Flashback through chapter 6
* Allison Parker is on a reconnaissance mission for the United States Air Force when her aircraft crashes. She intends to relay her information about activity in Livermore to Paul Hoehler.
* Paul is known as the Tinker Wizard; he has a masterful command of very advanced technology.
* At the Old California Shopping Center, Paul stuns a young man who ran from the police. When it is discovered that the boy, Wili, has no where to go and has been getting in trouble, Paul agrees to take him on as an apprentice.
* Wili initially plans to steal from Paul and flee but is convinced to stay after Paul sparks an interest in knowledge and technology in him.
Chapters 7 through 12
* During the winter, Wili comes down with a terrible illness that has plagued him for most of his life. Paul sends him with Mike to find the bioscientists...
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