The elite force is going down as the resources are ending and the ship that they once stole for survival is too in an exhausted state as the repairs seem to be impossible. After travelling for several light years the journey still seems to be endless for all of them and they are left with no enemy as well. They search for a mission or a place to finally settle down and rest after their great toil.
Craig Alanson started this mode of the series right from the previous part Black Ops when we hear that the crew started asking about the condition of the Mother Earth.
Now they face another big problem, the mysterious alien Al is dying and with it their hope for survival as well. There are chances that they can bring him back but he would not be of any use than as all his memories would disappear with this decaying body that he now possesses. Thus the death of Al whom they call Skippy is the end of all hope for them and they would not have the advantage of foresight that they have been enjoying for so long.
The time has come to return home and face the bitter realities from which they have been running from for a couple of light years. R.C. Bray the narrator can be felt as he is back in business because the energy and enthusiasm is back and though the characters are dejected but the narration is superb. The novel can be enjoyed fully by those who have been reading the whole series in sequence because only then you can share the feelings with the crew.
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