After taking her courses and mastering the talents she was born with, Minya just wants to go home and hold her family close. When her drop pod spins out of control and lands her in the dead zone, she doesn't know how she is going to survive in the ice and snow. She can't communicate with family and she doesn't know where she is, so following her instincts and hiking for the distant hills. The party of strangers doesn't say anything, they simply bring her into their underground community and help her get warm. The women smile and offer her a crown and sash of woven greenery and the men bow and urge her down a hall where warm air hints at a comfortable place to rest. The warm zone is occupied by a man with ice-white eyes and he offers her hospitality. Her decision will make a choice for herself, and her world.