In an America driven to near bankruptcy, the Talos Corporation is a major success story, training soldiers and security forces and providing logistics and troops for nearly all branches of the United States government. But Talos has other plans. Three FBI agents, introduced in Greg Bear's Quantico, stand between Talos's CEO Axel Price and absolute control. Enter Nathan Trace, victim of post-traumatic stress disorder that forced him to be enrolled in a treatment program, code-named Mariposa. The Mariposa subjects begin to experience unexpected side e0ects that indicate something has gone terribly wrong. Liberated from nearly all human emotions and concerns - and all mental limits - they have become brilliant and lethal sociopaths. Yet without Trace's help, Rose and her fellow agents will be unable to stop the plan that Price has set into motion - a plan that could leave America shattered and utterly unable to defend itself.