A guild Assassin from the Great Desert of Hamaud is hired to kidnap an eleven-year-old girl, Aideen. There may be one man who can stop him, the girl’s father, weapons master, Imar Amirson, but he is away on a quest so the girl is left to the mercy of assassin’s master. Imar has a bounty on him for a powerful device, the octagon key which can unlock the underground fortress and old world technology of Washington DC. Aideen’s grandmother, a retired privateer, learns of her granddaughter’s abduction while in the southern reaches and must choose between rescuing her husband or returning home in the world’s first and only airship to help the girl.
In the near future, mankind finally over did it. Over population, pollution, wars, and too much technology too fast destroyed the planet. Genetically enhanced for very high intelligence and powerful perceptive abilities, a group of these special people tried to warn world leaders and at least slow the rate of destruction, but their attempts failed. They gave up and went into cryogenic sleep while man bombed himself back into the stone-age. No one woke them for a long time. Ten thousand years passed when the few that survived were wakened into a feudal world on the brink of discovering gunpowder. A key is found. It is eight sided and activates a key pad that opens the long forgotten control room where the president and the joint chiefs of staff could safely order the machinations of war. The knowledge, technology, and power from such a find could do great good or vast evil. The octagon key is hidden and arises after three generations. Many want it. An amnesiac has it, for now.