The novel follows the life of Tedla, an asexual being from an evolutionary offshoot of humanity. It is neither male nor female and refers to itself as a “bland.” On its home planet blands are kept at a near-slave class, considered to be not human and much less important than either male or female. Blands are mentally, physically and sexually abused by their human masters, normally called guardians.
Tedla is found by a social worker named Val Endrada on the planet Capella light-years away from its home planet of Gammadis just after trying to commit suicide. The existence of the bland off-planet sets into motion a political confrontation between the powers on both planets.