The world's first thinking machine has been created -- not by a university or a research organization, but by a brilliant iconoclast working on a British Caribbean island and funded by a shadowy Japanese group descended from the ancient samurai class. A secret group inside the American government co-opts a young NSA signals intelligence agent to work with its own agents in order to obtain the machine from the Japanese. But they aren't the only ones interested in stealing the thinking machine: a terrorist cell from Karranh mounts an attack against the Caribbean island, just as it becomes clear to the Americans that the leader of their own group is a traitor in league with their opponents. The power of the machine becomes evident when it is instructed to perform a terrorist act. Then it becomes a race to see if the Americans can seize control of the machine and move it to safety before missiles destroy the location where it is being held.