Horne, the spaceship's pilot, had been warned. "Don't forget the meteor swarm." And Horne's directional calculations for the Vega Queen's course took that advice into account; the spaceship would go fifteen thousand miles out of its way to avoid those deadly celestial rocks. But when Horne went off duty, he felt himself numbed by a curious druglike leadenness. And the next thing he knew, he was in a lifeboat, speeding away from the floating wreckage of the Vega Queen. Eighteen survivors out of one hundred and fifty-three passengers. And each one in the tiny space shell believed Horne responsible...deliberate negligence, calculated destruction...Someone had drugged Horne, he knew; someone had tampered with the ship to alter its course. But who? And for what cosmic purpose?