The conflict on Man's first planetary colony.
A military man finds himself on a foreign world with scientists as they all struggle to survive in the hostile environment. When the team discovers alien ruins and a new life form, he comes to see himself not as a leader of the crew or as an adventurer discovering new worlds, but simply a human being in the unenviable position of deciding the future direction of Mankind. Their advanced robots slowly begin to solve the alien riddles as the crew attempts to settle into their new home. The crew finds that politics can reach deep into space, and old hatreds die hard as a nation sends an agent to wrest control of the alien technology from the colony, or utterly destroy it.