The descendants of a fourth Earth colony ship, Destiny, successfully establish a foothold in unoccupied space. Naiad, the home world, is a frozen ball, but the colonists persevere and expand through wormholes to remote systems.
Navigating the time-space anomalies requires Axis-ships. The expensive vessels are constructed by corporations, and remote worlds are claimed by the companies for their valuable ores and gases.
The corporations and Naiads are at odds with each other, and their lives are made more complicated by the arrival of strangers in an alien ship.
To understand the nature of the unusual vessel coasting toward Beta Two, the director of operations orders the kidnapping of specialists from other mining worlds. Entire families are scooped up, but two siblings, Escher and Allie, evade capture.
Hiding deep below the domes’ surfaces, the siblings are befriended by the orphans of miners. The young mickies don’t possess identification chips or cids, which would identify them as citizens.
The gang of mickies and the siblings strike a deal to help each other. Each group is determined to reach Naiad. The mickies seek citizen status and freedom, and Escher and Allie want help rescuing their parents.
The beleaguered group’s hastily derived plans bury them in criminal complications. When all appears lost, a second alien vessel exits the dark. The hull is similar to the ship at Beta Two, and these strangers seek their enemies.