Right after the Korean War, strange alliances took place among the OSS/CIA and the Viet Minh-Viet Cong factions in Vietnam, and between President Ngo Dinh Diem under the emperor Bao Dai and certain American arms dealers. Into the mix Far East Command (FECOM) G-2 sends a Mexican-American sergeant and a Vietnamese lieutenant to investigate this activity, anticipating that nothing will be discovered by these two. But to Eighth Army's surprise, and dismay, the men plough into the beginnings of America's Indo-China involvement. Along the way a love story begins between the sergeant, Ramirez Apollo, and the lieutenant's sister, a student priest of the Cao Dai, a sect which blends the teachings from both Buddhism and the Tao. Unexpectedly, while attending UCLA Apollo finds these teachings reinforced by the scientific conclusions of his father, a professor of quantum mechanics. These revelations lead the two men, now against the wishes of the military hierarchy, to pursue the munitions dealers from Okinawa to San Francisco to Los Angeles and Paris, over a period of four years. Reminiscent of the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, wherein the hero must turn against his teachers, the theme of this novel transcends from war and adventure into a fundamental and proven reason for all human action, requiring Apollo eventually to stand alone, even against his superiors, based on a revised definition of individual purpose and sacrifice.
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