Greg Hamilton is just an ordinary guy. Well . . . not completely ordinary. He had been an elite special operations soldier before getting blown up and medically discharged from the service. 

Years later, he innocently gets caught up in First and Second Contact when he encounters two UFO's battling it out in the skies over Canada. He rescues a badly injured woman, Arlynn, who is the sole survivor of the engagement. Through her, Greg learns that her people, the An’Atee, have lived in peace for so long that they no longer have—or need—a military. 

The An’Atee have secretly been studying Earth, a violent civilization whom they cannot even remotely understand. 

One violent civilization is more than enough challenge, but they recently encountered another star-faring civilization, the Harbok. Not only have the Harbok refused to communicate with the An’Atee, they shoot on sight. 

Greg, sick of the horrors of war, is nevertheless coerced into helping Arlynn return to her people. In the process, he learns that the An’Atee not only have no idea how to fight, with only a few exceptions they cannot even bring themselves to harm another sentient being.  They are desperately attempting to arm themselves against the Harbok, but they are failing miserably.

Though not an expert on space travel, Greg is, compared to the An’Atee, an expert on tactics. In desperation, they ask for his guidance.

Should he help them?

He only has their word about events, so how can he know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? The Harbok have clearly been on Earth for some time and have not, so far as he can tell, harmed anyone. 

He likes the An'Atee, and he wants to help them defend themselves, but his conscience demands that he learn the Harbok's side of things before deciding.