The pebble holding Talbert's parchment rolls away. His notes scatter and he chases after them. The air shifts, images flash and moments later, he finds himself in another world uninhabited by any other human being. Talbert navigates home, but returns with a dozen fellow inventors, and they found a new community, named after him. Almost three hundred years later, pre-teen Jason discovers Talberta's mysterious magnificence, escaping his abusive upbringing and mundane life. All would have gone well had the evil Dr. Munstoui been less successful at murder, deceit, and destruction, which Chief Clouden, pins on Jason. Extinction threatens and looms over both the City and the boy..