Cory has made several commitments to members of the Asto inner circles. He needs to spend time with Thayu's son. He has also been asked to give a favour to a boy of the Azimi clan.
What better to do with a couple of pre-teens than to visit the theme parks that are historic relics from the 21st century on Earth?
Of course he has a hidden agenda. On a previous trip to the south of Barresh, Cory and his team found disturbing evidence that people from the former Southern California Air Corps made it to Ceren about fifty years ago. He needs to find out about them.
Except this is 2125, and the former city of Los Angeles is in Mexico, and the interesting places are across the heavily guarded and impenetrable border in America Free State.
While he's investigating, while he's being shadowed and occasionally threatened, while the kids are having old-fashioned fun going on rides and starting rebellions (oops), something is about to come to a spectacular crash.
It's not that the highly armed rebels of America Free State want to take back land that they consider theirs, although they do.
It's not the fact that Nations of Earth president Simon Dekker hates Cory and the fact that he's poking around in what Dekker considers his territory, although he does.
It's that the Southern California Air Corps is about to pull a very large and nasty surprise.