As the planetoid Thanatos Minor explodes into atoms, a specially fitted cruiser escapes the mass destruction and hurtles into space only a step ahead of hostile pursuit. On board Trumpet is a handful of bedraggled fugitives from an outlaw world, old enemies suddenly and violently thrown together in a desperate bid for survival. Among this unlikely crew of allies are Morn Hyland, once a UMCP cop, now a prisoner to the electrodes implanted in her brain; her son, Davies, "force-grown" to adulthood by the alien Amnion and struggling to understand his true identity; the amoral space buccaneer Nick Succorso, whose most daring act of piracy could be his last; and Angus Thermopyle, unstoppable cyborg struggling to wrest control of his own mind from his UMCP programmers. Locked in a lethal battle against one another for control of Trumpet, they also find themselves the target of Punisher, a police ship whose human captain, Min Donner, is torn between her duty and her sympathy for the outlaw crew she's been ordered to capture. Yet as Min races to reach Trumpet in time, Warden Dios, the director of the UMC Police, receives a darker directive from the mysterious, semi-immortal Dragon, ruler of the UMC: Kill everyone aboard Trumpet except for the one person whose blood carries the mutagenic key to ultimate Amnion triumph - the ability to appear perfectly human. In a final titanic showdown in space, amid uncharted comets, planets, and asteroid swarms, these forces will converge in a contest of skill and survival on which our future - and the future of the galaxy - depends. In Chaos and Order Stephen R. Donaldson has created his most powerful and labyrinthine tale yet, peeling away layer upon layer ofintrigue and double cross to lay bare the chilling plan for the conquest of humanity.