From the author:
The elite science crew of the Archimedes have performed a series of away missions in the past. Having perfected a holo-technology, allowing them to visit alien worlds by beaming down holograms (holo’s) of themselves, or alien representations of themselves, they have been able to gather abundant knowledge on a variety of other cultures while not disturbing the local societies.
The technology is very advanced; because the scientist is in holo form, less hospitable planets can be visited easily without damage to the scientist himself. Also, since the holos are produced by highly sophisticated computers, linguistics was built into the functions, making alien dialects as readily decipherable as one’s native language. Before visiting a new world, scans are done to determine what alien civilizations are common so that holos may be generated in a suitable form.
While a character is in holo form, he is safely in stasis aboard his ship, and all he must do to escape the world is end the program.
But what if you couldn't simply end the program? What if your away team became stuck on a very dangerous planet? Could you find a way to escape?