In order to save the United States from a plague decimating Nigeria, President Averell Torrent orders a quarantine of all Africa.
Pilloried as racist and inhumane, he switches tactics and sends his political advisor Cecily Malich, along with a team that includes the boy who unknowingly unleashed “the monkey sickness” on the world, to provide medical help. Plague turns out to be only part of Africa’s problem. Sudanese soldiers are on a rampage, and EMP devices undercut the electronically enhanced exoskeletons and weaponry of the Special Ops team headed by Captain Bartholomew Coleman sent in to restore order. Is it possible that President Torrent, on a massive empire-building mission, has set in motion plans to realign Africa, making the new nations dependent on him for support? Did he also engineer a tiny civil war in the United States that caused the death of Cecily’s husband Reuben and the imprisonment of Aldo Verus (Empire, 2006)? The Special Ops team concludes that assassinating Torrent is the only way to stop him. Coleman and Cecily must decide who can bring the greater global good—Torrent, Verus or the Ops boys—and act accordingly.
A morality lesson for the video-arcade generation from Hugo and Nebula Award–winner Card (A War of Gifts, 2007, etc.).