Spring 2201 - Spring 2203: TheT'ang who make up the ruling Seven are struggling to maintain stasis and prevent change, as the War That Wasn't A War is fought within the levels of Chung Kuo's great world-spanning City: a war fought not with armies on battlefields but with an inventive evil - with bombs and betrayals, brutal assassinations and sly poisonings.
Adding to the pressure for change is the existence of a document that charts the true history of this world, not the version invented and policed by the Ministry - the Thousand Eyes - who have, for so long, maintained this dark shadow at the very heart of Chung Kuo. Its discovery by the Dispersionists will fuel their ardent desire for change and for an end to Han rule.
Lined up against the Dispersionists are a handful of men utterly loyal to the Seven - men like General Tolonen, along with the two men he has recruited from the Lowers, Gregor Karr and Kao Chen. When Tolonen destroys the newly-built generation-starship, The New Hope, he will change Chung Kuo for good by declaring war on the Dispertionists.