In this tale of space oddity, humans mine Helium 3 from gas giant planets throughout their inter-stellar colonies, and though plentiful, it drives their economies. Balloon-World space stations are placed in the upper atmospheres of He3 rich planets where hyper-velocity winds swirl and rampage. A human crew tends to the gas collection, administration, and external repairs of the hull called the Skin. A sleep-cheat and a daydreaming doctor must solve a mystery when the Wind-Striders, who repair the Skin, disappear and a deadly A.L.F. (alien life form) begins to attack. They must resolve the problematic equation or lose time, life, and worst of all for the corporate sponsors, money. A late second discovery is infused into the turmoil and a terrible choice must be made.