The Cold War has ended. The Soviet Empire has imploded. With a scope and daring not possible until now, an unlikely international alliance of top-level political, financial, and religious interests sees the way clear at last to its ultimate goal: the establishment of a single global society. Utopia. With nothing in common but immense power and a towering ambition for still more - with world unity and prosperity as their slogan; with betrayal, scandal, and murder as their ready weapons - these men have the means and the will to capture as their own the perfect global machinery for their plans: the oldest, wiliest, and most stable political chancery in the world. The Vatican. At the vortex of this lethal struggle already engulfing the society of nations stand the embattled Pope, a geopolitical genius whose elimination is the short-term solution to a long-term goal; and two American brothers, Paul and Christian Gladstone, one a lawyer and the other a priest, who appear to be the perfect pawns. One falls prey to the sharp teeth of greed for power. But what the conspirators cannot know is that the other will become one of the Slavic Pontiff's closest allies... or that he will discover the darkest of hidden things at the very heart of papal Rome. From America to Europe to Russia, in broad landscapes and clandestine corridors, a rich and varied cast - presidents and politicos, simple saints and savvy sinners, popes and pope-makers and papal wannabes - clash with each other amid dramatic and sometimes bloody events that will affect the destiny of every person alive today, and every person yet to be born.