Having taken up the aliens' invitation to travel to a better world, the assembled humans find themselves in an enormous cathedral like edifice, their electronic clocks stopped at midnight - the moment they were picked up from the beaches - and with two hours or more missing. None of their advanced technology works - anything like a silicon based microchip is broken down to dust. Two groups form - one made up of a US army reconnaissence team , one a women's group in search of self determination. They try and organise life aboard the alien ship, since there are no actual aliens in evidence and the humans appear to have been left completely to their own devices. But after a time it seems that it is not that there are no aliens, but that the ship itself is an alien life form - and one that recruits its own crew from amongst the volunteers who come aboard. Some will fail, some will be rejected and some will survive. Only one woman seems to believe that communication with the aliens is possible, that communication is in fact the only way to survive and perhaps return to earth.