In a future so distant that time is almost without meaning, death is defeated and immortality has been made reality through instantaneous cloning and synaptic transfer. Mankind, frustrated by the futility of timeless existence, chooses extinction. All but one man. Far removed from the known universe with only one companion, an AI named Qod, Salem Ben watches the cosmos from afar and relives the digitally reproduced lives of countless souls archived in the Soul Consortium by means of a neuroimmersive device. He hopes to discover the answer to the ultimate question: What lies beyond? But at the birth of the next universe, billions of years before the pattern of life repeats its design, Salem's quest takes a disturbing turn. Unexplained aberrations appear among the digital souls. To hunt down their source and to continue his search for evidence of life after death, Salem endures four very different lives: Orson Roth, a serial killer in 20th-century Britain; Dominique Mancini, a spiritual medium from 16th-century Lombardy; Plantagenet Soome, a monk sent to the distant Castor's World; and Queen Oluvia Wade, the creator of the Soul Consortium.
As the mystery unfolds, Salem is confronted by a malevolent entity which threatens the future of humanity before it can begin again--and only Salem stands in the way of it breaking free.