Microbiologist Graysha Brady-Phillips accepts a hazardous position assisting in terraforming the planet Goddard, partly to get out of debt and partly in desperate hope. There's a chance that the colonists are conducting illegal genetic research, which could provide a cure for the genetic disorder slowly killing her.
But genetic engineering is banned by the powerful Eugenics Board, and Graysha is the daughter of the board’s high commissioner. When the colonists discover her connection, she is ostracized—for the possible penalties for conducting their radical research include death. Graysha tries to pursue her profession and befriend the colonists, but soon she is dodging attempts on her life.
When her new world is pushed to the brink, Graysha must decide what she will cling to.