It Happened one night, suddenly, without warning: 90% of the human race disappeared without a trace. Vanished, never to be seen again. There were no portents, no notes, no bodies, no clue as to where they went or whether they would ever come back again. People woke to find their lovers no longer beside them. Children woke to find their parents missing, parents woke to empty cribs. Neighbors found empty houses, empty apartment buildings. Civilization collapsed. After a few months of violence spawned by fear and rage, a measure of peace was restored in the Bay Area. Enclaves formed and established defense pacts against the wandering bands of fanatics. They set about surviving, renewing contact with the rest of the world, establishing trading ties with each other, and trying to discover what had caused the Vanishing. Now, thirty years after the Disappearance, Dr. Easterman is coming across the continent from the Carnegie Institute to work with the Hackers Center in Silicon Valley, continuing a promising line of research on what caused the cataclysmic event. At the House, where a community of survivors has made a good life while continuing to build the Winchester Mansion, a young woman named Renzie is in the middle of the political struggles between various groups in the Valley. And up in the Oakland Hills a huge band of Heaven Bounders is gathering. The 'Bounders believe that the Vanishing was Judgement Day, and the Vanished have ascended to heaven. They believe that the only thing holding back their own salvation is the disbelief of others - disbelief that is manifested in building houses and growing food. If those others were dead, the Heaven Bounders believe, then Judgement would be fulfilled, and they would join their loved ones in Heaven.