The C.T. Merriman Institute teaches ordinary people to do extraordinary things. It gives them new insights, new abilities. It changes their lives. And a group within the government finds that threatening. They begin exerting pressure to stop that teaching.
Pressure may come in many forms: a campaign of slander, kidnapping, financial interference, even murder. The founder of the institute finds himself having to preserve the appearance of normal operations while attempting to find out who is behind the campaign. Who are the opposition? What do they want? How can they be countered?
As events unfold, lines blur. On the one hand, Merriman acquires valuable allies. On the other hand, it becomes clear that at least one of his staff is betraying him. This adds another question: Who can be trusted?
Meanwhile, ordinary life goes on. Participants taking a residential course at the institute mostly know nothing about the struggle, and yet it begins to endanger them as well.
As the conflict continues, the stakes escalate, and everyone involved finds himself working for goals very different than the ones that originally motivated them.