The planet Caitanya-9 has been destroyed.
With its ominous and ancient glory shattered, leaving behind only mysteries, Sarkoth Amnon has disappeared, and the solar system is in the grip of civil war.
With armies massing on each side, one small fact escapes attention. Not everyone on Caitanya-9 was lost.
Andrei Kazmer has returned himself to custody, and has submitted himself to medical study. Long-suppressed secrets are beginning to stir. So too has Ubra Zolot, who carries a baby and a heart full of rage towards the father.
The handful of survivors now walk Terrus and ride the starlanes, trying to find anyone who will believe their tales and hear their warnings. In a universe of inhumanity, they are beginning to realise that Caitanya-9 might never have been needed to end the human race.