Ashe Gordon and Ross Murdock, angry following the loss of their fellow agent and friend, Travis Fox on the planet Topaz, are on the planet Hawaikan, a warm planet that is mostly ocean, intent on setting up a time gate. The world is so different from what they expected after viewing the information from the alien ship that brought them to the planet, that they have decided to do a risky experiment and travel into the past of the planet. They are joined on this venture by two mutant dolphins and a female agent of Polynesian descent.
However, just as they set up the time gate, a storm blows up and disaster strikes. Murdock is flung through the gate and into the planet's past. The time gate is destroyed. Murdock is left to try to cope with the different and alien world he finds himself in, where it seems there is currently a three way struggle going on even without the presence of the mysterious aliens who have dogged the Time Traders from the start.