High above Earth orbits the starship Basilica. On board the huge vessel are a sleeping woman and an artificial intelligence, the Oversoul of Harmony. Of those who made the journey from the planet Harmony, Shedemai alone has survived the hundreds of years since the Children of Wetchik returned to Earth.
She now wears the Cloak of the Starmaster, given to her by Nafai when he chose to live out his life on Earth. The Oversoul sometimes wakes her from her hibernation chamber to watch over her descendants on the planet below. The population has grown rapidly—there are cities and nations now, whole peoples descended from those who followed Nafai or Elemak. Shedemei watches with sorrow as the war between those two brothers lives on in the enmity of their descendants.
Shedemei and the Oversoul have recorded much of the history of Earth since they came, but in all the long years of watching and searching, the Oversoul has not found the thing it sought. It has not found the Keeper of the Earth, the central intelligence that alone can repair the Oversoul’s damaged programming and allow it to return to Harmony.
But on the planet below, among the people there, Shedemei and the Oversoul can see the influence of the Keeper. And now, in Shedemei’s dreams, the Keeper speaks to her again, sending powerful warnings. She is needed on the surface, with her knowledge and the power of the Starmaster’s Cloak. And so at last she determines to go. The last living child of Harmony will return to Earth and search for the Keeper as she once searched for the Oversoul—by being its servant until at last they come face to face.