An experimental weather machine, a transport ship filled with hundreds of families and a troop of hired killers converge on a derelict colony world only to discover it's not abandoned. Lauren Moore is a brilliant young scientist and the creator of Cloudburst: a massive satellite designed to control rainfall on dry planets. Onboard a new colony ship carrying several hundred families, soldiers and cryogenically stored animal embryos, Lauren has been commissioned to use Cloudburst to terraform the planet. What Lauren doesn't know is the soldiers escorting the ship have been sent to remove the existing colonists to make room for the new ones. The corporate term is eviction. The human term is mass murder. The only man who can help her is a mysterious drifter who some say is only a myth, an invention of desert nomads and lunatics.