Taj's sister, Azure, told him their father was dead. That's what happened to anyone who went missing in the dead of night. But Taj knew she was wrong, and he was going to prove it.
Taj was only nine so he didn't know everything about the aliens who'd come and enslaved them but his best friends, Bracken and Dread, knew all about them. The new Overseer, the one with barely healed scars where the metal grew into his body, and the crackly electric whip to be used on any person not working, was their way into the alien domes. Once inside, they'd find Taj's father. He would know how to defeat the aliens. Then Taj would save him and bring him home. Taj, his dad, and Azure could finally escape, just like they'd always planned.