The world is getting younger; the Unity retires everyone at forty—just before they disappear.
The world is getting older; in the hardscrabble outlands, everyone expects to work hard for most of their doubled lifespan.
Lieutenant Malila Chiu, as an unknowing pawn in the stealth coup d’etat of General Eustace Jourdaine, is sent to the lawless outlands as punishment for her manufactured and real misconduct only to discover, to her dismay and revulsion, that her arrival is part of another plot by the savages. Jesse Johnstone, the oldest man she has ever met, captures her, humiliates her and drags her away. Malila’s education and enlightenment in the barbarous outlands “show her the stars.” Recaptured and returned to the hi-tech and short-lived Unity life, Malila is again a pawn of General Jourdaine.