Man is established on Kliron XIV, a dark, bleak, barren little globe used solely as a base for spatial patrol ships. Life on Kliron is no bed of roses, but it is only when faced by perils that seem at first too incredible to believe that the best - and worst - is revealed in men. Here in Kliron XIV just such a peril materialises. For the first time in their lives men find themselves confronted by an enemy against which no weapon can prevail. Worse even than the Master Entity, the Gargantua are its slaves, evil Flowers of Darkness that bloom where no life can exist . . .