Earth is empty of humans. This surprising observation stymies Rome and his shipmates, crew of the starship come to re-establish contact from the colonies. What could have happened in the 500-years of the non-interference treaty to vanish everyone?
Meanwhile, on Earth, Emily is living her computer-simulated life, along with the rest of Earth’s residents: bodies stored in vast underground chambers, minds living without disease, poverty, or pain. But dramatic change is coming to their carefully regulated virtual world. Impenetrable black walls suddenly cut off cities. Monsters appear from the darkness, destroying all they touch. Emily’s expertise has her on the front line of the investigation, trying to understand these frightening developments.
When Rome and Emily meet, it seems they’ve found the answers to each other’s mysteries. But as the colonists and Earth engage in ense diplomacy, suppressed histories are revealed, and a tyrant with frightening powers rises. Together, Rome and Emily discover the terrifying secret buried deep underground that threatens the existence of everyone on Earth.