Earth is simultaneously a paradise and a hellhole. Technology has advanced to an incredible extent but damage done to the environment in the prior centuries cannot be reversed. The Christian calendar has been abolished, but fundamentalism runs rampant.

Some parts of the world function as socialist utopias, upon which a layer of pure capitalism has been grafted to provide incentive to achieve beyond the baseline allowance. In other parts of the globe, such as in the Great American Empire, people live in poverty under the autocratic boot-heel of a deeply racist and isolationist, religious society.

In the socialist-capitalist, atheist utopia of Klippeborg, Jack Mason has reached the pinnacle of wealthy society. He blossomed late in life, long content to live on baseline income, without aim or idea of what to do with his life. Through his gift for language and a gregarious demeanor, powerful people lifted him into the upper echelon of society. There, Jack uses his wealth to undermine world hunger and other forms of privation.

Jack’s savior complex is mocked by his contemporary, Pietro Maravelli Al-Majrit. A brilliant roboticist and an ardent misanthrope, Pietro works for Jack, designing cybernetic wares to enhance those wealthy enough to afford them. Pietro makes no secret of his contempt for Jack, and for everyone else.

A spate of disappearances haunt the globe. Young women in their late teens to their early 30s are vanishing at alarming rates. Believed abducted, the victims number into the thousands. All the while, religiously inspired terrorism is a daily threat. No country is safe from its grip.

Derek Marsh is a consular official in Klippeborg. He heads his nation’s role in the international investigation into the abductions. Marsh enlists Jack and his substantial wealth to the cause of finding the missing women. Jack suspects Marsh is more than he seems, that he might know more about the disappearances than he lets on ... or that he might even be responsible for them.