Hope for Peace, Prepare for War The Italian proverb says, “Hold your friends close, but your enemies even closer.” Sometimes you must hold family closest of all. As John Praxis and Antigone Wells benefit from the life-extending techniques of regenerative medicine to enter that unknown space beyond the traditional enfeeblements of old age, they discover that the endless conflicts of family, business, and politics still pursue them.In her efforts to secure financing for the revived Praxis Engineering & Construction Company, John’s daughter Callie has brought a viper into the nest who will follow them through two generations. But the Praxis family has vipers of its own, as John’s second son Richard returns from Texas to install new intelligent software that will spy on their operations. Along with these local adversities, the family must also cope with political reverberations from the Second Civil War, dislocations from an untimely Bay Area earthquake, and the disaster of a mid-continent volcanic eruption followed by political collapse and foreign invasion.Volume 2 of Coming of Age is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of personal challenges and social changes. John, Antigone, Callie, and their family members become strangers—both to themselves and to each other—in a world that is only partly of their own making.