Artifice, the great enemy, has been defeated. The sister SADEs, Omnian sentient digital entities, are free from their boxes. Most humans are unaware that the sisters have duplicated themselves many more times than suspected. They now constitute a sizable, powerful group, calling themselves the Sisterhood.
The elimination of Artifice’s rule should be a time of relief and recovery for Alex Racine’s Omnian fleet and for the Toralians, whose home world was Artifice’s lair. Instead, it’s a chaotic period.
Visitors appear, sailing the distinct, black-hulled Toralian battleships. Five colonial governors wish to witness the recovery of the ancient home world. President Sargut welcomes them, but Alex is suspicious about the governors’ motives. In a face-to-face meeting, it becomes clear that the governors have a dark, ulterior purpose.
With the release of the federacy from Artifice’s reign, word reaches the Omnians that races are embracing their newfound freedom. Some enjoy peace, some desire expansion, and some yearn for revenge.
The races’ latter choices mean danger for the Toralians and Alex’s fleet. Powerful battleship fleets are either sailing for the Toralian home world to exact reprisals, or they’re seeking new territory. Every encounter presents a challenge for the Omnian fleet.
Some fleets have crossed the federacy’s boundary and are headed toward humankind’s worlds. Alex and the Omnians face a difficult choice. They must choose whether to defend the Toralian home world, which is forming a nascent society, or chase the fleets that are headed toward their planets.