Adam Yuga is on the run. Three months ago, a miracle saved him from the deadly genetic illness that threatens the entire population of his former home, the Protectorate. Now he and his lover Lochlan are searching for a way to heal his people. When they receive a mysterious coded message promising hope, they make a desperate grab for it, and are imprisoned-by the very race they want to save.
On Lochlan's distant homeship, a young pilot named Nkiruka faces an agonizing choice: stay with her lover Satya and live a life of happy obscurity, or become the spiritual leader-and the last and only hope-for the Bideshi. Nkiruka doesn't want to lose Satya, but worse, she fears she lacks the strength to carry anyone through the coming storm, let alone her entire people.
Threads of chance and destiny draw the three together. With the fates of civilizations in their hands, they prepare for a final conflict that might be their only chance for survival-or that might destroy them all.