Ethan Bryant was supposed to fall asleep on a ship leaving Earth and wake up 50 years later with his family on the planet Minea. Instead, after the ship's caretaker - the lone human in charge of monitoring the ship's vital systems - suddenly died, the ship's computer locked Ethan out of his stasis chamber and gave him the job. That was five years ago. Five years of checking to make sure everything ran smoothly on a ship Ethan knows almost nothing about.
Life on Minea isn't all that the shiny brochures back on Earth promised the passengers of Ship 12-22. In order to survive, most of the population must slave away in the dark, unforgiving caverns of the Yyinum mines. Ethan's position as governor proves to be less effective than he hoped as he clashes with the power-hungry companies that control the planet. While on a surveying ship, Ethan and the crew crash-land into the cavernous depths beneath the Karst Mountains, where a maze of tunnels and slew of fatal dangers block their journey home.