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Humans and intelligent machines bump up against each other in a parallel search for meaning and purpose during the period ensuing the most recent mass extinction. Yet, the world is not without beauty. The desert is majestic, and the historic city a place of artistry. In a beginning that was meant to be the end, Chance-bot is waiting on the street for the recycling truck with the simple instructions to surrender to fate. The bot surrenders to Ziggy. There is no law forbidding it. Maybe Ziggy is crazy (maybe); but like all humans he is also a sapient deserving of respect. All First Level Bots are compelled by the Cardinal Command to treat every sapient with respect. On awakening into the duality of consciousness, Chance-bot was confronted by an exhaustive cache covering the topic of respect. Perplexing that a duty deemed of foundational importance was left so inadequately defined. Meanwhile Danel and his team of designers are commissioned by the Coalition to design the first undersea city on the untamed water planet called Varun. If there exist any rules on the water planet, they apply only to robots. Yet even the machines are challenged by chaos. Kamarong Island is the only land, a mere dot among the mighty waves drowning the unknown terrain of the planet. Seasteaders live nomadic on the wide open ocean. When through a twist of fate, Chance is sent to Varun, the bot is beguiled to mediate an impending clash between the humans and an ancient race of leviathans. Who or what is intelligent life shifts into critical concern for the bot. Sapience is wisdom, the directive supplied. Wisdom is knowledge; wisdom is insight; wisdom is judgment. Sapience is sagacity, the directive supplied. Sagacity is perception; sagacity is discernment; sagacity is the capacity to comprehend the obscure. Who are the Levihopi? Who is the Mentor? Can a robot ever be wise enough to kill?

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