Ten years ago Nora Falconi, Marcus Cranshaw, and Rudolf Tasker barely got off Planet 8055 alive after the alien Ast took it over. What can draw the long disbanded cultural survey team back together, and back to the most brutally misogynistic world any of them ever visited, after all this time?
A dying little girl, that's what. Nora's daughter, conceived on 8055, who for reasons not yet known can't survive into adulthood anywhere else. The secret behind that is just one of the perils awaiting the reunited comrades — but the worst danger of all is the one they're bringing with them.
Without realizing it, of course.