Garner returns from a trip home, a time-out in which to consider the offer made to him by the love of his life Alonzo, to undergo the Change and become a Vee like him. Garner has made his choice, to accept the offer, but he discovers Alonzo is missing.
Garner is staggered, realizing he doesn’t even know where Alonzo lives. He must seek him through his own abilities, being a sensitive, gifted with ESP powers. He discovers Alonzo is being held somewhere in the city, possibly by an unknown entity residing in the industrial park, which both Vees and their enemies, the Vee hunters, avoid.
Garner is thrust into a cardinal position, leading a force of Vees into this area to rescue Alonzo. He must confront that powerful entity, which calls itself the Caretaker, before he can rescue Alonzo, bringing his own resources to the test. Ingenuity, loyalty, and love challenge the status quo of power that exists hidden beneath everyday life in the city, where Vees, Vee hunters, and the Caretaker all struggle for survival. In such an environment, can love between a Vee and a Norm survive?
Though the door was heavily dented, it did not give way. Finally, it was evident they were trapped.
Garner, who had been a mere observer of all of this, began, as soon as he took a hit of oxygen, to explore the door, and the walls of the room with the newly-discovered Sensitivity for electric currents.
At last, he beckoned Venn from the door and put his fingers on the surface of the door.
“There’s a current passing through this door,” he said. “It’s holding bolts closed on either side.”
“Can you interrupt it?” Venn asked. They were standing close together, taking sips with the oxygen mask as needed.
Garner shook his head. He saw the looks of dismay in the other’s faces.
Taking a big hit of oxygen, he walked around the perimeter of the room, reaching out his hand periodically and running his fingertips along the surface. When he was directly opposite the door, he stopped.
They came over, and after taking another hit of oxygen, Garner explained. “There’s a gap in the flow here, I don’t know why. Try breaking it down. It’s only concrete.”
And so, they did, and the wall came away, in bits at first, but then in great chunks, until at last there was a hole large enough to crawl through.
Once outside, they ran along the corridor, until they were away from any poisonous outflow from their former prison, Zvi and Yaro carrying Alonzo.
Venn, still carrying the crowbar, turned to Garner. “Which way?”
Garner closed his eyes. After a bit, he opened them and pointed. “This way.”
They arrived in minutes in the front foyer. The guard there was lying, semiconscious, and looked up at them with bleary eyes. The doors were locked, but Venn broke a window with the crowbar, and then they were outside, running as quickly as they could down the drive and into the street.
They paused for breath, and at that moment the siren was turned off. They were standing in a deserted industrial park street, surrounded by silence.
Garner felt a return of his spirits, and those of the Vees around him.
Alonzo was walking after a fashion, being held on both sides by Vees. They moved as fast as possible, determined to put as much distance between them and the building. They were almost out of the industrial park entirely when Garner felt a wisp in his mind.
It was the Caretaker, Moriarty, calling to him, and he sounded both furious and quite forlorn.
Fool! You are a fool!
Even here, the thought itself still potent enough, and disturbing enough, that Garner stumbled and would have fallen if Venn had not held him up.
The group stopped, and Garner clutched his head, which started aching.
“What is it?” Venn asked him.
Garner, groaning slight, shook his head. “Nothing,” he said. “Just -- nothing. Let’s go.”
They had gone only a couple of hundred feet beyond the industrial park proper, when Venn stopped. Garner, reaching out, sensed four distinct pairs of men in different directions, not too close, but definitely close enough. They were surrounded.
“Hold!” Venn instructed.
They halted and Garner stared at the Vee. What was he doing? But, before he could say anything, he saw headlights, and heard a car approaching rapidly. He reached out to it.
“Oh!” was all he said, and looked at Venn, who was grinning at him.
It was Vera driving.
There was the long screech of breaks, and they all tumbled inside.
Venn cried, “Drive!” even before all the doors were pulled shut, and Vera hit the gas. But a moment later, she gasped.
“What?” Garner cried, staring at her. There was something wrong with how she was holding her head. But still, her expression, barely discernible in the light of the dashboard and streetlights, was grimly resolute. She shook her head, and the rapid acceleration resumed.