Apollo of Helios and his twin brother, Ares, are wealthy noblemen (Noblers) on Uor, a small planet 987 light-years from Earth. Over 51,000 years in the past, Uorian scientists sent a stock of 9,000 frozen human embryos to Earth (which they call Eden), which are the foundation of the human population of Earth today. Three quantum androids called “Gardeners” accompanied the embryos and oversaw their birthing, initial care, and release into the wild. They also equipped the new arrivals with skills that would allow them to dominate existing species of protohumans.
Several millennia later, a political upheaval on Uor ushered in the rule of the Seven Great Families, a powerful cabal of Noblers led by a ruthless dictator. Even though they comprise only one percent of Uor’s population, Noblers hold absolute control of all political and economic power. Thanks to genetic mapping of all embryos, Noblers enjoy physical advantages such as height, beauty, and longevity, as well.
Eventually, the Seven Great Families sold Eden and the three Gardeners to Apollo’s and Ares’ father, Zeus, and the twins inherited it after Zeus’ death in 212 BC. Since then, the twins, now 3,120 years old, have enjoyed games and contests based on events happening on the far away planet. Apollo enjoys watching artistic and technological developments on Earth, while Ares favors wars and political upheaval.
As the story begins, Apollo proposes a new contest based on the warming climate now affecting Eden. If nations representing at least 90% of greenhouse gas emissions agree to a new plan for reducing pollution, Apollo wins and will deliver a new technology to Earth that will provide virtually unlimited energy without pollution. If less than 90% agree, Ares wins and will deliver a very destructive technology to the nations or groups of his choosing. Apollo will use the services of the Gardener known as Jack Goodman, and Ares will use the Gardener known as Lucy Jayne. Each Gardener may recruit Edenites to help, but they can only tell one such Edenite the true story of the contest. Ares is quite pleased with his prospects for victory, realizing that Apollo must convince both the Americans and the Chinese to sign on to the agreement. Neither Apollo nor Ares controls the third Gardener, a mysterious figure who goes by the name Fulcanelli, who has not been seen since 1945.
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