195000 years ago, the Tovazi, chosen of God, faced a challenger.
The Tovazi decided they needed greater speed in space to maintain their supremacy. Since they could not remain conscious during near light speed, they opted to enhance one of the intellectually handicapped that could and then use them as pilots. To that end, they decided to employ eager scientists who had a chance of succeeding.
Jeevra, a young research-design expert, along with biologists, and geneticists was sent to the third planet around a middle-sized star. Jeevra and the team worked brilliantly to reach the goal despite a love triangle, betrayal, illness, an attempted kidnapping, and the near impossibility of defining, much less achieving, enhancement.
As they realized they might succeed, Jeevra and many of the scientists came to have misgivings about the governments plan to enslave enhanced aboriginals. Led by Jeevra, the scientists plotted to give those they enhanced a chance to choose their own destiny.
The only way this could be made to happen would be to either get those they enhanced off the planet or hide them in the wilds of the planet itself. To get them off the planet to anywhere safe from the Tovazi, they needed a space ship. None were readily available so they would have to employ desperate measures to steal one. If they succeeded in that, they would have to find a way to stock they ship with supplies so that the newly enhanced could survive on one or more distant planets. On the other hand, if they decided to hide them in the wilds, they would have to teach them to survive on a hostile planet. Plus, if the Tovazi government discovered that the enhancement project had succeeded, the Tovazi government would expect to find them on the research planet. If they were not there, there was no telling what the consequences would be for the scientists and the Tovazi agents would almost certainly hunt the newly enhanced in the wild. No matter what they decided to do, it must be done before the Tovazi agents arrived.
The latter third of the book tells how the scientists dealt with those dilemmas and the huge obstacles they faced from their own people and from their own morality as the Tovazi's need for intelligent pilots suddenly grew.