Earth's future hung by a slender thread. Its tens of billions needed a miracle to survive. Noel Vorst's plan was that miracle. Worshipping the blue flame of science, the Vorsters gave man virtual immortality, bringing a golden age of peace and order. But the stars, Vorst's final goal, eluded man's grasp, until a heretic sect, rivals of the martyred prophet Lazarus, spread the fire of faith to Venus, Mars and beyond. Then Lazarus rose from the dead, and it seemed that Vorst's plan had a purpose even the most faithful had never suspected.