353 years after humans settled on Terra-Pegasi, some 50 light-years from a hellish Earth, Roche Valles, a bright but defiant history student, has his doubts about what he’s being taught at Blackhurst University. His marriage to Rhea is on shaky ground because it looks as though they’re unable to have a family together. Despite all the stress of this, he feels compelled to doggedly pursue his argument that the 608 enormous, empty stone towers that his ancestors once decided to inhabit were not really built and occupied by huge sentient beings millions of years ago. But this pursuit, while intriguing and exciting for him, is also fraught with danger; it’s soon obvious to Roche that the truth about the towers is being actively suppressed by the Blackhurst Historical Society, which has, at its heart, an even more secretive fraternity. After more than three centuries, Kelvin Blackhurst, the man who brought one thousand ‘Pioneers’ here, continues to be revered by the general public, and this in itself arouses the suspicions of the truant student. None of the technology ferried 300 trillion miles across space made it down to the surface. Or did it? In a secret tower, then in a sprawling necropolis far beyond the Empty Wastes which surround the plateau everyone lives on, Roche peels away the layers of a deep, dark mystery, and in turn, learns more about the fascinating history of his world than anyone before him.