On Earth, the struggle is on to keep the Phrynis star charts from Hengst. Hengst, up in his orbiting satellite, STI, (Space Tektonics, Inc.) continues his pressure on the Hesikastor for the charts. (He has a fleet of star ships ready to leave with would-be survivors of his choosing and nowhere to go.) Shira, the Hesikastor’s granddaughter, also receiving the visions of Phrynis history through him, flees with friends including Ellisen’s wife to the Bourg, the Hesikastor’s secret underground enclave. Hengst wants hostages for leverage. Hengst increases pressure on the Hesikastor until, fearing for the old man’s life, a young physicist, head of Hengst's top research team on STI, plots to rescue the Hesikastor and get him down to safety in the the Bourg.
On Phrynis, Hesta, Annhilde's granddaughter, the dormant baby in The Orborgon, is now ten years old. While not accepted as a Gurdn, she is harbored in the safety of remote faa-aron-Ramoni, unhappy and ignorant of her true heritage - until disaster strikes and she is forced out literally into new and perilous places. As she tries to regain her freedom she has to cope with startling revelations and strange new powers stirring within her.