In the early decades of the twenty-first century, the most commonly held truth is that knowledge is power. Yet a select few men and women begin to suspect what few will admit: we know nothing at all. The world's oil resources have dwindled. The rich are turning richer and the power-mongers are becoming more powerful. China and the United States dominate the globe in a geopolitical chess match. The human mind has merged with the cybergrid, yet the human race seems not to have evolved much at all. Then, on a remote South American mountain, two scientists stumble on a grisly scene. Here, while trying to protect an ancient sacred rock, a primitive tribe has been slaughtered. No witnesses remain to reveal what could have inspired such carnage. Or so it would seem. In the international arena, meanwhile, a new global race is on: a weapon capable of tipping the balance of power is discovered. Among the competitors are a National Security Agency director who is playing at an elaborate doublecross within his own agency and a vengeance-seeking Israeli meteor hunter. Shamans and zealots, geniuses and madmen - all seek to unlock mysteries that fell to Earth millennia ago. But the key lies with four mute children who may unwittingly hold the secret to the planet's survival - or its destruction.