In the vein of Horatio Hornblower, Patrick G. Cox weaves an exciting, authentic tale of Henry (Harry) Nelson-Heron, a young Midshipman in the British Royal Navy in the early 1800s. When Harry and his best friend Ferghal make the treacherous journey to London to find a ship, fate smiles on them. Harry is appointed a Midshipman aboard the HMS Bellerophon, and Ferghal joins him as a seaman. Transferred to HMS Spartan, the seafaring life takes Harry and Ferghal across the seas and into an unimaginable future.
On the return voyage, in the midst of a sea fight with the French during the Napoleonic wars, an explosion happens that is clearly not the result of cannon fire from the 64-gun French ship. In that moment, Harry, Ferghal and Danny Gunn, a ship boy, disappear from the deck and land 400 years into the future on the deck of the NECS Vanguard, a starship whose Captain is none other than James Heron, Harry’s twelve times great nephew, a keen military leader who quickly becomes a father figure to Harry and the boys.
They are plunged right into the action and intrigue of a modern interstellar fleet battling enemies on Earth and in outpost colonies on other planets. As celebrities and curiosities, Harry and Ferghal are the target of the Johnstone Research Group, who want to use them as lab rats, and who are aligned with the Consortium, a heavily armed and determined enemy, but the North European Confederation’s crushing defeat of the Consortium at Pangaea has led to full-scale war. Meanwhile, all is not well aboard the NECS Daring. Catapulted into a life-or-death situation when the ship is destroyed, Harry and Ferghal must use their knowledge of some very old weapons and skills to save their crew and return to their ship.
On a voyage of exploration, NECS Beagle disturbs a strange alien race called the Niburu. Humanity stands to be wiped out one world at a time if the Niburu are not stopped. In the ensuing battles, the smaller ships of the Fleet must deliver a very dangerous provided by their shadowy allies the Siddhiche to deal the final blow to the Niburu and win the war.
The arc of the series reveals how Harry and Ferghal outwit and outlast those who target them for destruction and elimination, including a secret organization of assassins known as the Pantheon, who have operatives at every level of government. But the Pantheon have never dealt with someone like Commander Harry Heron, and they have no idea what is in store. Their plans spiral out of control when he brings them down through his savvy use of integrity, intelligence, and his unique ability to communicate with the artificial intelligence of any network in proximity, even though the effort is almost his undoing.
Through it all, Harry, Ferghal, and Danny grow into brilliant leaders and fine young men, supported by their friendship and mentorship with Captain (then later Admiral) James Heron and his sister, the feisty Aunt Niamh, a mother figure and a force to be reckoned with as their greatest advocate and protector. Love wins out in the end: the bonds of family love and the fulfillment of married love for Harry and his sweetheart Mary.