The ancient Silk Road - a web of trade routes - once linked Imperial China with the west; Rome and beyond. Today Toyota and Mitsubishi trucks carry heroin and weapons instead of silk. Across Central Asia multiple players pursue diverse objectives. Sociopathic Russian Mafia chief Arkady wants to recreate the lifestyle of Mongol chieftains. Val, his subordinate, wishes to create a drug network operating with the efficiency of UPS or FedEx. American college professor Walt, a trans-tibial amputee from fighting in Afghanistan, wants to excel in the field of Central Asian studies. His wife, Flo, wants to be married to a man with both original legs. Tara, Walt's graduate student, wants to seduce him and, if possible, make him love her. Mira, a Romanian whore, wants to be wanted. In Turkmenistan, President for Life, Saparmurat Niyazov, wants to become a legend and has written a book he hopes will rival the Qur'an, Bible or Mein Kampf. Central Asian Silk Road countries sit astride vast reserves of oil and gas. Every industrialized nation wants access to pipelines or shipping routes. Chinese oilman Wu wants a pipeline survey. Several U.S. agencies want to stop or disrupt the flow of heroin and opium. They'd like to learn how to intercept drugs in route. Landlocked Central Asian nations - former satellites of the USSR - have residual stocks of conventional weapons and WMD. Old routes that once carried silk, porcelain, religion, culture and language by camel, now transport drugs, weapons, slaves and smuggled goods - by truck and train. Walt, the academic, is persuaded to lead a team of bogus colleagues into Central Asia to uncover drug routes constructed by Russian Mafioso, who employ American business methods and Indian computer expertise. Welcome to the New Silk Road! Vast; and unpredictable!