He was a mysterious cosmic presence who came out of nowhere with the incredible promise to free the dying planet. Earth's future is one of peace. There are no more wars, nuclear weapons are outlawed, and technology is raising mankind to new heights. Many cities are now underground. Alain von Bek is a bastard of distinguished lineage working an unassuming job with city administration in the underground city of Switzerland. But with the appearance of a massive clownish figure calling himself the Fireclown, Alain's life and the course of Earth's future are both about to change. The Fireclown claims to hold the keys to mankind's salvation. He carries an undeniable charisma that is winning him followers, chief among them Helen Curtis, Alain's cousin and former lover, not to mention serious candidate in the next presidential election. But there are also those who mistrust the Fireclown. At the forefront of this opposition is Minister Simon von Bek, Alain's grandfather, and Helen's chief competition in the forthcoming election. Gradually, Alain finds himself sucked into a game of chess between these three polarizing forces, but each new revelation raises new questions, about his past and that of the world's future. He will have to put his trust in someone, and time is running out-for him and the world.