Frank, Josef, and their families and NShalain friends have been preparing the world of Mars for the eventual transfer of the NShalain people for the last quarter century. Due to some sort of event back on NShalain that destroyed the communication link with that world, they have been unable to learn anything about what was going on there during this interval. The transistion crystals had finished their developing. A large ship had been prepared for the mission. Before they undertake it, they have to deal with some problems with Earth and a few of their own people. When they finally do return to NShalain, they do so in the middle of a still ongoing war!