A stranded alien must choose between returning his queen to their homeworld, or saving his human daughter from the invasion that will result.
Explorer Bridge will allow humanity to travel the distance between stars in the blink of an eye, but few know the actual price of its development. Stranded in our solar system and fearful of humanity a secretive alien species, the orhatea, slammed an asteroid into Earth to manipulate humanity with a savior figure. Now that Explorer Bridge is complete, the orhatea can go home, but one of them has other plans.
Tenakee has studied the Book of Engaro since she was a hatchling. She recognized humanity as the species promised in the book and tried to convince Amah to make the evolutionary jump to Engaro. Amah ridiculed her instead. When she tried to escape with Mokie, her pledged male, Amah killed him to subdue her. She used her telepathically controlled human clones to gather allies in Explorer Corporation, then she escaped Amah in the Cara and killed Earah in revenge for Mokie’s death. Her transformation to Engaro complete, nothing can stop her from leading the orhatea to their destiny.
Earah has spent two human lifetimes working to return his Amah to their home world. When he wakes into a human clone for the third time he feels betrayed. As the Earah, the pledged male, to the orhatea queen and mother he has always been loyal to her plans, even the one that left them stranded in Earth’s solar system. When Amah confirms his memories that Explorer Bridge is functioning he knows he should be home, on Ora, not Earth. But Earl and Charles Clark’s memories haunt his vision, and he learns that his role as a human is not finished.
Erin Smart was comfortable with her special place in the Universe: The human daughter of a stranded alien. She assumed that one day, when Explorer Bridge was complete, she would accompany her father to his home world. But he died before they could make the trip. She was just getting comfortable as a leading member of the First Expedition Crossing when Earl Clark, her dead father, called looking for help. Now she is forced to question everything she took for granted.