Lockwood and Natasha have returned from Sentinel Island, coming on shore in the town of Millhampton. Computers around the world are failing. They are being invaded by the Nestene Consciousness through Lockwood's implant.Meanwhile, the entire population of Millhampton has disappeared. They have been absorbed into the mind of another revived Nestene below the city. The only survivor is the real Winslet, who is still being used by the Nestenes at the local psychiatric hospital.