Celan Mairs, now 18 years old and known as Lana Timanti, has been raised to be a model citizen of Albakirk - ever since she left her home in the ranchos and was discovered by her father, Theodore, at age 11. As she strives to win a coveted spot as a SocEn trainee, she is forced to cope with some unexpected emotional fallout that threatens to derail her efforts. Meanwhile, Theodore is focused on his own goal: Gathering the support needed to make Albakirk the first city-state on a long-ruined Earth to establish a permanent colony on Mars.
But her father's fellow Lead SocEn, Ariana Balor, has other plans. Under the the guise of cleansing the planet, she hopes to rid Albakirk of the influence of Transway - that place outside the city walls where ranchos refugees grow ever more entrenched in a mysterious drug culture that she feels is detrimental to the health of the city.
Enter Lang Shays - a young man whose pure metaphysical talents belie a fissure of shadow, and who will end up changing the course of all of their lives.