Calebans. No one really knows what they are. All any one knows is that they're disappearing, and with each disappearance, a string of deaths and insanity of sentient follows. When Jorj X. McKie finds the last caleban, the solution seems farther away than ever. The caleban won't give any straight answer, that anyone can understand. But McKie discovers the caleban is under contract as a whipping boy and it's slowly killing her. If calebans die, every sentient who has ever used a 'jumpdoor,' a means of transportation that every sentient has used, will die. An wealthy insane woman and an alien outlaw hold the conscious universe in their hands and only one man can defeat them, and the lonely caleban can do only what her contract will allow.