It’s the story of two men who share a traumatic loss at the hands of Muslim extremists, and yet take two ultimately divergent paths afterwards. One man, John Savas, channels his pain to become one of the nation’s leading, if unorthodox, FBI counter-terrorism officers. The other uses his considerable wealth and power to become the equivalent of an American Osama bin Laden, and is the antagonist of the story who plans and sets in motion a global conflict with the Muslim world. Much like the final Armageddon of Norse mythology, these two are destined to face off in an ultimate battle over the soul of civilization and the fate of the world.
Like many Americans and especially many New Yorkers who directly experienced that unprecedented attack on the place where Stebben residing at, He was then influenced to write the Ragnarok Conspiracy. In the months and years following the collapse of the Twin Towers, Stebben had an urge to retaliate. Primitive, ultimately destructive, because most anger is a sickness. That sickness led the nation to accept a war in Iraq that was unrelated to the terrorist attacks.
Within Stebben himself, He raged that Bin Laden roamed free while they captured Saddam Hussein, as if a proxy for the villain who continued to mock people. Who was bin Laden, besides a megalomaniacal prince who used his wealth and privilege to fund his unbalanced sense of justice?
A character began to take shape in Stebbin’s mind of this American bin Laden. As if to achieve balance, there was a second character who was born in imagination, John Savas – kind of like matter and antimatter – a man who had experienced a similar loss in those attacks, but whose soul, even as it hung over the chasm of madness, turned away from hatred and blind revenge. Events were spun in which these two characters interacted, fought, and their conflict played out over the globe.
After several years of this idea refusing to go away, Stebben decided to write it down, but he still covering fear of America that still needs to be purged of it. There were too many people who cannot see past their own fears and hatred of Muslims and Islam.
As Stebbins summarizes the theme of the book, “In the real world, everything – where we will end up as a nation and the ultimate choices we will make – is still very much up in the air.”