Steel Dunes, an international large-scale prison on the south coast, serves as a joint project for the colony and the Dar'y and Isaris peoples to stop the burgeoning crime. However, Vas Kandiris, commander of the powerful government guards, is increasingly abusing it to arrest political opponents of the governor there after the terrible failure of the newly launched space program. Kat-Ya Kon Wardi, daughter of the late High Priest of the Aristo cult of the Dar'y, is also forced to act against increasingly radical forces within the clans. Sard Mamarter and Dars Poole, a former friend of Brit Darburg and Len Kakaia, are among the prominent inmates who are gradually taking control of the "steel dunes".
As resistance to governor Adam grows and even the most brutal measures of the units of Vas Kandiris couldn’t cause the people to calm down, the government settles in the hoped-for safe fortress. There, criminals, radical believers and political extremists gather with the units of the fled government. Brit Darburg received the post of transitional governor. Together with Len Kakaia, Brigadier General of the Political Police, she forms the resistance and unites troops of the army and the Dar'y.
“Blood and Rust” symbolizes creeping decay and coercion that binds people to other people as well as ideals and ideologies and does not protect them against their own and other manipulations - a political thriller in which glitter and delusion, hopes, fears, love and hate belong together and at the end a humanitarian catastrophe is waiting.
Almost forty years after the last contact with the Mother Planet Earth, the human colony on Tranthal, under the leadership of Governor Seth Adam, is holding fast to the colonial treaties that were signed two hundred years ago. These treaties insure the residents protection and technology transfer, in return for which raw materials, energy and rare chemical compounds for the earth are mined, produced and stored. Despite the broken contact and no support, Governor Adam refuses to suspend the contracts. While the standard of living declines and the colony is more despised than respected by the other peoples of the planet even after two hundred years of existence, societal and economic development is stagnant. The decades-long promised democracy would have taken place if the peoples of Dar'y, Isaris or Sin-Dar'y were kept at a distance, but instead it degraded into a gentle form of totalitarianism.
In order to fulfill the old colonial obligations, raw materials are stored near the spaceport, which are missing everywhere in the colony itself. While even their own space program must be stopped due to lack of energy and raw materials, the huge warehouses are expanded and equipped with goods that have not been collected by earth for a long time.
In a climate of stagnation, domestic pressure and a new war with the neighboring Dar'y, three young recruits are finishing their training at the prestigious military academy of the colonial capital Hallwa: Brit Darburg, daughter of the influential colonial officer Frid Darburg and a student at the Propaganda Department , Dars Poole, a dissident and extremely talented young astrophysicist, and Len Kakaia, scion of a dynasty of farmers who studies criminology and longs for the city's street canyons. Both of them love Brit, in their own unique ways. However, Brit, who has a direct lineage back to the Earth on her mother's side, loves the state and the colony, and she firmly believes in Governor Adam.
Together, they start their journey into the world after graduation. A world that is not only determined by politics and religion, but also marked by a powerful military-political complex and sacrosanct hierarchies, intercultural conflicts and economic disputes, at the end of which not only life, as they know, but also their very personal Ideals, hopes and fears are put to the test. A world where politicians, religious leaders and serious criminals are pulling the strings and many will lose far more than their faith in the colony.