In the year 2304, seven great families of companies dominate commerce through all of known space. The Seven Sisters compete fiercely for market position, while at the same time working together to maintain the True Story, a set of agreed facts and ideas that create the best environment for mutual prosperity.
When exoarcheologist Evan McElroy makes a discovery about the long-departed Versari race, he thinks he has found some great material to present at upcoming scientific conferences.
But his sponsor, the Affirmatix Family of companies realizes that they can make tremendous gains if Evan's findings are kept completely secret. Step one of their plan is to kill Evan and the entire research team.
As Evan flees for his life, his trajectory awakens a long buried struggle. The Infoterrorists, who believe that all information and ideas are screaming to be free, have observed an uneasy truce with the Seven Sisters for decades. In a few places, such as the Untrusted Zone on the planet Kelter Four, the Infoterrorists have been allowed to live in accordance with their heretical beliefs, even while the Pax Commercia has tightened its grip on the rest of civilization.
Suddenly, the truce is over.