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Novice Samuel, orphaned ward of the Church and the One State, is a student at Central College with a luminous career as a lawyer ahead of him. He may not have a family, but he has friends, a great mind, and a protective mentor in the form of Elder James Murphy. One day, a charismatic green-eyed foot-soldier breaks into the College on an act of petty theft – Sam reports him, and though uncomfortable at his treatment, puts it behind him and quashes his sinful attractions to the stranger. It works – until a Resistance plot to kidnap Samuel is narrowly thwarted and the soldier – now an Elite Guard – is assigned to protect him. As if that wasn't enough trouble, Sam begins to manifest abnormal abilities. Sam and his mysterious protector – who calls himself Dean –are soon on the run from both the State and the Resistance, making strange alliances, and ever pursued by the enigmatic General R Q Zachariah, Head of State Security, who seems to know more about their importance than either of them ever dreamed.