With no home, no family, and her grand plot an utter failure, Talyn Penthes emigrates to Garnford Major and goes back to her roots, remaking all those Zonan craft projects she was always pulled away from.
Sharif Tanaka Six-Alpha is worried. One of five clones of the chief exec of the Hauptmann cartel, which essentially runs the Garnford system, the highest-tech of the Dozen Worlds, he knows there's a problem in the R&D department, as there doesn't seem to be any innovation happening anymore.
Once back home, he learns that the cloned DNA is failing, and Tanaka generation five is fading fast so he's running out of time to fix things. And on top of that, a series of suspicious accidents might mean one of Six-Alpha's cloned brothers is trying to kill him—he's not sure of it, but Talyn is (and she has experience).
It will take both working together to break the Garnford system out of its self-imposed deep freeze – if Talyn can keep Six-Alpha alive until the board meeting so she can put her Unique Solution into effect and save both Hauptmann and the man she loves.