The descendants of humans marooned on the strange planet known as Mictlan have survived against almost impossible odds and have reached a tentative peace with themselves and the native inhabitants. **** Perhaps the most terrifying change has been the development of a third human gender-the mid-male 'Sa' fundamentally changing the meaning of relationships and social structures humans have known for thousands of years. **** Adjustments to these changes and influences have come at a terrible physical and emotional cost. The fragile peace governing the communities hide deep rivalries, prejudices and animosities. **** Then a young human 'Sa' is kidnapped and savagery rules as long-buried emotions and feelings burst forth and the planet is gripped in a storm of violence-a violence that threatens to destroy all. **** Yet there may be salvation. For an imposing curved monolith called 'The Speaking Stone' holds ancient knowledge that may help bring true peace to the people of Mictlan. But the knowledge itself is buried deep within cryptic hieroglyphs that must be deciphered if the planet's inhabitants are to survive.