In the 24th century, General William Myson heads Earth's governmental body -- Structure. Obsessed with swelling his personal fortune, Myson engages in illegal arms deals with the mysterious, alien Sinz. But the planet Seriatt, home to a three-sex race, is located near the wormhole gateway used by the Sinz. The Seriatts are increasingly threatened by Myson's dealings, and tensions run high. Diplomats broker a deal: Myson will father a child by Seriattic conosq Vourniass Lycern -- the royal child-bearer -- linking Earth and Seriatt politically. When the unwilling Lycern seeks sanctuary within the Affinity Group, Myson orders veteran officer Delgado to fetch her: Delgado is highly capable, but expendable. Once feared and respected, Delgado's status has plummeted under Myson's regime, his old-school methods unwelcome. Resentful of being sidelined despite years of service, Delgado realises the mission may offer an opportunity to engender sweeping change. But he underestimates his task, and as events escalate and the true power of conosq becomes apparent, Delgado's plans fall apart. With time running out and confronted by Structure's full might, Delgado finds himself stranded on Earth's ruined streets, embroiled in his greatest ever battle -- one he simply cannot lose.