It has been 15 years since the events of Einstein’s Bridge. George and Alice Griffin and Roger Coulton have established the Iris Foundation, a powerful island-isolated research organization tasked with exploiting the technologies learned from the Makers, re-learning Maker techniques for creating wormholes, reestablishing contact with the Makers, and protecting Earth from Hive invasions. Sparked by a new idea from Roger, Iris researchers finally master wormhole technology and use accelerated wormholes to create Fermi Station in the Oort Cloud. Contact is established with the Makers and the Centaurs, a justice-seeking robotic civilization in our galaxy. The triple alliance mounts a three-pronged attack on the Hive world, destroying the Hive and one of its colonies. A second Hive colony cannot be located and could pose a future problem. Iris launches an armada of accelerated wormholes to probe nearby star systems and establishes a colonization base on Orca, an Earth-like moon of Bowhead, a giant planet in the Tau Ceti system. Mankind has reached the stars.