Climate change ravages Earth, a man-made plague forces millions into segregated camps, and the hope of finding a new world withers under threat of an alien attack. To ensure mankind's survival, two men take opposing paths. At the age of ten, Daniel Walker witnessed first contact with a space faring alien race, a horrifically violent event that left him orphaned, traumatized and reluctantly famous. Years later with the help of the woman he loves, he uses that fame to fulfill a single-minded ambition to launch a mission to a new world. Cadmon Dhyre was also orphaned early, but the consequences for him were worlds apart. Instead of famous and admired, he is shunned and despised. Along with millions of others, Cadmon is afflicted by the disfiguring 'toad' nanogen plague. Cadmon finds his way out of the camps by employing his genius to become a renowned nanotechnologist. Determined to find a cure, but blocked at every turn, he turns increasingly ruthless. Daniel is prepared to face the aliens again but doesn't anticipate that his biggest threat will come from an unscrupulous nano-technologist.