Malila is dead by her own hand—at least, she hopes General will believe so. 18-year-old Malila Chiu must escape her homeland. Nearly naked, with no friends, no resources and she has only a scant idea of the route, her only real info coming from her captivity of the old, yet strangely vigorous Jesse Johnstone. She learned of the lies told her by her homeland and the truths shown her by the arrogant and contradictory Jesse. She thinks she may love him.
Pursuing Malila, Jourdaine moves closer at each turn. Jesse, once again the target for assassination, escapes to the skies, using a huge new American R-ship in his own attempt to find Malila. Spies, poet-socialists, virtual entities, and people—both good and bad—wrestle the Fates for survival and supremacy in a twenty-second-century America.