The spaceship 'Gateway' is heading for an earth-like planet, which Earthlings have given the working title of ‘New Earth One’. Initially people thought it was an uninhabited world (apart from any possible wildlife), which the billions of people on Earth could take over. So they start to plan an expedition, which will determine whether this planet is suitable for colonisation. But, while studying the planet, they become aware that it has intelligent life and even a modern civilisation.
So the purpose of the expedition changes from being a pure takeover to creating contact with the indigenous population and initiating trade cooperation.
Jack Lee is a moderately alcoholic psychologist-cum-anthropologist on the expedition. His task is to analyse the social and societal conditions of the people.
What Jack finds is an almost paradisiacal world populated by young, healthy and beautiful people, and a society where crime, greed and selfishness do not exist.
But as Jack’s investigation uncovers more and more of how the system works, he discovers that the truth is very different. Someone is clearly trying to kill off the entire planet’s population by means of an unimaginable hoax that has already been going on for centuries.
Jack and his friend, Boris the computer expert, suddenly have a pretty big job on their hands. And it doesn’t get any easier for them as it gradually dawns on them that the expedition’s real purpose is not quite what they thought...