they will hijack the police craft by any means necessary . . . and take it back to Earth.