In a history set in 2187, Lila Howell works as an archival historian. She works for the Security ministry, a part of the New Dawn Government also known as N. D. Her psychic abilities as well as her youth in a Crèche make her a commodity. She takes the autobiographies of those that lived through the passing. While the ministry continues to try to manipulate her, she has vowed she will never use her psychic abilities to hurt anyone. Her recent assignment leaves her concerned and confused. It is a bit unlike her previous orders and signed by three different people, an unusual occurrence.
The woman she is to read is Susanne Newton, a woman in her nineties who worked and helped to found the New Dawn government. Someone is looking for information on the Southern Dragon. This is information suspected to be known by Susanne and is important to someone in the ministry. Lila finds herself intrigued with Susanne from the start. She is charismatic and has lived and amazing legendary life. Susanne is a farmsteader, whose best friend Larissa is with her in the home where she lives. In fact, Larissa has been involved with Susanne over the years, in both fortune and war. The stories from Susanne open her resolve and have her thinking about her own life and relationship with her family.
Second-guessing the quest, she finds that she herself has come under scrutiny by the very government she works for. She is being followed and her every move is being questioned. Who is the one known as the Southern Dragon and why would this very entity also aged into the nineties create such a search effort? Lila finds herself at risk, and yet as she continues her job, the more she learns the less she understands. Can she still get the information and protect Susanne, or will she have to disappear before her very life is no longer of value?