While centurions Macro and Cato are returning to Rome from a harrowing campaign against the Parthians, their transport ship is almost capsized by a tidal wave. They barely make it to the port of Matala in Crete where they are stunned to find a devastated town.
An earthquake has struck the island, destroying its cities and killing thousands. In the chaotic aftermath, large bands of the island's slaves begin to revolt and local bandits, taking advantage of the slave rebellion, urge the Cretans to overthrow the Roman administration.
With many of the island's troops either killed or wounded during the earthquake, the governor of the province calls on Macro and Cato for help. Can they move swiftly enough to counter the rebellion before it sweeps the Romans from the island?