If your first contacts with alien species turned out to be less than perfect you could be excused for developing a slight case of xenophobia. That’s what happened to Dr. Mackenzie Connor (Mac), the central character in Julie E. Czerneda's Species Imperative trilogy. The Dhryn a seemingly peaceful bunch, turned out to be set on destroying the universe, and the Ro, invisible folk, (among whom is Mac’s best friend, who seems to be losing more and more of her physical being every time you see her), are working to defeat them. Then the first alien she had known, Brymn, metamorphosed into a hideous, dangerous creature, begging her to kill him. Both Mac and Brymn had assumed that the Dhryn were victims of horrible persecution on the part of the deadly Ro, and the Ro were intent on finishing the destruction of the universe that they began 3,000 years ago. But when Brymn evolved into a death-dealing creature capable of inflicting horrible destruction, thinking had to change.
At the beginning of Migration book two, Mac is back on earth recuperating from the physical and psychological traumas she has experienced on her first trip off the planet. As is most often the case, the former is a lot easier to recuperate from than the latter. Aside from having nightmares of witnessing scenes of mass destruction by creatures that are calling her friend, her waking moments are also fraught with difficulties. First the process that allowed her to assimilate the language of the Dhryn seems to have destroyed her ability to not only read English, but in times of stress not even notice she is speaking a language unknown to any on Earth but herself.
Second is the fact that her life is no longer apparently her own. As she now seems to be the only target of contact by the Ro, who all the other species in the known universe are desperate to talk with, the earth's Ministry of Extra – Sol Human Affairs, have assigned her permanent protection whether she wants it or not. In spite of all, this Mac is desperate to reclaim the threads of her life and go back to what she feels her true calling to be: the studying of the migratory patterns of salmon.
But as Shakespeare had Macbeth say, she is far too steeped in blood to go back, meaning our Mac is involved up to her neck now and can't back out even if she wants too. The other forces in the universe aren't about to let her. Even running away to hide in the backwoods of Northern Ontario proves to be no escape from either the Ministry or sentient beings from other parts of the universe who want her for the potential of another contact from the Ro.