Deep within a heavily guarded compound of the Brookhaven National Laboratory lies the nation's most protected secret: an active alien artifact. Estimated at several millions of years old, impervious to all efforts to penetrate its secrets, the artifact taunts researchers with bursts of mysterious radiation that may be efforts at communication. Now, after two researchers conducted unauthorized experiments on it, something has awakened inside, something as old as time, wielding incalculable power and an agenda of doom. While America's military struggles against an impossible power, only a twelve-year-old crippled computer hacker and an aging police detective hold the key to the artifact. But they must overcome disbelieving authorities in a desperate race against time, with the very survival of humanity in the balance.