Charon is dead, and though General Wharington's team has deleted all the electronic copies of him, one problem remains: Alpha. Indistinguishable from a woman, Alpha has superhuman capabilities and Wharington's superiors want her dismantled and studied but he believes her behavior is becoming more human. Is she developing emotions, or just learning to counterfeit them?
Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd Thomas is drawn on to the sea, to a small California town where nothing is as it seems and where the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority.
The shipwrecked stranger washed up on the beach near Samantha's home turns out to be a half-human experiment by the notorious criminal Charon, a practitioner of illegal robotics with evil plans. Samantha and the man seek help from Sunrise Alley, an underground organization of AIs that have gone rogue.