This is the first short story in the book "Beginnings" which is the sixth volume in the Worlds of Honor series in the Honorverse.
The story takes place in the year 2352, (1650 years before the events of "On Basilisk Station"). It centers around Lieutenant Lee Strong of the Earth Union Customs Patrol, whose current mission as the story starts is to board a hijacked space liner on the outskirts of the Sol System's asteroid belt. The story develops into understanding the earths future history and political strifes up to 2354, the politically split Earth Union is divided between two factions, whom do not have a common agenda.
Without giving the story away, Lee Strong has to discover who is behind the hijacking and the wider implications that are behind it. He must decide where his political allegiance lies and what if anything he is going to about them.
This story took me a little over an hour to read and is well written. If I did not know anythng about David Weber's Honorverse, it would not make a single difference as the story stands on its own merits. What this does do is set up an area for David Weber or other authors to fill in the gap between mankind living in our own solar system and the point where we are colonising the galaxy.