The historians of Gilead are meeting for their Thirteenth Symposium at a newly-opened theme park called Gilead Village, where they are presenting two exciting new bodies of material. The first is the transcript of a conversation that took place between two young women on a people-smuggling ship off the Maine coast while headed for Campobello Island. They have grown up in very different conditions—one within the constraints of Gilead itself, one in a city to the north of its border. Each has faced dangers, both political and personal. It is these dangers—and a deeper bond, unknown to them—that have brought them together. Now they carry out of Gilead a special message, from a source deep inside the establishment, that could topple the regime. The second text is a holograph manuscript discovered within a third-hand library book. The evidence points to an identifiable author: a high-ranking official of the "Aunt" class, code-named "Lydia," who has decided to break ranks and Deep-Throat her own story. Is this text a fabrication, or could it possibly be real? If so, why did "Lydia" take such a risk, and what became of her?