It's 1937. The world has been through a devastating depression and sits on the brink of the greatest war humanity has ever known. Meanwhile, on a small chain of islands in the South Pacific a great scientist toils over his discovery: a technology 30 years in the making known only as the Sigma Technology. Dr. Erik Chanikov has discovered a method to combine two normal animals you'd find in nature into new creatures that have the strengths of both, and the weaknesses of neither. This is only the first and simplest step towards Dr. Chanikov's final goal: combining genetic material at the molecular level to overcome the flaws that make us vulnerable to age, suffering, and disease in order to improve the quality and length of life for all humanity. Little does he know that the very people who claim to be his allies will be the ones to circumvent his work.
Upton Julius, a wealthy American industrialist, has been the sole backer of Dr. Chanikov's work, as well as his friend through the long years it has taken to develop the Sigma Technology. Being a great believer in philanthropy, Upton has always been a source of support and friendship to Dr. Chanikov. But in recent years his goals have changed, and his once kind manner has begun to fade. For reasons only known to his most trusted allies he's begun to look at Sigma not as an opportunity for knowledge and the betterment of humanity, but as a source of power. Unnoticed by the obsessed Dr. Chanikov, Upton has begun to collect a motley crew around him to enforce his will: The brutish whaler, Whitey Hooten, the sinister ornithologist, Velika La Pette, and the deranged veterinarian, Dr. Otis Ganglion. Together they are formulating a plan to use Sigma to take over the world, but they're still missing one key element.
Upton's misdealing has not gone unnoticed, though. Dr. Lucy Willing, Chanikov's assistant and a brilliant scientist in her own right has heard the whispers in the wind. She suspects that Upton is up to something; she's just not sure what, and why. Never one to be caught off guard she has jury-rigged a mobile laboratory capable of hiding out almost anywhere within the vast island chain, but she only intends to use it as a last resort. If the worst happens it wil keep both her and Dr. Chanikov safe, but until then she plans on covertly monitoring Upton's operation, and learning everything she can about his plans.
Every bomb has a fuse, which in this case is one Rex Chance, freelance war correspondent and adventurer down on his luck. A desperate letter and a call from the past will drop him smack into the middle of the struggle over the Sigma Technology, setting in motion events that could lead to the end of the world as we know it. Will Upton Julius find the key to unlocking the power of the Sigma technology? Not if Rex Chance has anything to say about it!