Arthur Bonaventure always wanted to be a hero. His constant search for a ‘dare to be great situation’ led him through several styles of martial arts, multiple universities in various countries and ultimately a tenured professorship in Princeton University’s English department. Though he achieved all of this by the age of 30, Bonaventure managed to find nothing but frustration. In his mind, his passion had netted him zero. He was just another man tired of being surrounded by the ennui that seems to birth so many great men only to relegate their contributions to textbooks, films or advertising slogans.
It wasn’t until he began an affair with a young, female student named Diana that the disaffected Bonaventure stirred from his defeatist, solitary existence. Her exuberance and idealism inspired Arthur to become involved in activism. It was only a matter of time before Arthur’s hero obsession took hold as new love only fueled his desire to make a difference. Buddhists have plenty of sayings about desire. A rage still burned inside of Arthur. This was more than enough material for the CIA veteran known as Rx to work with. When Rx is hired by a corporation to assassinate a labor union organizer, Arthur’s profile as an anti-corporate activist makes him the ideal candidate for the modified, modern MKULTRA methods used by Rx for over forty years. Dubbed ‘Operation Blackjack’, Arthur is kidnapped, drugged and tortured before he is planted as a mole in a goodwill visit to Southeast Asia.
Diana, now pregnant with Arthur’s child, tags along. While the experimental drug used on him affects his adrenal glands and further conditioning is supposed to trigger his rage and eliminate a specific target, something goes wrong. The target lives and a massive explosion leads to an international scandal implicating both the CIA and the corporation. The mother of his child is murdered by a private military contractor. Arthur barely escapes and winds up stateside, addicted to a mystery drug and unable to piece together what happened to him. With only fragments of information to go on, he calls himself ‘Jack’ and struggles to survive long enough to expose the truth behind what happened to him.