Zelos seemed an ideal planet for colonization. Possessing one large continent and numerous archipelagos, it had a climate and vegetation comfortably like that of Earth.
Captain James Conrad and his crew of Expendables started on their initial reconnaissance of the planet. For the first time they found human beings already in residence. But this was a society remote from anything they had ever before experienced. For the Emperor of this strange world controlled his domain through the great annual War Games.
Only the fittest could survive - and only they were allowed to procreate. Through this 'death control' the population was limited to twenty thousand. There was only one way the Expendables could get permission to establish a colony on Zelos. Risking their own lives, they must compete in the dreaded War Games. And, somehow, they must win.