Esther Lysander, the driven, professional Marine ever conscious of the heavy weight of her father’s legacy, is selected to become an officer.  She has high goals for her career—very high goals—and she believes the best method to achieve success is to be a complete hard-ass, keeping emotions at bay.  This outlook has resulted in some notable achievements, but at the cost of friends and her relationship with her twin brother Noah, a price she is willing to pay.

First as an infantry platoon commander, then as a Recon Marine, Esther develops as a tactical commander, all the time putting her career first and foremost.  As she grows into her billets, however, she begins to realize there is more to being a leader of Marines than simply the mission at hand.  A true leader cannot consider her subordinates as mere chess pieces in her rise to the top, and a true Marine has to put the needs of the Corps and Federation above her own.