Raj Whitehall was a young noble of the Civil Government, the last remnant of galactic civilization on the planet Bellevue, when he came across an ancient but still functioning Fleet Battle Computer named Center. With Center's vast fund of knowledge and strategic calculating abilities, Raj could defeat the barbarians threatening to engulf the Civil Government, and start Bellevue on the road back to the stars. But the Governor, to whom Raj has sworn absolute loyalty, nourishes a paranoid envy and mistrust that grows with every victory. Can even a battle computer of the Galactic Age be enough to counter the fury of Raj's enemies . . . and the treachery of his "friends"?