This is the third book in David Gerrold's Star Wolf series. The story begins soon after the events of 'Voyage of the Star Wolf', with the ship known as 'Star Wolf' by it's crew, and LS-1187 by everyone else in the Defense Authority fleet, (a ship has to have been blooded before it can assume a name, and the LS-1187's kills keep getting taken away by the politics of the Admiralty Review Boards) stationed at a decontamination berth, near Stardock.
In VotSW the ship had been 'host' to a Morthan (genetically altered humans -- more than human -- who have declared war on the Allied Worlds of Humanity) Assassin for over 72 hours, and hence needs to be scrubbed clean of all traps, sabotage, and threats to the safety of Stardock before being allowed to come to port there. The problem being: as more things are corrected, more keeps going wrong. But that's not the only trouble, the Admiralty wants the LS-1187 decommissioned and scrapped for parts, the Morthan battle fleet is believed to be headed for the Taalamar system, and every able-bodied ship needs/wants to be there, the crew of the Star Wolf is no exception. And Commander Jon Korie is once again denied his Captain stars.
The whole of the book takes place in and around the Star Wolf, with a few scenes on Stardock. Their are three main story lines: we follow a new crewmember, Gatineau, in his first tour aboard a starship, Korie and the crew as they try to get their ship back in fighting condition before it is stripped by the rest of the fleet, and Chief Security Officer Brik's (a Morthan who has turned his back on the Morthan Solidarity decided to join with the Alliance) quest to understand human sexuality (a trait 'engineered out' of Morthans because of its inefficiency, and distractive nature.) The book gives an in-depth look at the lives of a number of the crewmembers, an insight into the strategic and psychological mindsets necessary for interplanetary warfare.
This report prepared by Thomas Head