By joining the grafters, Joaquin has become an outcast, part of a group distrusted and hated by the people of Laurim, the last vestige of humankind after the Days of Desolation. But the cybernetically-enhanced grafters have long been a necessary evil that bring stability to the fragile colony. Laurim is thrown into turmoil when news leaks that the recently-landed alien, the only other known life in the galaxy, has died under the care of the grafters. When Joaquin uncovers a conspiracy that would destroy the delicate balance of power, he must make a choice: Will he sacrifice his new identity among the non-grafters for the good of Laurim or will he remain silent? The stakes grow higher when a distress signal from Earth breaks over a century of silence. Are there really other humans left or is it a trick? As part of an envoy to Earth, Joaquin discovers nothing is as it seems, and the fate of not only Laurim, but of all of humanity rests on him forsaking his own humanness. . .