A futureworld epic set on a ravaged Earth at the close of the third millenium
As the great mountain in the west speaks to the sky with a tongue of flame, the Talisman Prophecy is on the verge of fulfilment. The rulers of the Federation believe that Clearwater's unborn child is the Thrice-Gifted One, and they hold both in their power. Cadillac and Roz, who have combined their formidable talents, are determined to free her, but Steve, lured by the prospect of a dazzling career within the First Family, is no longer certain who to support or betray. He has little time left in which to decide, for in Ne-Issan, home of the Iron Masters, a lone woman intent on avenging her dead lover, is about to plunge her nation into a civil war that will set the whole continent ablaze.
The President-General laid his forearms on his desk and crossed one hand over the other. He had strong fingers. The hands of a craftsman. "Steve. All the assignments you have undertaken have been important, but on this occasion you will be acting not just for the Federation, but as a representative of the First Family. You will be dealing with affairs of state—at the very highest level. Do you feel able to take on this responsibility?"
"Good. You have given ample proof of your courage and resourcefulness, and we have the highest regard for your intelligence and loyalty. You have also gained valuable experience through your contacts with the Iron Masters. That is why we want you to fly to Ne-Issan—to meet with Ieyasu, the Lord Chamberlain and the Shogun, and put certain proposals to them. You will be acting as my personal messenger in the same way that the Herald Toshiro Hase-Gawa represented the Shogun. Does the idea appeal to you?"
Steve fought to catch his breath. Are you kidding?