This collection gives us four tales from before the establishment of the VANGUARD-station, the early time of the establishment and after the troubles really get big for Commodore Reyes. In each of the stories somebody else is the focus of events - first T'prynn and ambassador Jetanien, then Tim Pennington (one of the few first-person-narration in the ST-universe), Reyes and Desai and lastly Cervantes Quinn and Bridy Mac in a run-away spy-story.
All the stories are quite interesting and give more background or bring the VANGUARD-saga a bit more along. All the writers are old hands at ST and it certainly shows - as it shows, that they coordinated the contents of their stories. Quite satisfying, all in all.