"The Stranger" is about a man running for his life from a small army, but he doesn't know why. His amnesia is total. He does not know his mind holds the key to bringing down a corrupt government and changing the course of human history. His name is John Neumann, inventor of the virtual world in which he now resides (think of "The Matrix," but notably different).
The Genesis Machine, a colossal computer generating the virtual world, has been hacked with a Doomsday virus. As the worm eats away at the core, it distorts the people’s spiritual signal, thus preventing them from returning to the real world. At the current rate of decay, the virtual world and all who are in it will die in 40 days unless John can remember what he must do, and why he had to come into the world to do it. With the help of Mary Lazlow, he slowly recovers---but the army relentlessly closes in.
John falls in love with Mary, a physics engineer who hides him and helps decipher all the complex concepts running through his mind. Trouble is, the man who is hunting John also wants her for his own. It all builds to a climatic end where the Mary and John learn that the cost of love can be high.
John Neumann’s consciousness pushes through the ethereal light barrier and into the real world. His memory regained, John recalls the beginning of the Genesis Project. From the start, the vice president of his company, Jack Lokitus, and Judith Neumann, John’s wife, are against the project. John spent one hundred billion dollars building the Genesis Machine, a colossal computer that will create the virtual world on the ethereal plane. However, his efforts have put the company near bankruptcy. The two lovers plot to discredit John as inept at the Board meeting so Lokitus can force a take over of John’s empire. However, when John demonstrates a mere fraction of the Genesis Machine’s power, the coup fails. He then fires Lokitus and one-third of the Board members. Lokitus goes insane with rage. That is when the killings start.
Tension and suspense build as Board members die and Lokitus frames John for their deaths. John discovers Judith’s affair and her role in the murder plots and he leaves her. Finally, John initiates the creation sequence and the new world comes to life. Over the years, he inserts millions of people who are crippled, diseased, or dying, giving them new hope and a new lease on life. There is plenty of action as Mike LeGuerre battles Lokitus’ forces.
The crisis occurs when a member of John’s inner circle betrays him and joins forces with Lokitus. They insert a Doomsday virus into the Genesis Machine that corrupts not only the ethereal matrix on which the world is built but also the spirits of everyone John inserted, blocking their return. In effect, Lokitus holds over a million people hostage, demanding Neumann relinquish his business empire or he detonates the planet. John refuses to give Lokitus the awesome power the Genesis Machine wields. There is only one thing to do. Neumann presents his plan to his trusted crew. It is near suicidal, but he has to go inside the Genesis world to initiate new programming. And then one final act.
John Neumann is in desperate trouble. Having made connection with the Genesis Machine from Doc Lazlow’s lab, the house is now surrounded by Logan’s army. For his plan to work, he must evade them for the five days it takes the Genesis Machine to assimilate his ethereal and DNA data. If he dies, then Logan inherits the virtual world and Lokitus gains control of Neumann’s vast business empire. Fortunately, Tom and Nancy maintain constant vigilance in the real world’s Genesis lab. They help him escape, but how long can he truly hope to remain alive when so many who are trying to kill him?
While John hides in the virtual world, Logan and Lokitus do everything in their power to find him and stop the final critical step. In the real world, Lokitus continues to sabotage the operation of the Genesis Machine. Inside the Genesis world, Logan takes Mary Lazlow hostage in hopes of luring John out of hiding—and it works. With the love John and Mary share, he cannot leave the virtual world knowing she is in Logan’s clutches. And so he begins his trek across the city to Logan’s mansion, but there is something amiss. The virus-ridden virtual world begins reacting to John’s new additions. Each violent electrical assault weakens John’s body, sapping the energy of his soul.
Of his various encounters on his trek, one is the leader of a militant group out to depose Logan. John agrees to let them help free Mary, who has now been moved to the Lazlow house. An all-out war erupts between the group and Logan’s Special Force Unit. John is captured. The house is set ablaze. In the flickering firelight, John Neumann stands on a makeshift gallows mere minutes before the Genesis Machine is scheduled to receive his energy data. If only there was some way to stall Logan’s planned execution. In the outside world, Lokitus dances at the apparent victory. But they do not know John Neumann. Despite the bleak circumstance, there is still hope. There is always hope…