Nearly four hundred years have passed since what became known as the DeFoe Manor Incident, when an eccentric cat burglar known as Trilby brought an end to the reign of terror inflicted by a murderous wraith, the ghost of Sir Roderick DeFoe's abused, unwanted son. The incident is now remembered only by scholars of urban myth, and the true facts of the case are lost behind endless conjecture and fictionalisation.
Mankind has moved on from mother Earth, and after the invention of warp technology, is fast mapping the universe one light year at a time. Due to a shortage of materials, the Earth Federation instigates a new program to upgrade old and retired vessels. The Mephistopheles, a small ageing scouting craft, is the first ship to undergo the process. Crewed by a new compliment of 6 crewmen, she is assigned to map out the Caracus galaxy.
Just a few days into the assignment, the crew of the Mephistopheles discover an unknown artefact floating unprotected in deep space: an ancient metal locker. Ignoring advice from the Federation to leave it for a research vessel, the captain brings it aboard and prepares to lift the lid...1