Tara woke up inside of a cylinder in an underground chamber with no memories. She is told that the world has been devastated by war, disease and mutations. Humankind had evacuated Earth and fled to hundreds of different worlds far away. A quarantine was declared, but this did not prevent pirates and slavers from raiding the villages of the remnant left behind.
Tara feels strangely compelled to "fix" Earth, knowing this could take decades and generations.
Greyson was born and raised as the only child of a high government official on the world called Roma, which modelled itself after the Roman Empire. The women of Roma are created artificially and have no rights. Thus, Roma is a pariah among civilised worlds.
As a young man Greyson is framed for a crime and his own father exiled him from his home world.
Tara wants to find out what it means to be "The Fourth" and to bring Earth back from the dead. Greyson wants to go home and clear his name. Their paths are destined to cross.
“Have the civilians sent to the bunker.” Tara told Gax, he ran off. Then she turned to Rik “Protecting the people is more important than fighting, Rik, don't forget that.”
“I will protect you.” Rik said “We can't lose you like Sara.”
“Yes, you can!” she said, “None of this depends on me anymore. You and Gax and Dellum and everyone I met along the way, you can do it. You guys are civilized, you guys can move Earth back to what it should be. Even if it takes generations, it needs to happen. I am expendable!”
“Yes. Listen to me. There will be a fifth, and a sixth and so on. We aren't going to rebuild Earth by ourselves, that isn't the mission. The mission is to prepare you to do it for yourselves. I think that mission, that particular mission is accomplished!”