Timothy Martin is a respected lecturer in Astronomy who has spent most of his life trying to put behind him the trauma of a childhood dominated by ‘visions’. But the visions have returned, more real than ever. Not only does he see other places, but he is now able to step into them. When he becomes fixated on the star Delta Crucis in the Southern Cross constellation, he sees a vision of a world orbiting it and impulsively takes a step – two hundred and forty-five light years into space. He did not expect to survive. Nor did he expect to land in the midst of an alien city. And he certainly did not expect to threaten the well-being of another world, one that he finds disturbingly – at peace. At stake is not only his own destiny, but that of an entire world.
Back on Earth after his first overwhelming introduction to the peoples of the Galaxy, Timothy learns of a developing crisis. The Shadow is growing and threatens Earth's nearest populated planet with its oppression and malice. In response to the threat, the Custodians of Arboretum find themselves in mortal danger. Uncertain how he might help, Timothy accepts a plea to rescue them. But will he be able to make a difference? Can an answer be found to combat the Shadow? Will the black sea of Timothy's inner schism ruin his chance to save his friends? And what of the evil child within the inky depths of his own soul?
Overcome by the death of his truest friend, Destiny Unsought, Timothy risks all in an abandoned pursuit through the mysterious mountains of Sanctum, the traditional home of the Mighty Ones. There, in the world of the dead and with no hope of return, Timothy finds the answer to the fracture in his own soul and the destiny to which he was born. But first he must do what none other had done before him, cross back from death to life.
It is the year 2337. Earth's first off-world colony on the far side of the galaxy, established a century earlier, has mysteriously gone silent. Probes have identified small remnant communities, but the capital with its thousands of colonists has become a ghost town. McPherson Yenko from the separatist Scot Province of the Qin Unity Republic, finds himself uncovering the deadly truth of the Perishing Waste.