But the perfectly ordinary day wasn’t over yet. After making a jump through Space-Time, the Slarn fleet came under devastating attack from hostile forces, the starship was damaged and evacuated, and the four mismatched passengers on the school bus found themselves the only people left on board.
They soon found that the starship was sentient, embodying the mind of a young English woman named Guinevere, born in the time of Henry VIII and abducted by the Slarn on an earlier raid. They persuaded her to return them to Earth but owing to a misjudged leap in Space-Time, the Earth they returned to was 90 years after the mass abduction.
The loss of population had resulted in a loss of technology: descendants of an outlaw biker gang were now a horse-riding warrior caste, there was a matriarchal society of forest dwellers and there were cannibals in the forests.
In a race against time, Harold, Zoe, Zachary and Miss Henderson had not only to learn how to survive but also repair the starship with available tools and materials before she exploded and devastated the homeland of their new friends (and enemies).