The object is not to be
In the middle of the twenty-second century a street person hanging out at Toronto's Union Station,speaks only Latin. He calls himself Verus (pronounced Werus). The only memory he has, is of ancient Rome.
The worlds last surviving Latin expert, Vatican Latinist and Minim friar Gregory O'Riley, is called upon to solve the mystery surrounding Verus. The monk Gregory is a renowned neuroscientist and is in charge of an EU mission to escape the continuing failures of humanity.
Gregorys transhumanist plan is to upgrade homo sapiens to homo mirabilis, essentially a cross between the human mind and an android. Death will at last be conquered. Humankind will break definitively with nature.
Because of his expertise in Latin, Gregory is much relied upon by Pope Innocent XIV. Gregory is the Pontiffs confidant and companion. But he is hostile to religion; he taunts Innocent and tries to convert him to atheism.
Pope Innocent, a former swineherd and wrestler from KlÖpfendorf, Germany, possesses great energy and ambition; but the numbers of the faithful are dwindling under the pressure of rational imperatives and the advance of knowledge, while in the world's backward societies, superstition and fanaticism run rampant. A wall separates Canada from the US, now a backward fundamentalist theocracy.
Gregory is giving homo mirabilis a Roman program. Once the citizens of the EU get the upgrade, they will necessarily speak Latin. Gregory intends to build a transhumanist future by resurrecting the Roman Empire. Helping him, is one of his trusted students at Augustan University in Rome, a beautiful Hungarian dancer, whose motives are not quite clear.
In this ultimate contest between faith and reason, the road to Gregorys brave new world connects in a mysterious but fundamental way with street person Verus, and with the Wests Roman past. BACK TO VERUS