As the Cortras brothers flee for their lives across the desert, they encounter a man that wanders the waste alone. The brothers think he is the heathen terrorist, Ilu Drystani, and hope to collect the reward for the man's arrest.
The stranger joins the Cortras brothers, but he doesn't tell them about the voice following him. One man, suffering amnesia, carries salvation and damnation from the desert.
Outrage, because Captain Kanen became the victim of extortion, or the lack of amphetamine caused the priest's fat hands to quiver. The UnChosen caste called the drug "Ape;" the street name for the stuff that typically turned users into anxious, howling gorillas. But that can never happen to a priest, the upper echelon of the Chosen caste. All the pomp and dignity granted to Kanen's position guarded against that base lunacy. The unquiet phases of the chemically grown monkey won't drive Josiah Kanen to madness. The Church promoted the middle-aged priest to the rank of captain because of his genetically endowed discipline. Captain Josiah Kanen is born a Chosen and granted authority over the Mortal God.
The responsibility of the rank crushed Kanen under stones. The pressure the Church applied to Captain Kanen drove him to use the damned drug in the first place. The problem with Ape is not the use of the drug, but the lack of using any once addicted. Sobriety-sharpened nails pressed into his chest and head. Being clean took away the magic of knowing exactly what to do in any situation. Sobriety compromised Kanen's ability to control his god and the forsaken UnChosen living his in squalid quarter by the Wall. Reverend Arnett, who Kanen assigned as custodian of the Saint Erasmus parish, had just been murdered in its church, an unheard-of crime within the walled city-state of Capital, the Promised Land. The Wall protected the city-state from the ravages of heathen terrorists. No one passed through the Wall without approval of the Church or its military. The Chosen exercised exclusive entrance to Capital
The UnChosen permitted to stay behind the Wall lived in forsaken parishes like Saint Erasmus, a suitable place for spineless degenerates. Still, the status of the murdered victim raised the severity of the crime to an act of terrorism. The Church and the military's censors debated if news of the crime should be made public, but never came to a decision.
The presence of pagan tablets, on the altar at Saint Erasmus, will never be reported to the public. The Church immediately confiscated and destroyed the sacrilegious objects. Whatever the dead Reverend Arnett planned to do with them is better left unknown. The blasphemous controversy went to death with him. Reverend Arnett brought the awful fate upon himself.
The phone rang in the midst of Kanen's dealing his the lack of Ape, and the murder of a priest too curious with an archaic and forbidden religion. Reverend Benedict Ishkott called, a non- commissioned asshole from the city-state of Gomorrah - the Aper's second call to Kanen. Captain Kanen just hung up on the irreverent extortionist.
"Captain, Kanen," Reverend Ishkott addressed with the aggravated squall of an addict. "I know you don't know me from Adam, but you have something I want."
"A demotion?" threatened Kanen. "Why, in the name of the Mortal God, do you dare speak to me with lack of respect?"
The two priests shared their addiction to Ape, with a difference. Ape caused Reverend Ishkott to lose respect for superior officers, sending him out-of-the-way to Gomorrah.
"Listen, I know you're related to Judah Bathierre, the crime-lord in this city-state," Ishkott said, uncovering his hand.
Hopefully, Ishkott didn't know how complicated the relationship between Captain Kanen and Judah Bathierre became. The crime- lord used the captain as his connection to the Church, although Judah's patience had grown increasingly thin with Josiah, resulting in Ape becoming difficult to find and impossible to obtain. "That is a sad coincidence," Kanen claimed.
"I know you keep the military away from Gomorrah," Ishkott stated. "And I know Bathierre is your Ape connection."
"I know you are a dead man, Ishkott!" Kanen shouted over the phone. "How dare you call me with your crazy accusations!"
"Listen!" Ishkott shouted back. "Military patrols will come to this city-state whether you like it or not! Ilu Drystani is in these parts of the Shur.