The main character, Juan Cabrillo, is the captain of the Oregon, an ultramodern warship disguised as a decrepit tramp steamer, and with a crew made up of ex-military and intelligence operatives.
Within the story are the separate plots that ultimately turn out to be connected to each other. One is the job of supplying security for the emir of Qatar, at a conference in Iceland. The second is to find a missing nuclear bomb. The Oregon's crew also has to pick up a radioactiveiridiummeteorite recently found in a mysterious ancient shrine, once used by Erik the Red and his crew.