When refugees from a war-ravaged Earth first settled Harmony, they built a master computer as a guardian of the peace — a machine designed to keep people from developing the technology that devastated their old world. Their descendants, genetically altered to receive the computer’s transmissions, worshiped the voice within — what they called the Oversoul. But after 40 million years, the Oversoul began breaking down. To be repaired, its core had to interface with the even more powerful master computer still on Earth. So it chose a group of men and women for a journey to that distant world, where they would establish a colony and, hopefully, thrive. But although it tried to provide for every eventuality, the Oversoul was a machine — not always accurate with regard to the dangerous complexities of the human heart and mind…
Nafai did not possess his borther Elemak’s natural gift for leadership, but he also lacked his brother’s capacity for envy and suspicion. While Elemak resisted the Ovesoul, Nafai was its willing tool–one reason he was put in charge of the expedition. For that, Elemak would never forgive him. Yet his hatred of Nafai went far deeper–a poison that ate away at the colony. And then it spread among those with whom humans now shared the Earth–two sapient races that had evolved from ordinary bats and rats. The colonists called them angels and diggers.
The angel pTo feared the Old Ones, but even more, he feared they would ally themselves with the hated devils, who lived underground and preyed upon the angels’ young. And so he dared approach the strangers who’d come out of the sky, though they had no wings–and nearly paid for such boldness with his life. An inauspicious beginning to a friendship that would endure for centuries.
The digger Fusum was blood king of his people, and he despised the way they groveled before the newcomers. The root Mother said they were gods; Fusum knew better. They were strong, but mortal. He saw one die! So he would wait, forge alliances, and when the time was right, he would lead an army to destroy them.