The USS Alpine One is in orbit around planet Earth. It is set for a one-year mission to research the plausibility of life outside of our atmosphere. Its crew is small:Rose and Matt are on the ground, overseeing patterns and reports, interfacing with their higher-ups, and keeping the in-flight crew connected to home. Roger is a top-of-the-field programmer and software engineer. Celine is the best pilot NASA could find, and adores the stars she finds herself sailing through. And then there's Roger's pet project. He calls it the Jungian Artificial Central Kinesthetic Monitoring System, lovingly nicknamed Jack. Jack is a learning program, the most complicated artificial intelligence ever created, and the most convincing, which leaves them all wondering... Where does artificial intelligence end, and consciousness begin?