Tabitha Enns is given work experience on board the Kestrel, on the adventure of her life, that will push her to the limit. Tabitha gets to meet her first aliens, but it doesn't go smoothly, and being out in space isn't what she expected. When a hostile alien species are discovered, the Kestrel is sent to make contact, leading the crew – and Tabitha – into danger, and the crew have problems with their friends as well as their enemies. Why did a dying man say, 'butterfly'? Who exactly is the mysterious injured woman, and what is her connection to the hostile aliens threatening not only the Kestrel's crew but the entire galaxy?