Dr. Jonathan Banneker — CIA analyst, mathematical genius, and time savant — at the top of his profession before age 30, has discovered that the accolades and achievements in this world have left him emotionally dissatisfied and detached from his parents, from his twin brother Bucky, and from Jenny Lindstrom, a childhood friend who still has feelings for both twins.
Dr. Banneker’s world, indeed the entire world, is rocked by the sudden, simultaneous, and mysterious appearance of powerful 40-foot beacons atop Devil’s Tower, Mt. Sinai, and the tallest mountain on each continent. The mystery of the beacons and the international unrest resulting therefrom becomes personal when Bucky, a former NFL tight end, is severely injured after falling into the 40-foot beacon while climbing Devil’s Tower.
While representing the CIA at a White House national security and intelligence meeting, Dr. Banneker presents the only plausible scientific explanation for the apparent lack of an energy source for the powerful beacons. Based upon Dr. Banneker’s recommendations, the President appoints Dr. Banneker, a desk-bound analyst, not a field operative, to head up the American Sinai Research Team, dedicated to unlocking the mystery of the beacons.
Feeling wholly unqualified and way outside of his comfort zone to lead a research team to Mt. Sinai, Dr. Banneker’s discomfort is raised exponentially with two late additions to the research team — first, his brother Bucky, miraculously healed from his injuries atop Devil’s Tower, and second, Jenny Lindstrom, who has highly specialized knowledge about Dr. Banneker’s theory about the origin and energy source of the beacons.
The explosive climax atop Mt. Sinai answers most of the President’s questions, but raise new questions which lead to continued global unrest. The explosive climax also shatters Dr. Banneker’s emotional detachment and finally resolves Jenny’s relationship with the Banneker twins.