before |   Steven Down was with the US Army's Military Intelligence in Nicaragua circa 1986, an observer for the Contras from within a Sandinista farm collective run primarily by college kids from the States.

On a rainy September day, a masked paramilitary unit came out of the trees and lined everyone up against a broken-down bus, killing them all except Down, who was taken inside the bus and tortured. After telling these men everything, Down escapes, barely, with his life; a damaged man, honorably discharged, prone to violence and paranoia, never knowing who his tormentors were or why he wasn't killed with the others. He goes underground, and with the help of another intelligence-community exile, begins obsessively compiling data in an attempt to solve the mystery of what happened on that rainy September day in Nicaragua.

now |   It's 1993 and Down is a freelance corporate security operative, standing anonymously in the background during a clandestine meeting between an EDS-like data-systems firm and an unnamed Latin American client country. At the bargaining table the deal broker begins to speak, and Down believes he hears the voice of his torturer.

Could this be the man? Or is Down just another paranoid bloodbath waiting to happen. And if he can't trust himself to know, who can he trust to help him find out? All clues seem to confirm that Down and his demon have found each other, but have they?

So now the two of them, professionals, linked by chance and the dark couplings of global business and political terror, come together to finish what Down believes inadvertently started in a Nicaraguan jungle years before. Their jungle now is the post-modern city seen through night-vision goggles, scrawled with multinational graffiti, patrolled by private security forces and the homeless, lit by Frank Miller, and scored by the last gasps of the punk/hip-hop restless urban voice.