They had set out from Earth in search of the promised land - and after centuries of flight they believed they had found it. It was already inhabited, but by a primitive and peaceful humanoid race that gave them no opposition. This was the situation when the Hooded Swan landed on its information-seeking mission for the vast interstellar libraries of New Alexandria.
Grainger, man of the double-mind, realized early that there was something odd about the truce between the xenophobic colonists and the docile natives. It took a fleeing wide-eyed native child to bring the Promised Land suddenly to critical mass. What was there about this little girl that could so take an entire planet to the edge of Kingdom Come? That was what Grainger's minds had to find out - and quickly.