Having finished its exploration of an extra-solar gas giant Lalande A, documenting a strange civilization living beneath the clouds of its giant blue spot, the crew of the giant space ark Goddard must now return home. Their route takes them past Lalande B, the second of two Jupiter-sized gas giants orbiting a red dwarf star. But as they pass by it they see something strange; an artificial ring, which compels them to investigate. Once more Alex Rose and Mary Seventeen are called upon to use their shuttle to investigate and find themselves caught up in another strange adventure of discovery.
After that harrowing mission the Goddard must now return home, 10.5 light years away, to bring the news of their discoveries to Earth. When they arrive ... if they arrive ... will they be welcomed as heroes? Or will they find their home world changed by conditions they can only imagine? The answers prove even stranger than the mission itself. Rather than ending their voyage their journey among the stars may be just beginning.