The crew members of the Fleet Explorer Clarion are each extraordinary, so brilliant that their contributions are coveted by the very civilization that produced them. The medical officer suspects the mission is a ruse to discard them all into the unyielding darkness of uncharted space. And if the deep black doesn't destroy them, their survival is threatened by a tyrannical captain. By a catastrophic accident, they are marooned just out of reach of a virgin world. With a stowaway who also helped elevate the character of their sentience, they face an adversary as deadly as unquestioning faith and as promising as genuine love.