Burnt out hacker Cad Caldwell is on the verge of committing nanobot-induced suicide in a cramped Union capsule hotel when a mysterious package arrives from Tokyo. Inside, a sleek black computer console unlike anything he has ever seen before. The console is a lifeline from someone high up in the Yakuza food chain and the sender wants Caldwell to do a job. The devil, however, is in the details. Before long, Caldwell finds out that his Japanese client is dead and that he has become a moving target running from the long arm of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest Yakuza faction. But help is at hand, in the form of a Faustian bargain from the surgically-enhanced head of a secret Union electronic warf unit who claims to hold the key to Caldwell's blocked memories. To get his memories back, Caldwell must use the console to hack into the core of a secretive new network deep in the heart of New China.