Life on Mars was harsh, especially for a young monk burdened by the heavy hand of the all-powerful Quarantine Protectorate. Under its sway, civilization was collapsing. It hadn't always been so. Once, the great interstellar transceivers had kept humanity in contact with aliens, sharing knowledge. But no more. Could a mere novice discover why this was so and change things? And did he even dare try? When he does make a discovery, just what will be the ultimate consequences?