Captain Thomas Jackson, a level headed adventurer with a dry sense of humor, commands the Science Ship Linus Pauling as his science crew searches for special DNA that could cure children on Earth who are the victims of genetic engineering gone horribly wrong. It's 2160, and they've been in space for nearly two years, twenty four light years from home when their ship breaks apart in orbit. Surviving with escape pods, they soon discover the backwards fourth planet of Beta Hydri might kill them with inedible food and vicious predators. Although the planet offers up the molecules they need, survival is far from certain.
Captain Thomas Jackson has to hold his shipwrecked crew together as they struggle with survival. He finally reaches out to a thriving humanoid population that gives them tools to survive, but also a whole new set of problems to contend with. Jackson falls hard for Rianya, the alien woman who helped them the most. Except for the ship's doctor, the crew find his affection for her nothing but positive, even when their love unexpectedly results in a baby. Her people, however, are far from enamored by their union and xenophobia erupts when a series of natural phenomenon begin to wreck their primitive village. A flood, an earthquake, and a triple lunar eclipse force the humans to retreat and abandon their friendships with the natives.
Geological and biological forces beyond Jackson's control threaten the crew of fifteen while they wait for a rescue that may never come. Captain Jackson, stricken with increasingly debilitating headaches, is diagnosed with brain tumor that threatens his life, and his doctor's jealousy of Rianya only gets worse with time. Most notably, their unusual, precocious daughter holds a secret in her genome that could cure millions of children on Earth, will challenge their core beliefs, and put lives in danger, including her very own.