|About the Book|
While giving his ex-wife Cindi a ride to Horntoad, an isolated community high in the Sierras, Harry Benson experiences an inexplicable urge to pick up a hitchhiker. Dropping Cindi off to spend the night at the home of his old flame, Cory, Harry takes the hitchhiker, who appears near death, to a religious retreat established at the old Tuchman mine, where he leaves him in the care of his disciples. During the transfers one of Cindi’s bags is switched with the hitchhiker’s.The hitchhiker, Balskar, is one of the Brethren, a race of superhuman telekinetic creatures sustained for millennia by the power of their orbs. While Cindi proceeds with her plans to extort money, the Brethren search for Cindi and Balskar’s orb. Cindi’s plans go awry when her blackmail victim kills her and goes looking for the incriminating letters she held over him, finding Balskars orb instead. When his flesh touches the orb, he is submerged in an ocean of pleasure. But the pleasure comes at a price as the orbs emanations decay his mind until his entire consciousness is reduced to protecting the orb, keeping it for himself.Cindis disappearance serves as a catalyst to bring Harry and Cory back together and reinitiate their long abandoned relationship. Each is surprised to learn that the other feels responsible for their break up. They commit to starting over, but first they have to make sure that Cindi is all right. Their concerns for Cindi take a backseat when they are drawn into the search for Lori Corchak, a young girl sacrificed by the Brethren to prepare a potion to treat Balskar’s wounds.Returning home from the futile search for Lori, Harry finds a group of strangers with questions about his hitchhiker. The strangers, members of a secret organization of Brethren hunters, believe the Brethren are gathering for a ceremony to repair their DNA and regenerate their flesh. Harry learns that he is one of those in a thousand that is capable of sensing the power of the orb–the reason he stopped to picked up Balskar–and is immune to its effect. Instead, Harry can harness the power of the orb, gaining telekinetic power. Harry agrees to help one of them look for the orb, while the others organize an assault on the Tuchman mine.In the dead of night while the residents of Horntoad sleep, Harry and the Brethren collide in their search for the orb. Harrys touches the orb and feels its power, but in a battle with one of the Brethren it is taken from him. Leaving Harry for dead, the Brethren proceed with their plans for the regeneration ceremony, which requires an elixir prepared from the body fluids of young females. Isolating Horntoad, the Brethrens disciples kidnap a group of girls and their counselor, Cory, from a girls’ camp.With only a motley crew of Horntoad old timers to help, Harry has to stop the Brethren and rescue the women.