When the Sixth Swarm of the insectoid Dronons began their invasion of human worlds, three fugitives were thrown together as they fled before the wave of alien destruction. Gallen O'Day, a human bounty hunter, Orick, a sentient bear, and Maggie Flynn, a beautiful orphan, made a desperate stand. In an attempt to stop the attack, they challenged the queen of the invading forces. Against all hope, Gallen defeated the Dronon Lord protector in ritual combat, piercing its exoskeleton. Only an ancient system of transport gates has kept the desperate trio one world ahead of the Dronon probes and scout ships. But now, out of worlds and out of hope, they are stranded on a planet called Ruin, far beyond the gates and off the star charts. The desolate rock and its hundred inhabitants are ruled by Lord Felph, an ancient gentleman of inestimable wealth and eccentricity. The four-thousand-year-old Felph has dedicated six hundred years to a search for a mythic alien relic said to give its bearer power over Time and Space. This relic lies in the ultra-dense jungle called the Tangles, where down in the darkness dwell predators of unimaginable ferocity. Nothing human or machine that Felph has sent into the Tangles has ever returned, but with the Dronons closing in, Gallen and Orick must attempt to fulfill this madman's centuries-old dream. For without that relic, nothing will stop the Seventh Swarm.