Time: early 27th century. Fifty years earlier, human intervention triggered an ancient alien system designed to warn of the emergence of intelligence. For aeons, the Inhibitors have waited and now the response is on the way. Four hundred years later, Clavain has defected to fight on the side of the Conjoiners, a feared and persecuted human faction dedicated to hive-mind consciousness. Now, in the terminal stages of a brutal interplanetary war, something has struck terror into the Conjoiner Inner Sanctum. As the nature of the threat becomes clear, Clavain wonders if he should defect again. He and a misfit band of allies race to Resurgam, where a long-lost cache of Doomsday weapons has been discovered; he wants the weapons for the good of humanity. But someone else already controls the lost weapons; and Triumvir Volyova has very definite plans of her own. And the weapons themselves aren’t exactly lacking in free will….