In 1963 the American government begins a covert mission sending hundreds of people on a centurylong journey aboard the starship Ascension. Its goal: to populate a new world. Nearly 50 years into the trip, the murder of a young woman -- as Ascension approaches the point of no return -- prompts some to question the project. The crime is investigated by 1st Officer Oren Gault, born to maintenance workers on the spacecraft, and Emily Vanderhaus is the victim's sister. Other travelers include Capt. William Denninger and wife Viondra.