In the distant future, several colonization ships head to Pandora, a planet on the edge of the galaxy. The colonists are drawn there in search of a better life as well as vast mineral resources said to be on the planet, free for anyone's taking, akin to a futuristic gold rush. Some time after settling the colonists discover that there is little the planet offers, aside from some decrepit alien ruins. Those who have money leave, the remaining population devolves into chaos and lawlessness. Some of the settlers seek to get rich quick by discovering alien technology. Most others are just trying to survive. After seven earth years, the planet's slow orbit brings a transition from winter to spring, and many horrifying creatures emerge from hibernation.