Lyn Harlan, young schoolteacher, finds herself stranded on her half-brother's world, with a sense of loss, a feeling of something very important she must do, and without her memory.
She must recapture her memory, perform the quest, and return to Earth; and has no idea where to start. Adam, her half-brother, has been waiting for her. Their father has told him that when she arrives, it will be time for Adam and Lyn to start the new race to replace the dying Watchers. She adamantly refuses to have anything to do with it. Quinbar, of the galactic ruling Centar, has his own plans for Lyn, which she must thwart. Lyn discovers that this is not easy. Although Quinbar takes Lyn and Adam from his home world to Centralia, the ruling city world, Lyn is left alone in a hotel room. She manages to meet up with Larry, her cousin/best friend, Steve, her fiancé, and Adam, whom Quinbar had left at the spaceport. Lyn also meets Judee, a furred alien who hates the Centar. She shows Lyn how to begin using her Talent. After an unsuccessful kidnapping attempt by the Centar, foiled by the Watchers, Lyn, Larry, Adam, and Steve find themselves on a cold world of caves and tunnels. In a large cavern open to the sky they find a colony of stranded humanoids trapped there. The four Terrans are welcomed into the Bramite community, but Lyn feels the need to get out and continue her quest. Some time later a way out is found, and Lyn and Larry are in the first group to go through. Outside, Quinbar finds them, takes Lyn back to Centralia, followed later by Adam and his family, and Larry. The Centar take them to a training world, to learn how to manage the world the Centar will take them to. The Centar want their new race. They manage to escape and Judee picks them up in her spaceship. She takes them to Earth, where many years have passed. Even though she still has not regained her full memory, Lyn completes her quest. She finds her father's sister and her cousins, and knows that they must unite the two sides of the family by using their Talents. After they leave Earth with several of the cousins and three of Lyn's sister's children, they return to the planet of the Bramites. Here they find chaos. Eruptions, earthquakes and plague have decimated their population. As Judee and Lyn begin bringing them aboard, another ship approaches. It is Quinbar, coming to get Lyn. Using her Talents, and with the help of the others with Talent, she manages to thwart him and save the ship and its occupants.