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What do you do when you inherit $330 million after taxes? If you’re New Mexico rancher Miles Waddell, you build a dream. A flat-topped mesa and a third of a billion dollars equals NIGHTZONE, an astronomy-based theme park complete with giant radio telescope, a bank of smaller scopes linked to a theater, five-star dining in a restaurant with a retracting dome ceiling, a hotel/resort, tram car access, and a narrow-gauge steam locomotive to carry tourists to the mesa top.
Glorious. And too ambitious for many residents of Posadas County. Waddell’s dream begins to sour as one night two eco-terrorists make an opening statement by chain-sawing down power lines that feed the development. One of the terrorists is killed by a bucking power pole. From 20 miles away, former Posadas Sheriff William K. Gastner spots a pair of headlights as the dead man’s companion speeds from the scene. Charges quickly include murder when the fleeing conspirator is stopped by a cop and guns the lawman down.
Hours later, a second shooting occurs when Gastner stops to assist Sgt. Jackie Taber during an unrelated traffic stop. Always the last to pull a trigger, the now 74-year old Gastner becomes the focus of a second investigation by the over-stressed District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department. Meanwhile, Waddell’s troubles with rumor-mongers and anti-government thugs continue.
A tired Gastner is unwilling to work security for NIGHTZONE, but security has become essential. There is a bright spot: Gastner’s godson, 13 year-old Francisco Guzman. The musical prodigy’s conservatory has scheduled a double concert in Posadas, part of a national tour. Yet the timing of this stellar event could not be worse with the retired Gastner and the whole community tangling with lethal avengers and agendas.