Peter and his wife, Zoe, continue to deftly control the tide of events while trying desperately to stay in the background. Fortunately for them, their twin children, Tim and Katie, rapidly grow into positions where they become influential.
While the governments of Earth have grudgingly accepted that the institute has overriding authority, nearly two decades of relative peace and stability are threatened when an alien species known as the Calai approach Earth before the defensive shield that is being constructed can be completed.
The alien superintelligence called the Bearing has decided that it needs to intervene much more directly to stop promising new species from being submerged by conquest. For long-term planning purposes, they need to peaceably associate the human race and the Calai. The overwhelming military strength and determination of the Calai make this association difficult to achieve.
Also as part of their long-term planning, they intend to move human influence to another part of the galaxy.
Tim and Katie are their chosen agents for the next stage of the intervention, and the story traces how they are subtly influenced in the desired direction.
This book moves away from the local political action of Rekindling of Hope onto an interstellar stage. It is a story of planning, character growth, drama, and new possibilities for the human race.