On board an obsolete ship, nine weeks out from home, the latest batch of colonists arrive at their destination. A grim penal settlement in a wilderness worlds away from the homes they will never see again. TASMANIA? BOTANY BAY? No. For this is tomorrow, not yesterday. The dumping ground for social outcasts and political deportees is Mars, barren, unproductive, but invaluable as a convict settlement. What kind of welcome will the twenty-four deportees receive when the reception party from the Settlement reaches their stranded ship? And how will they survive in a primitive environment, an alien system?