Sixteen hundred years ago, as the old world died, a ship carried thirty-three priests and one hundred pilgrims into orbit. One by one, the priests lived solitary lives, praying for salvation. At his vigil's end, Father Aitor wakes the final priest--Jacob, whom he loves--to lead the survivors as they rebuild civilization. Their mission is clear: bring Christ to the wilderness. But Aitor has never heard God's voice, and he is beginning to believe that Jacob hasn't either. And when they encounter strange, deformed creatures, doubt is not their only threat.
In a nearby community, Talit has always believed in the holy laws of her people, mutated children of the wasteland--until her best friend, Ziek, contracts a fatal sickness and is exiled. Angry at this unbearable cruelty, Talit helps Ziek escape and strikes out across the desert. She will bring the person who condemned them all to sickness--even if it is a vanished deity--to justice, and the monsters stalking them cannot stop her.