From his small apartment in southern California, he orchestrates fantastic adventures where possibilities, both dark and bright, open in the boundaries between the real and the imagined. As the creator of "Trace Italian" a text-based, role-playing game that's played through the mail. Sean guides subscribers through his intricately imagined terrain, turn by turn, as they search out sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. But when Lance and Carrie, two teenaged seekers of the Trace, take their play outside of the game, disaster strikes, and Sean is called on to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, toward the beginning and the climax: the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live.