"Just remember to keep your feet on the line of ashes. If you do, you'll be able to move back and forth safely, anytime."
Year 2029. The Illuminati, governs what’s left of the world’s population. Aika and Solstice are two cash neutrals. Standby infant bearers. When Aika refuses to select Solstice as her default infant bearer partner Solstice starts a fire in the barracks and is exiled to Area 747, stalking ground of addicts, hackers, deviants and med pimps.
Entertainment for cash neutrals is the virtual roleplaying world of The Template. Aika assumes it is her talents here that get her drafted into the History Games, recreations of history moments staged for the entertainment of the Illuminati. Aika is thus costumed and briefed to become part of a wagon train travelling through the Black Hills, sacred land of the Sa’i Tor Shyela tribe.
Solstice meanwhile is set up as the patsy for the assassination of the Observer, the Illuminati’s PR officer. He finds refuge with a sorceress who will teach him to dream awake because it's his and Aika’s calling to enter the realm of the shadowbeings and bring back the sacred pipe of the Sa’i Tor Shyela. Except neither Solstice nor Aika can ever be certain they are not being hoodwinked by the Illuminati for purposes of entertainment.