A man named Mohammed sits in a café in Vienna, about to propose a deal to a Colombian. Mohammed has a strong network of agents and sympathizers throughout Europe and the Middle East, and the Colombian has an equally strong drug network throughout America. What if they were to form an alliance, to combine all their assets and connections? The potential for profits would be enormous - and the potential for destruction unimaginable. In the Brave New World of terrorism - where anybody with a spare AK-47, a knowledge of kitchen chemistry, or simply the will to die can become a player - the old rules no longer apply. No matter what new governmental organizations come into being, the only truly effective ones are those that are quick and agile, free of oversight and restrictions... and outside the system. Way outside the system. In a nondescript office building in suburban Maryland, the firm Hendley Associates does a profitable business in stocks, bonds, and international currencies, but its true mission is quite different: to identify and locate terrorist threats, and then deal with them, in whatever manner necessary. Established with the knowledge of President John Patrick Ryan, "the Campus" is always on the lookout for promising new talent, its recruiters scattered throughout the armed forces and government agencies - and three men are about to cross its radar.