30 years from NOW, a woman finds herself in the possession of astonishing telekinetic and telepathic powers. While discovering these powers, she also discovers that she was an unwilling test subject in a government super-soldier program that has wiped her memory and loosed her upon the world. This revelation being the kind of thing you usually can't handle on a monday morning, she kills herself in a rather spectacular and highly-visible fashion, leading to the secret of the E.H.U.D.s to come to light. Unfortunately, her death is nothing more than a message to aspiring Secretary of Defense Edgar Latterndale, who finds himself wrapped up in secrets, intrigue, and a plot to kill the president. And that's just Part I of IV.
The story is told from a variety of viewpoints, chronicling Latterndale as he tries to stay afloat in troubled political waters, an architect named John Donalson, who is being fed hush-money from the military for a decades-old accident, and John's niece Rachel, who finds Latterndale's public persona a little too charismatic. Woven through these stories is the plight of the E.H.U.D.s, the enigmatic group of super-soldiers that could be the key to world peace... or the tool of society's destruction.
- Fake Memories: One of the recurring elements in the book is the way characters memories are edited by the super-soldiers, and how sometimes those edits don't quite stick.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Isaac Latterndale is strangled to death with his own intestines.
- Fun with Acronyms: How do you fund a covert program? Simple, give it the same acronym as an overt one. Thus, the Enhanced Human Ultimate Defense combat system was used as cover for the Enhanced Human Ultimate Defenders super-soldier program.
- One Steve Limit: There are two President Latterndales. Justified, as they are related.
- Powered Armor: The Enhanced Human Ultimate Defense system. A detailed explanation of its workings can be found in chapter 3
- Super Soldier: The E.H.U.D.s, in spades. Nigh invulnerable armor? Check. Superhuman abilities? Check. Unstopable killing machines? Well, technically check, but it's against their will...
- The Chess Master: Mistlethwakey is more than willing to use innocent lives to his advantage, and doesn't really care who knows.
- The Man Behind the Man: As more details about the E.H.U.D. program are revealed, it becomes clear that Mistlethwakey is this to Isaac, though the public is still in the dark about it.