In 1964, in an attempt to clean up the mess he has made with his Orange Glory Project, Charley Birch takes an agency operational vehical disguised as a garbage truck and attempts to assassinate one of his subjects, the Zoomin Kate Twillinger. He fails miserable, and yet one of his assistants takes on a life-long vow to kill her. Kate’s family home is soon burned to the ground and the locals make her the prime suspect in the deaths of her murderous grandmother and the old woman’s lover. Kate is placed in a convent school. Kate, who seems of a dreamy and drifty nature, talks to animals and pictures on the wall, and is quietly considered nuts. She would be committed, but there is a family trust fund that squirts out dividends with a certain regularity, and so she is given special treatment.
Ten years later, she seems not to have aged much, and yet has with fingers crossed taken on the vows of a nun and is teaching biology in Southern California. Charley Birch is now dead, but his agency crew is still intent on killing Kate. Kate leaves the protection of the convent, dons a tight red t-shirt that says “Nuns Do It By Habit” and heads for rural Kern County for a substitute teaching job. Here she struggles to understand herself and her strange powers even as she angers a powerful local rancher who seems to run the entire county.
Her troubles come to a head as she sleeps with the rancher’s son (her student, even though he is in his mid-twenties). The rancher, who has secretly murdered his own wife, dopes and rapes her, and leaves her for dead in one of his remote orchard wells. Now is the time when Kate must find her way or be lost forever.